from the cry-harder,-cop dept
The New York Police Department is complaining about having to do work again. The New York Post reports officers are unhappy that they’re required to do a little bit more paperwork for every stop, regardless of whether the stop results in a citation or arrest.
NYPD cops will soon have to start recording the race, gender and age of every person they pull over during a vehicle stop — even cyclists, The Post has learned.
From Jan. 1, officers will be required to fill out a new form that notes the demographics of the person driving the vehicle or bike, and whether any police action was taken against them, according to an internal order obtained by The Post.
The forms have to be filled out even if no law enforcement action is taken.
This is nothing more than the logical next step for a department that has repeatedly shown it engages in biased policing. Years of lawsuits over its stop-and-frisk program resulted in a court-ordered mandate to collect demographic information on stop-and-frisk encounters. The NYPD complained about the extra work when this was ordered in 2013. Then it spent the next half-decade refusing to comply with it.
Another mandate followed, demanding the collection of information on all stops, which would seemingly include any stop, even those not conducted on foot. The NYPD wasn’t any happier with the new mandate and one of its unions claimed that recording demographic information would result in fewer stops and less policing.
That attitude remains unchanged three years later. The NYPD has been given another mandate and officers are once again claiming they’re just not going to do it. Their rationale for failing to comply with direct orders? People might find out NYPD officers are engaged in biased policing.
But an NYPD officer with more than two decades on the job said it is just a “recipe for disaster.”
“As an officer, I’m definitely going to think twice about pulling anyone over. That’s the first thing they’re going to look at how many black and Hispanic people you pulled over,” the cop said.
The officer added that some cops were already hesitant to stop people — and the additional paperwork would just deter them even more.
The PR spin by the NYPD implies something different than the opinions offered by the rank-and-file:
“We are complying with the requirements of Local Law 45 of 2021,” an NYPD spokesman said.
But it’s not a complete rebuttal. It is possible to comply with the requirements while also engaging in fewer stops of drivers and bicyclists. It sets the stage for the NYPD to blame any rise in crime rates on demographic tracking requirements, rather than step up and discipline officers for refusing to comply with the order or do their jobs. Chances are good no officers will be punished for refusing to do either of these things.
And, once again, a police union is there to blame everything on everyone else, rather than suggest officers do their best to comply with the mandate. Here’s Police Benevolent Association President Pat Lynch, railing against everyone else who isn’t a cop refusing to their job.
“They passed bill after bill to further the anti-police narrative, but did absolutely nothing to help us curb the bloodshed in our neighborhoods,” he said. “The incoming Council needs to refocus their priorities. Instead of new paperwork, we need meaningful support to get violent criminals off the street.”
I’m not sure what the NYPD is incapable of accomplishing with a $10 billion annual budget, but city officials have agreed to a $465 million increase for 2022. That suggests there’s at least a half-billion in “meaningful support” headed its way and that the city council isn’t just engaging in an anti-cop narrative. This just sounds like cops who don’t want the public to be better informed about how this $10 billion/year is being spent.
If cops are afraid of engaging in any policing because of a fear of it being interpreted as biased policing, perhaps they should direct their anger at the decades of biased policing that led to these mandates. The culture of the department could have been changed at any time. Instead it took court orders and new laws to force the NYPD to confront its own racism. Now that it has to, officers are deciding they’d rather not be forced to look in the mirror.
Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.
Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.
While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.
–The Techdirt Team