Target: Mayor’s Office of New York City
Goal: Ensure New York police officers can report abuse and corruption without jeopardizing their employment.
The New York City Police Department (NYPD) is the largest police force in the United States and protects the nation’s largest city. One of its most controversial policies is that of “Stop and Frisk”, which allows NYPD officers who suspect that a person has committed or is about to commit a crime to detain and question that person. The policy has led to extreme racial profiling and is largely ineffective at combating crime. Nearly 9 out of 10 people stopped were black or Latino, and roughly 9 out of 10 people stopped were innocent of any wrongdoing. Despite vitriolic public backlash and unpopularity among civil rights organizations, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and Mayor Michael Bloomberg continue to advocate for the policy.
Those within the NYPD who disagree with the policy are still subject to stop and frisk “quotas”, even though quotas are banned in the system. Hyper-compliance with the discriminatory policy, on the other hand, is rewarded with praise and ultimately promotions to executive positions, perpetuating the problem of zero reform. Dissenting police officers can voice their concerns only to bureaucracies with little influence, as any external agency has no disciplinary power over the NYPD. There is currently no Inspector General’s office over the NYPD that can investigate complaints and act on them accordingly.
Without a fair system to voice one’s concerns, there is no hope for discussion about the issue or even reform that would be beneficial for both supporters and opponents of the policy. To avoid abuse of power and corruption, this kind of democratic system is imperative.
By signing the petition below you will be asking the NYC Mayor’s Office to consider allowing an external auditing agency or Inspector General’s office to investigate complaints of fraud, corruption, and abuse of power within the NYPD while protecting the anonymity of its informants.
Dear Mayor Bloomberg,
The concerns raised by the public about the NYPD’s controversial “Stop and Frisk” policy have warranted discussion of the issue. However, employees internal to the department are unable to safely and anonymously discuss their concerns. Some officers have testified to the informal imposition of “quotas” for NYPD officers to carry out Stop and Frisk detainments, and are subject to discipline or passed up for promotion if they do otherwise.
I urge you to consider creating an Inspector General’s Office or allowing an external auditing agency to investigate complaints of fraud, corruption, and abuse of power within the NYPD while protecting the anonymity of its informants. If officers are afraid to express reasonable concerns of abuse and corruption within the system, it poses a threat to the safety and security of New York’s people as well as to the legitimacy of the Police Department.
[Your Name Here]