Breaking New Bad Days: The Times Square Shooting That Wasn’t There

 

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Verified. Bonafide.

Times Square, Manhattan, New York

The tourist capital of the world had another broad daylight horror show strike when gunfire went off by the legendary Tkts plaza between Broadway and 7th Avenue, which made it the second time in only 3 days that bullets flew at that spot and the fifth time since May. 

At least two twitter accounts were quick to report this latest travesty that has befallen the summer of NYC.

NYPD flooded the zone to catch the assassin but to no avail. An hour after the shooting, a reporter from NBC New York was at the crime scene and found a man surrounded and being questioned by patrol cops and high brass.

Then an hour later, the NYPD gave her the scoop and with emphasis, Ms. Hemphill was informed by cops that the shooting was in actuality a planter that fell during a scuffle between the victim and allegedly two other people he was battling on a street corner on the east side of 46th St.

Or was it a barricade that fell? But Ms. Hemphill doesn’t question why would they cite two different objects that varied from the general assumption and reaction by the plaza crowd and decides to tweet report  that way despite the obvious massive discrepancy. Two men causing a barricade to fall during a street fight at least makes sense, but a planter? Unless these two men were the Hulk and Thor, no way are they going to knock down planters since they are 100 pounds of concrete and soil. Here’s a fun fact, they act more as security cudgels against terrorists to obstruct them from weaponizing cars to kill people than as pretty smelling oxygen producers.

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Another fun fact, when barricades and in this situation, planters hit the ground, they don’t sound like gunshots. The only thing that sounds approximate to shots are fireworks, read every story of a shooting, and there a have been over 3,000 of them in the last 3 years and every other one has a  witness to a shooting incident presuming that someone was setting off fire crackers or mortars. Besides these obvious discrepancies, the NYPD apparently felt they had to collar somebody, so they busted a man on marijuana possession (even though 8 oz of pot is legal to carry, which makes starting to sound like a drug deal gone bad).

Reading this tweet report in real time and being an active twitter denizen, I responded to Ms. Hemphill very curtly tweeting my skepticism with a simple retort; I don’t believe this. What happened 90 minutes later was the moment where my skepticism and also my cynicism about the NYPD’s investigation suddenly became validated with one word.

 

It was astonishing that my tweet got acknowledged, that it seemed ambiguous. Then it suddenly got unambiguous.

Then when the story broke on the evening news on PIX11 after the weather,correspondent Michelle Ross’s coverage of the Times Square incident interviewed a witness who heard the shots and ran off with everyone else as a crowd would do when shots get fired. But despite James The Nerd’s eyewitness account on his twitter account, which was truncated to a 10 second blurb, the NYPD relayed the same investigation results to Ross and she repeated it more like a stenographer than a journalist. The incident also got upgraded by the NYPD that included a pedicab that hit the victim. How this all correlates utterly makes no sense.

Then it gets stranger. Turns out James the Nerd on twitter who was at Times Square during the shooting/planter falling and in the middle of the stampede fleeing for safety, is James Chesney who was interviewed about the incident on PIX News.

It’s nothing short of amazing how conflicting PIX’s post on this incident that put out wo different headlines for their post and video. But this is expected when it seems the NYPD is exerting influence on this story to make it sound less extreme than it was.  Despite James’s eyewitness account of a man writing in pain on the ground from a bullet wound, who the cops wound up collaring on a pot charge and dragged him from the plaza in pain.

Mr. Chesney also describes how Michelle and her co-writer and producer of the story manipulated the interview and redacted practically all of what he witnessed; which apparently, or in this case allegedly a lot of nefarious activity was going on trying to cover up the shooting/planter collapse. What I and maybe James was witnessing was the operation of manufacturing consent in real time via the integration of government authority and the fourth estate.

And if you looked at the way it was covered on the PIX report, there are so many cops surrounding the victim, it’s virtually impossible to get a closeup on him and where he was wounded. Just like that, what was pretty much a cut and dry social media documented and eyewitness shooting incident got intercepted by the NYPD and suddenly morphed into just a huge misunderstanding. Despite no footage of a fallen planter or any video footage of pedicab in the vicinity.

Looking for better investigative reporting about the Times Square Planter Incident, the Daily News actually did quote Mr. Chesney’s account he gave to me on twitter, describing how the victim was yelling that he got shot which PIX extricated from their report and detailed the actual time of the shooting and the cops interrogation of the victim, but still wholly emphasized the NYPD’s bizarre coverup. ABC Eyewitness News only showed a brief video of the incident on their website that promised more details and never updated it even after a week. The NYPD abrupt revision of their investigation also made international news as well.

