Despite public denials and a state ban against quotas, NYPD commanders still enforce a quota system for arrests and summonses, pressuring officers to target predominately minority neighborhoods, a dozen current and former minority cops charge in a federal class action lawsuit.
When asked this week about the explosive allegations, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton issued a colorful and emphatic denial.
"Bull sh--- is my response to that,” said Bratton, adding that the department doesn’t focus on numbers but rather on how to reduce crime.
But the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit that accuses the NYPD of violating the state ban on quotas and punishing officers who refuse to follow discriminatory practices spoke exclusively with the I-Team and said that quotas "absolutely exist."
"It’s illegal and it’s immoral and it’s unethical so they can never admit to it," said Edwin Raymond, an 8-year veteran of the NYPD. “But it exists and it’s very real.”
The pressure on officers for quotas is so great that predominately white neighborhoods are "actually policed" while "black and Hispanic neighborhoods are hunted,” said Raymond, who was born in raised in East Flatbush. He said the quotas result in innocent people getting into legal trouble for "innocuous behavior."
Raymond, who was recently passed over for a promotion, says he secretly recorded conversations over the last two years to capture proof that quotas exist despite a state ban in 2010 and repeated denials by NYPD brass.
"They’ve broken the law," Raymond said. "The same way the NYPD records people breaking the law, that’s what I did. I basically conducted my own investigation.”
Raymond's lawyer says the quota system affect minority officers as well as communities of color.
"They get punished more for not making the quotas than white cops,” attorney Chukwuemeka Nwokoro told the I-Team.
The city has asked a judge to dismiss some elements of the lawsuit. A ruling is expected within a couple of months.