In hours of secretly recorded telephone conversations, police officers in Mount Vernon, New York, reveal widespread corruption, brutality and other misconduct in the troubled Westchester County city just north of the Bronx.
Caught on tape by a whistleblower cop, the officers said they witnessed or took part in alarming acts of police misconduct, from framing and beating residents to collaborating with drug dealers, all as part of a culture of impunity within the department’s narcotics unit.
The Mount Vernon police tapes, obtained exclusively by Gothamist/WNYC, were recorded from 2017 to this year by Murashea Bovell, a 12-year veteran of the department who has been blowing the whistle on misconduct for years.
In 2014 and 2015, Bovell reported his colleagues’ alleged corruption and brutality in confidential complaints to the city and a lawsuit against the city, which was dismissed on procedural grounds. But he saw little change, so he began quietly recording his colleagues to substantiate his own claims.
“I need to have something tangible,” he told Gothamist/WNYC. “Something to prove that what I was saying is true, and wouldn’t fall on deaf ears if the time came.”