One of the New York Police Department’s largest corruption scandals came to a close recently as embattled detective Jason Arbeeny was convicted of planting drugs on a woman and her boyfriend.
Arbeeny was found guilty on Nov. 1 of official misconduct, falsifying business records and submitting a false instrument for filing. The 14-year veteran now faces up to four years in prison.
Although the charges stem from a 2007 incident where Arbeeny allegedly planted a bag of crack cocaine on two unsuspecting people, his indictment and trial exposed the force’s widespread practice of planting drugs on suspects. During Arbeeny’s trial, former New York City narcotics detective Stephen Anderson testified that he and other members of the Brooklyn South and Queens narcotic squads regularly planted drugs on innocent people in order to keep up with department arrest quotas.
Presiding New York State Supreme Court Justice Gustin L. Reichbach said that the officers exceeded his furthest expectations.
“I thought I was not naïve,” the judge said, according to the New York Times. “But even this court was shocked, not only by the seeming pervasive scope of misconduct but even more distressingly by the seeming casualness by which such conduct is employed.”
The NYPD has also come under scrutiny for its high number of minority drug arrests. Eighty-six percent of people arrested last year for low-level marijuana offenses were Black and Latino.
(Photo: Gary Hershorn/Reuters)