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. In "The 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, systemic harassment, and underreporting of serious crimes like rape and murder. Through this lens, he tells the broader tale of how American law enforcement has for the past 30 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 everywhere 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.
About the Author
Graham Rayman has been a writer for "The Village Voice" since 2007. He has covered the New York City Police Department on and off for nearly 17 years. Previously, he was at "Newsday" where he covered many of the high profile cases of the 1990s, including Abner Louima, Amadou Diallo, and Patrick Dorismond. He was at Ground Zero on the day of the 9/11 attacks, and covered the aftermath for two years. He was embedded with a U.S. Marine Corps battalion at the start of the Iraq War and covered the effect of the Iraq War at home. Along the way, Rayman won a series of awards for "Newsday", including those for the Staten Island Ferry crash and corruption in the city's day care industry. Rayman's NYPD Tapes series for the "Village Voice" has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, the Polk Award, the Harvard Goldsmith award, and a half-dozen other prizes.
"Adrian Schoolcraft joined the NYPD for old-fashioned reasons, to have a good job while protecting the people. Instead, he ran up against police bosses who cared more about low crime statistics than public safety. That collision, as devastatingly described by Graham Rayman, is a tale of crime prevention turned upside down in the Bloomberg era. Rayman has invented a new genre: the police misprocedural." —Tom Robbins
"Not only has Graham Rayman told the incredible story of Adrian Schoolcraft, whose forced hospitalizaiton by the NYPD in a mental ward is reminiscent of the Sovet Union's KGB, but Rayman puts that sad and frightening incident into a larger context: how the NYPD systemically downgrades crimes to make New York City appear to be safer than it actually is." —Leonard Levitt, author of NYPD Confidential and Conviction
"Graham Rayman's a great reporter and Adrian Schoolcraft’s story was one of the most gripping things we've ever put on This American Life. The NYPD Tapes tells more of what happened, and reveals the full extent that officials were willing to go in their cover-up.” —Ira Glass, host of public radio’s This American Life
“Connecting the dots reliably and accurately, Rayman’s account of a modern-day Serpico’s battle with an all-powerful police department is somber and inspiring.” —Publishers Weekly
“The author’s account is immediately striking…Fast-paced and intriguing.” —Kirkus Reviews