Second NYPD Whistleblower Testifies He Was Called a 'Rat' for Protesting Stop-and-Frisk Quotas
- NYC 03/20/2013 by Robert Gearty and Bill Hutchinson (New York Daily News)
Officer Pedro Serrano said he was ostracized for protesting the stop-and-frisk quotas that were demanded at the 40th Precinct where he worked in the South Bronx, saying he was told 'you can’t fight a losing battle.'
A second NYPD whistleblower testified Wednesday that department brass pressured cops for arrests and stop-and-frisk quotas and that he was smeared as a “rat” for bucking the system.
Officer Pedro Serrano said he was ostracized for protesting the quotas demanded at the 40th Precinct in the South Bronx. “They said, ‘Hey, this is the way it is, you can’t fight a losing battle,’” Serrano testified in Manhattan Federal Court.
Serrano, 43, a member of the police force since 2004, followed Officer Adhyl Polanco to the witness stand in the class-action lawsuit against the controversial stop-and-frisk tactics.
Like Polanco, Serrano said the quota demanded by supervisors is 20 summonses and one arrest a month.
He did not specify how many stop-and-frisks he was required to make.He also backed Polanco’s claim that the quota system had the support of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association.
Serrano testified that he was once criticized by supervisors for failing to make any stop-and-frisks in a month when he surpassed his quota, issuing 20 summonses and making three arrests.
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He said that since going to the Internal Affairs Bureau recently to complain, his stationhouse locker was tattooed with stickers proclaiming him a “rat.”
He said he also found the word “rat” next to his name on a roster list outside the stationhouse cafeteria. “I fear they’re going to set me up and get me fired,” Serrano testified.
Earlier Wednesday, secret recordings made by Polanco at the 41st Precinct stationhouse, also in the South Bronx, were played in court to bolster his testimony.
In the tapes, one of Polanco’s supervisors is heard demanding that cops make their “20 and 1” quota and lambasting those who came up short.
“If you want to be a zero, I’ll treat you like a zero,” patrol Sgt. Marvin Bennett fumed on tape.
Polanco also recorded his patrol commander, Lt. Andrew Valenzano, telling officers to meet their quotas by ticketing bicyclists.
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“If you see people over there on bikes, carrying the bags, you know, good stops,” Valenzano says on tape. “That’s what we need.”
Officer Angel Herran, a union delegate, was taped telling officers the quota was agreed to “in this last contract.”
“They’re telling you to ‘go make money,’ ” Herran is heard saying.
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Stop-and-frisk, shown in a reenactment above, is at the center of a class action lawsuit in Manhattan. One cop testified that his precinct in the South Bronx demanded quotas of its officers.