Audio evidence in the federal case against the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk practice, obtained by the Nation, confirms that the NYPD enforces arrest quotas, and that they are supported by the police officers’ union. In the tape, a union delegate can be heard saying, “I spoke to the CO [commanding officer] for about an hour-and-a-half. 20-and-1. 20-and-1 is what the union is backing up.They spoke to the [Union] trustees. And that’s what they want, they want 20-and-1.”
According to a veteran active duty cops who spoke anonymously to the Nation, 20-and-1 refers to a quota: 20 summons and 1 arrest each month.
The union support for quotas is especially disturbing considering their dishonest public disapproval of the practice.
The plaintiffs in the federal stop-and-frisk case, Floyd v. City of New York, claim that pressure to make summons and arrests encourage officers to stop more people, and the allegations by cops obtained by the Nation support that. “It becomes–you’re stopping people who you know aren’t doing anything, and then you’re frisking them,” he says. “You know, it pretty much turns you upside down and violates your rights.”
Officers also speak of the “retaliation” that awaits if they fail to meet quotas. One alleges his yearly holidays were taken away after missing “activity goals” one month. In another recording, a captain talks about how cops who miss their numbers will be sent to rough neighborhoods to “give them the business.”