Residents Sue NYPD
By World Journal
April 25, 2003
A coalition representing residents in Chinatown and the nearby
residential buildings filed a law suit in the New York State Court
of Appeals yesterday against the Police Headquarters for closing
Park Row without an environmental evaluation and permission from
local residents. They claimed the street closing has tremendously
affected the public safety and businesses in the neighborhood.
The coalition said the police have been avoiding the issue. Although
the police have contacted City
Councilman Alan Gerson, who represents Chinatown, to discuss Park
Row and other side streets that are closed, they have refused to
have a direct dialogue with the residents.
Meanwhile, the police continue to harass the residents in the nearby
buildings by checking on every car that leaves the building, the
coalition said, adding that it is unreasonable and undemocratic
for the police to close the streets without consulting them. The
check-up, they said, is just their way to harass the residents.
Jack Lester, a lawyer representing the coalition, said they had
filed a lawsuit yesterday. The street closing prevents ambulances
from coming through and it would be dangerous in the event of an
emergency, he said. It also had a devastating effect on the local
businesses and blocks Chinatown from being included in the rebuilding
of the World Trade Center.
The coalition said that the businesses in Lower Manhattan are still
suffering from the street closing after 9/11. They called on the
court to order the reopening of the streets until further discussion
between the police and the community. Meanwhile, the coalition also
demanded that the police reopen Madison Park in the neighborhood,
which has been occupied by the police as a parking lot.
Gerson also expressed opposition to the street closing, saying that
the police had no respect for local residents and that it was a
huge mistake to close the street without consulting the community.
Meanwhile, the coalition is also working with residents in Brooklyn
Heights, who started a campaign to oppose the relocation of the
Office of Emergency Management (OEM) to their community. The police
plan to close the streets in the neighborhood upon the relocation.
New York City spokesman Edward Skyler and the police both declined
Translated from Chines by Larry Tung.
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