It certainly seems counterintuitive that the revelation of misconduct and protection of justice would be sidestepped by one of the nation’s most prominent police forces. Police Officer Adrian Schoolcraft has been suspended without pay from the NYPD for nearly a year, after he revealed extensive corruption and misconduct within the police department. Schoolcraft initially believed that he would receive both gratitude and praise for presenting his information to investigators. Instead, the NYPD forced his institutionalization at the mental ward at Jamaica Hospital in Queens, NY. According to an article issued by New York Daily News, the NYPD cast him as a lunatic because he blew the whistle on supervisors who fudged crime stats, enforced illegal quotas and badgered victims trying to report felonies. Schoolcraft made several audio recordings of his supervisors, which support his claims. Police Officer Adhyl Polanco of the 41st Precinct in the Bronx has also presented similar allegations. However, Officer Schoolcraft recognizes that most officers will never report that they are frequently forced to downgrade felonies to misdemeanor and fulfill summons quotas if they fear retaliation by their supervisors.
Officer Schoolcraft, who is currently engaged in a $50 million federal lawsuit against the NYPD, has no plans to settle his suit. As he told the Daily News, “This is not about money…It’s going to trial and there’s no way around that – the truth has to come out.” Most whistleblowers feel the same way as Officer Schoolcraft – they are simply trying to do the right thing. For more information on his suit, visit Officer Schoolcraft’s website. If you are a police officer in need of legal assistance the Attorney Referral Service may be able to assist you.
*Elizabeth Finkelman (a NWC intern) drafted this posting.