NYPD Officers accused of making false arrest

July 30, 2010 3:40:21 PM PDT
Two New York City police officers are accused of filing false charges and then lying about it.

The officers charged work in the 81st precinct in Brooklyn.

That's the same precinct now fighting allegations of police quotas.

Are higher-ups putting extra pressure on cops to file charges?

Eyewitness News asks: could there be a connection to the arrest of these two officers and the increasing criticism that quotas are pressuring cops to write up innocent people?

Sgt. Raymond Stukes and Officer Hector Tirado left the courthouse after pleading not guilty to charges stemming from an internal affairs sting.

Among the charges are, according to the indictment, "perjury" and "filing a false report".

It's alleged the two stopped a man carrying packs of counterfeit cigarettes and then slapped him with bogus charges of selling the illegal smokes.

The man they falsely arrested was an undercover inspector trying to conduct an unrelated sting operation.

The 81st precinct has been in the spotlight following allegations made by Officer Andrian Schoolcraft, that a quota system enforced by threat of discipline is pressuring cops to make false arrests.

"They're swearing out to crimes and violations they never observed and that's exactly what Sgt. Stukes is charged with swearing out to crimes he never even saw," said attorney, Gerald Cohen.

Attorney Gerald Cohen recently filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of clients whom he claims are victims of quota-driven bogus arrests.

"Fabricate cases against individuals because they have to meet quotas and if they don't meet these quotas we are finding more and more there is retaliation," Cohen said.

Earlier this year, Eyewitness News investigated similar claims of quotas at the 41st precinct in the Bronx.

Officers there told Eyewitness News they faced disciplinary action if they failed to make 20 summonses and one arrest a month, a threat underscored by an audio tape of a supervisor at roll call.

"25 & 1, 35 & 1 and until you decide to quit this job to go to work at a pizza Hut, this is what you're going to be doing tell then. Do you understand," said the recording.

The NYPD insists it has no quota system, but like most business, it has performance standards.

As for the two officers, the NYPD says their arrest is part of an on-going investigation.

An attorney for one of the officers says looks forward to his client being exonerated.