On Brooklyn Nine-Nine, detective partners Peralta (Andy Samberg) and Santiago (Melissa Fumero) are not very competent, but they mean well and they always manage to catch the bad guy in the end. In the real NYPD, detective partners Peralta and Santiago are also not very competent, but they catch the wrong people, arrest them anyway, and then cost the city hundreds of thousands of dollars in settlements. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
The New York Post reports that Detectives Santiago Peralta and Julio Santiago responded to a robbery on the subway on Christmas Day 2012. They arrested men named Rasfa Ramsay, Peter Vlastaras and Idris Payne. But Peralta and Santiago got the wrong guys, and the victim told them so. But these cops don't let small details like innocence get in the way of charging people with crimes, especially when there's overtime to be had, so Peralta and Santiago booked the men anyway. They were released 24 hours later. The three arrested men filed lawsuits, and in June of this year the city settled for a total of $275,000.
"Jake and Amy would not approve," David Shanies, one of the lawyers who represented Ramsay and Vlastaras, told the Post. "A group of New York City police officers arrested three young men for a crime they knew they did not commit... That wouldn't be funny if it happened on a TV show."
It's true! The real NYPD is much less funny and way more cruel than the nice cops of Brooklyn Nine-Nine. A cop from the 78th Precinct, whose exterior serves as the fictional 99th, once took a bribe from an FBI agent in exchange for arranging "VIP escort service." Jake and Amy would never do something like that.
The most realistic part of Brooklyn Nine-Nine is the incompetence.
Season 6 of Brooklyn Nine-Nine is coming to NBC at midseason, but you can stream Seasons 1-5 of Brooklyn Nine-Nine on Hulu.