The Big Story: David Durk, The NYPD & Corruption

by TKOEd • Tuesday, Nov 13, 2012 • no responses - be the first

R.I.P. David Durk.

Frank Serpico. David Durk. One of those names you almost certainly know. One man was played by someone who now a big time movie star. The other man had a minor character loosely based on him with a different name in the same film. David Durk doesn’t even have his own Wikipedia page.

Frank Serpico is alive. David Durk is dead. This is not an obit to Mr. Durk though, the NY Times has done a far better job than I ever could.

We probably never hear of Frank Serpico if not for David Durk. Their stories are intertwined, and you can run a direct line from Serpico/Durk to Adrian Schoolcraft, a man who’s technically still a cop, but you wouldn’t know it from the way he’s been treated. The stories of these three men, all great cops, should serve as an inspiration to all current, and future police officers. Instead the NYPD attempts to push them into the dustbin of history, and tries to minimize their achievements, and their (corroborated) accusations.

The NYPD has a corruption problem. Their PR guy will tell you that things are 10 times better than they were when Serpico was a cop. Does it even matter though? How much of that is through their own efforts, and how much of that is the decline of mob influence in NYC? The NYPD seems so eager to pat itself on the back instead of acknowledging that they have a shit ton of work to do. Abner Louima, Sean Bell, Ramarley Graham. You know the names. You know what happened. And I’m telling you that the way the city, and the NYPD handled the findings of the Knapp Commission, which never happens if not for the persistence, and the insistence of Serpico & Durk, is why we have today’s NYPD. A police force of quotas, harassment, and racism.

…the fallout was minimal. Dozens of officers were prosecuted, but no senior police or city officials were charged.

A few people were cast out, and they called it a day. Ray Kelly was a police officer during those days. I wonder if he’s ever been asked about that era. Was he on the take? He sure does like to minimize police misconduct. How can we expect the NYPD to do their job in a fair, honest, and transparent way when they’ve never tackled the ghosts of the 60s & 70s? How many corrupt cops went on to become senior officers? How many are in the top brass today? We’ll probably never know. What we do know that is that the “blue wall” is as strong as ever. Adrian Schoolcraft’s apt was invaded by cops, and he was tossed in a mental ward by those same cops. Unlawful imprisonment anyone? Of course we’ve seen no criminal charges against any of the officers involved in these Gestapo tactics. I now feel vindicated every time I cross the street to avoid walking next to or crossing paths with a cop. If they can do this shit to another cop bet money they can, and HAVE done it a civilian.

I’ve always said that the police should be held to a higher standard than the average person, but this country seems to completely disagree with me. All over America cops are held to lower standards. Shoot a Black man in the back while he’s face down being handcuffed by another cop? Say you were scared, and you were reaching for your, far lighter, Taser. No one will even ask why you were reaching for your Taser in the 1st place. After the judge gives you double credit for time served you’ll end up serving a year in prison total. Now try, and imagine an average white man who’s not a police officer using any or all of that as an excuse. Now do it for the average Black man. I can’t see either of them getting just a year. Add some “fear”, and make ‘em both cops & it’s likely that they’re acquitted, and continue to be police officers.

All a cop has to do is say they were scared, and they’ll have people lining up to defend them. “You don’t know what it’s like to be a cop.” “Their job is dangerous.” There are around 800,000 law enforcement officers in the U.S. (including state & federal officers). In 2010 160 of them were murdered. That’s a rate of .0002. In 2005 about 57,600 cops were assaulted. A rate of .072. Out of that number, about 15,800 were injured. A rate of .0197. My intent is not to minimize police shootings, and assaults, but show that this fear that cops regularly invoke, usually after they’ve shot another unarmed person, is unsubstantiated by the stats. Most cops probably don’t know another officer who’s even been assaulted let alone killed. So what are they so afraid of? The answer seems to be be Black & Latino men. Since we’re the ones that usually end up on the wrong end of a cops glock.

