When the NYPD introduced a controversial policing practice known as stop-and-frisk, black people, especially black men were dubious of the effectiveness. Many said cops would use the policy as grounds to racially profile and harass minorities. Well, it looks as though the early concerns were correct. A commanding officer in the NYPD was caught on audio tape telling his subordinates to stop and frisk black males.

Officer Pedro Serrano of the 40th precinct in the Bronx secretly recorded a ferocious argument he and his superior Deputy Inspector Christopher McCormack got into because Serrano regularly missed his quota for stop-and-frisk quota. Inspector McCormack ripped into Serrano for failing to stop violent crime by performing stop-and-frisk searches on “the right people at the right time, the right location.” Serrano angrily prodded McCormack to elaborate and McCormack can be heard saying, “The problem was, what, male blacks. And I told you at roll call, and I have no problem telling you this, male blacks 14 to 20, 21.”

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The recording was used as evidence against the stop-and-frisk policy in a trial where four people are suing because they believe they were stopped and frisked because of their race and not because the police had any form of probable cause. Their lawyer told the court that cops often use the phrase “the right people” to refer to Blacks and Latinos in the context of stop-and-frisk. Serrano, a Hispanic cop, testified in court that he didn’t get a good feeling when he performed a stop-and-frisk procedure on people who weren’t suspicious. He told the court he recorded his exchange with his superior officer because what “they’re asking me to do something that’s illegal, I believe, and I was worried.” Serrano also stated he would tell people he was forced to give summonses that they could use him as a witness that the summons was bogus.

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Inspector McCormack is set to answer Serrano’s claims when he takes the stand next week. We have no doubt that McCormack will deny everything about him having at least one racist bone in his body and that everything we heard on the tape was taken out of context. You know how people some people will perjur themselves in order to save face outside of court.



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