BROOKLYN, N.Y. – Obviously, as a law enforcement publication, Law Enforcement Today is unabashedly pro-police. Whenever we write a story, we always try to write it from the perspective of police, since there are way too any publications out there today who take a slanted, anti-police view.
We also try to be somewhat objective. In this case, we simply cannot abide by what a member of the NYPD did.
We have learned that a precinct commander in the city’s 66th precinct actually bragged on Twitter about ticketing and towing long-haul truckers who were trying to get some much-needed sleep.
As the nation fights the coronavirus pandemic, and stores are having their shelves stripped bare by overzealous and in some cases, psychotic Americans, truckers have been among the unsung heroes who have kept the supply chain moving.
While first-responders, doctors and nurses have gotten a lot of the publicity (and well deserved, by the way), truckers have flown under the radar.
On Tuesday, NYPD Deputy Inspector James King, the commanding officer of the 66th precinct, tweeted about the operation right after it happened. He has since deleted the Tweet in which he actually bragged about having illegally parked tractor trailers towed in the middle of the pandemic.
Seriously, he did that.
The tweet was actually discovered by a retired NYPD detective, David Chianese and he published it on his Advocacy for LEOs blog.
“Our traffic safety officer was out on Bay pkwy towing these illegally parked trailers,” the NYPD 66th Precinct tweeted on Monday morning. “Please remember commercial vehicles cannot be parked on residential blocks.”
The incident took place on March 23 just before dawn as a number of tractor trailers were parked with the drivers sleeping in the cabs of their trucks on a mixed-use street in the borough of Brooklyn, according to the blog.
Officers from the 66th precinct and the NYPD Traffic Enforcement Division deployed in the area to wake up the mostly out of state truck drivers, many of whom were catching a short nap while they waited for the trailers to be reloaded for another trip, Advocacy for LEOs reported.
On Monday, instead of waking up and returning to pick up their goods to haul, the truck drivers had to deal with the impound lot to retrieve the trucks, while leaving much needed supplies on pallets inside parked trailers.
LET has discovered that sources within the NYPD said that what happened in the 66th precinct was “utterly disgusting” and typified the behavior that was going on in the prominently Jewish Hillside community ever since shelter in place measures were announced.
Once source noted that the police department targeted the truckers because Jewish leaders in the area complained that the trucks were blocking their parking.
In spite of the social distancing measures, the Orthodox and Hasidic Jewish communities in the borough have continued to hold large gatherings such as weddings despite the orders to stay home and observe social distancing, according to the New York Post.
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Apparently according to sources, the Orthodox and Hasidic communities are a very powerful voting bloc in that area and elected officials usually try hard not to raise their ire.
“It’s awful. If there’s any disagreement between the Hasidic community and NYPD officers, the city almost exclusively sides with the Jewish community there,” the source complained.
“It doesn’t matter how right the police officer is. A lot of the laws get flouted and a blind eye is turned because that community votes as a block and what they say goes with the mayor.”
The source complained that the raid on the drivers should never have happened during the state of emergency. We agree.
“This is a situation where the precinct commander didn’t have the balls to tell the community leaders that they’re being ridiculous,” the NYPD official told a source.
“Why would he send officers to mess with these truckers who need to deliver supplies, effectively exposing all of the officers and truckers to each other for no reason? It’s just inexcusable.”
Many rest stops across the country have been closed along highways (that’s bureaucracy for you) and that is where most truck drivers rest for their overnight stays.
In most cases across the country, police departments have been going out of their way to help truckers out, doing such things as running their orders through restaurant drive-thrus because the trucks are generally too big to fit.
One police department, in Eufaula, AL., said that they wanted to help out the drivers, AL.com reported.
“To that end, if you are a truck driver, and need to take time off the road in Eufaula, we will assist you in getting food,” the Eufaula Police Department posted on their official Facebook page.
“With more and more restaurants limiting their dining room access, it is becoming harder for our truck driving friends to find places to eat. We will either go get something for you or give you a ride to the nearest drive through (if you don’t mind riding in the back seat).”
“If manpower is such that we cannot assist, we will secure someone that can,” the police department posted.
Station KRNV in Nevada reported that residents there have been delivering warm meals to the drivers stuck in their rigs.
“We are working non-stop, but it’s to make sure people get what they need,” said Ronda Aocoin, a truck driver from Kentucky. “Nevadans have been especially nice, since a few places are closed and not allowing us to stay the night when we’re done working.”
Neither the NYPD nor the mayor’s office were available to comment.
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