Author: Michael Armstrong
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Release Date: 2012-05-15
Michael Armstrong has spent close to fifty years either defending or prosecuting criminal cases in New York City. His public service has included stints as District Attorney for Queens County, New York, and chief of the Security Frauds Unit in the U.S. Attorney’s office in Manhattan. None of his experiences were as tense or as dangerously waged as the Knapp Commission’s investigation into police corruption, prompted by the New York Times’s report on whistleblower cop Frank Serpico. Based on Armstrong’s vivid recollections of this watershed moment in law enforcement accountability, They Wished They Were Honest recreates the struggles and significance of the two-year commission, while crediting the factors that led to its success and the restoration of the NYPD’s public image. Serpico’s charges against the NYPD encouraged Mayor John Lindsay to appoint prominent attorney Whitman Knapp to head a Citizen’s Commission on police graft. Overcoming a number of organizational, budgetary, and political hurdles, Armstrong assembled an investigative group of a half dozen lawyers and a dozen agents with backgrounds in federal, not local, law enforcement—a professional disconnect that led to numerous setbacks. Yet right when funding was about to run out, the “blue wall of silence” collapsed. A flamboyant “Madame,” a corrupt lawyer, a weasly informant, and a “super thief” cop trapped and turned by the Commission led to sensational and revelatory hearings, which publicly refuted the notion that departmental corruption was limited to only a “few rotten apples.” Throughout the course of his narrative, Armstrong illuminates police investigative strategy; governmental and departmental political maneuvering; the ethical and philosophical issues of law enforcement; the efficacy (or lack thereof) of the police’s public relations efforts; the effectiveness of its training; the psychological and emotional pressures that lead to corruption; and the effects of police criminality on individuals and society. He concludes by discussing the effects of the Knapp and succeeding commissions on police corruption today and the value of permanent outside monitoring bodies, such as the special prosecutor’s office, formed in response to the Commission’s recommendation, as well as the current monitoring commission, of which Armstrong is chairman.
Author: Khalil Gibran Muhammad
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Release Date: 2011
"The Idea of Black Criminality was crucial to the making of modern urban America. Khalil Gibran Muhammad chronicles how, when, and why modern notions of black people as an exceptionally dangerous race of criminals first emerged. Well known are the lynch mobs and racist criminal justice practices in the South that stoked white fears of black crime and shaped the contours of the New South. In this illuminating book, Muhammad shifts our attention to the urban North as a crucial but overlooked site for the production and dissemination of those ideas and practices. Following the 1890 census - the first to measure the generation of African Americans born after slavery - crime statistics, new migration and immigration trends, and symbolic references to America as the promised land were woven into a cautionary tale about the exceptional threat black people posed to modern urban society. Excessive arrest rates and overrepresentation in northern prisons were seen by many whites - liberals and conservatives, northerners and southerners - as indisputable proof of blacks' inferiority. What else but pathology could explain black failure in the land of opportunity? Social scientists and reformers used crime statistics to mask and excuse anti-black racism, violence, and discrimination across the nation, especially in the urban North. The Condemnation of Blackness is the most thorough historical account of the enduring link between blackness and criminality in the making of modern urban America. It is a startling examination of why the echoes of America's Jim Crow past continue to resonate in 'color-blind' crime rhetoric today."--Book jacket.
Author: Graham A. Rayman
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Release Date: 2013-08-06
Genre: Political Science
In May 2010, NYPD officer Adrian Schoolcraft made national headlines when he released a series of secretly recorded audio tapes exposing corruption and abuse at the highest levels of the police department. But, according to a lawsuit filed by Schoolcraft against the City of New York, instead of admitting mistakes and pledging reform Schoolcraft's superiors forced him into a mental hospital in an effort to discredit the evidence. In The NYPD Tapes, the reporter who first broke the Schoolcraft story brings his ongoing saga up to date, revealing the rampant abuses that continue in the NYPD today, including warrantless surveillance and systemic harassment. Through this lens, he tells the broader tale of how American law enforcement has for the past thirty years been distorted by a ruthless quest for numbers, in the form of CompStat, the vaunted data-driven accountability system first championed by New York police chief William Bratton and since implemented in police departments across the country. Forced to produce certain crime stats each quarter or face discipline, cops in New York and everywhere else fudged the numbers, robbing actual crime victims of justice and sweeping countless innocents into the police net. Rayman paints a terrifying picture of a system gone wild, and the pitiless fate of the whistleblower who tried to stop it.
They had no fear of the cops because they were the cops. NYPD officers Mike Dowd and Kenny Eurell knew there were two ways to get rich quick in Brooklyn's Lower East Side. You either became drug dealers, or you robbed drug dealers. These "Cocaine Cops" did both and ended up running the most powerful gang in New York's 75th Precinct in the 1980s.
