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Friday’s Headlines: Rest in Peace Kamari Edition

The NYPD's claim the driver who killed a 7-year-old boy in Brooklyn "stopped immediately" contradicts witnesses, video and visual evidence. Plus other news.

David Meyer|

Neighbors set up this vigil at the corner where an NYPD tow truck driver killed 7-year-old Kamari Hughes in October.

The city and Police Department on Thursday claimed the NYPD two truck driver who struck and killed 7-year-old Kamari Hughes "stopped immediately" after striking the young boy — contradicting eyewitnesses, video footage and evidence observed by Streetsblog on the scene.

NYPD Chief of Department Jeffrey Maddrey made the claim while speaking to reporters alongside Mayor Adams at police headquarters — just across the Brooklyn Bridge from where Hughes died — and it was quickly parroted by news outlets including the Post, Daily News, CBS and others.

That's despite the obvious: Video of the crash viewed by Streetsblog showed the 54-year-old driver plow into her victim without stopping. Witnesses told Streetsblog, Gothamist, Hell Gate and others that the driver "dragged" the young boy, and only stopped when someone physically stood in front of the truck to tell her she'd killed someone.

The scene at Myrtle Avenue and North Portland Avenue on Thursday morning called Maddrey's claims into further question: The truck sat some 100 feet from the crosswalk where its driver struck Hughes. NYPD's post-crash hose down of the scene also stretched far from the sidewalk.

The driver was charged with failure to yield to a pedestrian, PIX11 reported late Thursday night. NYPD did not immediately confirm the charge, which carries a sentence of up to 30 days in jail.

City officials have touted low pedestrian death totals this year, but at least four such fatalities have occurred in the last week alone.

The Times perfectly distilled the context: "The boy’s death comes two years after a driver killed Apolline Mong-Guillemin, a 3-month-old, roughly 10 blocks away," the paper said.

"Eric Adams, then the Brooklyn borough president, said at a news conference near the site of the baby’s death that he was 'tired of seeing families torn apart by the epidemic of traffic violence' and called for a 'a holistic rethinking of our streetscape to stop this carnage.

"Since Mr. Adams became mayor, cyclist and pedestrian deaths in New York City have increased, according to the mayor’s management report, which groups cyclists and pedestrians together in one statistical category."

Council Member Crystal Hudson, meanwhile, put out a statement late Thursday with Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso saying they planned to skip a town hall organized by opponents of street safety redesign projects, saying it was "not the time to rethink a street safety program that has brought traffic deaths to historic lows."

In other news:

  • Newest subway cars already out of service due to a noisy gears issue. (Gothamist)
  • Port Authority accused of refusing to allow congestion pricing gantries on its property. (City & State)
  • MTA worker assaulted on Manhattan bus. (Gothamist)
  • Today in excelsior:
  • And, finally, the Streetsblog Photoshop Desk wanted us to post its final image about the demise of the Dangerous Vehicle Abatement Program, which sunset yesterday.
It's a DVAP sunset.Graphic: Streetsblog Photoshop Desk

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