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Ex-Cop Stephen Anderson Admits Widespread NYPD ‘Flaking’– Planting Drugs on Innocent People to Reach Quotas

A former NYPD narcotics detective has testified in court to the widespread practice of planting drugs on innocent people in order to meet arrest quotas.

According to the New York Daily News, Stephen Anderson, the former detective, gave a detailed description of the practice, known among NYPD cops as “flaking,” which is apparently commonplace in Brooklyn and Queens. Anderson turned state’s evidence after he was busted for “flaking” cocaine on four innocent men in Queens in 2008. He did this to help fellow officer Henry Tavarez, who wasn’t meeting his ‘buy-and-bust’ quota.

“Tavarez was … worried about getting sent back [on patrol] and, you know, the supervisors getting on his case,” Anderson testified at the corruption trial of narcotics detective Jason Arbeeny. “I had decided to give him [Tavarez] the drugs to help him out so that he could say he had a buy,” he told the Brooklyn Supreme Court.

“As a detective, you still have a number to reach while you are in the narcotics division,” he explained.

When Justice Gustin Reichbach inquired as to whether “flaking” was commonplace, Anderson replied: “yes.”

“It was something I was seeing a lot of, whether it was from supervisors or undercovers and even investigators,” he said. “It’s almost like you have no emotion with it, that they attach the bodies to it, they’re going to be out of jail tomorrow anyway; nothing is going to happen to them anyway.”

“Flaking” cost New York City taxpayers $300,000, money that was paid out to Jose and Maximo Colon, two brothers falsely arrested by Anderson and Tavarez.

Gabriel Sayegh of the Drug Policy Alliance, a group opposed to the failed War on Drugs, told the Huffington Post that “one of the consequences  of the war on drugs is that police officers are pressured to make large numbers of arrests, and it’s easy for some of the less honest cops to plant evidence on innocent people. The drug war inevitably leads to crooked policing — and quotas further incentivize such practices.”

This is far from the first time that this sort of thing has happened in the NYPD. Last year, more than 50,000 people— 86% of them black and Latino– were arrested for low-level marijuana offenses. According to the Huffington Post, that made marijuana possession the leading offense in New York City, despite the fact that marijuana was decriminalized back in 1977.

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One Comment

  1. Burt VincentOctober 15, 2011 at 2:06 pmReply

    This fabrication by cops is more common than you think, it is also backed up by the legal system. Three of us cought wildlife officials fabricating and altering illegaly recorded conversations. It was verified by a state police contractor crime lab yet no action would be taken by authorities, no lawyer would take the case. The reason they did it; funnel money into a fund called operation game thief. Investigation uncovered the fact that operation game thief has NEVER been audited. I have files of evidence but where do you take it?

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