New York Daily News Editorial – April 19, 2016
The bigger they are: Stomach-churning NYPD scandal snares more top cops
In recent years, many a supposed wise head confidently asserted that the NYPD had broken a pattern that produced a major police corruption scandal every 20 years or so. Wrong, wrong, horribly wrong.
Past scandals often started at the bottom, with, say, narcotics cops stealing drugs and money. But now the rot is at the top — and it is stomach-turning, involving huge piles of money and big favors.
In the latest revelations, police in charge of processing pistol permits allegedly took payoffs to put guns in the hands of whomever . Federal prosecutors busted Shaya Lichtenstein, of a private Jewish Brooklyn security force called Shomrim, for taking as much as $25,000 each from dozens of permit-seekers and passing on a cut to NYPD contacts.
Police Commissioner Bill Bratton’s reassignment of the permit unit’s commanding officer and two underlings brings now to nine the number of NYPD personnel removed from their posts, in what Bratton now acknowledges as the department’s highest-rising corruption since the dark days of the 1970s’ Knapp Commission.
Previously, sources tied top commanders, including ex-Chief of Department Philip Banks, to junkets paid for by businessmen seeking special police protection services.
Yet, inexplicably, no cop has been arrested. The best guess is that they’ll be squeezed for information. The harder, the better.