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Tuesday’s Headlines: From the Assignment Desk Edition

12:03 AM EST on February 21, 2023

The victim, Jeffrey Williamson, was run over and killed by a postal truck driver. Photo: Ken Coughlin

Let's start the work week with a job for the mainstream media: Today at around 9:45 a.m. in Manhattan Criminal Court, the Postal Service driver who killed Upper West Sider Jeff Williamson in 2021 will go on trial (we offered an emotional preview from Williamson's widow, Christopher Brimer, on our website yesterday).

Driver Sergei Alekseev is charged only with violating Williamson's right of way, a misdemeanor that only rarely carries any jail time, and failure to exercise due care, a summons that is little more than a joke.

The trial is expected to last three days, but its reverberations will be felt for years, given how unlikely it is that Alekseev gets held accountable for the recklessness that ended a human life. That's where the mainstream media comes in; some coverage will go a long way towards reminding our political elite that driving is a dangerous act that requires strict requirements and constant oversight.

And when a driver kills, he should not be allowed to drive again. We're blue in the face, so some other voices would be welcome.

In other news:

    • One day after we reported on a fatal police crash in Rockaway, a racing police driver slammed into another car in a similar manner as he raced to a call of an officer needing assistance. (NYDN, amNY)
    • What a surprise: Suburban lawmakers in the MTA service zone don't want their areas to pay slightly more in payroll taxes for transit. (NY Post, amNY)
    • Are we punishing the late Mario Cuomo for the sins of Andrew now? (NY Post)
    • About 100 people turned out for a vigil to the victims of last week's U-haul rampage that was organized by City Council Member Justin Brannan, and state Sens. Andrew Gounardes and Iwen Chu. (NYDN)
    • The Daily News published a bombshell report on the 675,000 vehicle stops made by NYPD officers last year, thanks to data received by the New York Civil Liberties Union. The biggest takeaway? In stops where race was recorded, Black drivers were pulled over 32 percent of the time, even though they comprise only 24 percent of vehicle commuters in the city, according to the census. Latinos comprised 28 percent of stops, even though they are 25 percent of vehicle commuters. (NYDN)
    • The Daily News and the Post had more on the Brooklyn woman who was struck by an SUV driver after falling from an ill-maintained sidewalk.
    • Hat tip to Upper East Site, which got into the delivery-worker-only lounge called The Brake Room by signing up to be a delivery worker and delivering a salad.
    • Council Member Jennifer Gutiérrez is upset about the sudden loss of bus WiFi. (Brooklyn Paper)
    • The Sanitation Department is having its own trouble keeping up with burnt or ruined lithium-ion batteries. (The City)
    • Interesting footnote to President Biden's trip to Kyiv: The last leg of the journey to a war zone was made by train. Yet when Biden hoped to take an Amtrak train to his inauguration in 2021, it was nixed by the Secret Service as a security risk. So the Secret Service considers trains in war-torn Ukraine safer than commuting by train in the U.S.
    • And, finally, our old man editor conducted a lot of "criminal mischief" on Presidents' Day as he escorted a film crew around Brooklyn. Enjoy:

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