By Madison Ruppert
Adrian Schoolcraft of the New York Police Department’s (NYPD) 81st precinct in Brooklyn noticed some disturbing trends within the department and in response to his brave move to step forward, his superiors had him thrown in a psychiatric ward. Schoolcraft realized that there was a pattern of the victims of crimes being caught up in bureaucratic hurdles which he thinks were deliberately put in place in order to make it harder to report serious crimes.
He then did his job and reported multiple incidents to investigators in 2009. According to the Village Voice, in October of 2009 Schoolcraft met with NYPD investigators for some three hours, during which he detailed over 12 cases of manipulation of crime reports in his district.
Three weeks after this meeting, which was supposed to have been kept secret from his supervisors for obvious reasons, he was targeted. Schoolcraft’s precinct commander and a deputy chief both ordered him to be forcibly removed from his apartment and locked up in the psychiatric ward of Jamaica Hospital for six days.
This is not the first time Schoolcraft has stood up to corrupt practices at the NYPD. In the past, Schoolcraft released two years worth of recorded roll calls at NYPD precincts. These recordings led to an award winning series in the Village Voice revealing widespread incompetence and corruption in the department.
The details of Schoolcraft’s imprisonment in the psychiatric ward were just recently revealed in a 95 page report. This report vindicated Schoolcraft, who was been suspended with no pay for over two years, simply for seeking justice and actually doing his job.
Schoolcraft has filed a lawsuit and the NYPD has allegedly been attempting to keep the report under wraps since it was completed some two years ago. This is understandable since it would seriously tarnish the department’s reputation.
The Village Voice reports that NYPD commissioner Raymond Kelly ordered an investigation into the claims made by Schoolcraft, resulting in the report being completed by June of 2010. Since that time, the department has attempted to keep it secret, according to the Village Voice.
The report, obtained by the Village Voice, shows that the NYPD actually confirmed the allegations made by Schoolcraft, yet they went after him with a vengeance anyways.
They report that “at the same time that police officials were attacking Schoolcraft’s credibility, refusing to pay him, and serving him with administrative charges, the NYPD was sitting on a document that thoroughly vindicated his claims.”
The complaints made by Officer Schoolcraft focused mostly on the NYPD’s alleged practice of manipulating crime statistics to give a false impression of effectiveness. “Officers were told to arrest people who were doing little more than standing on the street, but they were also encouraged to disregard actual victims of serious crimes who wanted to file reports,” according to the Village Voice.
Of course, the Mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg and NYPD commissioner Raymond Kelly have both denied all of the allegations. However, the newly released 95 page report appears to confirm the allegations, contrary to the many claims made by Schoolcraft’s supervisors.
Individuals who investigated Schoolcraft’s claims concluded that “an atmosphere was created discouraging members of the command to accurately report index crimes.” This is not the first time the NYPD has been associated with corrupt practices, indeed, last year there was a large scandal surrounding allegations of planting drugs on suspects and manufacturing charges.
Schoolcraft’s courage in the face of systematic corruption is nothing short of commendable and hopefully he will no longer be the target of harassment simply for actually doing his job. At least there are some police officers out there who are actually working to protect and serve, not give a false sense of security and collect revenue for the government.
Hopefully Schoolcraft is reinstated with all back pay and perhaps even promoted or at least recognized for his brave actions and his active fight for justice. The Law Office of Jon L. Norinsberg and Cohen & Fitch, LLP have filed a lawsuit on Schoolcraft’s behalf against the City of New York and high ranking members of the NYPD and have launched anofficial website devoted to their efforts. I encourage you to support his struggle however you can.