Even though there was a witness who claimed he was interviewed by multiple local corporate news stations, it’s a wonder why all of them joined in solidarity to report what is clearly a flawed investigation by the biggest police force in the world but it’s not wondrous at all of the NYPD’s desperate spin and memory holing of this incident, which was done with amazingly diligent execution; it all stems on current mayor Bill de Blasio’s and the Economic Development Corporation’s massively desperate and expensive effort to restore tourism in Times Square again after they spent 30 million dollars on national ads and who knows what on other city services to bring them back. An effort which has been marred by shootings and also rampant homelessness, random and targeted violence, open air drug dealing and petty crime hustling. And it’s even worse from the NYPD’s side after multiple orders to deploy more cops to the 7 block international mecca in order to protect tourists and local visitors.

The timing of the recent shooting that wasn’t there couldn’t have been more shitty for the city since it coincided with the arrival of a ferris wheel that got plopped down a block away from the incident and also an early morning shooting where a stray bullet pierced a window under the TKTS a few days earlier. Buffered by concrete bollards, barricades and two NYPD cruisers bookending the city’s latest and lamest attempt to attract tourists and their money back. 

 

Picture taken two days earlier from the “Planter Incident”

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Ironically, what the city thought would be a new attraction to Times Square would actually wind up being useful to the NYPD to catch the shooter, because it’s clear that the footage from the tweet above showing the scattering crowd was taken from a carriage on the ferris wheel while it was paused.

When the current mayor showed up to the ride a few days later with his son and district council crony Keith Powers, the same vantage point can be seen as The Blaz blissfully describes the experience while in motion on the ride. The distinction being a markedly scarce crowd on the street below.

 

Surely The Blaz was in a jovial mood to make this video, thanks to the NYPD’s memory holing of the shooting, he didn’t have to hold a presser explaining himself and promoting a stupid boondoggle gimmick like a carny ride in Times Square would have been utterly tone deaf. But what all the parties involved here-the news media, the NYPD and the fiddling monster running NYC above-don’t and refuse to get is all their effort to revive the economy in the biggest tourist attraction in the world by redacting a crime immediately after it occurred and enabling it will not make Times Square and even the rest of the city any safer by hoodwinking and gaslighting the citizenry and tourists. And the real shooter is still out there running around on the streets and since it’s been determined that a planter fell and the culprit was an errant pedicab driver for the victim’s wound, there will be no report of this incident and possibly any surveillance footage from the dozens of cameras affixed to the lampposts and on commercial buildings in the area were memory holed as well. And lets not forget the NYC EDC’s role as well in this, because the city’s and notably Times Square’s recovery is being supervised by a notorious rogue retired police chief getting paid a salary and pension at the same time.

This collective negligent insouciance will eventually lead to someone getting actually killed next time. And with the way shootings are trending, it’s going to be sooner than we think. Then what alchemy de Blasio’s NYPD is going to conjure to undermine a victim bleeding out to death in the Square as they juke the gun violence stats in real time?

As the gun shot victim of the Planter Incident shows, anyone will just be collateral damage to ensure the optics of vibrancy in Times Square doesn’t get disrupted.

Blaz’s Recovery Advisor’s Salary Double Dip And Washington Square Park Connection

I got it made

NY Post

The NYPD’s former highest-ranking uniformed officer is cashing in with his new gig at City Hall — thanks to a little-known legal loophole that allows him to collect both a pension and a taxpayer-funded salary, The Post has learned.

Retired Chief of Department Terence Monahan started collecting his $188,280 annual pension on March 28 while also earning a $242,592 annual salary as Mayor de Blasio’s new senior advisor, according to documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Law.

Retired public employees who are under the age of 65 and are collecting a pension are required to file paperwork — known as a 211 waiver — making the case for why they are uniquely qualified to collect an additional public salary.

The applications then go to the Department of Citywide Administrative Services or the New York State Civil Service Commission for approval. Without the waiver, the retiree is limited to $35,000 per year, according to state law.

But that approval was able to be sidestepped with Monahan placed on the payroll of the Economic Development Corporation — a city-funded nonprofit organization — following his February appointment to oversee the city’s safety planning for COVID recovery.

Pensioners who are employed by a public benefit corporation, like the city’s economic development arm, don’t need to file a 211 waiver, according to a 1997 decision by the city’s Law Department, DCAS spokesman Nick Benson said. The ruling has never been challenged in court.

