Don’t Complain


“To get along, go along.” Complaining about coworkers is a risky play. Management might discipline them, but you’ll probably still have to work alongside them. They’ll lose your files and badmouth you to everyone else on staff. Complaining about superiors is almost suicidal. And when your coworkers carry guns, handcuffs and badges, you can’t escape the pressure by going home. In NYPD Tapes 4, we read what happens when a police officer, in this case Adrian Schoolcraft, reports the misconduct – downgrading complaints, ticket quotas, etc – he sees at work. He soon finds himself micromanaged by his immediate superiors, shunned by other officers and sick to his stomach . . .

… on the afternoon of October 31, he felt sick and went home about an hour early. Precinct supervisors appeared at his door hours later, claiming he had violated policy and demanding that he return to work.

One of his visitors was a deputy chief, who upbraided him while sitting on the edge of his bed. On orders from that deputy chief, Schoolcraft was then thrown to the floor, handcuffed, dragged from his Queens apartment, and taken against his will to a psychiatric ward at Jamaica Hospital. His forced hospitalization lasted six days. Police officers also removed papers from his home that documented his concerns about NYPD operations. Jamaica Hospital officials charged him $7,000 for his stay—and another $86 to obtain his own medical records.

Schoolcraft had a background in service, which may have worked against him:

The 34-year-old registered Republican was born in Texas, the son of a Dallas cop and a bank official. After graduating from a suburban high school in 1993, he joined the U.S. Navy as a corpsman. He served his active duty in Japan on the USS Blue Ridge …

After four years in the Navy, Schoolcraft returned home in the summer of 1997 with an honorable discharge … then landed a job with Motorola. After three years, he learned that his mother had cancer, and moved home to a small town in Upstate New York, where his parents had retired. He would drive his mom to her chemotherapy appointments an hour away in Albany. (She passed away in 2003.)

In 2002, he applied to be a police officer, motivated by his mother’s wishes and the 9/11 terrorist attacks. …

After eight months at the 75th Precinct, Schoolcraft was assigned to the 81st Precinct in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. Famed NYPD whistleblower Frank Serpico, ironically, spent the first several years of his career in the 81st Precinct.

comments

  1. avatar Robocop says:

    The "code of silence" can be a pain.

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