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Monday’s Headlines: Another Weaponized Car Edition

12:12 AM EST on December 14, 2020

The moment when the driver struck the protesters. Photo: Kevin Cox

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It's our December donation drive. Your gift helps us do these kinds of important stories. So please click here.

The big story of the weekend was the first story of the weekend: On Friday afternoon, a Queens woman drove into a crowd of Black Lives Matter protesters in Midtown, injuring six people (NY Post, NY Times, WSJ, Gothamist).

The driver, Kathleen Casillo, 52, was charged with reckless endangerment, but received only a desk appearance ticket — meaning that in this city, you can try to kill a dozen people yet still be released on your own recognizance ... if you do it with a car (NY Post). Casillo claimed she "panicked" when protesters slapped her car windows — a pretty common occurrence when drivers of 3,000-pound vehicles intimidate unprotected pedestrians (NYDN).

The video of the incident is horrifying:

Meanwhile, Friend of Streetsblog Rob Foran wondered why cops can't keep drivers away from peaceful protesters:

But two Republicans in Missouri want to make it legal to do exactly what Casillo allegedly did, Newsweek reported.

And in other news from the weekend:

    • It's two much to believe: Both former Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg and Interim NYC Transit President Sarah Feinberg are in the running to be Transportation Secretary in the Biden Administration. (NYDN)
    • Guse of the Newsuh took a bus ride with Sen. Charles Schumer on the Upper East Side — and learned that the senior senator believes he can get $4 billion for the MTA.
    • The dredging of the toxic Gowanus Canal has gotten interesting — now they're pulling out abandoned cars (check the trunks!). (Pardon Me for Asking)
    • A hit-and-run driver killed Ecuadoran immigrant Manuel Jose Enealada-Villa in Manhattan on Saturday (NYDN). Meanwhile, another hit-and-run driver killed two women who worked with developmentally disabled children as they carpooled to a group home (NYDN). Oddly, the Post called the crash — which featured a driver speeding through a red light — an "accident."
    • More than 30 members of the House of Representatives have introduced a bill to fund highways and transit equally, rather than the current 80/20 split. (Data for Progress)
    • Paging the chutzpah department: Uber and Lyft may not consider drivers employees, but they want drivers at the front of the line for the COVID-19 vaccine. (Tech Crunch)
    • One ride-hailing driver says that, after taxes and expenses, he actually lost $250 last year. (Jalopnik)

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