On top of the dual income, the 60-year-old former cop is also still owed a hefty payout for unused days off, estimated at nearly $300,000, according to a review of his payroll records obtained by The Post. That lump sum payout is still pending, the city’s payroll office said.

Reached by phone recently, Monahan declined to comment on his pay.

Why should Terry comment, he’s the luckiest man and he’s got the easiest job in NYC right now and he acquired it by being a recidivist dirty cop while working under the most cravenly corrupt and cowardly mayor in NYC history.

For Terry winding up to become the deputy recovery czar in City Hall, he didn’t have to try that hard considering what he accomplished during the pandemic last year. First he tried to orchestrate a heist to steal a truck full of face masks and other PPE’s  meant for doctors, nurses and other essential workers in hospital services (most of whom did not even bother wearing face masks), which induced a stunning profane laden  reaction from the city’s former doctor health commish Oxiris Barbot, which led to her eventual phasing out and firing by the Blaz.

Then after the Mayor’s team arranged a media circus and stunt for the NYPD to feign solidarity for the policing public execution of George Floyd, which Monahan got on his knee and held hands with other BLM protesters, Monahan ordered a brutal NYPD offensive against hundreds of protesters who arranged a demonstration in Mott Haven in the Bronx by ordering cops to kettle them from both sides on the streets to prevent them from departing after the Blaz’s 8 PM curfew and letting them loose to viciously attack them as they walloped them with clubs, attacked them with bikes and also engaged in dogpiling individual demonstrators tactics the cops used with absolute gleeful expressions. This day of infamy in NYC as well as the other days of brutality the NYPD inflicted on protesters during that week of demonstrations got immediate condemnation by Human Rights Watch for the brazen suppression of free speech and free assembly and eventually was subjected to a thorough investigation by D.A. Letitia James leading to NY Senate and Assembly laws calling for the expunging of policing records of every cop on the force. It was most certain that the record of Chief Monahan and whatever abuses and violations he accrued throughout his career was bound to be revealed.

But when 2021 came and Mayor de Blasio laid down the base for the”recovery for all of us” mission as expose’s of rogue cops and disciplinary actions were starting to mete out (however incrementally), The Blaz did his usual machinating and bailed out Monahan and transferred him to NYC Economic Development Corporation Dept. to be the deputy czar of the city’s recovery immediately after he resigned and traded in his acquired uniform for a bureaucrat’s suit, thereby acquiring his cherry six figure pension while getting a bigger six-figure salary while also exempting him from D.A. James disciplinary probes in his new position as an “advisor”

When asked about Monahan’s city salary double dip, The Blaz was asked if this profligate use of taxpayer dollars for one man and his advisories has resulted in any dividends in services for the city as well as it’s recovery and security. It’s a waste of time to print de Blasio’s response because he predictably didn’t give one, but recent events have showed that Monahan has taken to his suit as a do nothing bureaucrat very well.

Presumably, the justification for Monahan’s shady transfer and presence in City Hall and the EDC is because his career and experience as a police officer would be that he would give sage advice for keeping the streets safe and ensure economic gains and a return of tourist activity in the city’s popular destination areas like Times Square. But look at what’s happened there since the weather got nicer, two shootings and four people hit by stray bullets despite a massive police presence and surveillance cameras on every lamp post and building and vagrancy and other petty crimes as not subsided as well.

Then there is the issue of Washington Square Park, which as become a quasi-autonomous zone which daily open air drug abuse  and nightly relentless noise pollution from all-night DJ ragers and yelling from transient denizens of the greenpace loitering past the parks closing, under the watchful eyes of de Blasio’s NYPD, who are clearly under orders to maintain their surprisingly tolerant behavior despite demands by residents for them to take action and despite the blowback from their collective inaction resulting in slashings and assaults in the vicinity.

Which makes it a wonder why the cops have been standing down so long from enforcing the normal curfew and allowing these baccanalias and calamitous events to continue. Turns out that the man who kneeled along with the former Chief Monahan  for de Blasio’s NYPD’s gaslighting solidarity photo op for the George Floyd/Black Lives Matter movement is David “Shaman” Ortiz, who just happens to promoter of the WSPAZ DJ ragers and also for illegal unsanctioned public boxing matches that are held right by the Arch the cops are protecting. And it’s quite clear that they are protecting Promoter Ortiz party plans as well, which gives the impression that this guy has been giving de facto permission and permits in the park as part of the city’s recovery for all of us, giving de Blasio the optics to declare the Summer of NYC is off to a rousing successful start. Maybe that’s why the Blaz is confident that the violence and noise in WSP will take a natural course back to normalcy.

