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Wednesday’s Headlines: Who Watches the Watchmen Edition

The NYPD's top risk management official is out after criticizing cops' use of vehicular pursuits. Plus more news.

12:03 AM EDT on August 23, 2023

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A crossing guard has died in Queens.

A moped rider nearly killed on a Brooklyn greenway. Ten pedestrians in Midtown and another on the Lower East Side all injured on the same day. A woman injured while biking on Houston Street. Two wrecked homes on Staten Island.

All of these happened during (or at the tail end of) NYPD car chases, which are up 600 percent compared to last year. The increased use of the tactic, whatever its merits, is not without its risks, as the sample body count above shows.

Don't tell that to new Police Commissioner Edward Caban — who last week fired the NYPD's top risk management official for criticizing the use of vehicular pursuits, The City reported on Tuesday.

Among Chief Matthew Pontillo's sins was to flag 20 officers involved in chases for "additional training or supervision," according to the report — which seems like a fairly gentle response to the risk associated with a tactic that has had deadly consequences on city streets.

It's unclear how many of this year's NYPD chases have led to crashes, injuries, or deaths. Streetsblog has asked the department several times, but we've yet to receive an answer.

In other news:

  • UNFIT TO DRIVE: The woman who ran injured seven pedestrian in Midtown on Sunday — only to flee before having another crash 11 miles away — likely had a mental health episode before she plowed through a red light and into her victims, aged 24 to 60. (Gothamist, NY Post, amNY)
  • An 87-year-old Brooklyn woman was hospitalized late Monday when a driver struck her while attempted to reverse into a paring spot on Leonard Street in Williamsburg. (NY Post)
  • A car carrying Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop, a pro-congestion pricing 2025 gubernatorial contender, was "rear-ended"... while running a red light with its emergency lights on. (Hudson County View)
  • Additional N and R train service starts next Monday. (Daily News)
  • Syracuse debates who'll control the land opened up by the removal of I-81. (
  • Outlets that joined Streetsblog in covering charges against the truck driver who killed Brooklyn cyclist Adam Uster included the Daily News and Patch.
  • Finally, City Hall ordered all the agencies to get on message about migrants ... and all complied:

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