The more of these tapes I hear, the more I think how good these secretly recorded NYPD officers sound. And this is the best [read: worst] they could come up with? To me it shows what a good job most men and women in the NYPD do.
In the latest batch, particular kudos to Lt Rafael Mascol, who offers some pretty good suggestions as to how Officer Schoolcraft could get higher job evaluation rankings. He offers him other tours. And he says, "Go out there answer some more radio runs. Do some more summonses. Write more reports. Do more proactive work. If you're have trouble seeing activity, we can put you with a more active officer who can see the activity and maybe point it out to you."
It's that last part I really love. And he's not saying this sarcastically. He's trying to help.
Even if Schoolcraft's basic point may be correct (that crime is being downgraded), and despite an order to talk with his sergeant, he did leave an hour early saying he didn't feel well. You can't just walk away from work as a police office. It's called going AWOL. If he did something violent or had a heart attack, the NYPD would have been held responsible.
Even Chief Marino sounds reasonable. Schoolcraft certainly sounds sane, but it's understandable that he has to go to the hospital to get checked out. He was complaining of chest pains, for crying out loud!
He didn't have to get EDP'd (or EP'd, as we say in Baltimore, or, in normal lingo, declared crazy and getting taken to the hospital). It sounds like he could have gone on his own free will as a medical patient. Instead, he said was going to lie there until he felt better. So he went as a mental patient.
The idea of throwing a guy in a mental ward because he's got evidence against the brass sounds great, but it's not what you hear on the tapes. Did he need to be kept locked up for days? I don't know. But that's on those doctors and not the NYPD.
Of all these "secret recording," I couldn't find one of them that says anything that isn't common knowledge or makes the speaker look bad. Most of them make the speaker look good!
Here's Part 1, 2, 3, 4 in the Village Voice. And Lenny Levitt's most recent take. And my first post on the subject.