Day 43 – Today was a normal quiet day on the picket line and I was worried I wouldn’t have anything to write about tonight. Of course we are still waiting to hear back from our old friend Larry Abrams since he decided to comment on one of our previous posts here, however we still have not heard from him either directly or out here in the public forum. To this I say Larry you seemed to have inside information but yet you did not share the full details of your knowledge, please don’t be shy we are all waiting to hear from you.
It seems once again that the police department is causing more difficulties to the community. They have been here 24 hours a day since the strike started and I am sure they don’t want to be here anymore than the striking members. This doesn’t give them the right to harass the community at large and add to the problems that we face because of this ongoing strike.
At about 8:15pm tonight my doorbell rang and it was the striking members stating that an Access-A-Ride bus had hit my car that was parked across the street from my house.
As you can see from the picture the damage was minimal and I am sure Access-A-Ride will work to fix the damage. My problem is not with the driver of the bus but with the police officer who was parked on the curve of the street causing a dangerous condition. The way the police car was parked made it almost impossible to pass safely, why was this police car parked on a curve? Every other officer parks their vehicle on the sidewalk to not impede the flow of traffic or create a hazardous condition for the community at large.
In the picture below you can see that the bus had to really maneuver to avoid hitting the police car, remember this is a narrow curved one way street with parking on one side.
Here you can see how the police car was parked angled away from the curb and parked right on the curve of the street.
You would think since the officer was sitting in his car he would have moved when he saw the bus struggling to pass but then again that would take courtesy, something that officer Vanputten does not possess.
Instead of being sympathetic to me a community resident he was very rude and disrespectful. When I did not like the answers he was giving me or the way I was being treated, I asked for a Sargent to come to the accident scene, instead of complying with my request he told me that I am dealing with him and he doesn’t need to request a Sargent. When another officer arrived I asked him to call for a Sargent which he did. Sargent McCabe arrived at the scene and was very pleasant to deal with, he calmed down the situation and told me what steps to take next. For this I thank you Sargent McCabe.
Back to Officer Vanputtten, he decided that my car was parked illegally in a “Strike Zone” and proceeded to write a summons for $115.00 because the car is “Parked in a strike safty zone”. Yes I know safety is spelled wrong, that is exactly how the ticket is written (see below).
So now I have a ticket for $115.00 and a smashed up car. If there is no parking on the street why aren’t there any signs stating that it is a “Strike Safety Zone”? The only signs are the normal alternate side parking signs.
Why didn’t my car get a ticket at any other time, it has been parked in that same spot on and off for several days. Why didn’t the officer write a ticket from 4pm – 8pm while he was there sitting in his car? Why didn’t he stop others from parking on the street when he saw them parking?
Just for the record, the above cars belong to people currently working in the nursing home (scabs). It is strange that none of them received a ticket until I asked why nobody else has a ticket. At that point the officer proceeded to call the nursing home security guards and asked them to have the cars move. So let me get this straight, I live here but don’t get afforded the ability to move my vehicle, but these scabs that are working here are allowed to move their vehicles without getting a ticket.
Notice below the same red Jeep that was on the street is now in the nursing home parking lot.
After Sargent McCabe left the scene Officer Vanputten did in fact write a ticket for any car that was left on the street. After the fact of an accident the rules are suddenly then enforced? How can these rules be enforced without proper signs being posted? How is anyone supposed to know you can’t park on a street unless there are signs saying so or there are barricades blocking the parking?
This officer really needs to remember what ‘CPR’ means, it is plastered on the sides of all police vehicles.
COURTESY – PROFESSIONALISM – RESPECT
This is something that this officer doesn’t know or care about. He is an agitator towards the striking members and he is rude towards the public, he enforces the laws only when it suits his needs. As for the law I cannot find a law that states anything about a “Strike Safety Zone”, you can see the traffic laws here Violation Codes, Fines, Rules & Regulations the only thing that comes close is this:
|53||Standing or parking in a safety zone, between a safety zone and the adjacent curb, or within 30 feet of points on the curb immediately opposite the ends of a safety zone.||$115||$115|
Once again, how is anyone supposed to know about a “Safety Zone” if it is not posted some how?
I don’t want everyone to think that I am against the police department. I have the highest respect for them, I have many police officer friends and family. Their job is one of the hardest, under appreciated jobs around. This does not give them the right to abuse their power or allow any type of selective enforcement. Since this strike started the police have shown a bias towards the striking members and then against the community once they knew we took a position to stand with the striking members.
This is an unfair fight that needs to be resolved so none of this would be happening in our nice quiet neighborhood. I would love nothing more than to go back to a normal daily routine and see my friends across the street not on a picket line but doing what they love, THEIR JOBS!
There is one person that needs to end this, HELEN SIEGER! You need to stop this already and get your people a contract with health care benefits and let them get back to work!
To the striking members; keep up the fight and make sure you never back down, you are fighting for your rights and the rights of others to come. You are not wrong and you will be victorious!
Till tomorrow, STAND STRONG!
UPDATE 9am on 4/3/2008:
This morning, once again there are cars parked on the street that belong to the scab workers and not one of them have a ticket, even though the police are on scene. I asked the officer on scene (Officer Lee) why nobody is getting a ticket and he stated that if they are parked on the street they are parked legally as long as they are not in front of the striking corrals. So it seems that the PD doesn’t even know what the story is.
I also received plenty of email about this situation so to let everyone know, I WILL BE FIGHTING THIS TICKET and also I will be filing a complaint against the officer that treated me so disrespectfully. If you need to file a complaint against any officer that you feel mistreated you in any way you can do it by contacting the New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board.