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

Meanwhile, officers stationed in the exact same location this morning say their bosses actually told them to be there.

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
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

SB Donation NYC header 2The 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.

  • Daniel

    The lawlessness of the NYPD is #1 on my list of why I’m leaving NYC. The broken politics that has brought us a governor, mayor and DAs unable and unwilling to deal with the NYPD menace is high up there too.

  • ItsEasyBeingGreen

    The Climate Mayor’s Police Department hard at work wrecking cycling in New York while his surrogates like Wiley Norvell lie to us on social media. What a sad joke.

  • JarekFA
  • Joe R.

    NYPD, winning hearts and minds!

  • William Lawson

    The NYPD is basically about 20 years behind everyone else. It’s frightening.

  • r

    Wiley says a lot of stuff and nothing ever happens.

  • kevd

    you’re being generous with that 20 years…

  • kevd

    this is why I take flatbush in the mornings.

  • JarekFA

    This was also from yesterday morning. Just look at all the illegally parked cars, including a NYPD traffic in the bus lane. In this case, some asshole is trying to back up and block the active bike lane; cops don’t care.

  • JarekFA

    I’d rather do Jay St then Flatbush:

  • kevd

    we can agree to disagree. (I do Jay at night after the courts are closed – then flatbush after Dean, so I guess I do exactly what you’re saying!)

  • meelar2

    What other cities do it better? The NYPD is awful, no question. But I think policing in general in this country is way more abusive and harmful than it should be. Our brutality and corruption problem is nationwide.

  • JarekFA

    Jay St in the evening is dead. Like super freaking dead. In the AM it’s a total jam job of gov’t vehicles, drop off, cops, courts, dollar vans, buses and tons of deliveries (large and small). But in the evening, you can hear a pin drop.

  • kevd

    that’s exactly why I take in the evening, but not the am.

  • kevd

    I mean, I have and DO take it in the am if I’m feeling like something a bit different.
    but generally, I prefer the predictable traffic jam on flatbush to the unpredictable bike lane parking and pedestrian jumping into traffic of Jay.

  • motorock

    88th precinct has probably one of the worst cops- who will lie in court over a made up traffic violation, will impede traffic flow on normal streets or bike lanes and will try to keep crime stats low and traffic offenses high. (just take a look at the publicly available figures and you will see what they are really busy doing)

  • Joe R.

    The problem is really the whole concept of an “official” police force. For most of human history, policing was done internally by those who lived in the community. Basically, the idea was that it was everyone’s responsibility to observe and enforce certain accepted standards of conduct. As members of the community themselves, people knew what was and wasn’t acceptable. Some laws were unwritten, other more universal laws like prohibitions against murder were.

    That changed when we started relying more and more on official police forces. These often consisted of outsiders unfamiliar with those they were policing. They also often enforced edicts which were highly unpopular, and only benefitted certain classes of people. That opened the floodgates to abuse of power. Back when communities self-policed, anyone who abused that authority would themselves be chastised by their fellow citizens. There was no such safety valve once you had state police forces.

    That said, common codes of conduct and training usually kept modern police forces in line to some extent. However, the recent militarization of police departments, complete with weapons formerly given only to soldiers on battlefields, have bought us to where we are today.

    Here’s an interesting read on the topic:

  • Daisy’s World

    This will be a huge problem starting in April 2019, when the city kicks off the L Train shutdown, diverting some 400,000 riders every day— easily the greatest planned transit crisis in modern history. That same unwillingness to give cyclists of all types dedicated, protected street space extends to buses as well, where DOT has not taken one step to physically separate bus lanes from drivers who routinely use them as parking spaces. During the L shutdown, some 38,000 of those riders will move between Brooklyn and Manhattan via replacement buses. If the buses don’t work, some of those riders may resort to ride-hailing, an untenable state of affairs given how bad traffic already is around the Williamsburg Bridge in both boroughs. Rather than enact a plan to physically separate bus lanes—even ordinary traffic cones would do—DOT has acquiesced on a number of issues to irrational opposition that will surely make everyone’s lives worse. The plan for a fully protected two-way bike lane on 13th Street, one block south of where the L runs underneath Manhattan with a mix of businesses, offices, and townhouses, was scrapped for two one-way bike lanes on 12th and 13th streets that do not offer nearly as much protection. It also doesn’t address the concerns a few local residents had about cyclists invading their streets; they’ll just be on two streets now instead of one.

  • Stephen Simac

    Sheriff of Nottingham? Just saying this has been an issue for a lot longer than “modern” police forces. There are solutions to depolice communities, but there is also a huge incentive to keep things the way they are now. Unaccountable abusive and unresponsive.

  • Joe R.

    It seems to have become a bigger problem though as police forces adopted military style weapons and tactics.

    By the way, “Unaccountable Abusive Unresponsive” should be stenciled on every patrol car instead of “To Protect And Serve”

  • Stephen Simac

    I’m not sure they could spell them.


The Jay Street Bike Lane Won’t Work If NYPD Parks All Over It

As crews restripe Jay Street to implement a curbside protected bike lane, some sort of learning curve is to be expected. Drivers need a little time to adjust to the new parking lane, which floats to the left of the bike lane buffer. But NYPD should know better from the start. Streetsblog reader Brandon Chamberlin snapped the […]

Jay Street Protected Bike Lane Plan Clears Brooklyn CB 2 Committee

Last night, DOT presented its proposal for a protected bike lane on Jay Street in downtown Brooklyn to the Community Board 2 transportation committee [PDF]. Jay Street is the main approach for the Brooklyn side of the Manhattan Bridge bike path. During a 12-hour weekday period, DOT counted 2,400 cyclists on Jay Street, with bikes accounting for […]

Fixing Jay Street Starts With Cracking Down on Illegal Parking

Jay Street, the north-south route often overshadowed by nearby car-clogged Adams Street and Flatbush Avenue, is a major artery in the heart of Downtown Brooklyn, flush with pedestrians going to and from the subway and cyclists heading to the Manhattan Bridge. It’s also overrun with illegally-parked drivers, creating an obstacle course for anyone trying to navigate […]