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Civil Rights

NYPD Parking Abuse Scandal Widens

jan_lee_arrest_parking.jpg
Chinatown businessman Jan Lee was cuffed and detained for
photographing police officers' illegally parked cars in front of his shop.

Despite threatening late night calls to his home phone from a Brooklyn police officer (who forgot to block his phone number from appearing on caller ID), CBS Channel 2's Brendan Keefe continues his series of hard-hitting investigative reports on the widening government employee parking abuse scandal. In one of yesterday's two stories, Keefe asks, "Why don't ticket writers issue violations to illegally parked city employees?" The answer: "It's not just professional courtesy. It's fear."

Keefe interviews a City DOT parking agent who was suspended without pay for putting a summons on the windshield of an illegally parked NYPD police chief; a Chinatown businessman who was cuffed and dragged off to police headquarters for snapping photos of illegally parked cops hogging up the spaces in front of his shop; and two advocacy group volunteers who were detained and told that the Patriot Act prevents them from taking photos of police officers' illegally parked cars. City Hall declines to comment.

All three of Keefe's most recent "Selective Enforcement" stories are online and very much worth a watch. This appears to be a story that goes beyond illegal parking and into the realm of post-9/11 police power and civil rights:

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