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City Hall: Police Officer Who Shoved Cyclist on Jay Street is a ‘Problem’

1:17 PM EST on December 6, 2018

Yesterday, officers from the 88th Precinct parked in this exact location forced a cyclist into traffic, where she was injured. Today, the precinct was back in the same location. Photo: Ian Dutton

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The city and NYPD are investigating a police officer whose actions led to a serious injury to a cyclist — and who allegedly shoved another bike rider 30 minutes later on Jay Street in downtown Brooklyn on Wednesday.

"[City Hall] has alerted @NYPDTransport to get the problem resolved," City Hall spokesperson Wiley Norvell tweeted.

The latest example of police not fully embracing the mayor's Vision Zero policy began at around 11:45 a.m., as two 88th Precinct officers were parked in the northbound protected bike lane on Jay Street just south of Willoughby Street. Their dangerous parking decision forced a female cyclist into traffic, where she was struck by a driver who attempted to flee but was caught, according to Brooklyn Daily.

A spokesman for the NYPD confirmed that the officers had parked in the bike lane, but denied without evidence that the parking choice led to the crash.

Just 30 minutes later, the same officers had moved their van partially out of the bike lane, but positioned themselves physically in the lane and in the way of cyclists. Park Slope resident and cycling advocate Ian Dutton said he asked the officers to make way as he rode past — only to have the officer order him to dismount. As Dutton walked past the officers, one of the cops, identified by Brooklyn Daily as Police Officer Bravo, shoved the pedestrian Dutton.

"I could have gone right by if they weren’t standing there," Dutton told Streetsblog. "There was plenty of room for me to get by."

Dutton returned to the location again on Thursday and found other 88th Precinct officers stationed, along with a police cruiser, in almost the exact same spot —  smack in the middle of the bike lane (see photo at the top of this story).

Worse, one of the officers told Dutton that the cops had been specifically ordered to park in the bike lane.

"His attitude was, 'I’m just doing what my boss told me to do,'" Dutton said. (Capt. Lashonda Dyce, commander of the 88th Precinct, did not return a call for comment.)

Installed in 2016, Jay Street's protected bike lane provides an essential connection for thousands of Brooklyn cyclists each day attempting to access the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges. Despite the bike lane's important, it's perennially obstructed by police vehicles and other placard-wielding drivers.

City Hall and NYPD declined to comment to Streetsblog. We will update this story when they do.

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