What to Know
- 12 active duty minority officers first went public with claims of illegal racial quotas within the Department in an I-Team interview in 2016
- Some NYPD officers says the pressure is still on them to reach a quota for tickets and summones
- The NYPD disagrees with the officers' claims, saying the current administration has worked hard to get away from the quota mentality
Are there quotas in the NYPD for arrests and summonses? The department says no. Some officers disagree, with several willing to speak out publicly and others quietly saying the pressure remains to "get numbers" even after the elimination of the so-called stop and frisk era.
The hot-button controversy takes center stage with the Hulu release of a documentary film, Crime+Punishment, which focuses on the NYPD12. Twelve active duty officers of color first went public with claims of illegal racial quotas within the department in an I-Team interview in March 2016.
The officers, who patrolled in primarily neighborhoods of color, claimed they were pressured to make arrests and write summonses, and they say they were retaliated against if they didn’t comply. They filed a class action lawsuit in federal court claiming that the department violated a 2010 state ban on quotas.
In a new I-Team interview, a number of officers claim quotas still exist.
Edwin Raymond, now a sergeant said, “The pressure is still there.”
Officer Pedro Serrano added, “They will retaliate if you don’t get the numbers.”
Filmmaker Stephen Maing spent four years following the NYPD12 and documenting what he says was additional retaliation for the officers’ decision to go public on the matter of quotas.
“It was startling to see the wave of retaliation after the interview you did,” said Maing, adding, “It’s a really rare thing for cops to speak out and break the blue wall of silence. This is about the first group of black and Latino cops who were willing to speak out against practices they thought were harmful to minority communities.”
In a lengthy interview with the I-Team, NYPD First Deputy Commissioner Benjamin Tucker said major crime within the current administration is down in New York City, along with arrests, summonses and civilian complaints.
“We don’t expect there to be quotas. We’re not expecting them to focus on the quantity or the numbers," Tucker said. "That’s the thing we fought to get away from. It was happening in prior administrations, perhaps. It’s not happening in this administration.”
A federal judge has dismissed the officers’ class action claim based on the quota argument and certain individual claims, but the officers say they will continue their battle for a dialogue about policing and perception.
"We are not here to talk bad about the department," Derick Waller, now a retired detective, said. "We hope the department and the public will have a real discussion on this subject."
All the officers said they have no regrets.
"We hope that other officers, if you see something wrong, speak out," said another retired officer, Julio Diaz.