Author: David Critchley
Release Date: 2008-09-15
While the later history of the New York Mafia has received extensive attention, what has been conspicuously absent until now is an accurate and conversant review of the formative years of Mafia organizational growth. David Critchley examines the Mafia recruitment process, relations with Mafias in Sicily, the role of non-Sicilians in New York’s organized crime Families, kinship connections, the Black Hand, the impact of Prohibition, and allegations that a "new" Mafia was created in 1931. This book will interest Historians, Criminologists, and anyone fascinated by the American Mafia.
Author: Dimitri A. Bogazianos
Publisher: NYU Press
Release Date: 2012
The Caribbean has the fortune—and the misfortune̬to be everyone's idea of a tropical paradise. Its sun, sand and scenery attract millions of visitors each year and make it a profitable destination for the world's fastest growing industry. Tourism is increasingly touted as its only hope of creating jobs and wealth—literally, the island's last resort. Last Resorts examines the real impact of tourism on the people and landscape of the Caribbean. It explores the structure of ownership of the industry and shows that the benefits it brings to the region do not live up to its claims. New developments in ecotourism, sex tourism, and the burgeoning cruise industry are not changing this pattern of short-term exploitation of the region's resources. The book shows how Caribbean societies are corrupted by tourism and its culture turned into floorshow parody. This new edition has been extensively revised and updated. It gives voice to people inside the tourism industry, its critics, and tourists themselves, and offers vital insights into a phenomenon that is central to the globalized world of today.
In this illuminating memoir Javid Chowdhury shares his varied experiences over four decades in the IAS: the years in training when he imbibed the service’s ethos and values; his initiation into the rural universe as the District Development Officer and the District Magistrate; and further on, to his handling of the infamous Bank Securities and Jain Hawala scams as Director of Enforcement and Union Revenue Secretary. With a light pen, Chowdhury describes the changing social profile and attitudes of entrants to the higher civil services; the nepotism, in many garbs, that he encountered as Establishment Officer; and the stranger-than-fiction tortuous investigations of crimes. He also offers his nuanced reflections on the dubious legacy Gujarat acquired as a result of the communal carnage in 2002. Chowdhury further examines how policymaking within government came to be whittled away under the neo-liberal theology, with key scrutiny being left to external expert think tanks and ad hoc groups. As a consequence, he perceives that public accountability came to be inordinately diffused, resulting in the roller-coaster governance that we witness today. Sharp and insightful, replete with telling anecdotes and amusing sketches of icons, colleagues and ministers, The Insider’s View is a compelling portrait of the author, a self-confessed welfare socialist, besides being an X-ray of the innards of the bureaucracy.
The Man Who Saved New York offers a portrait of one of New York’s most remarkable governors, Hugh L. Carey, with emphasis on his leadership during the fiscal crisis of 1975. In this dramatic and colorful account, Seymour P. Lachman and Robert Polner’s examine Carey’s youth, military service, and public career against the backdrop of a changing, challenged, and recession-battered city, state, and nation. It was Carey’s leadership, Lachman and Polner argue, that helped rescue the city and state from the brink of financial and social ruin. While TV comedians mocked and tabloids shrieked about the Big Apple’s rising muggings, its deteriorating public services, and the threats and walkouts by embattled police, firefighters, and teachers, all amid a brutal recession, Carey and his team managed to hold on and ultimately prevailed, narrowly preventing a huge disruption to the state, national, and global economy. At one point, the city came within a few hours of having to declare itself incapable of paying its debts and obligations, but in the end stability and consensus prevailed, and America’s largest city stayed out of bankruptcy court. The center held. Based on extensive interviews with Carey and his family, as well as numerous friends, observers, and former advisors, including Steven Berger, David Burke, John Dyson, Peter Goldmark, Judah Gribetz, Richard Ravitch, and Felix Rohatyn, The Man Who Saved New York aims to place Carey and his achievements at the center of the financial maelstrom that met his arrival in Albany. While others were willing to let the city go into default, Carey was strongly opposed, since it would not only affect the state as a whole but would have reverberations both nationally and internationally. In recounting the 1975 rescue of New York City and the aftershocks that nearly sank the state government, Lachman and Polner illuminate the often-volatile interplay among elite New York bankers, hard-nosed municipal union leaders, the press, and influential conservatives and liberals from City Hall to the Albany statehouse to the White House. Although often underappreciated by the public, it was Carey’s force of will, wit, intellect, judgment, and experiences that allowed the state to survive this unparalleled ordeal and ultimately to emerge on a stronger footing. Further, Lachman and Polner argue, Carey’s accomplishment is worth recalling as a prime example of how governments—local, state, and federal—can work to avoid the renewed the threat of bankruptcy that now confronts many overstretched states and localities.
