The New York City Police Department's stop, question and frisk policy is the focus of an ongoing trial, and among the evidence in the case, is an audio recording that's resulted in some death threats against a city police commander and his family. NY1's Dean Meminger filed the following report.
Deputy Inspector Christopher McCormack is used to protecting people from bad guys, but now he's worried about his wife and family's safety.
"When she received death threats at work, it was very troubling to me," McCormack said.
The threats came after the release of a secret recording of McCormack saying black teens and young black men were causing the crime problems in the Mott Haven housing development in the South Bronx.
Officer Pedro Serrano recorded the conversation to prove that supervisors at the 40th Precinct wanted officers to target blacks for stop-and-frisk.
Inspector: "The problem was what - male blacks and I told you that at roll call, and I have no problem telling you this. Male blacks 14 to 20, 21. I said this at roll call."
Officer: "So what am I supposed to do? Male blacks 14 to 20 wearing dark clothing. What do you want me to do, specifically?
Inspector: "Dark clothing - who said that?"
Officer: "What do you want me to do?"
McCormack testified in the federal case that has put stop-and-frisk on trial. After leaving the witness stand, McCormack told NY1 that residents in his precinct deserve to be safe and he wanted officers to look out for suspects who fit the descriptions given by crime victims.
He said the recording is taken out of context and falsely paints him as a racial profiler.
"It was very upsetting, because it affecting my family," McCormack said. "It affected my wife's job, who deals with youth who are in trouble."
The deputy inspector said he was born and raised in the Bronx and wants his borough to be safe, especially the precinct he is in charge of.
"We had 122 homicides over the last two years, and we're down now 40 percent this year," he said. "We were down 35 percent last year in shootings, and we are going keep this reduction going."
He said that will still include stop-and-frisk, as well as plenty of other crime-fighting strategies.
He said if residents have complaints of being wrongfully stopped and frisked, he's more than happy to discuss the issue with them.