The New York Police Department has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to cover up officers' indiscretions — even as those same officers remain on the force. A sprawling BuzzFeed News investigation of internal department files found that more than 300 officers have kept their jobs even after committing assault, driving under the influence, or in one case, threatening to kill someone.
The list of indiscretions committed is startling:
Many of the officers lied, cheated, stole, or assaulted New York City residents. [...] Thirty-eight were found guilty by a police tribunal of excessive force, getting into a fight, or firing their gun unnecessarily. Fifty-seven were guilty of driving under the influence. Seventy-one were guilty of ticket-fixing. One officer, Jarrett Dill, threatened to kill someone. [...]
At least two dozen of these employees worked in schools. Andrew Bailey was found guilty of touching a female student on the thigh and kissing her on the cheek while she was sitting in his car. In a school parking lot, while he was supposed to be on duty, Lester Robinson kissed a woman, removed his shirt, and began to remove his pants. [BuzzFeed News]
All of the officers were allowed to keep their jobs, partly because the department has no consistent disciplinary policy. The go-to punishment is "dismissal probation," BuzzFeed News explains, a penalty in name only as offenders continue "to do their job at their usual salary." In every one of the cases above, the officer in question was assigned to dismissal probation — but the policy can be "used to punish other officers arbitrarily," sources told BuzzFeed News, including "just for getting on their supervisors' bad sides."
In the case of one single officer, Raymond Marrero, his various indiscretions cost the city roughly $900,000 to settle. Marrero still works for the department. Read more at BuzzFeed News. Kimberly Alters