Tag Archives | NYPD

Gazing Into Police Culture Through Cop T-Shirts

Cop t-shirts: For when merely acting like an abusive asshole doesn’t send a strong enough message. Via the Huffington Post, Radley Balko runs down a litany of disturbing examples of custom t-shirts enjoyed by cops which hint at a problematic dynamic in law enforcement culture:

Earlier this week, an anonymous public defender sent Gothamist a photo of an NYPD warrant squad officer wearing a t-shirt with a pretty disturbing quote from Ernest Hemingway [below]. There have been a number of other incidents over the years in which cops have donned t-shirts that reflect a mentality somewhat less lofty than “protect and serve.”

The Village Voice reports that the quote was also printed on t-shirts worn by NYPD’s infamous Street Crimes Unit, which was disbanded after shooting unarmed immigrant Amadou Diallo 41 times in 1999 as Diallo reached for his wallet.

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State Senator Testifies NYPD Commissioner Told Him Police Goal Was To “Instill Fear” In Minorities

Is one purpose of the NYPD’s controversial and wide-ranging “Stop and Frisk” policy to instill entire communities with the feeling of a military occupation? Via Gothamist:

A federal trial challenging the constitutionality of stop-and-frisk is currently underway in federal court in Manhattan, and today a State Senator testified that NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly once admitted to him that stop-and-frisk targeted blacks and Hispanics—and that the policy was intended to “instill fear.”

State Sen. Eric Adams, a Brooklyn Democrat who is also a former police captain, testified that during a meeting with Kelly in 2010, he complained to the commissioner that stop-and-frisk disproportionally impacted blacks and Hispanics. Adams says Kelly responded that “he targeted or focused on that group because he wanted to instill fear in them that any time they leave their homes they could be targeted by police.” Adams testified that he told Kelly that was illegal.

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NYPD’s New Facial Recognition Unit Using Instagram And Facebook Photos To Identify Suspects

Social networking sites are a great way to meet and connect with new people, such as cops. DNAinfo New York writes:

Police are searching for suspects’ photos on Instagram and Facebook, then running them through the NYPD’s new Facial Recognition Unit to put a face to a name, DNAinfo New York has learned.

Detectives are now breaking cases across the city thanks to the futuristic technology that marries mug shots of known criminals with pictures gleaned from social media, surveillance cameras and anywhere else cops can find images.

[An] official explained how the new technology worked after a recent street robbery where a woman reported her jewelry stolen by her gal pal’s boyfriend. She did not know his name, only that he was likely in photos on his girlfriend’s Facebook page. “We did not have his name, but we found a photo and the Facial Recognition Unit got a hit.”

The new investigative entity was formally launched late last year, with eight cops working in teams of four manning the operations.

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NYPD’s Staggering Stop-and-Frisk Stats

FestnahmeNYPDAfter much concern from nonprofit groups like the NY Civil Liberties Union (and public outcry), the NYPD has finally released the numbers of their precinct and racial demographics of all the 2011 stop-and-frisks. Emerging accounts and audio have indicated a high order of racial profiling, and the results of NYPD’s own internal reporting confirms that this bias exists in practice.

via  at Animal New York:

Ninety percent of stops in all of the city were of black and Latino people, and many of the neighborhoods with the most stops are majority black or Hispanic.

Brooklyn’s 75th precinct, covering East New York and Cypress Hills, ranked first, with 31,000 stops. Ninety-seven percent where of blacks and Latinos. In second came BK’s 73rd precinct, covering Brownsville, which logged 25,167 stops, 98 percent of which were against people of color. Queens’s 115th precinct, covering East Elmhurst Corona and Jackson Heights, came in third with 18,156, 93 percent were of blacks and Latinos.

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Is The NYPD’s “Protect and Serve” Policy A Thing Of The Past?

WeAreChange recently got the opportunity to meet and interview Joe Lozito, the selfless hero who put his life on the line to stop a serial killer. The story is only magnified when Joe finds out, that while being stabbed by the serial killer, the NYPD was standing by watching everything unfold from the safety of the conductors door. Currently in a legal suit, the NYPD and City of NY is arguing that the NYPD has NO duty to protect its own citizens.

If you want to learn more about Joe and be updated about his court case follow him on Twitter.

You can read about the entire criminal case here.

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NYPD Testing Scan-And-Frisk Devices

Body scans seem poised to move from the airports to the street corners. ANIMAL New York reports:

Just when we thought it was safe to assume that the NYPD’s decidedly unconstitutional Stop-and-Frisk policy might be on its way out, Commissioner Ray Kelly announced a major development yesterday: New York City, meet Scan-and-Frisk.

A new scanning device– which detects heat energy naturally emitted by humans– is to be deployed sometime in the near future. The device can fit in a police car or on a “suspicious” street corner, and can supposedly detect concealed weapons, which would block the natural radiation, from a great distance. Activation of the device will be considered probable cause for an officer to search a suspect more thoroughly.

The device is already being tested “with encouraging results at the NYPD range Rodman’s Neck in the Bronx,” with more testing soon, at unknown public locations. Whether the scanner can be activated by other (less lethal) inanimate objects has yet to be known.

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Artist Behind Faux-NYPD PSA Ads Arrested Following Investigation By Counter-Terrorism Unit

The creator of the previously noted fantastic poster campaign was apparently regarded as a terrorist threat and subject to a manhunt for daring to mock the police, the Verge reports:

A street artist who hung satirical posters criticising police surveillance activities has been arrested after an NYPD investigation tracked him to his doorstep. Essam Attia placed the Big Brother-style adverts in locations throughout Manhattan, using a fake Van Wagner maintenance van and uniforms to avoid detection. Attia now faces 56 counts of criminal possession of a forged instrument and grand larceny possession of stolen property.

Months after forensics teams and a “counter-terrorism” unit was spotted on the scene, the NYPD last Wednesday successfully tracked down and arrested the 29-year-old art school vandal, who identified himself in the video as a former “geo-spatial analyst” serving US military operations in Iraq.

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On NYPD Street Harassment Of Young Women

Via BUST Magazine, Erika W. Smith writes:

Last weekend, I experienced an unexpected form of street harassment. After a Friday night out, I was walking home from the neighborhood bar with my roommate when a car full of men pulled up next to us. It was the NYPD.

They trailed us down the street, shouting at us. Our crime: being 22-year-old women out at night.

First, they shouted out to ask if we were okay — fair enough, no harm done. But after we answered and kept walking, they continued trailing us, asking what we were carrying (we’d stopped to buy snacks), telling us to give it to them, and then, when we stopped answering, shouting at us to come over to the police car and get in. After our first answers, we stopped responding and kept walking straight ahead, as quickly as we could, not looking at them.

They trailed us in their car for over a block, always staying a few feet behind us and continuing to shout at us to come to them, even though we’d stopped responding.

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