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Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park graphic: what's built/what's coming + FAQ (pinned post)

Questions unresolved about neighborhood checkpoints; cops using rental buildings for pit stops

This is the third of several posts on the 6/9/20 Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Quality of Life meeting, the first ever virtual meeting, held on Zoom. The first concerned non-transparency. The second concerned the timing for new construction.

Several people were concerned about the barricades and checkpoints that have been established by New York Police Department, which have locked down access to various streets in Prospect Heights, sealing off the 78th Precinct, a temporary substation on Dean Street next to the Barclays Center, and part of the arena.

Looking west on Dean Street from Sixth Avenue
"We have no role" in these decisions, said Tobi Jaiyesimi of Empire State Development. "We aren’t able to speak to the NYPD’s observations or selection of locations."

So the request raised by several organizations and residents in an open letter--that police not be requesting ID from those aiming to enter the neighborhood--wasn't quite ventilated. Surely elected officials can learn more.

Note that one resident told me yesterday that police had not asked for an ID that day. It's not clear whether procedures have changed,  whether certain officers have begun to recognize certain residents, or whether procedures change at different times.

The NYPD in the neighborhood

Is the police department using the arena to marshal cops, who are massing outside during daily protests, and also gather nearby?

"They’ve shut down Dean Street, and have created a substation on Dean adjacent to Barclays Center," said arena spokeswoman Mandy Gutmann. That serves as a base for the police department to respond to protests throughout the borough, independent of the arena, she said.

"NYPD is not utilizing bathrooms within the arena," ESD's Tobi Jaiyesimi later said, after Gutmann had left. "This will be confirmed and noted within the [meeting] notes." 

(Given that the issue of bathrooms was raised later in the meeting, I after the meeting sent Gutmann that question by email, but haven't heard back.)

Police officers are using bathrooms at the 535 Carlton Avenue and 38 Sixth Avenue towers built by Greenland Forest City Partners (GFCP). 

"As a courtesy we did allow NYPD to use it," said Scott Solish of Greenland USA, the dominant partner in GFCP. "We are requiring that everyone wear a mask… If they do not have one, one is provided. It seems to be working well." 

That said, many maskless cops have been seen at neighborhood checkpoints, so I've heard concern about officers without masks going into the buildings. 

The 78th Precinct is just down the block from 38 Sixth.


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