The NYPD Tapes: A Shocking Story of Cops, Cover-ups, and Courage [NOOK Book]

Overview


In May 2010, NYPD officer Adrian Schoolcraft made national headlines when he released a series of secretly recorded audio tapes exposing corruption and abuse at the highest levels of the police department. But, according to a lawsuit filed by Schoolcraft against the City of New York, instead of admitting mistakes and pledging reform Schoolcraft’s superiors forced him into a mental hospital in an effort to discredit the evidence. In The NYPD Tapes, the reporter who first broke the Schoolcraft story brings his ...
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The NYPD Tapes: A Shocking Story of Cops, Cover-ups, and Courage

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Overview


In May 2010, NYPD officer Adrian Schoolcraft made national headlines when he released a series of secretly recorded audio tapes exposing corruption and abuse at the highest levels of the police department. But, according to a lawsuit filed by Schoolcraft against the City of New York, instead of admitting mistakes and pledging reform Schoolcraft’s superiors forced him into a mental hospital in an effort to discredit the evidence. In The NYPD Tapes, the reporter who first broke the Schoolcraft story brings his ongoing saga up to date, revealing the rampant abuses that continue in the NYPD today, including warrantless surveillance and systemic harassment. Through this lens, he tells the broader tale of how American law enforcement has for the past thirty years been distorted by a ruthless quest for numbers, in the form of CompStat, the vaunted data-driven accountability system first championed by New York police chief William Bratton and since implemented in police departments across the country. Forced to produce certain crime stats each quarter or face discipline, cops in New York and everywhere else fudged the numbers, robbing actual crime victims of justice and sweeping countless innocents into the police net. Rayman paints a terrifying picture of a system gone wild, and the pitiless fate of the whistleblower who tried to stop it.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this scathing exposé of America’s largest police department, Rayman, a writer for the Village Voice, reveals how a whistleblowing NYPD officer turned the trend of manipulating crime data for political gain on its head, daring to sue the department to halt the practice. The author, a veteran reporter on the New York City police beat, opens with officer Adrian Schoolcraft confined in a mental hospital, the result of a request from his bosses following Schoolcraft’s probing into their dubious policing procedures. In the 1990s, Police Commissioner William Bratton began using a computerized statistical system to measure the department’s success, but the system was all too easy to tamper with. So Schoolcraft, a stickler for playing by the rules, started keeping notes in 2008 on how the police force fudged the crime numbers, and he began collecting tape-recorded evidence of illegal behavior. When his superiors copped to his intentions, Schoolcraft was given low performance ratings, assigned desk duty, disciplined severely, and pushed to the emotional breaking point, before finally filing a lawsuit against the city. Connecting the dots reliably and accurately, Rayman’s account of a modern-day Serpico’s battle with an all-powerful police department is somber and inspiring. Agent: Jason Allen Ashlock, Movable Type. (Aug.)
From the Publisher
"Adrian Schoolcraft joined the NYPD for old-fashioned reasons, to have a good job while protecting the people. Instead, he ran up against police bosses who cared more about low crime statistics than public safety. That collision, as devastatingly described by Graham Rayman, is a tale of crime prevention turned upside down in the Bloomberg era. Rayman has invented a new genre: the police misprocedural." —Tom Robbins

"Not only has Graham Rayman told the incredible story of Adrian Schoolcraft, whose forced hospitalizaiton by the NYPD in a mental ward is reminiscent of the Sovet Union's KGB, but Rayman puts that sad and frightening incident into a larger context: how the NYPD systemically downgrades crimes to make New York City appear to be safer than it actually is." —Leonard Levitt, author of NYPD Confidential and Conviction

"Graham Rayman's a great reporter and Adrian Schoolcraft’s story was one of the most gripping things we've ever put on This American Life. The NYPD Tapes tells more of what happened, and reveals the full extent that officials were willing to go in their cover-up.” —Ira Glass, host of public radio’s This American Life

“Connecting the dots reliably and accurately, Rayman’s account of a modern-day Serpico’s battle with an all-powerful police department is somber and inspiring.” —Publishers Weekly

“The author’s account is immediately striking…Fast-paced and intriguing.” —Kirkus Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Village Voice staff writer Rayman turns his newspaper series about NYPD corruption into a full-length book. Introducing the major players in this drama right at the climax of its conflict, the author's account is immediately striking. Fast-paced and intriguing throughout most of the book, the story remains fascinating even when Rayman goes into intricate detail about the lives of Officer Adrian Schoolcraft and those around him. Schoolcraft's story became noteworthy when he joined the NYPD in 2002 amid the success of CompStat, an accounting system designed to help the department pinpoint trouble areas for more officers. CompStat and Schoolcraft didn't mesh well, though, and Schoolcraft believed the system was leading to corruption by those in the precinct who pushed for better numbers. He began wearing a wire to work, recording everything that happened in an attempt to prove not only that the problem existed, but also that it was due to pressure from the top. He went to Internal Affairs with his accusations. After that, his job--already in some jeopardy due to low numbers--became downright distressing. What the department said was simply good management, he saw as harassment and even a threat to his safety. Eventually, he was able to make his story public and bring a lawsuit against the city. The tension remains high throughout, with Schoolcraft's emotions described exceptionally well. Unfortunately, Rayman's account feels rather biased in favor of Schoolcraft, and he tends to write off the NYPD's criticisms of the man. Rayman also tends to repeat the most egregious offenses caught on tape, which loosens the cohesion of the narrative, reminding readers that it is based on a series of shorter pieces. A fantastic story with enough minor flaws to irritate but enough real-life drama to keep readers coming back.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781137381279
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 8/6/2013
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 412,152
  • File size: 717 KB

Meet the Author


Graham A. Rayman is a writer for The Village Voice who has covered the New York City Police Department for 17 years. His NYPD Tapes series has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, the Polk Award, the Harvard Goldsmith award, and a half-dozen other prizes. Previously, he was at Newsday, covering Ground Zero on the day of the 9/11 attacks and writing about the start of the Iraq War after being embedded with a US Marine Corps. He lives in New York City.
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Table of Contents


Table of Contents
Prologue: Halloween, 2009 “What is this, Russia?”
Chapter 1
Chapter 2: 'The Profit I Wanted to Deliver'
Chapter 3: Bed-Stuy: Do or Die
Chapter 4: 'Play The Game'
Chapter 5: 'DOMINICANS DON'T PLAY'/THE HUNTS POINT DIGRESSION
Chapter 6: 'YOU GOTTA PAY THE RENT'
Chapter 7: DESK DUTY
Chapter 8: The Lengths People Will Go
Chapter 9: HALLOWEEN NIGHT
Chapter 10: 'We Are Here to Help You'/Patient No. 130381874
Chapter 11: A GAME OF CAT AND MOUSE
Chapter 12: THE SCHOOLCRAFT EFFECT
Chapter 13: THE WASHINGTON HEIGHTS DIGRESSION
Chapter 14: 'NOTHING HAS CHANGED'/'WE'RE NOT GOING TO SETTLE'
Chapter 15: SMOKING GUNS AND 'HAM AND EGGERS
Epilogue of a Sort: THE LIGHTENING ROD ON THE BUILDING

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