Monday, May 27, 2024

State Senator With Violent Past Accused of Shoving Disability Rights Advocate at New York Capitol

Disability Rights Advocate Alleges Assault by New York State Senator

Disability Rights Advocate Accuses New York State Senator of Shoving Him in Capitol Building

Albany, N.Y. (AP) – A disability rights advocate, Michael Carey, has made a complaint to New York State Police alleging that he was physically assaulted by state Sen. Kevin Parker in the state capitol building. Parker, a Brooklyn Democrat with a history of violent behavior, reportedly shoved Carey twice during a confrontation on Wednesday.

The incident reportedly occurred after Carey approached Parker before a committee meeting and asked him to support a piece of legislation. According to Carey, Parker became agitated when the legislation was compared to addressing a “Dr. Martin Luther King type of situation” regarding discrimination against people with disabilities. Carey recounted that Parker yelled, “I don’t care,” in response to his request, which led Carey to mention the death of his son in state care. This emotional exchange allegedly escalated when Parker grabbed Carey by the shoulders and shoved him, causing him to stumble backward. Carey claimed that Parker shoved him a second time during the altercation.

In a statement to The Associated Press, Carey expressed shock over the incident, while Parker’s office did not respond to requests for comment. The New York State Police confirmed they responded to a “disturbance,” but provided no further details. The office of Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins also did not comment on the matter.

This is not the first time Parker has been involved in physical altercations. In the past, he has faced assault charges and accusations of violence against aides. In 2009, Parker was arrested for chasing a photographer and damaging his camera, which resulted in a conviction for misdemeanor criminal mischief.

Carey, who advocates for legislation requiring staff to report suspected abuse or neglect of vulnerable individuals, had sought Parker’s support for the proposed bill. The incident underscores the importance of addressing the treatment of individuals with disabilities and the need for adequate protection and support in state and private facilities.

The allegations against Parker highlight concerns about his behavior and potential impact on his role as a lawmaker. The lawsuit filed against him last year for rape allegations adds to the controversy surrounding his conduct. As the investigation into this latest incident unfolds, it raises questions about accountability and responsibility for elected officials in ensuring the well-being and safety of all individuals within their jurisdiction.

This latest confrontation serves as a stark reminder of the challenges faced by advocates in pushing for legislative changes and the importance of addressing issues of abuse and neglect in facilities caring for vulnerable populations. The need for transparency and accountability in addressing such incidents is paramount in upholding the rights and dignity of all individuals, especially those who are most at risk in society.

Maysoon Khan is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.

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