A police officer who had a federal lawsuit against the city dismissed earlier in the year, has leaked audio of a 2012 performance evaluation meeting which he purports to exemplify the kinds of pressures city cops routinely face to in meeting quotas that target young Black men. NYPD officer Michael Birch filed an appeal of the decision with a higher court last month, insistent that he was being coerced to comply with an illegal quota system, and naming several colleagues by whom he claims to have faced retaliation for speaking out.
“The conversation just turned completely weird to me,” Birch said during an interview with GAWKER this week. “Because he’s basically telling me it’s OK to racially profile.”
The 36-minute recording, in which a lieutenant interrogates Birch on why only two of the 54 people stopped by him while on the transit beat were Black, was taped in secrecy. Birch is pressed on his volume of “activity,” but more specifically, his intentions are questioned as he is asked why he isn’t targeting the demographic most likely to “pop” [or come up in the system for a past warrant], when stopped.
“From January 1st to August 20th, 54 TABs: two male Blacks, seven Hispanics, seven other, ten White and three Asian,” the commanding officer poses to Birch after he insists that he stops people of all stripes. “These people are not going to pop.” Birch, a 16-year veteran, continues to argue the integrity of his approach, but it