The documentary Frank Serpico about the storied cop who exposed NYPD corruption premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival as reported by the New York Post:
Written and directed by Antonino D'Ambrosio, "Frank Serpico" is a compelling psychological study of a plainclothes detective who, when he went public with corruption charges, became the most famous policeman in the world. And then one night in February 1971, his career ended when was shot in the face during a drug bust. Whether his fellow cops set him up remains a mysterious possibility, and the film casts doubt on the official follow-up investigation.
In response to Serpico's allegations in 1970 the Knapp Commission investigated wide-spread corruption in the New York Police Department, and Michael Armstrong takes a look back at its work in his book They Wished They Were Honest as reported by The New York Times:
Mr. Armstrong, a criminal lawyer, was counsel to the Knapp Commission and is now the chairman of the city's Commission to Combat Police Corruption. At the time of the Knapp Commission, he recalls, Sydney C. Cooper, a police commander, was quoted as saying that the police brass "used to sit around discussing corruption with all the enthusiasm of a bunch of little old ladies talking about venereal disease."
One of the red flags of possible police corruption to investigators at the time of the Knapp Commission were the numerous mobbed-up gay bars which openly flouted the time for last call. Armstrong writes:
They [the investigators] had been focusing their attention on the West Village gay bars whose flamboyant after-hours activities seemingly should have attracted the attention of the area's police. The area was one of warehouses and garages, and nestled among them were a number of after-hours bars and homosexual prostitution hangouts, operating loudly and openly well past legal closing time.
These days Frank Serpico is living in the New York upstate woods as reported by the Daily News: "'I would like to be known for having been a human being, but for having taken that responsibility very seriously,' he reflects." When Serpico dies he doesn't want an obituary but just "a stone with a hole in it that will gather water, so the birds could come and drink."
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Further reading that may be of interest: