NYPD Tapes: The Truth About Stop and Frisk's Race Problem?

A recording of a New York City police officer and his commander seems to get right to the heart of the relationship between the department's stop-and-frisk policy and black and Hispanic men. 

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A recording of a New York City police officer and his commander is getting attention for capturing a conversation that seems to go to the very heart of the plaintiffs' contention in Floyd v. City of New York that the NYPD's "stop and frisk" policy is racially biased.

Read and judge for yourself, from the Village Voice:

The commander, Deputy Inspector Christopher McCormack, makes the case that the 40th is a precinct beset by violent crime. As they talk, the NYPD's obsession with quota numbers lingers in the background.

"We're still one of the most violent commands in the city, and to stop two people, you know, to see only two things going on, that's almost like you're purposefully not doing your job at all," he says.

The talk quickly turns to numbers: stop and frisks and quality of life summonses. "We need to do this," McCormack says.

The inspector then instructs Serrano to stop "the right people, at the right time, at the right location."

Serrano is puzzled. "Mott Haven is full of black and Hispanic people, so who are the right people?"

The inspector seems to get annoyed. "This is not, this is not ... "

"So what am I supposed to do? Is it stop every black and Hispanic?" Serrano says. "I'm not going to do that. You want to do that. I'm not going to do that."

"No, no, no, this is very important to understand," the inspector says. "Because it's the right people, the right time, the right location."