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Len Levitt
From 1995 to 2005, Leonard Levitt wrote the column "One Police Plaza" for the newspaper Newsday about the New York City police department. Before joining Newsday, he worked as a reporter for the Associated Press and the Detroit News, as a correspondent for Time Magazine, and as the investigations editor of the New York Post. His work has appeared in Harper's, Esquire and the New York Times magazine.

A graduate of Dartmouth College and the Columbia School of Journalism, Levitt served two years in the Peace Corps in Tanzania, East Africa and has been the recipient of a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation for the Humanities.

He received an Edgar Award in 2005 for his book Conviction: Solving the Moxley Murder.

His website can be found at

Entries by Len Levitt

Singing for de Blasio

(0) Comments | Posted February 18, 2014 | 8:23 AM

Police Commissioner Bill Bratton was not notified of Mayor Bill de Blasio's midnight call to a black deputy chief, inquiring about the arrest of a prominent black minister and supporter, until 6:30 the following morning.

That means nearly seven hours passed from the time de Blasio called Kim Royster,...

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The Pineiro Appointment: Chess Move or Conundrum?

(0) Comments | Posted February 10, 2014 | 10:54 AM

If anyone in New York City understands why Bill Bratton reappointed Rafael Pineiro First Deputy Police Commissioner, let him come forward and explain it to NYPD Confidential.

None of Bratton's closest aides offerd an explanation that made any sense to this reporter.

Deputy Mayoral Press Secretary Wiley Norvell did...

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DeBlasio and Bratton: Frick and Frack -- No Frisk

(0) Comments | Posted February 3, 2014 | 4:08 PM

There are two ways to regard last week's joint announcement by Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner Bill Bratton that the city would drop its appeal of federal judge Shira Scheindlin's ruling to end Stop and Frisk.

The first is to recognize this as a moment of...

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The New NYPD: Collaborate or Perish

(0) Comments | Posted January 27, 2014 | 1:41 PM

It was just a gesture but it spoke volumes about how, after a decade of hostility, the NYPD was taking a new direction in dealing with other law enforcement agencies.

Take the Port Authority. Since 9/11, the NYPD and the Port Authority police [PAPD] have wrangled over control of Ground...

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Ray Kelly's Legacy: It's Coming Undone

(1) Comments | Posted January 21, 2014 | 10:10 AM

It hasn't even been three weeks since Ray Kelly departed Police Plaza after the longest run in city history, but his legacy is already unraveling.

Just look at what has transpired in the past ten days.

... Attorney General Eric Holder met with Mayor Bill de Blasio last week to...

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The Central Park Jogger -- No Justice But Money

(0) Comments | Posted January 13, 2014 | 4:32 PM

No case in New York City has fanned racial tensions more than that of the Central Park Jogger, in which five non-white teenagers [four black and one Hispanic] were falsely convicted of raping a white woman and literally beating her within an inch of her life.

Like "Stop and Frisk,"...

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John Miller: The Daily News Hatchet Job

(0) Comments | Posted January 6, 2014 | 9:15 AM

The Daily News, which once called itself "the honest voice of New York," or some such nonsense, took a day off last Friday from its first-snowfall-of-the-year coverage to publish a front page hit, as well as a lead editorial and a separate news story, bashing the NYPD's incoming terrorism head,...

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The Night Before Christmas: Vanity of Vanities

(0) Comments | Posted December 30, 2013 | 8:05 AM

On the night before Christmas, Bill Bratton decided to stroll down Fifth Avenue to see how many people still recognized him.

Eighteen years ago, Bratton had inaugurated the Christmas Eve stroll with his sidekick, the late Jack Maple. Since then every police commissioner had followed, although Bratton's successor, Howard Safir,...

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Kelly Whines It Up

(0) Comments | Posted December 23, 2013 | 10:19 AM

If, as Gilbert and Sullivan wrote, a policeman's lot is not a happy one, pity poor Ray Kelly.

After 12 years as the longest-serving and most powerful police commissioner in New York City history, Kelly feels he is departing One Police Plaza misunderstood and unloved.

The world caught a...

