A second New York Police Department officer confirmed Wednesday that the department’s management continued using a system of quotas for arrests and citations even after the legislature explicitly banned the practice.
Appearing in court to give testimony in a class action lawsuit against the NYPD, officer Pedro Serrano, 43, said he was labeled a “rat” for refusing to bring in the 20 citations and one arrest per month required of him.
Serrano also confirmed that the police union had accepted the quota system. Audio published Tuesday by The Nation features another witness in the case, officer Adhyl Polanco, speaking to a representative of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, who says the union trustees are okay with the requirement.
An extended portion of that same audio was played in the courtroom on Wednesday, featuring a police captain threatening to fire lower-ranked officers who do not enforce the quotas on beat cops. Serrano reportedly added that he became worried he would be “set up” and fired after discovering stickers on his locker and on a roster list labeling him a “rat.”
The NYPD does not call these standards a quota system, preferring the term “performance goals.” Terminology nonwithstanding, quotas for tickets and arrests were formally banned in August 2010. The lawsuit both Serrano and Polanco are part of is Floyd, et al. v. City of New York, brought by New Yorkers who feel they’ve been unjustly ticketed, detained or arrested.
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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