Thursday, December 27, 2007

Brooklyn Jail Nightmare: One Woman's Story

Let's say you have an unpaid summons for having your dog off its leash that was dismissed, but never recorded properly in the system. Let's also say that circumstances lead you to make a questionable choice and go through a subway turnstile without paying. Here's what happened to a person with the dog issue who went through the turnstile. The art professor at a respected Manhattan-based institution and Brooklyn resident that relates this was locked up for more than 24 hours on a Saturday nearly two weeks ago. She wrote GL because she was horrified at the conditions at the Brooklyn Central Booking on Schermerhorn Street between Smith and Boerum Place. (It is next to the Brooklyn Detention Center and basically across the street from the 75 Smith condo and future Smith Hotel.) Here is her story:
I was going to see a student in Manhattan. I went to the Nevins Street 4/5 station. The Metrocard machine did not take my ATM card and was not accepting bills! No one was in the booth, but the place was lit up and seemingly occupied. I thought that was odd. So, I decided to pass through turnstile. I heard someone on the platform below, a cop was there with the token booth worker! I wondered if this was a ticket quota trap.

He was just going to let me go when he punched in my info and it came up that there was a warrant out for my arrest. A squad car was called. They cuffed me and brought me to the precinct in the Hoyt Jay station where they found that my warrant was for an unpaid off leash summons. I had tried to pay the summons, but they had dismissed everyone at the Schermerhorn sc court that day because of a Building Dept. hearing that had backed up the whole day. Obviously, the dismissal was not processed through the system.

So, I was locked up for three hours in a cell. No matter how absurd my case was, when they begin the process of inquiry or arrest, they cannot reverse it. After 3 hours of paperwork and sitting in a precinct cell, no water etc....no working phone in precinct office(?), they asked me if i had drugs on me! The only thing i had was a New Yorker and almonds. They brought me over to Central Booking. Same thing--cuffs and car. Central Booking is appalling. The cell is 12 x 24 foot, no windows, open toilet, 3 gym mats on the flloor covered with dirt, half eaten sandwiches, an old pair of pants, spilled old milk, a small bench running the length of the room that was barely wide enough to sit on. Greasy walls, florescent lights 24 hours, noise, screaming, a pay phone, 6 woman were in there when i went in. It was "a slow night" and in the cell across the way there were 8 woman. By the end of the night , they had put in 8 more woman in my cell. We were sleeping on top of each other on the floor. If you look up on the wall, about 9 feet up, there are signs that say don't expect to be out before 24 hours, water available upon request, meal time hours (that's when they throw boxes of cereal through the bars) and sanitary pads available upon request. 24 hours before you can even hope to be out of there!!!!!

There was a 16 year old girl that had been in there for 2 and a half days, she had been taken in because one of the men that had been in a car with her (been pulled over for a broken headlight) had a gun on him. She was young, clueless, frantic and couldn't stop crying. There is no available water. The prison guards crank the radio up in the hall so we couldn't sleep. (A lot of the women in there are crack addicts, so they were throwing up and getting sick.) They occasionally come by to toss some frosted flakes or bologna sandwiches into the cells. You cannot ask anyone a question about anything because there is no one to ask. I have long arms, so I stuck my arm out of the cell and reached to the sink out side of the cell to get some water--no one wanted any because of were it came from--plus it took me 5 calls to the guard to get cups. Needless to say the guards are assholes. Everyone pees and throws up in the open.

They cleared out the cell across from us because there were mice in there. I slept with my head facing the toilet. I couldn't breath because the disinfectant smell was so strong but nothing was clean. At 9 in the morning my lawyer came in. He commented that this facility was worse than the men's Tombs in Manhattan. My case was about 10 cases away from being heard. That would be 6 hours later and there was nothing to do but wait.

There seemed to be a giant amount of racial profiling going on -- alot of woman in the cell were just picked up wrongly and booked for supposed violations. (Open bottle of alcohol.) It seemed that they wanted to put as many black folk in the system as possible. I grew up in brooklyn in the 70s . My dad grew up here. I am not a naive, knucklehead from a transferred suburban bubble. This "pick up anyone for anything and process them for it" as my lawyer informed me, was a Guiliani mandate. It is racist. It has divided this city and it is making this place a plasticized suburb that I don't think I have the heart to remain in. It is disturbing to watch these rich kids prance around Smith Street, when 2 blocks away, there is a cell where you are held without communication, water, food and logic. The judge threw my case out in 2 seconds and was visibly irritated that i was locked up for a day for an offleash summons.

