Condemn the NYPD for Illegal Arrest Quotas


Target: Raymond W. Kelly, Commissioner of the New York Police Department.

Goal: Stop implementing arrest quotas, and discipline the sergeants responsible for ordering bogus arrests based on these quotas.

Despite being outlawed in 2010, the practice of issuing monthly arrest quotas has been continued by the New York Police. According to an audio recording leaked by news magazine The Nation, and an additional report by news outlet RT, a New York Police union representative at a precinct meeting in the Bronx was caught “advocating for a quota system.” The representative reportedly stated “Twenty-and-one. Twenty-and-one is what the union is backing up…. They spoke to the [Union] trustees. And that’s what they want, they want twenty-and-one.” An anonymous source from the NYPD confirmed to The Nation that “twenty-and-one” means “twenty summons and one arrest a month ranging from parking violations, to drug offenses, to open container laws.”

The anonymous source also stated that these quotas result in “bogus stops;” the source recalled one instance where “The sergeant told [him] to write [up] two minorities for blocking pedestrian traffic, but they were not blocking pedestrian traffic.” Furthermore, officers can be penalized for failing to meet these quota measures. Officers who fail or refuse to meet quotas are transferred to different boroughs, given lower evaluation scores, and denied overtime pay.

In addition to being illegal, this practice is unethical. Law abiding police officers are being punished while police officers instituting illegal quotas and ordering bogus racist arrests are promoted and rewarded financially. Tell Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly to weed out the bad seeds in the NYPD and to put an end to the unjust and unlawful arrest quotas in New York. Police need to be vigilant about protecting citizens from actual crimes rather than fabricating dubious criminal scenarios to fluff up their numbers. Police enforce the law; they must also obey the law.


Dear Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly,

Recent evidence has come to light suggesting that the New York Police Department is guilty of continuing the practice of arrest quotas; this practice, of course, was outlawed three years ago. Your boys in blue are meant to enforce the law, but they must also obey they law. Reports have surfaced of sergeants ordering the officers in their command to make bogus arrests of minorities in order to meet these illegal quotas. If you knew about this and did nothing, you are complicit; if you know about this and take action, we, the public, will thank you.

This practice doesn’t just punish innocent civilians; it punishes innocent officers. A source from your department has alleged that officers who fail or refuse to meet these illegal quotas are punished professionally and financially. It seems as though in the NYPD, cops who break the law are lauded while cops who follow the law are maligned. This is not how the system is supposed to work. Put a stop to the unethical and illegal practice of arrest quotas, and punish the law enforcement professionals responsible for ordering bogus arrests to fill them.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: bixentro via Flickr

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