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NYPD Detective Admits to Framing People on Drug Charges
In New York City, former NYPD narcotics detective Stephen Anderson testified it was common practice to fabricate drug charges against innocent people to meet arrest quotas.
His testimony is the first public account of false arrests in the Brooklyn South and Queens narcotic squads, which led to the arrests of eight police officers.
Anderson, who is testifying under an agreement with prosecutors, was arrested for planting cocaine on innocent people, a practice called "flaking." He said he helped fellow cop Henry Tavarez frame two men in Brooklyn.
Anderson testified: "Tavarez was ... was worried about getting sent back (to patrol) and, you know, the supervisors getting on his case. I had decided to give him (Tavarez) the drugs to help him out so that he could say he had a buy. As a detective, you still have a number to reach while you are in the narcotics division."
Anderson worked in the Queens and Brooklyn South narcotics squads and was called to the stand of the corruption trial of Brooklyn narcotics Detective Jason Arbeeny in order to show the illegal conduct wasn't limited to a single squad.
"Did you observe with some frequency this ... practice which is taking someone who was seemingly not guilty of a crime and laying the drugs on them?" Justice Gustin Reichbach asked Anderson.
"Yes, multiple times," Anseron replied.
The judge pressed Anderson on whether he ever gave a thought to the damage he was inflicting on the innocent.
"It was something I was seeing a lot of, whether it was from supervisors or undercovers and even investigators," Anderson said. "It's almost like you have no emotion with it, that they attach the bodies to it, they're going to be out of jail tomorrow anyway; nothing is going to happen to them anyway."
The city paid $300,000 to settle a false arrest suit by Jose Colon and his brother Maximo, who were falsely arrested by Anderson and Tavarez. A surveillance tape inside the bar showed they had been framed.