When I left the building 25 hours later, I realized that just one block away, there are $3 million townhouses. PS: the 16 year old that was in the cell for 2 and a half days...her case was also dismissed.
The contrast between the ugliness inside and privilege outside will be even stronger if the city goes ahead with plans to reopen the bigger jail complex and add luxe condos and retail.

[Photo courtesy of Property Shark]

41 Comments:

Anonymous Slovetskii said...

This is exactly how it is. They knock you just to meet the numbers. Bookings is shitty place to be, just waste of time. Welcome to regular falk world.

9:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"It is disturbing to watch these rich kids prance around Smith Street, when 2 blocks away, there is a cell where you are held without communication, water, food and logic." This sums it up, doesn't it? I am so sorry...

9:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you hadn't jumped the turnstile, none of this would have happened. If you had paid your summons or followed up on it after the 'dismissal' in court, none of this would have happened. If you had kept your dog on a leash, none of this would have happened.
I love it when people are indignant about things they brought on themselves.
Once an arrest has been made, the police are obliged to do a check on your status in all 50 states. This can take at leastt 6 hours.
Anyway, now that you know the sorry condition of our booking cells, do you plan to do anything else about it other than complain how you were wronged?

9:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Take responsibility for your actions....Everyone wants to blame cops....yet depend on them so solve just about EVERY WORLD ISSUE.

Wake up people, stop the unrealistic expectations for cops. It is so easy to commit a violation and then blame the cop for doing the job that society hired him to do.

What would you like these cops to do, not pick up everyone on the street and "selectively" enforce?

This is not the cops fault, it's your fault....you blame th ecop for arresting these crackheads, but blame the yuppies who come pay the ridiculous prices and demand that the neighborhood be cleaned up to the politicians

10:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cops can't win. IF there is crime and they are slow to respond or not present, THEY GET BLAMED. COps, arrest the people committing crimes and violations, THEY ARE WRONG FOR ARRESTING EVERYONE.

I have family who are cops, and we all say TO HELL with the darn IDIOTIC public. You cannot have it both ways. People want to second guess the cops so much, well then reap what you sow. Now, many cops don't go out their way to help individuals.....I do not blame them. They will do only the required tasks and at a leisurely pace.....Oh there is a innocent person being robbed? because the public will complain, make sure you stop at every red light, etc.

10:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous, what is the correlation between the professor's mistake and the conditions in the booking center?

None.

Why are they're always people like you who respond to an unfortunate situation with: blame and a lack of compassion. You are so afraid to do anything, stand up for anything or change anything, that you attack anyone who tries to do the same.

The first thing the professor did is write a very descriptive story and send it here. Thousands of people know now about the inhuman conditions. And based on her thoughtful writing, it is obvious she will continue to try and bring attention to the problem.

11:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I supported NYPD for many years until I actually had to deal with them.

We had a mentally-ill drug addict neighbor who would play deafening music 24/7, make phony calls to the police and FDNY bringing them to our door in the middle of the night and whatever she could do to make us miserable.

What did NYPD do? Nothing.

And that's what I learned. Uniformed police officers do nothing unless they are told to do so. If the precinct tells them to write tickets that day to people who [blank], that's what they do. The next day, you couldn't get them to write that summons if your life depended on it. If the precinct tells them to arrest people for [blank], that's what they do.

The only reason the woman got arrested was that is what the uniformed police officers are required to do. Anything else, forget about it.

11:19 AM  
Anonymous kingofnycabbies said...

It is disingenuous to say none of this would have happened if she had done x, y or z. The piece is obviously about the subhuman conditions of the holding facility, and her greatest outrage is clearly for those who shouldn't be in there at all, like the 16-year-old.

My only reservation about the piece is that there need not necessarily be a racial dimension to it. I had a similar experience in the late '70s in the Village; a buddy and I were picked up and arrested on charges of grand larceny, fingered by a guy who "saw" us and a phantom third man break into his friend's car, all this witnessed from a rooftop across the street at night. No third guy, no swag, our whereabouts easily alibied for the entire night--none of this mattered. Nor did it matter that we were two white kids from Jersey.

Our 18-hour experience was otherwise distressingly identical to this woman's, with the "bonus" of a trip to the courthouse chained to four other guys, held in a paddy wagon so crowded we all nearly passed out for lack of air (our screams for help were met by laughter). But I know that her sense of the racial disparity is otherwise likely true.

