In May 2010, NYPD officer Adrian Schoolcraft made national headlines when he released a series of secretly recorded audio tapes exposing corruption and abuse at the highest levels of the police department. But, according to a lawsuit filed by Schoolcraft against the City of New York, instead of admitting mistakes and pledging reform Schoolcraft’s superiors forced him into a mental hospital in an effort to discredit the evidence. InThe NYPD Tapes, the reporter who first broke the Schoolcraft story brings his ongoing saga up to date, revealing the rampant abuses that continue in the NYPD today, including warrantless surveillance and systemic harassment. Through this lens, he tells the broader tale of how American law enforcement has for the past thirty years been distorted by a ruthless quest for numbers, in the form of CompStat, the vaunted data-driven accountability system first championed by New York police chief William Bratton and since implemented in police departments across the country. Forced to produce certain crime stats each quarter or face discipline, cops in New York and everywhere else fudged the numbers, robbing actual crime victims of justice and sweeping countless innocents into the police net. Rayman paints a terrifying picture of a system gone wild, and the pitiless fate of the whistleblower who tried to stop it.
Graham A. Rayman is a writer for The Village Voice who has covered the New York City Police Department for 17 years. His NYPD Tapes series has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, the Polk Award, the Harvard Goldsmith award, and a half-dozen other prizes. Previously, he was at Newsday, covering Ground Zero on the day of the 9/11 attacks and writing about the start of the Iraq War after being embedded with a US Marine Corps. He lives in New York City. (Palgrave / Macmillan)