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The NYPD Tapes: A Shocking Story of Cops, Cover-ups, and Courage Hardcover – August 6, 2013
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From Publishers Weekly
In this scathing exposé of America's largest police department, Rayman, a writer for the Village Voice, reveals how a whistleblowing NYPD officer turned the trend of manipulating crime data for political gain on its head, daring to sue the department to halt the practice. The author, a veteran reporter on the New York City police beat, opens with officer Adrian Schoolcraft confined in a mental hospital, the result of a request from his bosses following Schoolcraft's probing into their dubious policing procedures. In the 1990s, Police Commissioner William Bratton began using a computerized statistical system to measure the department's success, but the system was all too easy to tamper with. So Schoolcraft, a stickler for playing by the rules, started keeping notes in 2008 on how the police force fudged the crime numbers, and he began collecting tape-recorded evidence of illegal behavior. When his superiors copped to his intentions, Schoolcraft was given low performance ratings, assigned desk duty, disciplined severely, and pushed to the emotional breaking point, before finally filing a lawsuit against the city. Connecting the dots reliably and accurately, Rayman's account of a modern-day Serpico's battle with an all-powerful police department is somber and inspiring. Agent: Jason Allen Ashlock, Movable Type. (Aug.)
“Adrian Schoolcraft joined the NYPD for old-fashioned reasons, to have a good job while protecting the people. Instead, he ran up against police bosses who cared more about low crime statistics than public safety. That collision, as devastatingly described by Graham Rayman, is a tale of crime prevention turned upside down in the Bloomberg era. Rayman has invented a new genre: the police misprocedural.” ―Tom Robbins
“Not only has Graham Rayman told the incredible story of Adrian Schoolcraft, whose forced hospitalizaiton by the NYPD in a mental ward is reminiscent of the Sovet Union's KGB, but Rayman puts that sad and frightening incident into a larger context: how the NYPD systemically downgrades crimes to make New York City appear to be safer than it actually is.” ―Leonard Levitt, author of NYPD Confidential and Conviction
“Graham Rayman's a great reporter and Adrian Schoolcraft's story was one of the most gripping things we've ever put on This American Life. The NYPD Tapes tells more of what happened, and reveals the full extent that officials were willing to go in their cover-up.” ―Ira Glass, host of public radio's This American Life
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Top Customer Reviews
I bought this book as soon as I came out. It takes years -- I am still in shock how Ray Kelly and Charles Campisi protected so many NYPD crimes, corruption including my case. Audios and my case I have audios, video, police reports and they are still protecting the NYPD crimes.
January 13, 2014, Email:email@example.com, Box 18, Newton, N J 07860
There seems to be a consistency in human behavior where an eternal conflict exists between those who seek exposure of errors, violations and crimes with those who seek to conceal such. It is not just that wrongdoers or criminals seek concealment, but that those in positions of overall authority, from Mayors to Commissioners or other senior executives who should encourage such revelations, instead seek to prevent exposure of institutional failings.
So here in this book we have the factual telling of what happened to New York City Police Officer Adrian Schoolcraft who was and is attacked, illegally imprisoned and targeted by our “government” for revealing that the Police Department concealed crimes and by such concealment protected criminals and injured the cause of Justice. There are two aspects to what the City of New York did to its own people.
First the NYC Government attacked a courageous New York City Police Officer, Adrian Schoolcraft, who recorded and documented the deliberate concealment of crime in New York City and when he exposed this extraordinary corruption those men sworn to protect us, attacked him. He was actually kidnaped from his home where senior executives of the NYCPD authorized the break in of his house and his transportation to Jamaica Hospital in Queens County, NYC where he was illegally detained for days. That is why I always say reality is stranger than fiction.
This kidnaping was merely one aspect of continual illegal acts to prevent his disclosure of concealment of crime reports and various criminal acts in New York City. Keep in mind that this only recently occurred and is not some recounting from the days of “Serpico”. This case of Adrian Schoolcraft is currently going on.
