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Serpico on Serpico

The street-savvy but idealistic Officer Serpico was appalled at the cliquishness and the payoffs — free meals as well as big, blatant bribes — from criminals, gamblers, numbers men and ordinary merchants whom he saw as a beat cop in Brooklyn’s 81st Precinct and later while working vice and racketeering. He refused to accept such grease, and became despised for it both inside and outside the department.

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