SOURCE: The Village Voice

The Village Voice

May 05, 2010 08:00 ET

Village Voice Investigative Series Reveals Profound Misconduct and Questionable Tactics From NYPD

Secret Tapes Recorded by Beat Cop Over 15 Months Show Crime Stat Manipulation, Intimidation and Retaliation Within Brooklyn's 81st Precinct

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - May 5, 2010) -  Police supervisors in Brooklyn's 81st Precinct in the Bedford-Stuyvesant area actively participated in crime statistics manipulation, victim intimidation and, ultimately, retaliation against an officer who spoke out, according to the first story of a three-part series in the Village Voice. The newspaper obtained hundreds of hours of conversations secretly recorded by a rank-and-file officer that present an unprecedented portrait of life within the New York Police Department. Additional content, including access to some of the recordings, is available at www.villagevoice.com.

"This is a rare, unrestricted look inside the NYPD," said Tony Ortega, editor-in-chief of the Village Voice. "An 8-year veteran of the force was concerned about how his precinct was serving its community, so he took the extraordinary step of recording virtually every conversation he had for 15 months and then came to us with the tapes. Our reporter, Graham Rayman, put in months of reporting to back up the tapes and write a compelling, ultimately damning view of life in the 81st Precinct."

The tapes reveal that precinct superiors threatened street cops who did not make their quotas of arrests and stop-and-frisks, while directing them not to take robbery reports in order to manipulate crime statistics. The tapes also refer to command officers calling crime victims directly to intimidate them about their complaints.

The Village Voice obtained the tapes from Adrian Schoolcraft, an 8-year veteran of the NYPD. Schoolcraft made recordings over a period of 15 months from July 2008 to September 2009, capturing roll calls, and meetings with supervisors and internal investigations units. Schoolcraft gave the tapes to the Voice out of frustration that his attempts to report questionable activities went largely ignored within the NYPD. Schoolcraft claims he was subjected to retaliation by precinct and borough superiors after he complained.

The Voice has released portions of the tapes in batches on their website, www.villagevoice.com. The three-part series, written by staff writer Rayman, will cover several issues, including a profile of Schoolcraft.

About the Village Voice
Founded by Dan Wolf, Ed Fancher and Norman Mailer in 1955, the Village Voice introduced free-form, high-spirited and passionate journalism into the public discourse. As the nation's first and largest alternative newsweekly, the Village Voice maintains the same tradition of no-holds-barred reporting and criticism it first embraced when it began publishing fifty years ago. The recipient of three Pulitzer prizes, the National Press Foundation Award and the George Polk Award, the Village Voice has earned a reputation for its groundbreaking investigations of New York City politics, and as the premier expert on New York's cultural scene. Writing and reporting on local and national politics, with opinionated arts, culture, music, dance, film and theater reviews, daily web dispatches and comprehensive entertainment listings, the Village Voice is the authoritative source on all that New York has to offer. In addition, the Village Voice's daily-updated website www.villagevoice.com has twice been recognized as one of the nation's premier online sites for journalistic quality and local content. The site is a past winner of both the National Press Foundation's Online Journalism Award and the Editor and Publisher Eppy Award for Best Overall US Weekly Newspaper Online. In 2010, Chief Theater Critic Michael Feingold was named a finalist for the Pulitzer. Follow the Village Voice on Twitter @villagevoice.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
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    Brigid Zapp or Corey Lewis
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    vvm (at) launchsquad (dot) com