The last days of colonialism taught America's revolutionaries that soldiers in the streets bring conflict and tyranny. As a result, our country has generally worked to keep the military out of law enforcement. But according to investigative reporter Radley Balko, over the last several decades, America's cops have increasingly come to resemble ground troops. The consequences have been dire: the home is no longer a place of sanctuary, the Fourth Amendment has been gutted, and police today have been conditioned to see the citizens they serve as an other—an enemy. Today's armored-up policemen are a far cry from the constables of early America. The unrest of the 1960s brought about the invention of the SWAT unit—which in turn led to the debut of military tactics in the ranks of police officers. Nixon's War on Drugs, Reagan's War on Poverty, Clinton's COPS program, the post–9/11 security state under Bush and Obama: by degrees, each of these innovations expanded and empowered police forces, always at the expense of civil liberties. And these are just four among a slew of reckless programs. In Rise of the Warrior Cop, Balko shows how politicians' ill-considered policies and relentless declarations of war against vague enemies like crime, drugs, and terror have blurred the distinction between cop and soldier. His fascinating, frightening narrative shows how over a generation, a creeping battlefield mentality has isolated and alienated American police officers and put them on a collision course with the values of a free society.
The 1960s was a time of social and generational upheaval felt with particular intensity in the melting pot of New York City. A culture of corruption pervaded the New York Police Department, where payoffs, protection, and shakedowns of gambling rackets and drug dealers were common practice. The so-called blue code of silence protected the minority of crooked cops from the sanction of the majority. Into this maelstrom came a working class, Brooklyn-born, Italian cop with long hair, a beard, and a taste for opera and ballet. Frank Serpico was a man who couldn't be silenced -- or bought -- and he refused to go along with the system. He had sworn an oath to uphold the law, even if the perpetrators happened to be other cops. For this unwavering commitment to justice, Serpico nearly paid with his life.
Author: Mike McAlary
Publisher: Open Road Media
Release Date: 2015-09-29
Genre: True Crime
A shocking true story of corruption and crime in the ranks of the NYPD in the worst police scandal since the revelations of Fred Serpico In the 1970s, New York City’s 77th Precinct was known as “the Alamo.” In Bedford-Stuyvesant and Crown Heights, Brooklyn—neighborhoods notorious for drugs and violent crime—some of the worst criminals wore police uniforms and carried badges. Henry Winter was a good cop when he first entered the infamous 77th station house that was already infamous as a home to the dregs of the NYPD. Before long, he and fellow officer Anthony Magno found themselves deeply entrenched in the Alamo’s culture of extortion, lies, corruption, and crime—and they were regularly supplementing their incomes by ripping off thieves, drug dealers, junkies, and honest citizens alike. But the gravy train couldn’t stay on the rails forever. Winter and Magno were caught and faced a devastating choice: They could betray their crooked friends and colleagues by helping investigators expose the rot that festered at the Alamo’s core—or spend the next several years behind bars. In Buddy Boys, Pulitzer Prize–winning investigative journalist Mike McAlary blows the doors off 1 of the worst scandals ever to taint New York’s uniformed guardians, the men and women sworn to protect and serve the populace. Blistering, shocking, and powerful, it’s a frightening look inside the NYPD and an eye-opening exploration of the daily temptations that can seduce a good cop over to the dark side.
Author: Committee to Review Research on Police Policy and Practices
Publisher: National Academies Press
Release Date: 2004-04-06
Because police are the most visible face of government power for most citizens, they are expected to deal effectively with crime and disorder and to be impartial. Producing justice through the fair, and restrained use of their authority. The standards by which the public judges police success have become more exacting and challenging. Fairness and Effectiveness in Policing explores police work in the new century. It replaces myths with research findings and provides recommendations for updated policy and practices to guide it. The book provides answers to the most basic questions: What do police do? It reviews how police work is organized, explores the expanding responsibilities of police, examines the increasing diversity among police employees, and discusses the complex interactions between officers and citizens. It also addresses such topics as community policing, use of force, racial profiling, and evaluates the success of common police techniques, such as focusing on crime "hot spots." It goes on to look at the issue of legitimacy-how the public gets information about police work, and how police are viewed by different groups, and how police can gain community trust. Fairness and Effectiveness in Policing will be important to anyone concerned about police work: policy makers, administrators, educators, police supervisors and officers, journalists, and interested citizens.