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Ortiz has not been shy about this symmetry either nor his contempt for the residents of this district and he can’t help himself from talking shit about it too.

“This is my response to the residents, If you have an issue with amplified sound and you live in the downtown area, you live in the Washington Square Park area, then you should move.”

Can’t really blame this opportunistic reprobate for his hubris, especially when looters were able to capitalize from last year’s BLM protests that got the majority of the police response and aggression last year as they ransacked every high end designer clothing and jewelry store in Soho and every small business in the middle and lower AMI income town Fordham in the Bronx with hardly any effort at repression from the NYPD. Also revealing is that these lootings were still continuing throughout 2020 even without the presence of protests ahead of them. Protests also continued sporadically during last year too and guess which public activity got the bigger police response again? All this impunity and abuse of authority made possible under the purview and the street policing decisions of former chief Monahan.

Now that Monahan is making a half million dollars this year and felonious crimes and shootings making distressing upward trajectories, it’s a wonder if his advice and his presence at the city’s abominable EDC office is actually being detrimental to the city’s recovery and also if he is giving bad advice on purpose since it’s highly doubtful he’s going to remain a city worker when this hellish final year of the Blaz is over. Looks like the current circumstances makes it clear he still as much a human profligate tax boondoggle and moral hazard to the city as he was when he was wearing a white shirt being an abusive and disconnected high brass cop and police chief.

And he’ll continue to get away with it. Because the lawlessness that’s gripped the streets doesn’t hold a candle to and is only an extension of the bureaucratic anarchy directed by the Blaz in City Hall.

 

 

The Great NYC Ferry Subsidies Robbery And City Bus Austerity

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$9.75 a ride and 670 + million for that piece of shit

“The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few”

S’chn T’gai Spock.

The NY Post reported the other day that the prime demographic that frequently uses the NYC Ferry are upper class people making six figures.

But we all knew it.

The fucking New York City Economic Development Corporation knew it.

The goddamn New York City Mayor knew it.

And both of them fucking spent every second of city time trying to hide it for two years.

The NYC Ferry is mostly used by the wealthiest commuters by the river towers that are owned and run by all of Mayor deFaustio’s developer overlord donors. Notably at the ports on the west Brooklyn coast line where it’s a leisure walk away from them (plus Hunter’s Point in Queens).

The current cost for each taxpayer for each $2.75 ride across the rivers and under the bridges is currently at $9.75. A seven dollar loss for each ride millions of people don’t take or don’t bother to take because they don’t live near the ports. And because they probably have no need and use for the boats because they are just plain inconvenient for where they are located and where they need to go.

If they are not the overvalued rental market rate rent paying tower people, it’s tourists and hipsters going to Rockaway Beach. Which is probably the most popular destination of the city gentrification yachts. Which is where some of this profligate spending on this boondoggle is located.

Because whats constantly overlooked about this obscene and overtly useless and consistently vacant aqua transit service is that there is a free shuttle bus service when you get off the ferry. Although ever since this started, you have to pay another fare to get on a city bus.

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Now above is the Rockaway port, the picture was taken in 2017 late in the summer when it first started. It should be noted that these stylish shuttle buses weren’t available until late August and the city was actually using big ass charter buses to transport upper class denizens to the beach.

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Above is the city bus stop for the Q22, now why are free ferry shuttle buses necessary when you can just set up a free transfer from the city bus to go to your desired destination, because both buses go to the same places east and west of the peninsula. Why clearly spend money irresponsibly on some private company buses when you got a long time city transit service right there in front of your face?

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Because said private company, San Francisco based Hornblower wouldn’t be able to profit from reallocated funds usurped from city buses as service continues to get worse.

And nothing illustrates this more than two recent decisions by the MTA, the worst fucking transit system in the universe, about two major routes that are being gutted and also dissected with scattershot redesigns.

Take the B46 in Brooklyn (while you still can) that goes up and down Utica Ave through three towns and circuits through another four starting at Flatlands and ending in Williamsburg; just last summer the MTA cut 8 buses assigned for the route, cutting four buses from the evening rush and another four for the weekend routes plus the Select bus service line from Mill Basin. Leaving thousands of commuters wasting more time waiting at the stops and taking forever to get back home, in addition to working people reliant on these articulated buses winding up late to work to their weekend jobs. As if paying 2.75 for truncated service was enough of a burden for the majority of them earning around 25k or less a year. All for the MTA to save a measly 2.4 million dollars this year.

