Gawker recently posted an audio recording provided to them by NYPD transit officer Michael Birch. In the audio recording, you can hear what appears to be the officer’s supervisor pressuring him to profile black men.
The recording dates back to August 2012, when Birch went to meet with his supervisor for what he assumed was to be a routine evaluation. However, as Birch told Gawker “the conversation just turned completely weird to me. Because he’s basically telling me it’s OK to racially profile.”
In his recording, Birch’s supervisor can be heard questioning the officer on why he only stopped two black males out of 54 people.
“Two male blacks,” the man’s voice can be heard saying. “So you’re telling me you only saw two male blacks jump the turnstile?”
Birch is currently suing his department, claiming that he suffered retaliation after he came forward about an illegal quota system. Gawker reports that although his original case was dismissed, Birch has filed an appeal with a higher court. The New York Daily News reported that the supervisor in the tape is NYPD Captain Constantin Tsachas.
An excerpt from the recording posted by Gawker seems to capture Tsachas interrogating Birch as to why he wasn’t profiling black men. The supervisor forces the officer to admit that “mostly male black and Hispanics” between the ages of 15 and 19 commit the most crime in the city. This statistic would, of course, be drastically warped if it’s proven that the police target this demographic more.
Transcript via Gawker:
Commanding Officer: Who commits the crimes in the city?
Birch: Who commits the crimes? Well, it’s mostly teenagers, anywhere between the ages of 15 and 19, mostly male blacks and Hispanics.
OK. Who are you stopping?
Everybody. I stop everybody.
Fifty-four TABs up to 8/20. Twenty-five of those are female. Half.
Like I said, I stop everybody. I’m not targeting anybody.
You just told me who the bad guys are.
Yeah, I know that. But there’s also other people who are committing violations as well. I’m not saying that there’s not violations being made.
The male blacks, that you told me commit the crimes—
Plenty of people that I write summonses to are male blacks and male Hispanics.
You stopped two male blacks.
Not for the whole year. You’re telling me for the whole year I only stopped two male blacks on summonses?
8/20. From January 1st to August 20th. Fifty-four TABs: two male blacks, seven Hispanics, seven other, ten white, three Asian. So where are you targeting the perps that you just told me?
Like I said, if I don’t see a perp jumping over the turnstile, what am I supposed to do to him?
These people are not going to pop.
How do I know that? A female Hispanic that I stopped in Sheepshead Bay did pop, actually, for a warrant, and I arrested her. Female Hispanic. The Hispanics that we’re supposed to be going after. That are committing the crimes. The people that I—
Did you think that she was going to pop?
Did I think she was going to pop? I didn’t put no thought into it. If you come up for a collar, I’m taking you in.
Here’s what I see. You just described to me who’s committing the crimes. You’re fully aware of it. But you’re not targeting those people.
I am. I’m targeting everybody.
Two male blacks.
Whoever is out there. If I—
So you only saw two male blacks jump the turnstile?
If you’re saying that’s what’s in front of you, then yes, that’s all I saw, is two male blacks for the whole year jumping the turnstile. If you’re saying that’s what’s in front of you, I’m not disputing that. If that’s what I got there.
That is what you have. That is not disputed here.
I’m saying, we’re also talking Hispanics as well. I stopped a lot of Hispanics, too.
Seven male Hispanics. But more than half are female.
And like I said, everybody’s committing violations in front of me.
Birch isn’t the only officer who has exposed the NYPD’s illegal quota system. In 2010, NYPD officer Adrian Schoolcraft secretly recorded top NYPD officers giving orders to dishonestly write more tickets and get more arrests. They were told, in so many words, to harass anyone who stepped foot outside a certain area.
Neo-conservative TV police personalities love to quote slanted statistics and openly accuse black people of being more prone to criminal behavior, however, they don’t like to talk about the practices they use to create those numbers.
Featured image via YouTube.