New York Deputy Inspector Christopher McCormack was caught on tape telling Officer Pedro Serrano to specifically target “male blacks 14 to 21” for stop-and-frisk because they commit crimes. McCormack says in the recording that it is important to stop “the right people, the right time, the right location.”
Testifying in Manhattan federal court on Thursday, Serrano, who made the secret recording last month at the 40th Precinct in the Bronx, said, “He meant blacks and Hispanics.”
“I have no problem telling you this,” the inspector said on the tape. “Male blacks. And I told you at roll call, and I have no problem [to] tell you this, male blacks 14 to 21.” McCormack said to focus on the Mott Haven section of the Bronx. At one point during the recording, Serrano questions, “So what am I supposed to do: Stop every black and Hispanic?”
The evidence and testimony that Serrano is providing is part of a class-action lawsuit that has been filed against the NYPD by four black New Yorkers who claim they were targeted by the department’s controversial stop-and-frisk tactic because of their race, reports The Daily News.
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Tapes made by former Brooklyn cop, Adrian Schoolcraft, who claims he was taken to a psych ward to discredit his claims that his Brooklyn precinct pushed officers to fill arrest quotas, were also introduced at the trial.
In one, which was recorded in November of 2008, Lt. Jean Delafuente is heard telling officers that making the arrest quota should be a breeze in Bedford-Stuyvesant. “You’re working in Bed-Stuy, where everyone’s probably got a warrant,” he said.
Serrano says he taped McCormick because he had gotten poor performance reviews for failing to meet quotas. Serrano joined the NYPD in 2004. During his testimony, he said that he was smeared as a “rat” and ostracized by fellow officers.