Evindence presented by the plaintiffs in the federal class-action lawsuit against stop-and-frisk points to institutionalized racial profiling in one NYPD precinct. Recorded by officer Pedro Serrano, the tape contains a heated exchange with commanding officer Christopher McCormack in which Serrano presses McCormack on what types of people officers should be stopping. McCormack continually uses the term “the right people” –a phrase civil rights lawyers maintain is code for blacks and hispanics, according to the Times–before dropping the pretense and pointing to young black males, by far the most stopped demographic in the city.
“The problem was, what, male blacks,” McCormack says after an exchange about who should be stopped in the crime-ridden neighborhood Mott Haven. “And I told you at roll call, and I have no problem telling you this, male blacks 14 to 20, 21.”