ONTD Political

We fabricated drug charges against innocent people to meet arrest quotas, former detective testifies

10:00 am - 10/18/2011

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 ... 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.

"I had decided to give him [Tavarez] the drugs to help him out so that he could say he had a buy," Anderson testified last week in Brooklyn Supreme Court.

He made clear he wasn't about to pass off the two legit arrests he had made in the bar to Tavarez.

"As a detective, you still have a number to reach while you are in the narcotics division," he said.

NYPD officials did not respond to a request for comment.

Anderson worked in the Queens and Brooklyn South narcotics squads and was called to the stand at Arbeeny's bench trial to show the illegal conduct wasn't limited to a single squad.

"Did you observe with some frequency this ... practice which is taking someone who was seemingly not guilty of a crime and laying the drugs on them?" Justice Gustin Reichbach asked Anderson.

"Yes, multiple times," he replied.

The judge pressed Anderson on whether he ever gave a thought to the damage he was inflicting on the innocent.

"It was something I was seeing a lot of, whether it was from supervisors or undercovers and even investigators," he said.

"It's almost like you have no emotion with it, that they attach the bodies to it, they're going to be out of jail tomorrow anyway; nothing is going to happen to them anyway."

The city paid $300,000 to settle a false arrest suit by Jose Colon and his brother Maximo, who were falsely arrested by Anderson and Tavarez. A surveillance tape inside the bar showed they had been framed.

A federal judge presiding over the suit said the NYPD's plagued by "widespread falsification" by arresting officers.

mollywobbles867 18th-Oct-2011 03:18 pm (UTC)
othellia 18th-Oct-2011 03:24 pm (UTC)

mariechan 18th-Oct-2011 03:29 pm (UTC)
Why would you have an arrest quota anyways? I mean, there may be such a thing as not enough drug-related crime to fill the quota. :/
chaya 18th-Oct-2011 03:32 pm (UTC)
And that, madame, is when it is time to criminalize oregano to keep the system running.
jamesq 18th-Oct-2011 03:30 pm (UTC)
Mr. Anderson admits under oath to arresting innocent people on drug charges. Clearly the city should go back and exonerate every single person he has ever arrested on drug charges. Whatever costs associated with this operation should come out of the NYPD budget, because if they don't feel some pain on this, they'll just keep doing it.

Repeat as necessary if the other cops are convicted.
with_club_sauce 18th-Oct-2011 04:04 pm (UTC)

Some of these people may have been passed over for jobs due to a criminal record, not to mention they were probably fired for being arrested over drug charges anyway.

iolarah 18th-Oct-2011 03:43 pm (UTC)
Collateral damage in the war on drugs?
bent_ley 18th-Oct-2011 07:27 pm (UTC)
yep. to get money the departments need to show results
with_club_sauce 18th-Oct-2011 04:01 pm (UTC)

title or description
iamglory 18th-Oct-2011 04:55 pm (UTC)
Oh my god what is that last gif from!?
bmh4d0k3n 18th-Oct-2011 04:02 pm (UTC)
I am shocked, I tell you. Shocked.
bmh4d0k3n 18th-Oct-2011 04:09 pm (UTC)

sillysallyfckup 18th-Oct-2011 04:07 pm (UTC)
It's not surprising, but still:

caketime 18th-Oct-2011 04:25 pm (UTC)
A Patsy .gif! A legit awesome one! LOVE IT.
sophiaserpentia 18th-Oct-2011 04:14 pm (UTC)
What the fuck is an arrest quota, and why the fuck should any such thing exist?

