New York police officers are heard making racist remarks on wiretaps used in an investigation into alleged ticket-fixing, sources familiar with the tapes said.
“There’s overtly racist language,” one source said. “And it gets a lot worse than that.”
What a NY newspaper characterized as “shocking language” could widen the scandal well beyond the 17 officers who were indicted Friday by a Bronx grand jury, the News said.
“If a Bronx jury hears a cop call someone a ni**er or an animal, everything else they say goes out the window,” said a veteran defense lawyer who represents a client who was arrested by an officer implicated in the ticket-fixing scandal.
Dozens of other officers will probably face departmental charges, the News said.
The investigation began with scrutiny of an officer with suspected drug links and widened as officers were caught on tape talking about fixing tickets and other wrongdoing, prosecutors said.
“I think the language will surprise and upset people,” said a source who has heard some of the tapes.
The News said Bronx juries have acquitted two suspects arrested by officers caught in the scandal, including one charged with attempted murder, partly because they didn’t believe the officers’ testimony.
Tapes could be used in departmental hearings and trials of indicted officers, and then surface in other cases involving the officers to question their credibility, the News said.