A Brooklyn State Senator with a well-known temper and a history of road violence told a legislative staffer to "kill" herself after she revealed that he had illegally parked in a bike lane on Tuesday morning.
Kevin Parker tweeted "Kill yourself!" to GOP spokeswoman Candice Giove after she re-tweeted a picture of what she said was Parker's car in a bike lane on Second Avenue between 43rd and 44th streets in Manhattan.
Parker later deleted the tweet and apologized to Giove for the suicide request, but he never apologized for the original transgression, cycling advocates pointed out.
"Now apologize for using your placard to park in a bike lane," tweeted Danny Imperiali.
Streetfilms auteur Clarence Eckerson Jr. added, "Apology 1/3 complete. Still waiting for 2/3rds balance where he tells #bikenyc he is sorry for endangering their lives and addresses what is going on with that parking permit."
Others called for Parker's resignation.
Still, Parker doubled-down on his attack on Giove even after his half-hearted apology, tweeting, "@Candicegiove is on the wrong side of history for every important issue facing New York State!" (He made similar comments to the Daily News's Ken Lovett.)
It's not the first time Parker's driving has led to violence. In 2009, he punched a NY Post photographer who was covering an alleged fight Parker had had with a Capitol parking attendant.
In 2005, a judge ordered Parker to undergo an anger-management course after he was charged with punching a traffic agent, the Daily News reported. (Within hours of the "Kill yourself!" tweet, Parker's Wikipedia page had already been amended to feature it.)
Unreported was the 2016 incident where Parker allegedly rear-ended the car of fellow Brooklynite Benilda Ottley, who suffered serious spinal injuries. Ottley sued Parker, and the two settled out of court earlier this year.
More recently, cars owned by Parker have been nabbed dozens of times for speed zone infractions and other offenses. One car, with the license plate GUU-184, had 18 speeding tickets and 13 bus lane violations (see below), a plurality in 2017. Another car that has been linked to Parker, has three speed-zone tickets and two bus lane violations, all this year.
Parker's driving record is likely to be an issue in the public advocate race, where Council Member Jumaane Williams is seen as a front runner. Williams, like Parker, has a lengthy record of reckless driving — and Parker is one of his key campaign officials.
Streetsblog reached out to Parker and Williams, but has not heard back. Later in the day, reporter Zack Finke tweeted a statement from Williams.
“I’m very concerned by the statement I saw from Senator Parker on social media earlier today," Williams said. "After speaking with him this afternoon, we have both agreed that it’s best for him to step down as co-chair of my campaign.”
Story was updated to include the new quote from Williams.
Educated at the Sorbonne and the Yale School of Drama, Gersh Kuntzman is obviously not the person being described here. We're talking about tabloid legend Gersh Kuntzman, who has been with New York newspapers since 1989, including stints at the New York Daily News, the Post, the Brooklyn Paper and even a cup of coffee with the Times. He's also the writer and producer of "Murder at the Food Coop," which was a hit at the NYC Fringe Festival in 2016, and “SUV: The Musical” in 2007. Email Gersh at firstname.lastname@example.org