Oh, and for all the blame-the-victim cop defenders here, who took offense when none was given, my old man was a cop in Jersey for 30-plus years, so enough with the knee-jerk outrage. You can be a law enforcement family member--hell, a cop yourself--and know her story was accurate.

11:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

10:25 Cops are public servants, our taxes pay their salaries. Sad to hear your mindset and their opinions about the public they serve. If you or your family goes to the doctor and he/she makes you wait because of any judgment he/she made of you (think icky, ugly, stinky), will you like it? You don't call names or think it. You do your job and be grateful for it. I've seen their demeanor especially the tyros out of the suburbs, they not friendly. They generally, not all, avoid helping unless they'll look like heroes.

12:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I posted earlier....I was not addressing the conditions of central booking. If the professor wants to improve the conditions then by all means, feel free to ask the taxpayers to cough up some money.

A 16 yr old tells you she is innocent and not suppose to be there and you take her word as the truth. How do you know what the 16 yr old girl did....i don't have a knee jerk reaction to defending cops....rather some of you have a knee jerk reaction that everyone in the bookings are not to blame for them being there.

2:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1105---
Me being a lawabiding taxpayer, the condition of central booking, which houses criminals, is not high on my priority list. I wrote about the professor playing judge and jury by stating:
"
here seemed to be a giant amount of racial profiling going on -- alot of woman in the cell were just picked up wrongly and booked for supposed violations."

How can this professor make such a determination after hearing only the stories of these people who were locked up. Sounds like there is some blame against the cops. People can be arrested for violations in th estate of NYC. It is so easy to unfairly blame the cop.

If you only see the person arrested and hear their story only....and not see the full story then how educated is it to say all those people were wrongfully arrested?

2:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Similar story here. I didn't have a record, though. Still, it's not about the cops, but about the conditions. In my case, I let someone walk through the turnstile with me (her Metrocard said 'just used', as in she paid the fare but the turnstile didn't work). Just inside, an undercover cop stopped is. She got a ticket but I -- as I still had an out -of-state drivers license -- was cuffed, walked on a daisy chain THROUGH A SUBWAY STATION AT RUSH HOUR and taken to central booking. It was all very much as described (except there were no sanitary pads for the men). Even still, we had the same sandwiches scattered all over the floor, especially around the toilet. After about 9 hours of people urinating all over them, another batch of people were brought into the cell. One of them immediately got down on all floors and started eating the piss-soaked bread like there was no tomorrow. Thank god there was.

2:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You say "alot of woman in the cell were just picked up wrongly and booked for supposed violations" and conclude it must be racial profiling. How can you possibly know that? Based on what they told you while you were in the cell with them? This is proof that they were NOT picked up correctly for actual violations? Wanting this bad experience to validate your already held beliefs about racists cops doesn't actually prove that your beliefs are true.

2:38 PM  
Blogger JackSzwergold said...

Okay, while I agree that the conditions are a bit extreme, there are two questions that really come to mind. Is there now—and has there ever been—a nice/clean prison facility anywhere? The whole concept is people don't want to be there, so it makes sense it's in that state. Had it have been cleaner would the original poster still not have issues or would they simply find more to complain about.

Also the quip abut rich kids on Smith Street is a bit condescending. What if the neighborhood was working class? Would that be any better or worse? And what does money have to do with the criminal justice system in any way? Yes, those with resources can avoid the worst horrors but still its a bit of a lame comparison.

Where should prisons be? Why is it there's this NIMBY obsession when it comes to stuff like this. What kind of neighborhood in NYC would be 100% perfect, because I have never heard of one.

Nobody ever seems to make the same claims against the facility in Sunset Park because you know the property value of buildings in Sunset Park—and the class of people living there—is completely different.

2:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Myself and my g/f were given trespass tickets a few months ago for standing at the end of a street by the river. We went to court the other day and it was dismissed before we even saw a judge. After reading this I guess I better make some phone calls and make sure it's actually dismissed and they don't have some warrant out on us...

The full story is here:
http://angrynyer.com/?p=97



As I've been told by a few friends in the NYPD, it's the "performance standard" quota that has killed the NYPD. Crime is so low that regular cops have to arrest and or ticket regular people committing no crimes just to get their numbers. Compstat has become the religion of the NYPD . It's truly pathetic and we're going to see this sort of thing more and more.

