Whether you call them "productivity goals" or "a list of things to do before the end of the month," there has been indisputable proof that the NYPD higher-ups widely encourage the use of quotas: there have been recordings of station meetings, there have been leaked documents, and there have been disgruntled officers threatening boycotts. But in case you weren't convinced before, a jury has now ruled that quotas are real, and they definitely motivate and affect NYPD cops' arrests: "It's a binding decision by a jury that nobody's appealing. Other lawyers can now argue convincingly that the issue of quotas has been decided," said lawyer Seth Harris.

Harris' client, Carolyn Bryant, sued the NYPD for injuring her during a 2006 arrest. She says she suffered neck and knee injuries while police were trying to arrest her son, and claimed that the 81st Precinct had a quota system for arrests that contributed to hers. While the jury came back with an invalid verdict, ruling there was no false arrest, they awarded her punitive damages, and decidedly ruled that the police had a policy "regarding the number of arrests officers were to make that violated plaintiff's constitutional rights and contributed to her arrest."

Capt. Alex Perez of the 81st Precinct testified during the trial that arrest numbers are a factor in assessing cops. The city settled with Bryant for $75,000, but city lawyer Zev Singer denied that the NYPD used quotas: "We are gratified that the jury found this was a lawful arrest. However, the New York City Police Department does not use quotas."

This isn't the first time the 81st precinct has been involved with allegations of quotas and police misconduct: last year, Officer Adrian Schoolcraft made headlines when he accused commanding officers of massively under-reporting crime stats, and sued the NYPD for $50 million for trying to discredit and silence him by throwing him in a psych ward unwillingly.