Despite all the talk about “community policing” Ray Kelly has been very confrontational when confronted with just about any criticism of the NYPD. This unwillingness to criticize the self is at the heart the NYPD’s problems, especially with regard to Blacks, and Latinos. When it comes to unwarranted defensiveness, only self-aggrandizing millionaires, and billionaires are in competition. 16 officers get arraigned for ticket fixing, 100s show up in protest. It’s someone else’s fault. They were “just following orders.” Guess what? I believe them. I believe they were just following orders when they stopped, and frisked 685,724 people (87% of them Black & Latino) last year. I also believe that they were just following orders when they stop and frisked 25% less people in the 2nd quarter of this year than last. This brings me back to Ray Kelly, and other cops who were “on the job” during the years the NYPD was nearly completely overrun by corruption. Where are many of these men now? David Durk said during a formal lecture at the police academy he was told to always carry a SASE with him in case he got a bribe. That way he could immediately mail it to himself without fear it would be found later. This is what they were telling recruits! But I’m supposed to believe that the overwhelming majority of corrupt cops who never got any  disciplinary action just suddenly became good cops? Maybe for a little while, ’til the cameras & the reporters & investigators went away, but not for long. Until society stops treating cops as above the law, and infallible we will continue to see corruption, racism & violence flowing from the NYPD.

In 1970 Frank Serpico said:

the atmosphere does not yet exist in which an honest police officer can act without fear of ridicule or reprisal from fellow officers.

That’s still the case. Just like in the 60′s, and 70′s today’s cops are “just following orders.”

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I Bet No One Saw This Coming

by TKOEd • Wednesday, Dec 17, 2008 • no responses - be the first

Shoe hurler being tortured? Can’t say I’m shocked by the accusation or that it might actually be true:

The brother of the Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at US President George W Bush has said that the reporter has been beaten in custody.

Muntadar al-Zaidi has allegedly suffered a broken arm, broken ribs and internal bleeding, his older brother, Dargham, told the BBC.

Mr Zaidi threw his shoes at Mr Bush at a news conference, calling him “a dog”.

A spokesperson for the Iraqi military says the journalist is in good health and said the allegations were untrue.

It is unclear whether the reporter may have been injured when he was wrestled to the floor at the news conference, or at a later point.

Italics mine. You would think since this made so many headlines that whoever has the man in custody would be handling him with kids gloves, but who knows. As this BBC story reports, there have been two days of demonstrations in Iraq on Zaidi’s behalf. The Iraqis should be charging this guy straight up with whatever they got & let the law take it’s course. I don’t think he deserves to be tortured but I also don’t think a beating in his future was unforeseeable after throwing his shoes at the POTUS. It was a dumb, reckless act committed against a man who deserves worse than a shoe upside the head, but is not worth risking bodily harm or worse over.

Shout out to dday

You Feeling Brave…, Go ‘head Get Gully

by TKOEd • Sunday, Dec 14, 2008 • 2 responses - join us

This has to be one of the top five gulliest things of at least this decade. I really, really wanted to post a video here but the BBC video doesn’t have embedding, and it’s the best vid I’ve seen because it has Bush’s comments afterwards. He says he didn’t feel threatened but he looked pretty shook to me. Even if he really wasn’t scared, he should have been. My man threw those shoes like Rob Dibble threw a baseball. If they would have connected we would have seen blood. He was pretty accurate too, Bush’s deft duck kept his skull from being wrecked. While this is fairly amusing, I’m not really down with throwing shit at world leaders. That being said I don’t really blame the guy either. Bush & the GOP have been a disaster in this country & around the world. Any ill that befalls him I look at as karma.

Stoked Awards

by TKOEd • Friday, Nov 7, 2008 • no responses - be the first

A friend of mine is a Stoked mentor. The following video is on his facebook:

A blurb about Stoked from the Stoked Awards website:

Co-founded in 2005 by Steve Larosiliere and Sal Masekela, Stoked Mentoring is a unique non-profit organization based in New York and Los Angeles that provides innovative mentoring programs exposing “at risk” youth and their mentors to action sports. These activities are used as a means to develop and foster resiliency, determination and success. Through hands-on partnerships with social service agencies, Stoked presents and oversees several programs annually including Snow Mentor, Skate Mentor and Surf Mentor. For further information about our programs, events and sponsorship opportunities, please visit the Stoked website at www.stoked.org.

I don’t know about you but this is pretty dope stuff. Especially if we’re talking about “inner city youth”. One of the problems some kids who grow up in the “hood” have is not being able to see beyond their block or neighborhood. Exposing them to these sports, which are not associated with inner cities for the most part, is a great way to help them get gain some perspective in my opinion. Of course if you have been in say NY recently you may have noticed a decent amount of young Black & Latino kids riding skateboards. So in a lot of ways the founders were very prescient with Stoked. This is a great a organization & Obama doesn’t need your money anymore so why don’t you drop ‘em a little something. I will.

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