“From Behind the Blue Wall of Silence” : An Informative Night
On Thursday, May 3rd, over 150 people joined PROP for a public forum featuring 7 current and retired NYPD officers who shared their first-hand experiences on the job and effectively presented their critiques of current NYPD policies and tactics. Graham Rayman, the Village Voice reporter who has written extensively about abusive police practices, served as moderator. The panelists included: Carlton Berkeley, President of Brothers and Sisters Who Care and former NYPD Detective 2nd Grade; John Eterno, Professor at Molloy College and former NYPD Captain; Jeff Kaufman, high school teacher in Brownsville and former NYPD Officer Counsel; Anthony Miranda, Chair of National Latino Officers Association and former NYPD Sergeant; Colleen Meenan, practicing attorney, former NYPD Sergeant, and former executive director of the Gay Officers Action League (GOAL); Adhyl Polanco, current NYPD Officer; and Graham Weatherspoon, Black Law Enforcement Alliance and former NYPD Detective.
The panelists reflected on personal experiences including accounts about the pressure on them to meet quotas; to hand out an expected number of summonses or make a certain number of arrests, regardless whether crimes or misdemeanors have occurred. To quote panelist John Eterno, “the numbers culture starts at the top”, effectively underlining the point that PROP must maintain and expand its organizing efforts aimed at changing either the people or the mindset of the people responsible for law enforcement in our city. We thank the panelists, moderator, and attendees for fostering an important and informative dialogue about the NYPD’s abusive policing practices.
See Capital New York’s article for more coverage of the panel.
And for more analysis on the NYPD’s quota-driven policing, see Michael Powell’s column in the New York Times: “No Room For Dissent in a Police Department Consumed by the Numbers”