Now in its third week, the trial in federal court challenging the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk tactic is revealing more reasons as to why the practice is even in place.
A key testimony from State Sen. and former NYPD Officer Eric Adams opened a larger window, providing an inside look at the NYPD’s intent to target Blacks and Latinos.
On the stand, Adams testified that in Albany in 2010, he spoke out against the NYPD keeping a database of everyone stop-and-frisked–a measure that passed.
He revealed that NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly’s officers targeted young people of color to set a tone.
“I heard him on two different occasions indicate that we’re using this policy to instill fear into African-American and Hispanic youth, so each time they leave their home, they feel as though they can be stopped by the police,” Adams said. “I was amazed. I told him that was illegal.”
Reports indicate that Rep. Hakeem Jeffries supports Adams’ claims and said that he too heard Kelly’s statements when Kelly met with Black lawmakers.
At a press conference on Monday, Kelly denied all claims that he ever said what Jeffries and Adams accused him of, calling the statements “ludicrous.”
“I think this was an attempt to get me to testify–make an outrageous statement that I would have to get to court to defend. Well, I’m defending it now,” Kelly said.
Also taking the stand was Lt. Fernando Guimares, the supervisor of the officers who stopped David Floyd, one of the plaintiffs. He admitted that his review of officers’ stops was limited to checking to see if the UF 250 form was properly filled out.
More witnesses testified about being stopped by the NYPD, including Kristianna Acevedo and Clive Lino. Acevedo testified that he was stopped by two officers in an unmarked van while Lino said he was stopped in the lobby of his apartment building. During the stop, the officer’s cell phone rang with a 50 Cent ringtone. The officer remarked, “Here’s a little rap for you. It should calm you down.”
This week, attorneys also played the taped secret recordings of Adrian Schoolcraft, a police officer who taped hundreds of hours of precinct roll calls in Brooklyn while he worked on the force.
The tapes–which were later given to the media–reveal that officers were pressured to make stop-and-frisk quotas, which the NYPD denies.
Also taking the stand was Schoolcraft’s supervising officer.