Drug dealers in New York City over 40-years-old can relax. You are untouchable.
The New York Police Department’s leadership has directed its force to stop arresting middle-aged drug suspects to focus on dealers aged 18 to 40, the group most likely to be involved in gun violence, the New York Post reported.
The directive was made in a May 14 memo obtained by the Post that reprimanded police for arresting people outside that age demographic.
The memo was signed by Commanding Officer of Narcotics Division – Assistant Chief Brian McCarthy, who said at a meeting last week that the order came from higher up in the de Blasio administration, according to a source present at the meeting, the Post reported.
“A previous topic of discussion has been the need to target violent offenders who are 18 to 40 years of age. It has been well established that the individuals in this age demographic are responsible for the majority of violent crime,” McCarthy said in the email.
According to Post sources, police bosses vented to McCarthy about the order in a meeting Friday.
“You’re telling us not to lock these people up,” one police officer said. “However, the people over 40, they could be your burglars, they could be responsible for car break-ins, they could be responsible for robberies.”
“I’m glad you brought that up, but [the bosses] don’t give a s–t,” McCarthy allegedly responded.
An unnamed detective slammed the decision.
“If the undercovers are out there and they are trying to buy from drug dealers, they have to have a conversation with them and find out how old they are,” the detective said. “And if they’re over 40, they have to pass and move on.”
Another police source told the Post: “If you’re over 40, go out and start selling drugs because you get a freebie.”
Department spokesman Stephen Davis defended the order.
“We identified the core group of people committing the violence in certain areas was in the 18-to-35-year range,” he said. “Since a fair amount of the violence is related to drug activity, our narcotics division was told to focus their efforts on those core areas and core groups.”
He said officers “were never instructed to disregard crimes being committed by people of a certain age. No one was told that if you see someone committing a crime, and he happens to be 42 years old, that he gets a pass. That’s not the case.”
The directive comes as shootings have spiked 7 percent in the city year to date from the same time period last year.
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