Eight current and former New York City police officers were arrested yesterday and charged in federal court with accepting thousands of dollars in cash to drive a caravan of firearms into the state, which they New York Times called “an act of corruption that brazenly defied the city's strenuous efforts to get illegal guns off the streets.”
The officers — five are still on the force, and three are retired — and four other men were accused of transporting M-16 rifles and handguns, as well as what they believed to be stolen merchandise across state lines. The officers, most of whom worked in the same Brooklyn station house, were arrested by FBI agents and New York police investigators. The gun-trafficking accusations strike at the heart of one of the police department's most hard-fought and robust initiatives, and one that has been a central theme of the administration of Mayor Michael Bloomberg: getting guns off the city's streets. Bloomberg heads Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a coalition of 600 municipal chief executives. The arrests come at a difficult time for a department, the nation’s largest municipal police force, already besieged by corruption accusations.