-Mr. Angry

3:19 PM  
Blogger Montagne Mointaigne said...

LOL! I had a very similar thing happen last year: Brooklyn central on an unpaid bike-on-sidewalk summons. It was 40 hours of pure joy.

Fav moment: cellmates busting a light fixture open to spark a joint in the pre-trial holding cell.

Yeah, a lot of the kids in there had been picked up for nothing. Old men in jail for drinking a beer. Turnstile jumpers.

Crack dealers puking from swallowing the stash...

and the system being part of so many people's daily routine.

I'm glad for the experience, though.

3:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

there is an arrest first and ask questions later automatic way about the police though...it's a systems thing and you just got caught making the wrong decision. however, a lot of the under privileged aren't so lucky to have such a speedy exit, as the 16yr old you mentioned. in the end, it's best to think twice amd be smart. people need public advocates to call on in times as such.

3:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its racist..racial profiling..Guiliani...wha wha wha

Dont jump the turnstile. That was easy.

4:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lesson learned: Don't break the law and you'll be fine.

Seriously, who jumps turnstiles in this town? Especially someone who has lived here since the 70's? Crap, they lock people up for littering on subway platforms, so turnstile jumping is a sure invite to the clink.

Is is pissy? Yes. Is subway crime down in recent years? Yes.

I'm sorry you had to go through all this, but glad you got busted for jumping the turnstile.

4:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That sounds similar to my experience, except I also had the fun of having the police lose my fingerprints for two days and a woman die in our holding cell. We were left alone the night she died for more than twelve hours with no water, food or guards. She was screaming for help for about half that time. None came. In the morning she was dead. We were all questioned, but I think they ruled it a drug overdose. I'm not sure, because at that point they let me go. Kudos to you for writing about this, after my experience I was too shaken up to do so.

4:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everyone in Central Booking is innocent, don't you all know that? Although I do not dispute the reprehensible conditions of Central Booking, I am surprised at the "professor's" conclusory attitude. Not all NYPD officers have quotas (unlike traffic agents), and not all NYPD officers are racists and picking up people for petty offenses. For example, when a new class of recruits hits the streets, they are by-the-book and will likely make arrests for open containers that a seasoned officer will not. So dear "professor," please do not jump to conclusions based solely on your own bad experience. And by the way, the judge probably "dismissed" your case not because the judge sided with you, but because he/she rightfully felt that 24 hours in Central Booking was punishment enough. And was it, "professor?" Will you ever jump a turnstile again or ignore a summons?

5:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1208- I know they are public servants.....but even so, that does not mean they are robotic and must also cater to the publics needs. Bottom line they are there to enforce the law. What th epublic does not seem to know is that a cops' action will not always coincide with the publics opinion. Cops do not need to be walked through by the public in each encounter.

A cop has the autonomy to reasonably decide what is right and wrong. And just cause it does not make one happy does not mean the cop is wrong.

For instance, person # 1 calls the cops to quiet the noise coming from Person # 2. Person # 1 loves the cops for quieting the noise, but person # 2 blames the cops for being unreasonable to have the music lowered on a friday night at 9pm. Hmmmmmm, maybe person # 1 should blame his unreasonable civilian neighbor...not the cop for just serving the public.

When a cop serves the public and does his job, he will get praised and criticized for that one action. And believe it or not, the catalyst of different laws being forced is your fellow neighbor, not the cops or their bosses.

5:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks like the One Police Plaza Blog Swarm Unit is back. You should be able to cross reference these IPs with Miss Heather's.

-The post says nothing about any individual police officers doing anything but there job, so lighten up Mr. Fish.

-I've had a simple seat belt violation get bounced from the courthouse without getting resolved due to their schedule and guess what? It's impossible to follow up. You know that, I know that, it's a simple fact of our over taxed system. So, no, it's not her fault that the courts are run like shit. Just like the jails which are run like shit.

7:28 PM  
Anonymous Woman in Western Addition of San Francisco says said...

The conditions in the holding cell -- that's the focus here--systemic racism is not up for debate--it's real and we've known about it since forever. Talk to any person of color and you'll get a story about racial profiling. This blog is great--she didn't just go home and take a shower and eat a great meal (though I hope she did those things) By writing she is DOING something more and has started some great conversation--shine a light on the sad places many of us will never see--I appreciate it and appreciate this woman, who could have just said nothing, for picking up the pen to say LET'S LOOK AT THIS. LET'S LOOK INSIDE THESE CELLS.

7:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

5:24 did you read 'not all'? doesn't matter if your relatives are cops. Unless you're brain is dead, cops are public servants not servants like bringing you coffee or cleaning the house. From bosses to the rank in file, the nypd culture needs plenty of sensitivity training esp when it comes to the young gungho ones. being a cop is a calling that carries with it honor and integrity as in the case of your fathers' back in the days, it's not just a job. Maybe many in the system don't understand this including you. Cops should work with the public not against and develop good relationship. Cops need to earn respect they want and not ask for them. Repeat: There are some good cops, but there are many corrupt and pinhead ones who don't even live in this town. Remember: There's a fine line between law enforcer and the criminal, and both gravitate toward each other.

7:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's not! It'll hurt the feelings of the poor officers and they can't take much more. They can't be held responsible for the system they are a part of. They just take the people to the ovens and turn on the gas. It's stressful enough as it is without you people actually making us *whoops, them* face the fact that they are cogs who stand idly by while the people they are lawfullly charged with the custody of have their dignity stripped away.

7:58 PM  
Anonymous COnoMO said...

Brooklyn Central Booking is manned and maintained by the NYPD. Their are no "guards" involved in the process. The"guards" who work as Correction Officers in the NY DOC man Queens and Manhattan Central Booking. Ask anyone who has had the misfortune to have been through either of those facilites that in all honesty those facilities are kept as clean as possible. I'll tell you why. I recently retired from one of those places and I refused to work in filthy conditions. I was locked in with the pre-arraignment prisoners for 8 to 16 hours. Yes people got sick. Yes we gave out bologna sandwiches that I would not eat. When people got sick we called the NYPD so that they could come and get their prisoner and take them to get medical care. If they didn't show up in a timely fashion we bucked it up to our supervisors who would them get on the phone with the NYPD supervisors. Only in an extreme emergency would we be allowed (due to NYPD-NYDOC policy) to take a prisoner to get medical care. I could not give out food that I did not have but I would check the sandwiches to make sure that they were not stale or moldy before I gave them to anyone. The bread does get hard quickly because its made on Rikers and doesn't contain preservatives. The Department rarely gave us cheese sandwiches. I can't say that I enjoyed my job but I did meet hundreds of young men and women who I hope my talking with them as I processed them made a difference for them. It didn't matter to me if they were accused of raping a baby or jumping the turnstile everyone had my ear for the five minutes or so that it took to process them. I know that Brooklyn Central Booking is the pits and I can't apologize for the filth because there is no excuse but unlike the Correction Officers who see Central Booking as a preferred command, the NYPD see it as punishment. Many of the cops assigned their work the "rubber gun squad" meaning they are pending Departmental charges and may end losing their jobs anyway. I don't have the answer except that it takes money to staff it with people who want to be there like CO's who would otherwise be on Rikers. Most people of course would vote for more school or hospital funding rather than funding to improve conditions for people who they perceive to be low lifes.

9:29 PM  
Anonymous Smitty said...

I've always been curious about the inside of that jail and courthouse facility. It seems to me that the message here is that one would hope to expect clean courteous conditions guilty or not in any American courthouse. Were that a schoolhouse, would the political pressure of gentrification around it force it to clean up?

9:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are cases where innocent people are arrested under false pretenses at the end of an officer's shift so he can make overtime on the paperwork. It's called "collars for dollars" and I know more than one victim.

9:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe, JUST MAYBE, the fact that the 16 year old was in jail for a few days would save her from making a huge mistake later on in life. She is hanging out with armed thugs. Hopefully she will learn she needs to stay with better quality people and she will avoid becoming a statistic. Teen girls get in trouble time and time again, whether it be teen pregnancy or chasing around their stupid criminal boyfriend. Hopefully she doesn't catch a bullet meant for the grown man she was staying with.

And as far as the professor goes, thats life.

12:21 AM  
Blogger I Like Pictures said...

I knew my love affair with Cobble Hill was over the day I witnessed one of my neighbors - some prick architect living in a really expensive brownstone on Douglass Street - arguing with my Eastern European laundry lady over an extra DOLLAR to have his garment cleaned (he said it was a shirt, she said it was a jacket). He was threatening to have her fired and deported over a dollar.

