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Columbus Park Controversy: Chin Comes Away from Police Meeting with Few Answers

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We’ve been following the controversy that erupted in Chinatown after the videotaped arrest of a man in Columbus Park earlier this month.  City Councilmember Margaret Chin, as well as representatives from the offices of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Borough President Scott Stringer and community groups met today with 5th Precinct officers and Parks Department officials.  Tonight Chin has put out a press release, which reads in part:

The NYPD refused to answer specific questions about the incident in question, citing that the matter was subject to an ongoing internal investigation. “The tension between the NYPD, area residents, and performers in Columbus Park has persisted for far too long,” Council member Chin said in a statement. “The incident in Columbus Park last week was unacceptable – for both the officers and for the community members involved. There are clear rules to obtaining permits for amplified sound in all of the City’s parks and they must be adhered to without exception. We also must ensure that the permitting process is transparent, accessible, and equitable for all who want to use this public space.  Our local precincts are there to protect us and they must be respected as they go about their duties.  The situation that occurred in Columbus Park is disheartening on many levels. We must promote better understanding and closer ties between our local police precincts and the members of our community.”

The 5th Precinct Community Council ‘s monthly meeting will be held tomorrow night (7 p.m., 21 Spring Street). We’ll be there to see whether residents question precinct commanders about the Columbus Park incident.

On June 27th, Community Board 3 is planning a meeting in Columbus Park to go over rules for granting sound permits.

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