Second, separately from the attack upon Police Officer Adrian Schoolcraft is that fact that what he exposed was the concealment of crime reports and criminal activity by the New York City Police Department. While it may be difficult to understand and accept what occurred it can be stated that when a crime report was made by the victim, the NYCPD would destroy or alter the record of the Crime Report so that it would not be investigated. Think about this for a moment and tell me if again my belief that reality is more fantastic than fiction is not true? What is of great importance is this was being done upon high authority in the Police Department, by those responsible for the management of law enforcement in New York.
Now take this a step further. When what occurred was exposed the United States Attorney, The New York State Attorney General, the Governor of the State of New York, The Mayor of the City of New York and etc., all did nothing. Nothing at all. We have Adrian Schoolcraft, alone as an individual, battling with privately hired attorneys seeking to protect himself and the public. His difficulty in obtaining competent and honest Legal Counsel is also described in the book but from my experience is tragically normal and expected.
So buy this book, buy it now. Do the research to confirm what it records. The public records and news reports are available and believe every word of it, as it is true. Then write your “government” and demand an explanation. This is just one very small but significant chapter in the ongoing historical battle between those who seek to expose failures in our government, to safeguard us all and those who seek to conceal such failure and endanger us all. Thank you, thank you, Adrian Schoolcraft for what you have done. I am interested in this subject and anyone with further information should feel free to contact me. Kenneth Ellman, email:firstname.lastname@example.org, Box 18, Newton, New Jersey 07860
That's what happened to New York City Police Officer Adrian Schoolcraft in 2009. And that's the story told in Graham A. Rayman's book: The NYPD Tapes: A Shocking Story of Cops, Cover-ups, and Courage.
Schoolcraft started his police career in 2002 and did pretty well until Steven Mauriello took over the 81st Precinct in October 2006. Mauriello used a "...hands-on, numbers- and productivity-focused approach that was favored by ambitious commanders in the era of CompStat." CompStat was the NYPD's computerized system for tracking the crime rate in every precinct, and the "activity" of every police officer, in the city.
Naturally, if Precinct Commanders are judged by CompStat, they are going to do everything possible to keep police "activity" up and crime down – or at least give the appearance this is happening. Schoolcraft's ratings started to suffer as he resisted the pressure to increase "activity" by arresting innocent people and "reduce" crime by falsifying reports.
One technique used to increase "activity" in the 81st Precinct was called a "Mauriello Special" – find people loitering on street corners and arrest them all. Even if no crime had been committed these arrestees would be held for a few hours and then released. This counted for police "activity" in CompStat and would look good on Mauriello's job reviews.
To keep crime down cops were pressured to deliberately falsify reports. When a man named Timothy Covel was attacked and robbed the police wrote it up as "lost property." This same type of corruption was happening not just in Schoolcraft's 81st Precinct but also all over the city. Rayman provides numerous examples from other precincts.
One of the most horrifying cases was exposed by a retired Detective First Grade Harold Hernandez who arrested a sexual predator named Daryl Thomas in 2002. Hernandez discovered that many of Thomas's earlier crimes had been falsely reported as misdemeanors. This hid the pattern of what was really going on, delayed Thomas's arrest, and caused more women to suffer attacks – all to keep the "official" crime rate down in CompStat so Precinct Commanders would look good.
It was in this corrupt environment that Adrian Schoolcraft collected 1000 hours of recorded conversations documenting the crimes being committed against the people of New York by the very police department sworn to protect them. When the department finally became aware what Schoolcraft was up to they tried various means to pressure or discredit him. Most frighteningly, on 31 October 2009, they arrested him in his apartment and then had him held in a mental hospital for six days against his will.
One morning while he was there a doctor asked Schoolcraft, "Do you feel they are coming after you?" and he answered, "Well, they did. They came and got me."
This book could have been better edited; there are occasional errors that should have been caught and corrected before publication. The story is dramatic enough however, and important enough, to over-ride these small problems. This is a very important book about how a large police department can become corrupt and turn into the enemy of the people it was meant to serve. This is a book that should be read by every citizen of the United States.
~Good Cops and Bad Cops Blog (www.goodcopsandbadcops.com)
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The author keeps you intrigued from the very start and all through the novel.