With the New York Police Department facing a blizzard of damning incidents, cops and police brass say morale is perilously low, reports the New York Daily News. A veteran Bronx officer said anonymously, “You’re a robot. You’re under the microscope. You’re under video surveillance. We feel like the perpetrators now, the way we’re being displayed.” A ticket-fixing scandal has hung over the department like a black cloud for the past two years. The negative press has intensified in recent months with the emergence of several new scandals.
A spate of false drug busts – known as “flaking,” cop talk for planting cocaine on innocent victims – led to the arrests of eight cops and a sweeping shakeup. This month, an officer was hit with federal civil rights charges for falsely arresting a black man on Staten Island because of his race. A series of apparently strongarm police tactics in dealing with Occupy Wall Street protesters – most notably, a deputy inspector’s use of pepper spray on two women – has left the department with a very public black eye. Pat Lynch, president of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, said, “Morale is as bad as I’ve ever seen it.”