NYPD Tapes Update: Queens DA Richard Brown’s Report on Whistleblower Cop Raises More Questions Than It Answers
By Graham Rayman
Queens District Attorney Richard Brown’s announcement last week that neither the police nor Jamaica Hospital committed any crimes when NYPD Tapes whistleblower Adrian Schoolcraft was dragged from his apartment by police and involuntarily held in a psych ward raises a whole lot more questions than it answers.
Schoolcraft’s father, Larry, and their lawyer blasted the announcement as “a violation of the public trust,” and “deeply disappointing.”
Schoolcraft, a police officer assigned to Bed-Stuy’s 81st Precinct, is known for secretly recording his colleagues over two years in an effort to build evidence of misconduct. (See the Voice’s award-winning NYPD Tapes series.) On Oct. 31, 2009, a deputy chief and a dozen police forced him out of his apartment in handcuffs and put him in the Jamaica Hospital psychiatric ward for six days–three weeks after he had made misconduct allegations against his bosses. In 2010, he filed a federal lawsuit alleging that police had retaliated against him for making those allegations.
While the NYPD painted Schoolcraft as a malcontent with psychological issues, and therefore, unreliable, an internal police investigation proved most of his claims. The NYPD buried that blockbuster report for more than 18 months. Its conclusions finally surfaced exclusively in the Voice.
Brown concludes in a terse one-page statement on his investigation, which he called “comprehensive”: “After thoroughly reviewing all of the available evidence and considering all applicable provisions of law we have concluded that there is no credible evidence to support the filing of criminal charges in this matter.”
In an interview with the Voice, Larry Schoolcraft, Adrian’s father, said this: “Brown and his staff, Jack Ryan, Jim Liander, and Michelle Cort have done nothing more than take the public’s money with one hand and betray the public trust with the other. Brown and his office have violated their oath to the citizens of Queens.”
Schoolcraft adds: “You can’t just say it’s comprehensive, and not prove it. How big a truck do we need to pick up the mountain of documents from a 37 month internal investigation? The proof is in the pudding. Produce the documents that you stand behind.”
Peter Gleason, recently hired as the Schoolcrafts’ new lawyer along with Bruce Gilbert, said he was “deeply disappointed” with Brown’s conclusion. “The fact of the matter is what Adrian has already brought to the table is factual and tremendously credible,” he said. “Clearly, this investigation was cookie cutter. His civil rights in this matter were clearly violated, and if the Queens District Attorney doesn’t care about it, perhaps there are other agencies willing to take a look at it.”
We communicated these comments and a series of questions to Brown’s spokesman Kevin Ryan. “The ADA who handled the Schoolcraft investigation has not yet returned to the office, and, as such, we are unable to comply with your request for comment at this time,” he said yesterday.
Now, to the questions: First, why did it take three years to conclude? Larry Schoolcraft first filed a detailed complaint about his son’s treatment with prosecutor Michelle Cort of Brown’s Public Integrity Unit all the way back on Nov. 4, 2009. (Larry had also contacted the Justice Department, the FBI, and other oversight agencies.)
NYPD cop secretly records evidence of a ticket and arrest quota system
NYPD officer Adrian Schoolcraft secretly records NYPD top brass giving orders that tickets must be written and arrest must be made or there will be hell to pay. He goes on to say that orders were given to harass people so vigorously that they will not even want to step foot outside in fear of being arrested or ticketed.
Based on true events, Adrian Schoolcraft is confronted in his home after scrupulously recording his superiors suspicious behaviour.
He is arrested and forced against his will to Jamaica Hospital’s psychiatric ward for six days, in order to discredit his testimony against the 81st precinct for false arrests and illegally tampering with crime reporting systems.