In the aftermath of the Dallas shooting that left five police officers dead and seven others injured, a Dallas cop has broken rank to speak out against his department’s unlawful practice of wrongfully arresting African-Americans in order to fill arrest quotas.
Veteran officer Nick Novello, 62, cited the improper practice as the source of mistrust between police officers and communities of color.
“Officers are under pressure to reach targets,” Novello told the Daily Mail in an exclusive interview. “There has to be an end to the arrest and ticket quota that exists within the Dallas Police Department.”
The veteran cop, who has served on the Dallas beat for 34 years, said he feels filling quotas only exacerbates predatory policing by encouraging officers to wield power over the very people they were sworn to serve and protect. He also said the lawless arrests of African-Americans has further fueled distrust of the police department.
“A lot of the Black community are supportive of the police, and that’s wonderful,” he said. “But a large number say we can’t police ourselves. Not only can’t we police ourselves, we go out of our way to protect the predator cop.”
Novello also blasted the department for policing for revenue.
“In my estimation, the quota system is corrupt,” he said. “You are telling the officer who has a great deal of power that he is required to exercise that and generate funds for the city. Arrests generate money.”
In light of the deadly ambush three weeks ago, Dallas police chief David Brown burgeoned as the department’s head to paint a rosy picture of unity in the wake of the senseless tragedy. Brown even invited Black demonstrators angered by the recent deaths of Black men at the hands of cops to join the police force to enact change.
“We’re hiring,” Brown said at a press conference. “We’ll give you an application. We’ll help you resolve some of the problems you’re protesting about.”
Afterwards, the Dallas police force saw a 344 percent spike in applications, Reuters reports.
But Brown’s portraits of unity and togetherness was nothing but a sham, according to Novello. The veteran officer claimed the department was rife with fear and tension even before the deadly shooting, as many officers felt over-worked and underpaid. The department also experienced a shortage of officers following the ambush due to the trauma of losing five fellow cops.
“We are vastly understaffed,” Novello said. “Last month we lost 48-50 officers, which is unheard of. One officer left to go drive a Coca-Cola truck. Another who was 43 years old retired after 14 years saying, ‘I’m out, I’m out.’ Morale is very low.”
“I am sick and tired of the public face of togetherness the chief puts on when he knows there’s a lot of bad feeling behind the scenes,” he added.
Novello also revealed that the sweeping shift changes made by Brown prompted already furious officers to protest the police chief over their long hours, low pay, and under staffing. According to the Free Thought Project, the schedule changes made by Brown caused the Black Police Association of Dallas, the Dallas Fraternal Order of Police, the National Latino Law Enforcement Organization’s Dallas chapter, and the Dallas Police Association to call for Brown’s resignation. He refused to leave his position however, further fueling tensions within the department.
Lack of officers in the department has since become a grave concern.
“The only viable solution would be that we embrace the assistance of the National Guard or some federal agency to help police the streets of Dallas,” Novello said.
According to the Daily Mail, the veteran officer has no concern over the possibility of being fired for whistle blowing. In fact, he said being open and honest with the public was more important than losing his job.
“I believe the public has a right to know,” Novello said. “A real right to know and not just receive managed information.”