This video is a tribute to the fine art of journalism done right:
Officer Adil Polanco is doing something so ethical that he reminds us of who police used to be.
When Officer Adil Polanco dreamed of becoming a cop, it was out of a desire to help people not, he says, to harass them.
"I'm not going to keep arresting innocent people, I'm not going to keep searching people for no reason, I'm not going to keep writing people for no reason, I'm tired of this," said Adil Polanco, an NYPD Officer.
Officer Polanco says One Police Plaza's obsession with keeping crime stats down has gotten out of control. He claims Precinct Commanders relentlessly pressure cops on the street to make more arrests, and give out more summonses, all to show headquarters they have a tight grip on their neighborhoods.
"Our primary job is not to help anybody, our primary job is not to assist anybody, our primary job is to get those numbers and come back with them?" said Officer Polanco.
Polanco goes on to explain to Hoffer the effect this has on urban youth. The same urban youth public schools and teachers are being "held accountable" for. The math lessons they are learning in the streets will be hard to overcome.
Eyewitness News asked, "Are you telling me they're stopping people for no reason, is that what you're saying?"
"We are stopping kids walking upstairs to their house, stopping kids going to the store, young adults. In order to keep the quota," answered Officer Polanco.
"Yeah, they locked us up for nothing," said Zebulun Colbourne.
The Colbourne brothers say they and three other friends were the victims of quotas. All were arrested a few months ago after one of them had fallen while racing each other.
Eyewitness News asked, "You fell and that's how you hurt your eye?"
"Yeah, and they just wanted to arrest us. I told them I fell but that didn't matter to them," said Elijah Colbourne.
All five were accused of engaging in tumultuous and violent conduct that caused public alarm, given a summons for unlawful assembly and locked up overnight.
Eyewitness News asked, "So you're locked up waiting to see the judge, right?"
"Yeah," answered the Colbourne brothers.
Eyewitness News asked, "Then what do they do?"
"We don't see the judge, they let us out the back door after they kept us for a day and some change," said Elijah Colbourne.
The charges were dropped, but Officer Polanco says the patrolman still got 5 summonses toward their monthly quota.
"At the end of the night you have to come back with something. You have to write somebody, you have to arrest somebody, even if the crime is not committed, the number's there. So our choice is to come up with the number," said Officer Polanco.