A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from June 22, 2016
Dirty Thirty (30th Police Precinct nickname)

"Dirty Thirty” ("Dirty 30") is the unflattering nickname that the New York Police Department’s 30th Precinct was called in April 1994. Police officers in the precinct were “dirty” by profiting off Harlem’s drug trade. Thirty-three officers were arrested, although this number is coincidental to the “Dirty Thirty” name.


Wikipedia: Dirty thirty (NYPD)
The Dirty Thirty scandal took place in the New York Police Department between 1992-1995, and was the largest collection of police officers charged with corruption in almost a decade. A group of rogue officers, led by Sgt. Kevin P. Nannery, participated in various unlawful activities, including civil rights conspiracy, perjury, extortion, grand larceny and the possession and distribution of narcotics.

Background
The “Dirty 30” were mostly stationed at the 30th Precinct in Harlem, Upper Manhattan. At the time, the area was known as the “cocaine capital of the world” to locals and law enforcement. Police corruption was extremely high around this time, and the Mollen Commission was created to help investigate and eradicate corruption within the NYPD. Corruption was so bad that although many supervising officers did not participate, they turned blind eyes to other officers committing unlawful acts.

NYPD
Precincts | 30th Precinct
Captain Theodore E. Federoff
451 West 151st Street, New York, NY, 10031
(212) 690-8811
The 30th Precinct is primarily residential, containing a commercial area on Broadway. The neighborhoods in the precinct are known as Hamilton Heights, Sugar Hill and West Harlem.

New York (NY) Times
In West Harlem’s 30th Precinct, The Cocaine Sales Are Wholesale
By JOSEPH B. TREASTER
Published: April 24, 1994
(...)
This is the 30th Precinct. It is not the place for the weekend “tooter” from Bergen County, nor the burned-out addict so ubiquitous in the rest of the city. This is volume talking, a place where officers earning $50,000 a year stumble on to cardboard boxes stuffed with cash—$80,000 one day, $230,000 the next—and stacks of Colombian cocaine worth millions, all warehoused in networks of apartments in the big prewar buildings that rise along the streets flanking Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue like rugged canyon walls. Most of the dealers, the police and residents say, are immigrants from the Dominican Republic.

26 April 1994, Boston (MA) Globe, “Bratton, NYC on extended honeymoon” by Steve Fainaru, pg. 1:
NEW YORK—In his first three months as New York City’s police commissioner, William J. Bratton has been a whirlwind of bold pronouncements, sweeping policy changes and savvy public-relations tactics that have turned him into perhaps the most popular public servant in the city.
(...)
In an interview last week, Bratton said he intends to use the ongoing purge of the “Dirty 30”—as the precinct quickly became known in the tabloids—as a test case for stamping out police corruption, drugs, guns and the kind of daily brutality that has become synonymous with New York.

30 April 1994, The Economist, “The police: NYPD blues,” pg. 29:
It may sound like a tired film sequel, but to New Yorkers “The Dirty 30” is shorthand for everything that is wrong with their 29,000-strong police force. During the past month or so 14 officers at New York’s 30th police precinct in west Harlem, a down-at-heel black neighbourhood, have been arrested on corruption charges. These are not petty crimes. One police officer is charged with shooting and seriously wounding a drug dealer while stealing his cocaine; others are alleged to have pocketed $100,000 while illegally searching an apartment.

William Bratton, New York’s police commissioner, says that up to a quarter of the 30th precinct’s 190 police officers may eventually be arrested; last week John Seymour, its commanding officer, was moved to a desk job.

19 May 1994, Washington (DC) Post, “In Drug War, Crime Sometimes Wears a Badge; New York’s Latest Police Scandal Reflects Growing Temptations Facing Officers” by Malcolm Gladwell, pg. A1:
This was the beginning of the end for a ring of corrupt police officers in upper Manhattan’s 30th Precinct, whose arrests late last month touched off one of the worst police corruption scandals here in a decade. Internal affairs turned Nova into an informer, leading investigators into a world where police officers ran through Harlem like a gang of thugs, stealing and selling drugs, breaking down doors and ripping off thousands of dollars from drug dealers. A total of 14 officers have been charged so far, and 11 others from the “Dirty Thirty” have been taken off the beat pending disciplinary action.

Google Books
11 July 1994, New York magazine, “Untouchable” by Eric Pooley, pg. 23, col. 2:
Some who interrogated the Dirty 30 cops were sad to note that they weren’t all Abusadors and Mechanics.

New York (NY) Times
Corruption in the ‘Dirty 30’
Published: October 1, 1994
Police officers being led away in handcuffs have become a distressingly common sight in New York this year. This week, 14 more cops from Harlem’s scandal-ridden 30th Precinct were arrested on corruption charges, bringing the total number of arrests there to 29. Two sergeants were taken in as well, suggesting that active complicity in corruption runs higher than the cop on the beat. The shameful behavior in Harlem’s “Dirty 30” precinct underscores the need for a permanent independent anti-corruption agency to help stamp out police crime before it becomes so widespread.

The rogue cops in the 30th called themselves “Nannery’s Raiders,” after their supervising officer, Sgt. Kevin P. Nannery. The band is charged with faking police radio and 911 emergency calls to cover up illegal raids on drug dealers’ apartments, during which they seized drugs and stole large amounts of cash. The Mollen Commission noted that supervising officers often looked the other way while street cops ran wild.

7 April 1995, New York (NY) Times, pg. B1: 
The window on corruption in the troubled 30th Precinct in Harlem widened slightly yesterday with perjury accusations against a sergeant and two officers who were charged with lying about arrests that they made illegally and about evidence that they seized unconstitutionally to put suspected drug dealers behind bars.
(...)
It has touched more than one of every six of the 192 officers assigned to the precinct, which has come to be known as the “Dirty Thirty.”

OCLC WorldCat record
Beat cop to top cop : a tale of three cities
Author: John F Timoney
Publisher: Philadelphia : University of Pennsylvania Press, ©2010.
Series: City in the twenty-first century book series.
Edition/Format: Print book : Biography : English
Database: WorldCat
Summary:
“From a rookie in the streets of the South Bronx to police chief in Miami, lifelong cop Timoney reflects on a career that put him at the center of many recent debates and advances in law enforcement. Both the ugly side of police work?particularly corruption?and the achievements of his beloved NYPD are showcased in this intriguing look at what it takes to fight crime."--Publishers Weekly.
Contents:
Be careful what you wish for --
pt. I. New York City. Getting on the job --
The South Bronx --
From sergeant to management --
Captain Timoney --
Chinatown --
Back to headquarters under Dinkins --
The Bratton era begins --
CompStat, crowd control, and the “dirty thirty”

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • Wednesday, June 22, 2016 • Permalink