Tag Archives | NYPD
So it’s finally happened. Breaking news (and so likely to change as the day goes on), reported by the New York Times:
Hundreds of police officers early Tuesday cleared the park in Lower Manhattan that had been the nexus of the Occupy Wall Street movement, arresting dozens of people there after warning that the nearly two-month-old camp would be “cleared and restored” but that demonstrators who did not leave would face arrest.
The protesters, about 200 of whom have been staying in the park overnight, initially resisted with chants of “Whose park? Our park!”
The massive operation in and around Zuccotti Park was intended to empty the birthplace of a protest movement that has inspired hundreds of tent cities from coast to coast. On Monday in Oakland, Calif., hundreds of police officers raided the main encampment there, arresting 33 people. Protesters returned later in the day.
Ever watch that show Punked on MTV with Ashton Kutcher? The NYPD narcotics squads do something that’s kind of like that. The New York Daily News reports:
A former NYPD narcotics detective snared in a corruption scandal testified it was common practice to fabricate drug charges against innocent people to meet arrest quotas.
The bombshell testimony from Stephen Anderson is the first public account of the twisted culture behind the false arrests in the Brooklyn South and Queens narc squads, which led to the arrests of eight cops and a massive shakeup.
Anderson, testifying under a cooperation agreement with prosecutors, was busted for planting cocaine, a practice known as “flaking,” on four men in a Queens bar in 2008 to help out fellow cop Henry Tavarez, whose buy-and-bust activity had been low.
“Tavarez was…worried about getting sent back [to patrol] and, you know, the supervisors getting on his case,” he recounted at the corruption trial of Brooklyn South narcotics Detective Jason Arbeeny.
Did you know that for a measly fee of $37 an hour per officer, you can rent uniformed, on-duty NYC cops as easily as ordering a sandwich? Then-Mayor Rudy Giuliani created the “Paid Detail Unit” in 1998 and Goldman Sachs and the New York Stock Exchange among others have been frequent customers recently. Counterpunch reveals:
The Paid Detail Unit allows the New York Stock Exchange and Wall Street corporations, including those repeatedly charged with crimes, to order up a flank of New York’s finest with the ease of dialing the deli for a pastrami on rye. The corporations pay an average of $37 an hour for a member of the NYPD, with gun, handcuffs and the ability to arrest.
New York City gets a 10 percent administrative fee on top of the $37 per hour paid to the police. The City’s 2011 budget called for $1,184,000 in Paid Detail fees, meaning private corporations were paying wages of $11.8 million to police participating in the Paid Detail Unit.
Wonkette has a disturbing account of the NYPD’s alleged arrest of Citibank customers for attempting to close their bank accounts. A snippet:
“I heard that a few dozen people had decided to head over to the local Citibank branch to talk about their student debt and close their accounts. I thought one of my friends might be among them so I walked the few blocks to the bank.
As I arrived I saw Citi Bank security guards locking the doors to the bank. Contrary to the City Bank PR statement, the cops were not yet on the scene when Citi Bank officials chose to lock the doors to the branch–effectively kidnapping those inside.”
Joe Coscarelli writes in New York Magazine’s Daily Intel:
The Associated Press’s series on NYPD spying continues today with the news that Muslim students at colleges in New York were investigated covertly by the secret NYPD and CIA program that also monitored community centers, government allies, and entire neighborhoods in the years after September 11. The new report places NYPD undercover officers at schools including Brooklyn College, Baruch, Hunter, City College, Queens College, La Guardia, and St. John’s, where they sought out student radicalization. But according to experts, their methods “may have broken a 19-year-old pact with the colleges and violated U.S. privacy laws, jeopardizing millions of dollars in federal research money and student aid.”
“The government, through the police department, is working privately to destroy the private lives of Muslim citizens,” said Moustafa Bayoumi, an English professor at Brooklyn College.
“We come to the room, we talk, we chill,” said one 20-year-old student of his Islamic Society group at school.
As of now, it appears that the forced removal and/or arrest of Occupy Wall Street protesters at Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s behest has been postponed. Via n+1, an open letter to the police concerning their possible marching orders:
Last night, we learned that because of the complaints of Brookfield Properties, the company that owns Zuccotti Park, Mayor Bloomberg has ordered the Occupy Wall Street protesters to remove themselves and their supplies from the Park at 7 AM tomorrow. If the protesters don’t leave, Bloomberg likely will order you and your colleagues to forcibly remove and arrest the men and women who have come there to protest the policies, politicians, and financial leaders responsible for the continuing economic crisis. As concerned citizens, we ask you not to follow this order.
Bloomberg and Brookfield Properties claim that the protesters must be removed in order to clean the Park. Anytime thousands of people assemble in a small space, it is not easy to keep things neat.
Will Mayor Bloomberg and the NYPD manage to evict the #OWS protesters tomorrow? Drew Grant’s report for the New York Observer suggests maybe not:
After being told that they would have to “temporarily” vacate Zuccotti Park for sanitation reasons by Mayor Bloomberg, Occupy Wall Street responded to what one member is calling “an eviction notice.”
According to one of OWS’ Media team, a young man named Luke, there is “no way” that the protesters can comply with all the outlines set in Brookfield’s letter to the city, since OWS has been expressly forbidden from emptying the parks trash receptacles themselves; that the “cleaning” would include the removal of all tarps and sleeping bags, which the residents have been using to spend the night in the parks.
Wondering how much it costs to buy off the police department? JP Morgan Chase just gave the New York City Police Foundation the largest donation in its history. How the police show their gratitude will presumably determine whether they receive similar donations from companies in the future. Via Naked Capitalism:
No matter how you look at this development, it does not smell right. From JP Morgan’s website, hat tip Lisa Epstein:
JPMorgan Chase recently donated an unprecedented $4.6 million to the New York City Police Foundation. The gift was the largest in the history of the foundation and will enable the New York City Police Department to strengthen security in the Big Apple. The money will pay for 1,000 new patrol car laptops, as well as security monitoring software in the NYPD’s main data center.
New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly sent CEO and Chairman Jamie Dimon a note expressing “profound gratitude” for the company’s donation.
Tweaking the language to subtly provide a less accurate, more pro-police spin. The Occupy Wall Street protesters in fact did not force their way onto the Brooklyn Bridge on Saturday — they were allowed, even encouraged, by police to enter, and then were arrested en masse. Who is this mysterious Al Baker who edits the news on behalf of the NYPD?