I am so sorry for what you had to endure - we've all broken the rules in NY at one time or another. As a dumb NYU student I had no idea smoking was prohibited on subway platforms and used to obliviously puff away all the time... It's pathetic that the NY city taxes all the rich kids on Smith Street are paying are not going toward improving city services one iota.

12:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

how is someone who doesn't normally create crime, like a mugger or robber or dealer who has been in jail, KNOW what the system is? She has every right to complain. Oh, I must go now and read the NYC penal code so I will know what to expect next time I breath wrong. Though, I wouldn't actually call it complaining but REPORTING.

9:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The NYPD is too big and too self-serving. There aren't enough terrorists or criminals out there so they turn their attention to us, the citizens of New York. The cops don't actually live here (they just park their cars on our streets and sidewalks) and they could care less about our civil liberties and quality of life.

10:56 AM  
Blogger Monika said...

"I like Pictures" -- Great comment.

In general, the only thing that really disturbed me about this story was how often the professor spelled women as "woman".

Everything else seemed pretty run of the mill reality.

If you feel strongly enough about this, Professor, do something about it. Talking is only a first step. If you can get this many people's attention, maybe you can get the attention of a Rep in Albany, or even EVEN a local brooklyn politician (though those guys are just corrupt beyond even our administration's standards).

5:39 PM  
Anonymous bebe said...

Does anyone know why Brooklyn has the NYPD rather than Correction Officers at central booking?

6:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's been my experience that people who dismiss other's people misfortune are the least able to deal with their own. Read: the professor wrote a thoughtful essay about her experience. But the people dismissing her and others' horrendous experience at booking would be filing $100 million law suits and screaming bloody murder.

I have seen this over and over and over in life and it never ceases to amaze me.

11:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1056- you are probably some out of town yuppie who does not know the first thing about being a new yorker. I know plenty of cops who are born and bred. You wish to park your car at certain privledged spots....too bad. Become a cop. Every job has its perks. Do lawyers and doctors and firefighters have perks yes they do. Do politicians have perks (Parking privledges, etc),.....yes they do. Every job has its perks. I bet you are the type to run and call the police for petty instances like kids being loud and hanging out in a park and disturbing you....yet you blame the ops for violating civil liberties.

4:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Correctional Association of New York is a non-profit advocacy organization that is working to improve the conditions in Brooklyn Central Booking and in the other court pens in the city. If you are interested in getting involved, send an email through our website: www.correctionalassociation.org.

7:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

6:05,

There was a hiring freeze in the Correction Department in 1996. In addition many of the officers hired in the late 80's are now eligible for retirement. They don't have enough staff to cover their own facilities on Rikers let alone helping out the NYPD. Also the NYPD regularly mans the Brooklyn and Bronx Central Booking with modified NYPD staff. The DOC officers would love to take over all of the Central Booking facilities but DOC management of course doesn't want the headache. Many CO's get into heated arguments with the cops when they come in to drop off their collars. The CO's ask the "perps" if they are in need of medical assistance or have any conditions that require medical attention, They cops have already threatened the perps that they better say "no" to the CO's "or else." If the perp says yes, the CO's will not take the perp and the cop has to then take the perp for medical attention which they hate doing. When they say "no" the CO will take custody and about 10 minutes later the perp will then complain. By that time it is too late the cops are gone. Believe me. CO's are held to a higher standard (perhaps because they are a minority/female Department) and are not trying to get suspended or lose their job for mistreating some perp.

11:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"It is disturbing to watch these rich kids prance around Smith Street, when 2 blocks away, there is a cell where you are held without communication, water, food and logic."

Which should be done away with: the rich kids or the HOD? Seriously, the fact that you WEREN'T treated differently just because you had "a New Yorker and some almonds" means the system is working - you were treated the same as everyone else.

10:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that some here are missing the point of the writer. I don't think they are holding themselves above others - they are not even accusing the police. The finger is clearly pointed at a system implemented under Giuliani that tries to use fear and degradation as a method of deterrence. Beyond the fact that it denies due process, it carelessly nets one-time or accidental offenders and treats them the same as repeat offenders. Systems like these are allowed to remain in place because they "lower crime" and provide "clean neighborhoods" which helps the "housing market" to "heat up" and "boosts the economy." The whitewashing continues - it's a shell game and the only people who "win" are those who are willing to climb over others to get their hollow prizes. Not exactly "advanced homo-sapien," is it?

7:27 PM  

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