NYPD Confidential - An Inside Look at the New York Police Department
Home Page
All Columns
Contact Leonard Levitt
Search this site

Archive » July – December 2018


July – December 2018

December 31, 2018
Phil Banks Speaks for Himself
The name Philip Banks has been cited in testimony of the “friendship”/bribery trial of Deputy Inspector Jimmy Grant and Hasidic fixer/businessman Jeremy Reichberg, nearly as often as the defendants themselves. The reason: the federal government’s star witness Jona Rechnitz — a crooked real estate wannabe whom Reichberg befriended — conducted business from Banks’s Chief of Department's office.

December 24, 2018
The "Friendship" Scandal
No matter how it breaks; no matter if Deputy Inspector Jimmy Grant or Hasidic businessman/fixer Jeremy Reichberg is found guilty or innocent — their two-month trial has been a total embarrassment for the NYPD.

December 17, 2018
Why No Outrage?
“Mr. Mayor, Why No Outrage Over a Mother’s Brutal Arrest?” That was the Dec. 10 online headline from The New York Times editorial board, which criticized Mayor Bill de Blasio’s initial non-response to the charge that police “ripped a 1-year-old boy from his mother’s arms,” as the newspaper’s news story described the incident.

December 10, 2018
The Garner Death: Not By Chokehold?
Is it possible that Eric Garner may not have died from a chokehold by NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo? At least, that’s what the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association claims.

December 3, 2018
The Central Park Five and the PC Police
In yet another instance of political correctness run amok, the Mystery Writers of America has rescinded its Grand Master award to best-selling detective novelist Linda Fairstein. Its reason: her role three decades ago as the sex crimes supervisor in the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, which amid New York’s 1980s racial furies wrongly convicted five black and Hispanic teenagers of the rape of a 28-year-old white woman, who became known as the Central Park jogger.

November 26, 2018
Peters's NYPD Gun Claim: "A Flat-Out Lie"
Of all Mark Peters’s claims against the administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio, none is more perplexing than that of a 2016 meeting with top staffers from City Hall, the Department of Investigations and the NYPD. During the meeting, Peters claimed that “a senior NYPD official conspicuously displayed his gun and later told a third party he had done so to intimidate the DOI officials.”

November 19, 2018
The Ditherer
So Mayor Bill de Blasio took the advice offered by NYPD Confidential, which quoted George Arzt, press secretary to former Mayor Ed Koch, on what to do about Investigations Commissioner Mark Peters.

November 12, 2018
The NYPD Bigs' Disconnect
What’s with Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea and Deputy Commissioner for Public Information Phil Walzak? They don’t seem to be communicating.

November 5, 2018
Jews, Hasidic Jews and the NYPD
With the fatal Pittsburgh synagogue shooting, the increased number of reported anti-Semitic incidents and the upcoming corruption trial of a police inspector with ties to Brooklyn’s Hasidic community, let’s consider the state of anti-Semitism in the NYPD. The good news: at least in the higher ranks, it doesn’t appear to exist.

October 29, 2018
East of the Rock, West of the Hard Place
Nothing better defines Mayor de Blasio as a doofus than his dithering over Investigations Commissioner Mark Peters.

October 22, 2018
Where Are the 5s?
That’s the question from a senior law enforcement official, referring to detectives’ DD5s — written reports of important interviews with complainants, defendants and witnesses that detectives are expected to file.

October 15, 2018
Who Knew?
You can’t escape your past. That includes law enforcement agencies. Last week the past caught up to the NYPD and the FBI.

October 8, 2018
Kavanaugh Complexities
In all the years I’ve been in this business — at Newsday, the Post, the AP, Detroit News and Time magazine — I’ve only known one male boss who openly and repeatedly exploited his position to take advantage of women. 

October 1, 2018
Neither Pride Nor Arrogance
Some months ago, former Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau discovered a little brown book on the left-hand corner of his desk. [He says he did not know how it got there.] Turns out, it was a diary, written in 1842 by his great-grandfather, Lazarus Morgenthau, describing his impoverished childhood in Germany in the early 19th century. If he became successful, Lazarus wrote, he hoped “neither pride nor arrogance may gain a foothold in my family.”

September 24, 2018
Kerry Kennedy, Do the Right Thing
Instead of spending hundreds of thousands of dollars — perhaps millions — to post bail for an estimated 300 to 500 low-income women and 16- and 17-year-olds awaiting trial in city jails, maybe the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights charity should consider helping Al Hasbrouck and Burton Tinsley. The two are low-income men, originally from the Bronx, one black, the other of mixed race, who were falsely accused by RFK’s son and namesake, Robert Kennedy Jr., of killing 15-year-old Martha Moxley of Greenwich, Connecticut.

September 17, 2018
Fending Off the Feds
Queens District Attorney Richard Brown did not attend the news conference at Police Plaza last week with Police Commissioner Jim O’Neill to announce the indictments of a retired vice squad detective, his wife, seven current NYPD cops and nearly three dozen civilians regarding a gambling and prostitution ring in three counties.

September 10, 2018
White Boys and Black Women
While the white boys at the top of the NYPD quietly promoted their crony Paul Deentremont to deputy chief just months after he rescinded his retirement, the department last month promoted Donna Jones, proclaiming her the third black female assistant chief in department history.

eptember 3, 2018
Cronyism Tops Sensitivity
We’ve heard a lot about the NYPD’s sensitivity to concerns of minority communities. What we've heard less about is cronyism at the top ranks of the department.

August 27, 2018
Downgrading Corruption
Anyone concerned about the NYPD’s apparent apathy toward its seemingly intractable battle against police corruption might shudder at the response of the Commission to Combat Police Corruption to a Staten Island man who maintained he had been illegally surveilled by security vendors at the 9/11 Museum.

August 20, 2018
I'm No Enemy of the People
Let me add my small voice to the louder media clamor to dispute President Trump’s claim that newspapers are the enemy of the people.

August 13, 2018
Sins of the Father?
The Bible hedges its bets on whether the sins of the father should be visited on the son. Now we have the Wahhaj family.

August 6, 2018
Bratton's Giuliani Maturity
Call it maturity. Call it wisdom. After 22 years, Bill Bratton is finally offering a public mea culpa for his feud with then-Mayor Rudy Giuliani that led to Bratton’s firing, calling his past actions his “biggest professional mistake.”

July 30, 2018
Garry's Vindication?
So the New Jersey Palisades Interstate Parkway Police has been running rogue since 2014, says a Bergen County New Jersey prosecutor's report.

July 23, 2018
Larry Byrne's No No's
Remember the federal corruption investigation of the NYPD's top brass that rocked the department a couple of years ago but so far has resulted in the guilty plea of only one top cop for the most minor of offenses?

July 16, 2018
Burying the Lede
Like all successful politicians, Mayor Bill de Blasio knows how to present bad news as good news. To aide him, he has his enablers at the NYPD.

July 9, 2018
Political Pressure Now Political Noise
Depending on your point of view, there’s an esoteric upside to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s victory over Queens Democratic Congressman and county chairman Joe Crowley that is unrelated to empowering women, socialism, or the future direction of the Democratic party.

July 2, 2018
NYPD Captain's Exam: The $1,487,100 Question
What’s with the NYPD’s captain's exam? That’s the $1,487,100 question.


Email Leonard Levitt at llevitt@nypdconfidential.com