Oh, right. Because prisons need a constant stream of 'clients' to stay profitable.
doverz 18th-Oct-2011 04:29 pm (UTC)
This is so fucking horrible.
lickety_split 18th-Oct-2011 04:30 pm (UTC)
crossfire 18th-Oct-2011 08:20 pm (UTC)
booksforlunch 18th-Oct-2011 04:31 pm (UTC)
Apart from the nonsense that is an "arrest quota", this might also have influenced politics, since any discussion on the "war on drugs" will have been based on faked statistics, with embellished numbers.

nothingmuch 18th-Oct-2011 04:34 pm (UTC)
This is exactly why I fear cops. :(
roseofjuly 19th-Oct-2011 05:01 am (UTC)
bnmc2005 18th-Oct-2011 05:08 pm (UTC)
A surveillance tape inside the bar showed they had been framed.
This is the first time I'm grateful for surveillance tapes.
dark_puck 18th-Oct-2011 05:33 pm (UTC)
And the last time I said I didn't trust cops I got yelled at.

chaya 18th-Oct-2011 05:34 pm (UTC)

Unless you have a generalizing quota to meet, and you don't want your boss getting on your back about it.
mrasaki 18th-Oct-2011 05:47 pm (UTC)
"It's almost like you have no emotion with it, that they attach the bodies to it, they're going to be out of jail tomorrow anyway; nothing is going to happen to them anyway."

Except the part where they have a permanent mark on their records and makes it virtually impossible to get a job in many fields?
erunamiryene 18th-Oct-2011 05:48 pm (UTC)
Psh. If they didn't want a permanent mark on their record, they shouldn't have put themselves in a place to be used by the police.
erunamiryene 18th-Oct-2011 05:47 pm (UTC)
... does NYPD just, IDK, hate good press? Acting humane? I mean, goddamn.

I'd love to be shocked, but in America we're all about enabling the capitalists to be successful and realize the American Dream, and in the for-profit prison system, OBVIOUSLY you need bodies to be profitable. WHAT, DON'T YOU THINK PEOPLE HAVE A RIGHT TO BE SUCCESSFUL? WHY DO YOU HATE AMERICA?

brewsternorth 18th-Oct-2011 06:23 pm (UTC)
They hate bad press so much they seem to have tried to institutionalize the cop who tried to blow the whistle on it all.
anolinde 18th-Oct-2011 05:57 pm (UTC)
This reminds me (although it's not, of course, the same thing) of how my dad always says that police officers must have a speeding ticket quota, because there are always that many more cop cars out at the end of the month. I'd really like to know the reasoning behind the quota, because it seems so ridiculous to me.
keeperofthekeys 18th-Oct-2011 06:01 pm (UTC)
Revenue for the state.
romp 18th-Oct-2011 06:41 pm (UTC)
Scary. And what now?
sarien 18th-Oct-2011 07:30 pm (UTC)
First, fuck the police.

Second, The city paid $300,000 to settle a false arrest suit by Jose Colon and his brother Maximo, who were falsely arrested by Anderson and Tavarez. A surveillance tape inside the bar showed they had been framed. My client is the attorney who won this case! She is an amazing woman. /happy dance.
chaya 18th-Oct-2011 07:33 pm (UTC)
Your client... is the attorney?
carolpent 18th-Oct-2011 07:30 pm (UTC)
I'd heard that the police in NY had quotas...in fact, I think one guy went in and recorded something about it. /csb

But seriously? Quotas? Seriously? You saw nothing that could possibly go wrong with this plan?
armina_skitty 18th-Oct-2011 09:35 pm (UTC)
When you put human beings in a position of power, bad things happen.
When you put authority-seeking human beings in a position of power, worse things happen.
When you put pressure on authority-seeking human beings in a position of power...

We can all see where this is going. And to think, I used to like the police, but that was when I was still only looking through the lens of a white, middle-class girl.
crossfire 18th-Oct-2011 10:25 pm (UTC)
This is a good comment and you should feel good for making it.
homasse 18th-Oct-2011 10:34 pm (UTC)

anolinde 19th-Oct-2011 01:54 am (UTC)
Stitch ♥
alicedear 19th-Oct-2011 12:39 am (UTC)

Turn the other cheek- run from the popo!
roseofjuly 19th-Oct-2011 04:55 am (UTC)

Also not surprised that the arrestees were Latino. Also not surprised that NYPD is plagued by widespread corruption.


All this shit is coming out that people of color have known for YEARS and we're just nodding our heads and going SEE. WE TOLD YOU.
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