If it came from anyone else, the police union would protest. But it came from the brass. The New York Times reports on the defense of the NYPD in the trial of Floyd v. City of New York, before SDNY Judge Shira Scheindlin on the constitutionality of stop & frisk:
Ten percent of them were malcontents who worked as little as possible. Unless they are being paid overtime, officers seem to avoid writing summonses. Indeed, some police officers need to be weaned of the idea that they are paid to drive around in their patrol cars, eating doughnuts.
This from Super Chief Joseph J. Esposito, the highest ranking uniformed member of the force. The deputy commissioner for labor relations, John Beirne, confirmed.
“I think we’re charged with trying to get the police officers to work, do the things that they’re getting paid for.”So it’s not exactly serve and protect? Apparently, it’s more about overtime.
In some precincts, Mr. Esposito noted, most enforcement activity, like ticket writing, occurred when officers were paid time-and-a-half overtime, instead of during their regular workweek.
“It’s a question as to why they can see activity when they are being paid overtime as opposed to not being able to see activity when they are on straight time,” Mr. Esposito testified.
Or is it not a question of “seeing activity” at all, but needing a make an extra buck and nabbing the nearest kid to do so?
Unofficial photo of support for New York City Police Officers from their brothers in California. Person on the left is undercover.
What is happening at this trial, where the police management has now verified the accuracy of almost every negative stereotype about police there is, from donuts to laziness to greediness to caring nothing about the public to putting their own financial self-interest above that of society, in a scorched earth war to preserve their authority to toss young black men at will, is that every myth built around New York’s Finest is revealed as a sham.
Whether they win or lose, there is no denying the perception of police from their own that contradicts the carefully crafted image of police developed over the past 100 years. Are there great cops? Sure, but only 10%. Good cops, yes, but they aren’t nearly as honorable, honest or motivated as they would have us believe? Bad cops? Yup, we’ve got them too. And which cop arrested the defendant? Which cop is on the stand? Which cop is telling the truth?
And it’s only because there were enough lousy, lazy, worthless cops that they were forced to set “goals,” which are quotas with fewer letters. But it’s no big deal.
But perhaps the most defiant testimony came from Chief Michael Marino, who said that the “simple truth of the matter” is that the monthly quotas which officers complained about were quite low.
“The number I set was so low that I could do it in one day,” Chief Marino said about his time commanding a Brooklyn precinct.
“And reasonably do it without hurting anybody or picking on anybody.”
It would be easy without hurting anybody when done by a good cop, according to Chief Marino. But they’re not all good, and so they do hurt people. They do pick on people. Because some think their job is to drive around in patrol cars eating donuts all day.
While I’ve had some harsh things to say about bad cops over the years, there is nothing I’ve written as damning about the general worth of police officers as this. Don’t take my word for it. Take the sworn testimony of retired Chief Esposito.