Park Slope parents and kids are invited to sound off on the new police anti-teen-hangout initiative, and the claim that officers told black Slope students to “get out of the neighborhood” last month, at a town hall meeting tonight.
The coordinated campaign to clear the sidewalks of neighborhoods from Park Slope to Dumbo of groups of youngsters may be new, as may the recent accusation that it was administered in a racist-seeming way, but kids have plenty of experience with police treatment like that, a Facebook page for Park Slope Collegiate high school said.
“Most PSC students will tell you that they not surprised by this recent story [regarding the purported ‘get out of the neighborhood’ order] and yesterday and today they have voiced their anger about similar incidents that they have experienced and heard about,” read a post announcing the meeting.
The meeting is for students and parents from Park Slope Collegiate and three other high schools that are part of the John Jay Educational Campus. It will be held in the campus cafeteria at 6 pm.
The claim of biased policing in the Slope came up at a recent meeting of the 78th Precinct Community Council, according to DNAInfo. Police did not dispute the substance of the “get out of the neighborhood” exchange, but later claimed officers didn’t say the word “neighborhood,” and that they were responding to a fight and told the kids to “go home,” the New York Daily News reported.
The shooing was apparently part of the tactic of breaking up groups of kids wherever they gather outside, which was adopted last month by three precincts and the Transit Bureau with input from the Barclays Center, MetroTech Center, and Atlantic Terminal mall, as The Brooklyn Paper first reported. The campaign is supposed to stop fights and mischief before they happen, according to police brass from the precincts serving Downtown and Fort Greene. But a civil lawyer blasted the strategy, saying it is patently unconstitutional.
The 78th Precinct’s commanding officer Frank DiGiacomo did not respond to requests for comment, but a Community Affairs officer at the station house said its officers had not been invited.
Teen policing town hall meeting at John Jay Educational Campus (237 Seventh Ave. between Fourth and Fifth streets, in the cafeteria, in Park Slope). Tonight at 6 pm.