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March (Parking) Madness: The Eastern Regional Final is a Tight One!

12:01 AM EDT on March 31, 2023

Here's the second of our two "Final Four" matchups, the Eastern Regional final. Polls have closed in our Western Regional Final, where The Bronx’s best worst beat the pride nadir of Manhattan. Click here to read that battle.

The contest so far. Click to enlarge.
The contest so far. Click to enlarge.

Today's Battle of Long Island puts this year's contest's worst station house in Brooklyn against its counterpart in Queens, which is saying a lot, considering that both boroughs have lots of precincts with lots of egregious parking and disrespect of neighbors.

But these two have earned their slots in the Final Four: The 75th Precinct, for example, bumped off last year's champion, the 84th Precinct in a squeaker in the first round, then destroyed a Crown Heights precinct to advance. And the 102nd Precinct squeaked past the 106th in the first round and then easily beat a relatively respectful precinct in Far Rockaway to make the Eastern final.

But the past is prologue. Let's get to today's battle. Don't forget to vote at the bottom of this post. Polls will remain open until Monday at 5 p.m.

102nd Precinct

Really? The Thin Blue Line flag over the front entrance of the station house?
Really? The Thin Blue Line flag over the front entrance of the station house?

In prior contests, the 102nd presented as a fairly routine station house — cars parked all over the place, garbage everywhere, and little respect for its neighbors. But in our most recent visit to judge the Eastern Regional Final, we noticed some new things about the station house under the command of Capt. Jeremy Kivlin.

It disrespects its neighbors right there at the front door.

First of all, you practically have to climb over the police officers' cars just to get to the entrance...

Who needs a climbing gym?
Who needs a climbing gym?

Then, before entering, you're greeted with the Thin Blue Line flag, which is so offensive to some that it's been banned by some police departments, including Los Angeles'.

But here in New York, this racism-tinged totem is the welcome mat:

An offensive symbol to some.
An offensive symbol to some.

Also on this trip, we noticed just how much filth surrounds the station house because of all the police combat parking. Here's a taste:

Yes, we've seen worse, but it's still bad.
Yes, we've seen worse, but it's still bad.

We also saw multiple cars in the NYPD-only zone that were registered out of state, which is illegal (all cops must be residents of New York State, and residents of New York State must have cars registered to their address).

But what never changes at the 102nd is the offensive manner in which officers park on 118th Street as if they own the block — even the parts that aren't theirs. Look at this slideshow of how they combat-park their cars nearly up to the very doors of their neighbors, forcing people to basically have to squeeze into their own homes:

But is all this bad enough to defeat the worst precinct in Brooklyn? Let's find out.

75th Precinct

The 75th Precinct house is on Sutter Avenue in East New York.

Respect. Basic respect. This precinct doesn't have it for its neighbors. And it doesn't even have it for its dead.

We've written a lot this month about the 75th Precinct in East New York as it has made its way through this tournament and emerged from a scrappy rookie to a seeming champion of disrespect, thanks to the kind of parking that one would expect to see in the back lot of an all-you-can drink renaissance faire.

But along the way, we'd never noticed that the northeast corner of the precinct house lot is set aside as a memorial to the precinct's fallen heroes. It's a sweet little garden with plaques and shrubs to honor the dead, including those killed on 9/11 and the subsequent days.

Except it's completely ringed by cars — and about as inviting as a cell in the Tombs. In fact, unless you were a reporter checking the rear plates of cops' cars (guilty as charged!), you'd never even see the entrance:

And the cars on the sidewalk in front of the memorial are nothing compared to the constant auto mayhem of the 75th Precinct. In fact, in this contest's four-week run, we've never seen anything as egregious as what Inspector Rohan Griffith allows: even though the precinct has four big parking lots, vehicles are combat-parked on multiple adjoining streets and on sidewalks. And Sutter Avenue is a narrow, two-way street that has a bus route on it — the buses are constantly having to squeeze past each other, and passengers are often let off in the street because of the cops.

We turned that into a handy slideshow:

Oh, and have we mentioned the casual right-wing propaganda? Here are the stickers we found on one cop's car:

Lastly, the first time we went to this station house earlier this month, we spotted a junked car covered with "evidence" stickers that was left on the street. Well, it's still there (along with several others).

This is simple disrespect.

So what's it going to be, readers? Which one of these two terrible precincts will make it to the contest final? We'll keep the polls open until Monday at 5 p.m.

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