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Reckless NYPD Drivers Insensitively Park Killing Machine in the Bike Lane 

10:38 PM EST on January 26, 2020

Cars parked on the sidewalk just outside the 88th Precinct back in 2017. Photo: David Meyer

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Cops still haven't charged the elderly driver who killed a 67-year-old woman in a Brooklyn crosswalk on Jan. 15, despite a crash report that shows officers at the scene blamed the man for failure to yield.

Police did not arrest or summons the still-unidentified driver, and told the mainstream media that “no criminality” is suspected. But the official accident report filed with the state Department of Motor Vehicles and obtained by Streetsblog noted that the 83-year-old driver’s “failure to yield” was a "contributing factor" in the collision that caused the death of Stephanie Curtiss, a beloved Fort Greene figure.

It's not uncommon for drivers to be charged weeks or months later, but it less common for cops to blatantly ignore a grieving community and display the killer's vehicle in public, as officers from the 88th did on Friday — doubled-parked in the bike lane on DeKalb Avenue next to the stationhouse, no less.

Reporter and sometimes Streetsblog contributor Liam Quigley spotted the killer driver's massive Ford Bronco illegally parked and forcing cyclists to swerve into traffic to avoid it on Friday morning. About an hour later, it had been hidden away again in an alleyway.

It’s certainly not the first time New York’s Finest from the Classon Avenue station have shown indifference towards cyclists and other road users — cops there regularly park their personal vehicles on the sidewalk and in the bike lane outside the precinct, an issue that's been going on for years.

The truck that killed 67-year-old Stephanie Curtiss parked in an alley at the 88th Precinct on Friday morning. Photo: Julianne Cuba

And in December 2018, one officer allegedly shoved a biker after telling him to “go around” him as he stood in the Jay Street bike lane.

Earlier that day on the same corridor, a driver struck and injured a cyclist after the biker was forced to swerve out of the bike lane because the same officers had parked his police van in it. Police arrested the driver for leaving the scene of a collision causing injury, the Brooklyn Paper reported at the time.

Given how 88th Precinct cops treat non-drivers, Streetsblog re-checked all vehicles that were parked in NYPD-only parking or illegally parked with NYPD placards near the 88th Precinct stationhouse and discovered the following:

    • Of the 48 cars, 42 officers’ private vehicles — or 87.5 percent — had been ticketed at least once
    • 35 cars — or nearly 73 percent — had been hit with at least very serious summons for speeding or running a red light.
    • 19 vehicles — or nearly 40 percent — had been hit with two or more very serious summons for speeding or running a red light, including one car with 22 serious camera-issued moving violations, one with 18, another with 14, another with 12, one with 10, one with nine and one with eight.

Those numbers are getting worse. When Streetsblog last investigated the cops in the 88th Precinct, only 77 percent of their cars had been ticketed, only 54 percent had received at least one serious moving violation and only 38 percent had multiple moving violations.

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