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The Good Soldier

(0) Comments | Posted December 16, 2013 | 10:57 AM

Guess who wants to return to the NYPD?

Maybe as Bill Bratton's chief of staff?

It's Joe Esposito, the recently retired Chief of Department, who many consider the glue that held the department together for the past 12 years under Ray Kelly.

As he did with just about all...

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Hatfield/McCoy? In New York It's Bratton/Kelly

(1) Comments | Posted December 9, 2013 | 1:35 PM

Let's cut right to the chase. Ray Kelly and Bill Bratton don't like each other.

Don't like each other? Let's get real. They hate each other.

Their disagreements are not just about police policy. With them it is personal.

That's the back story of what will be...

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Bill Bratton: Past or Future

(1) Comments | Posted December 3, 2013 | 9:56 AM

This Tuesday, December 3, marks the 20th anniversary of Rudy Giuliani's naming Bill Bratton as New York City's 38th police commissioner. It now seems possible that mayor-elect Bill de Blasio may name Bratton as the city's 42nd.

Consider what has occurred over the past ten days:

... On November...

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Hey Abbott, Hey Costello, Who's on First? What's on Second?

(1) Comments | Posted November 25, 2013 | 3:31 PM

If you can figure out what is going on between Bill Bratton and mayor-elect Bill de Blasio, you know more than I do.

Last Tuesday, Bratton, who's been campaigning for the job of police commissioner ever since he returned to the city from Los Angeles four years ago [and...

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Kelly's Playboy Interview: So Close to Snow Angel

(0) Comments | Posted November 18, 2013 | 3:38 PM

It is difficult to know how or where to begin in describing Police Commissioner Ray Kelly's crybaby interview in Playboy magazine, which appears just before a color spread of a young woman frolicking nude in the outdoors amidst the title "Snow Angel."

Beneath her, a Playboy caption reads: "These...

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De Blasio's Police Commissioner: Law Enforcement Angst

(1) Comments | Posted November 11, 2013 | 6:58 PM

If there's a phrase to describe the feeling among much of the city's law enforcement community to Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio's selection of a police commissioner, that phrase is high anxiety.

The new mayor is just a few weeks shy of making the most important appointment of his mayoralty and...

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Stop and Frisk Hocus Pocus

(1) Comments | Posted November 4, 2013 | 11:31 AM

The way the city's media has described it, you might believe Ray Kelly was the big the winner in the Stop and Frisk sweepstakes after the Second Circuit Court of Appeals removed federal judge Shira Scheindlin from the case.

Not so fast, readers.

True, Kelly sure sounded like...

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Martha Moxley: Which Kennedy Cousin Killed Her?

(13) Comments | Posted October 28, 2013 | 1:19 PM

Thirty-eight years after 15-year-old Martha Moxley was beaten to death with a golf club on the edge of her Greenwich property on Oct. 30, 1975, we are back to the original suspect, Tommy Skakel, as her likely killer.

That appears to be the back story [if not...

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DeBlasio's Police Commissioner: Dealing the Race Card

(0) Comments | Posted October 21, 2013 | 11:31 AM

In tried and true race-card politics, the police department's disparate groups of Hispanic officers are calling for the appointment of New York's first Hispanic police commissioner.

"A Tale of Two Cities, One White and One Black; Latino Not Included" headlined a news release, issued Sunday by the department's Hispanic...

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De Blasio's Top Cop

(0) Comments | Posted October 14, 2013 | 12:09 PM

The well-known Bill Bratton versus the unknown Phil Banks.

The newspapers and the internet are filled with chatter over which man New York City's presumed next mayor, Bill de Blasio, will appoint as police commissioner.

Much of the chatter emanates from Bratton himself -- which considering...

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To Ray Kelly: Three Unanswered Questions About Terrorism

(0) Comments | Posted September 16, 2013 | 12:04 PM

Ray Kelly is sniping from the sidelines that no mayoral candidate came to him for a briefing on terrorism.

Well, we'll stand in for the candidates. And we'll repeat three questions we've asked in the past, which the police commissioner has yet to answer. We hope the next mayor...

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