NYPD officers state that arrest quota system targets Black and Latino By Michael Joseph on October 16, 2021

Our New York City false arrest lawyers know that not all arrests are bona fide and the NYPD, often crosses the line and arrest innocent people. Now, it has come to light that one contributing cause may be an official quota system. Four NYPD officers say in new sworn declarations that an off-the-books arrest quota system targeted Black and Latino New Yorkers — with one cop recalling a white supervisor asking, “Are you going to take someone’s freedom today?”

The new documents, soon to be filed in Manhattan Federal Court, add further detail to a long-running suit launched by four other minority cops claiming they faced retaliation for not arresting enough people of color. White officers allegedly did not face the arrest expectations.

Officer Charles Spruill, who retired in 2014, has come forward to claim he was yelled at on a daily basis to meet arrest quotas.

“On one occasion in the 40th Precinct a white supervisor asked an African-American police officer, ‘Are you going to take someone’s freedom today?’” Spruill, who is Black, says in his affidavit. “The African-American police officer had no choice but to say, ‘OK, boss.’”

Last month, city attorneys filed a scathing submission in Manhattan Federal Court slamming one of the original plaintiffs, Lt. Edwin Raymond, as insubordinate and unwilling to do his job. Raymond is running for City Council while on leave from the force. 

Since the suit was filed in Manhattan Federal Court in 2015, some two dozen current and retired officers have filed legal papers backing the claim that a race-based quota system disproportionately affected minority cops.

Taken together, the affidavits illustrate how the chance for lucrative overtime shifts has been used to induce cops to go along with commanders’ demands. They also show how performance monitoring — a program ostensibly to help cops get better at the job — has allegedly been used to punish officers who don’t meet arrest quotas.

An NYPD spokeswoman said that allegations of race-based or numerical arrest quotas are false. Our New York City false arrest lawyers know that these blanket denials are merely talking points, but the truth will come out. The eyewitness accounts from those officers who were pressured to enforce the quota and make arrests, to keep their job, regardless of whether the arrests were justified or not, is strong evidence of the culture at the NYPD. 

Previous filings in the case have revealed NYPD jargon allegedly used in the quotas program. “Collars for dollars” referred to cops who make a sufficient number of arrests being rewarded with overtime shifts.“Soft targets” were Asian, Jewish and white people, who weren’t to be arrested. “Hard targets” were Black and Hispanic people, the cops say. This  system, that results in direct financial compensation for making arrests, whether bona fide or not, incentizes police officers in New York City to make arrests, that otherwise would not be made and encourages them to fudge facts or select facts to justify an arrest, so they can make overtime.   

“The NYPD has a lot of internal names for the arrest quota, but they all mean the same thing.  That officers are supposed to bring in a certain amount of arrests and issue a certain number of summonses per month,” Officer, who is Black and retired in 2011, says in one of the new affidavits.

The NYPD calls this arrest quota in the internal lingo of the police department many things. These code names include, but are not limited to, productivity indicators, goals, activity, expectations, condition, and/or performance goals.

Officer Michael Soto who is Hispanic states in another of the new sworn declarations that the then-commanding officer of the 40th Precinct, Christopher McCormack, arbitrarily lowered many minority officers’ performance evaluation scores after assuming his post in 2011. The evaluations are used to determine which cops receive overtime and assignments to specialized units. McCormack changed the evaluation for no reason other than to implement a new strategy of hunting minority civilians in order to make the arrest quota.

The above incidents and claims by NYPD officers clearly indicates how the officers were being pressured  to make arrests, causes motive to twist facts to justify baseless arrests.

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The Law Office of Michael H. Joseph, PLLC

Law Office of Michael H. Joseph, PLLC

The Law Office of Michael H. Joseph, PLLC, has been helping injured victims recover compensation for their injuries for over a decade. Our attorneys are members of several prestigious organizations, including: 

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