Friday’s Headlines: To Neglect and Unnerve Edition

Boy, the mainstream media really let us down yesterday!

On Wednesday, Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell said she wanted to build trust between communities and their neighborhood police precinct. And that’s a nice thought. And several outlets covered it (as we noted in yesterday’s headlines).

We think that before launching yet another version of “courtesy, professionalism and respect,” Sewell — and, more important, our colleagues in the media — should probably start asking the fundamental question of why the NYPD needs to improve community relations in the first place.

Indeed, at the same Crain’s breakfast, Sewell (who lives in the suburbs, as do a majority of her officers) said she opposes a residency requirement for cops because they already make an investment in the neighborhoods where they work and that’s enough for her, as Jeff Coltin reported.

Coltin’s a great reporter, but so infuriatingly objective sometimes. And like his pals in the mainstream media, he let Sewell off the hook. See, the thing is, we’ve spent more or less all of the last five years demonstrating why communities distrust or indeed revile their local precincts — and kind of expect that other reporters would at least reference such things as:

  • The filth and disrespect cops show on the blocks around their station houses, which is the subject of our annual March (Parking) Madness contest. That contest has included station houses where cops literally park in residents’ driveways and a commanding officer who has so many tickets for speeding that he could have his license revoked.
  • The reckless driving that cops do in their own vehicles to and from the station house, which was the subject of our two-years-long series, “S-Cop-Laws.” The fact that half of the cops in the precincts we examined recklessly drive through city school zones is something worth pointing out, no?
  • The fact that cops routinely ignore thousands of 311 complaints — and then harass some callers.
  • The fact that our superannuated editor can go out on his bike for 15 minutes and catch a half-dozen scofflaw cops, including those whom he’s caught before, and who were even investigated, yet not disciplined:

So here’s hoping some of our media colleagues remember to point out how much work Sewell has ahead of her and why. (It doesn’t help that Sewell routinely sets aside hundreds of disciplinary recommendations by the Civilian Complaint Review Board, as the Daily News, the Times and the Post reported, or that she rarely rides the subway.)

In other news:

  • Speaking of cops, the city will pay $75,000 to a Sheepshead Bay man run over by cops during the George Floyd protests. (Gothamist)
  • The Parks Department has seriously let down Bronx residents who just want to better enjoy Van Cortlandt Park. (Gothamist)
  • Hell Gate got in on the residential parking permit story.
  • High school kids will get discount ferry rides. (Gothamist)
  • Crain’s did a separate on state lawmakers’ effort to get Madison Square Garden to pay local property taxes — which the state will then take to fund the MTA.
  • Cops finally charged a hit-and-run driver who killed a woman in The Bronx last summer. (NYDN)
  • Friend of Streetsblog Charles Komanoff doesn’t like President Biden’s decision to drill, baby, drill in Alaska. (Carbon Tax Center)
  • In fairness to the Department of Transportation, the Astor Place cube (aka “Alamo”) that the agency said would one day spin will indeed spin again this summer. (The City)
  • And, finally, our old man editor was on Errol Louis’s podcast talking about placard abuse, defaced plates, speed cameras and, of course, Louis’s misguided notion that owning a car in New York City is a reasonable personal choice. It’s worth a listen or two:


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