On the second day of the trial challenging the NYPD's stop and frisk practices, an officer revealed that supervisors at one South Bronx police pretinct set monthly arrest quotas.
Officer Adhyl Polanco said he taped their conversations agreeing on these policies. They would then force the practices onto police officers and threatened to fire them if they didn't abide.“It was not negotiable,” he said, according to the Daily News. “It was either that or you’re going to become a Pizza Hut deliveryman.”
Nicholas Peart, 24, of the Bronx weeped as he described feeling "degraded" after a run-in with the police in 2011. Peart was out buying milk for his siblings who he had been caring for since his mother died of cancer two years ago.
Peart said the cops took his keys, entered his apartment building and told him to remove his sneakers to search for marijuana possession. But the Bronx man was clean of drugs or weapons.
The Daily News reports:
“I felt criminalized,” said Peart, who is Black. “I felt degraded .... I was going to the bodega. It was very upsetting.”
Peart is a member of the class action initially brought by four black New Yorkers that could affect how the city is policed.
City lawyers said the NYPD is targeting crime — not people who belong to minority groups.
The lawsuit, filed in 2008, seeks to have stop-and-frisks declared unconstitutional and requests that cops be required to fill out paperwork every time they stop and frisk a New Yorker.
It also asks that the court appoint a monitor to keep watch on how the police make stops.
The trial is expected to last more than a month and will draw testimony from cops, lawmakers and constitutional experts, in addition to 12 people of color, including one woman, who say they were wrongly treated.
Read full story here.
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(Photo: AP Photo/Seth Wenig)