Despite the MTA’s pathetic attempt at positive reinforcement propaganda by calling these cuts “enhancements” and the size bigger buses to replace just as big and more reliable buses as “articulated”, commuters in East Flatbush, Bed-Stuy and Crown Heights are not fooled to say the least. Even the “articulated” bus drivers are livid with the service cuts “enhancements”. This enhancement transit service decision actually followed recent “enhancements to the B38, B15 and B54 bus lines that didn’t get as much local media attention.

Now the (mostly) boyz and galz at the MTA are taking their enhancement ax to Queens as they tried to sneak an expansive new city bus route redesign map on the world’s borough. And it’s a doozy, as it reveals more truncated routes, bus reductions and the elimination of bus stops. The MTA even had the audacity to hold a workshop meeting in a basement rumpus room under the radar from residents of Jackson Heights in a lame attempt at obligatory transparency. Citizens still showed up in droves waiting to get in to rage at Andy Byford’s face about the “enhancements” coming to their busy route. All he could do was feebly say that they are not set in stone.

The whole reason for these cuts in service was based on dubious data claiming that people weren’t taking the buses as much. So the bright idea and solution is to make them less available. Got it. Somehow these data manipulators (datanipulators?) contracted by the MTA weren’t aware of or too stubborn to recognize the existence of working people who didn’t work in Manhattan, elderly and handicapped people, teenagers, young and middle aged adults going on leisure jaunts would consider using the bus for transit.

So where and how does this correlate to the pleasure ferries for the rich, the millions of dollars all those bus service enhancements have to wind up somewhere. Well, the budget bill for these boats for the past 2 years is $637,000,000 and even with a spending freeze order for more Hornblower boats by Comptroller Scott Stringer. While the city provided the buses with only $250,000,000 during that time. Bill de Blasio and the fucking EDC has spent 2 1/2 times more funding the gentrification ferries than on the city buses since the boats set sail.

 

It’s bad enough that the NYC ferry is constantly vacant most of the time and doesn’t even compare to the millions of riders every day that take the bus to justify the inequitable subsidy and daily service funding, but even worse is that Hornblower is making the most money from it by just existing even though the city already had two reliable ferry companies. But wouldn’t it have made a little sense to align the Q22 with the ferry instead of having a private company shuttle transferring passengers around if they weren’t going to charge anyone? So taxpayers don’t have to subsidize Hornblower’s shuttle buses too? The same with the other ferry ports around the boroughs also.

But integration of the city buses and the ferry is far from the elitist mind of defiant hypocrite Mayor de Blasio. Because going by his recent decision to blow off the MTA’s capital plan meeting with Governor Cuomo and recent arrogant declarations of his disinterest of allocating funding to the transit system he’s also accountable for, it’s obvious he still doesn’t want to do anything with the buses at all.

Despite the colossal waste of money going into the water drifting boondoggle, it actually has made a little bit of progress regarding ridership with the addition of the Soundview port in the Bronx, which has made the ferries oh so less white in the past year. But the racial and class issue could have been remediated a lot more if de Blaz and the EDC would have gave the town of Canarsie a port stop, especially since the town actually wanted it. This would have done wonders for the income and race data being that the town and nearby Flatlands and Brownsville are mostly poor, middle class, Black and Spanish. But the Mayor and the EDC saw their petition and told them to drop dead. Unfortunately for Canarsie, the area has an inequitable lack of luxury towers.

There will probably (expectedly) be more belated revelations that will anchor the NYC Ferry with more unsavory things like rigged contracting and the expected donations from Hornblower to the constantly money soliciting and grubbing de Blasio while he continues to re-allocate city transit service funding on these subsidy leaking boats as the service expands to other locations in a few years like Coney Island, which at this moment predatory developers are looking to devour. Or “enhance”

de Blasio’s and the EDC’s enhancement of the breezy water transit for the tower people has led to austerity measures for the working people, aged and handicapped on the streets when it should be the other way around. A pointed ear alien once said that the needs of the many should outweigh the needs of the few. He also was very devoted to logic. And it is clear and obvious, just like this ferry report, that Blaz and the shitty EDC have no sense and never had any use of logic for the distribution of these boats. But they had the logistics for them. And it was for the people they prefer to convenience. And for everyone else that needs the bus, it’s all illogistics.

NYC to bus commuters. Drop Dead.