Arrest Quotas Create A Demand Impossible To Satisfy

The drug war created a demand for arrests that provides officers with enough incentives to frame the innocent.


I remember very few things about the short time I spent in Denver, Colorado, but one of my most haunting memories is precisely about this one conversation I held with a former NYPD officer whose experience having to meet quotas drove him out of the force.

According to NY Daily News, a corruption scandal has pushed a former NYPD narcotics officer to offer his testimony regarding the force’s “common practice to fabricate drug charges against innocent people to meet arrest quotas.”

“Anderson, testifying under a cooperation agreement with prosecutors, was busted for planting cocaine, a practice known as “flaking,” on four men in a Queens bar in 2008 to help out fellow cop Henry Tavarez, whose buy-and-bust activity had been low.”

An officer whose arrest quota was not being met, had been afraid of being sent back to doing patrol duty. So that he could boost his numbers and get in a good word with his bosses, he urged a colleague to help him get a few innocent men in jail for a crime they hadn’t committed. When asked whether this practice happens quite often, “yes, multiple times,” was all the former officer replied.

While this report may sound shocking to some, the habit of officers boosting the number of arrests by planting evidence is nothing new. When officers are given incentives to create more criminals, it’s only natural that they will look for a less challenging way to meet the quotas.

Such quotas represent an artificial demand for arrests that puts innocent bystanders in harm’s way.

For more on this story, follow this link for the full report.

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