An NYPD driver struck and killed a pedestrian in Brooklyn last week, according to a recent report by the New York Post, which states that the 53-year-old pedestrian “was believed to be homeless and panhandling” in the painted central median of Eastern Parkway. The driver was at the wheel of a police van that was reportedly marked and had its lights flashing and sirens on when it “slammed into” the man, who was taken to a local hospital and pronounced dead.
The NYPD van was transferring four arrested individuals to the 77th precinct at the time of the collision, according to a report by the New York Times. Neither the victim nor the driver have been identified. The Times notes that the incident comes amidst spiking fatalities caused by motor vehicle accidents, with 29 pedestrians “killed in motor vehicle collisions across the city from Jan. 1 through March 19.” Twenty-five pedestrians lost their lives in traffic collisions during the same period in 2021, up from 129 in the entire year, per the Times.
A New York Daily News report on the incident describes a witness who said the NYPD van dragged the man “about 35 feet.” “The light was about to change and the van was trying to make it,” the witness said. “They came through and hit him. Boom! It was like the sound of two cars crashing… “I was shouting, ‘Yo, you’re dragging him!’ They dragged him down the block. He was under the van, and I said, ‘Yo, he’s dead.” The witness added that an NYPD officer attempted resuscitation on the victim, but it was too late.
In a statement about the incident posted on Twitter and cited by Streetsblog, Council Member Crystal Hudson called for the NYPD to release the name of the van’s driver and fire the officers involved in the incident. “This is yet another display by the NYPD of their complete disregard for human life and apathy towards the communities they serve. “It’s disheartening to see those who are supposed to keep our communities safe and be the very ones to break the laws they should be enforcing that prevent reckless driving,” she said.
Anthonine Pierre, Executive Director of the Brooklyn Movement Center, also called for the officers to be held accountable. “NYPD officers (who regularly use speeding as a pretext to stop and abuse Black and Brown New Yorkers) in running a red light and striking someone on the crosswalk ending their life, displays their belief that they are above the law and will evade accountability,” she said. “We are calling on Attorney General Letitia James to prosecute and fire these officers swiftly.”
More information on the incident in which the driver of an NYPD struck and killed a pedestrian in Brooklyn is available via the New York Post, the New York Times, the New York Daily News, and Streetsblog.