DOJ May Sue NYPD Over Illegal Crosswalk Parking Scandal

DOJ May Sue NYPD Over Illegal Crosswalk Parking Scandal

City Hall is taking action in response to the US Department of Justice (DOJ) threatening to sue NYPD officers over the issue of illegally parking on city crosswalks. The DOJ raised concerns about the long-standing practice of ‘combat parking,’ where officers leave their vehicles perpendicular to the curb around the city’s precincts. This practice was flagged as a major civil rights issue affecting individuals with disabilities.

Meera Joshi, the deputy mayor for operations in New York City, expressed deep concern, describing the issue as ‘extremely unacceptable.’ She emphasized the impact on pedestrians, particularly those with mobility limitations, and stressed the importance of addressing this issue seriously.

The DOJ’s letter to the NYPD, sent by Damian Williams, the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, prompted City Hall to respond promptly. The revelation of the DOJ’s letter followed a report by The Post on the NYPD’s sudden crackdown on ‘combat parking’ earlier this month.

The DOJ is demanding solid proof that parking rules are being enforced, citing a study that found 91% of precincts had police and city vehicles blocking sidewalks. Surprisingly, city records revealed that the NYPD only took disciplinary action in 80 instances or revoked permits in the last two years, despite widespread reports of ‘combat parking.’

Williams underlined the seriousness of the issue by reminding the NYPD that illegal ‘combat parking’ instances could result in up to a five-day parking penalty and mandated complete revocation of parking permits after three misuse instances.

To address these concerns, the DOJ is requiring the NYPD to provide quarterly reports on police parking complaints for the next three years, including details of corrective actions taken. Additionally, a new method for the public to submit complaints about blocked pedestrian crosswalks by police or city vehicles is being developed.

Furthermore, Williams is urging the NYPD to establish new parking policies for city vehicles and provide training for traffic enforcement officers to enhance crackdown efforts. Failure to comply voluntarily may lead to a lawsuit under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

The DOJ’s involvement follows a scathing 44-page report by the city’s Department of Investigation, which revealed that the NYPD’s ‘Self-Enforcement Zones’ lacked written policies or procedures. Enforcement of parking laws within these zones was notably lower compared to areas outside these zones.

As the city grapples with the issue of illegal parking impacting pedestrian safety and civil rights, both the NYPD and City Hall are under pressure to enforce parking regulations effectively, ensuring accessibility and safety for all pedestrians.

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