1. Las Vegas shooting: The October 1st mass shooting by one man, into an outdoor crowd (estimated at 20,000 spectators) watching a Route 91 Harvest festival concert at the Mandalay Bay Hotel, was done by a suicidal lone wolf, Stephen Paddock, which law enforcement will never understand his motives after Las Vegas Metropolitan police found him dead from self-inflicted gunshot wound(s). How striking is that Mr. Paddock was able to carry 23 varieties of assault rifles, shotguns, thousands of rounds worth of ammunition to carry out his carnage, two platforms to set his line of sight, and even hand made cameras setup in the hotel's hallway outside his room so he can track any police presence. All the guns were in golf bags, on his own (didn't he feel nervous when the bellhop of hotel staff helped Mr. Paddock with his "belongings"?) Why nothing was captured on camera in the public areas which Mr. Paddock was roaming around? According to Hotels.com, the 4 star rated Mandalay Bay has 3,220 guestrooms - - not for nothing, but nobody really noticed anything wrong with Mr. Paddock or his "stash" carried in bag? How much time was needed to setup his personal cameras outside the hotel room, without anyone walking by on the 32nd floor, where Paddock stayed? Why is Vegas law enforcement changing the timeline of the shooting, saying the the hotel guard was either shot before or after Mr. Paddock's 10 minute shooting rampage? Paddock's car had thousand's more in ammo as well as fertilizer, didn't the valet staff notice anything wrong (possible odd chemical smell), and would Paddock feel comfortable leaving his fully "loaded" car with valet staff each night?
I'm just saying
Yet closer to home was a breakthrough in the New York City's "war" (quotes added) on Placard Abuse with 31 perps arrested for using counterfeit parking placards of assorted varieties to illegally park in New York City, mostly in Manhattan and the outer borough's Civic Center areas. All you need is PowerPoint, a good high dpi color printer and a laminating machine. I do note that the majority of placards are legitimate and even so, they can be abused too, by parking at fire hydrants, bus stops, crosswalks, taxi zones and No Standing/Stopping zones as NY State Assemblywoman Diane Richardson found out the wrong way when she tried to embarrass a traffic agent - - all prohibited parking locations according to the NYC Traffic Rules, Section 4-08. The various parking placards, range from NYC disability placards to combined NYC DOT/Law Department "Official Business" placards. On the day these perps were hauled from the 1st Precinct Stationhouse to Manhattan Criminal Court, Placard Abuse and I (whom we collaborate on Twitter) found plenty of fake placards and illegal license plate covers.
Is @DOINews's "proactive initiative" just one more #fakecrackdown meant to distract us from systematic #placardcorruption? pic.twitter.com/no1v7quEoY— placard corruption (@placardabuse) October 13, 2017
Same fraudulent placard camped out at regular hydrant behind @NYPD1Pct station house again today.— placard corruption (@placardabuse) October 13, 2017
You'd almost think they're conspiring. pic.twitter.com/R241r73O2p
An improvement for @NYPDTransport to actually write this #placardperp a summons for fake permit, but still not calling it in for an arrest? pic.twitter.com/KCni3MxiHE— placard corruption (@placardabuse) October 4, 2017
Maybe @MTAPD can help train @NYPDTransport to recognize fake placards? Missing something like this, they could use all the help they can get pic.twitter.com/EdEjZbBxh3— placard corruption (@placardabuse) October 11, 2017
I found a 2008 NYPD placard, with the "Courtesy Card" covering the expired year, and a so-called "Police Surgeon" placard.
@placardabuse what a clever way to use an #MyNYPD courtesy card on a Flintsones-era official placard from 2008. Greenwich by HLC tunnel exit #HFD7182 pic.twitter.com/4DR7OUfQtY— David-Paul Gerber (@WakefieldBxDave) October 13, 2017
@placardabuse wow a fake Police Surgeon placard.— David-Paul Gerber (@WakefieldBxDave) October 4, 2017
From Florida, with FL plate #DHTK49 at Pearl and Whitehall pic.twitter.com/FpbfYyUx77
Even so, there are hard facts and questions remain on this fake placard takedown. These observations should not detract the fine work done by the NYC Dept. of Investigation, as well as coordination from the NYPD and the NYC Dept. of Transportation
1. Of the 30 individuals charged, only 5 were charged with felony possession of a forged instrument (the fake placard) and four others were charged with offering a false instrument for filing (using the fake placard as "evidence" in their "defense" against a parking ticket). One of them slapped with the possession of a forged instrument charge, was caught selling a fake placard to an undercover DOI agent. The remaining 21 perps were only charged with misdemeanor criminal impersonation, nothing else. I wonder why the others (including those who used the placards to try beating those tickets) weren't hit with the felony possession of forged placards charges. Going deeper into this, it is most likely the majority of perps will have their charges dismissed after 6 months of good behavior, further encouraging their return to placard fraud. However, since these 30 were given the now-rare "perp walk" treatment at the 1st Precinct stationhouse, they won't want to risk embarrassing themselves again.
2. The concentration of this investigation occurred in Lower Manhattan, where DOI staff found out that these fake placards were not only taking up their reserved spaces, but nearby spaces reserved for ambulette services. But we all know that these fake placards are not just in Lower Manhattan, I found some in the Bronx too, like this one still out there on Bainbridge and 205th Street in the Bronx last Thursday (10/14), a week after the arrests.
And others of Twitter, including Placard Abuse found more fakes outside of Lower Manhattan, like this one in the Riverdale section of the Bronx:
This is definitely a fake placard... yet @NYPD50Pct is continuing to let it park illegally just down street from their station house. pic.twitter.com/fSWjTDcWhD— placard corruption (@placardabuse) October 15, 2017
However, according to Placard Abuse - - he was sending pertinent information for over a year, yett the investigation didn't open until March, 2017. Suddenly, they saw these fakes near their offices?
Is it "proactive" when you ignore continuous documentation submitted to you for a year & then finally react under mounting public pressure? pic.twitter.com/bO3Tsndezc— placard corruption (@placardabuse) October 4, 2017
3. The investigation does not include the so called "Theft Vests", where members of the NYPD, MTA New York City Transit and even some construction companies, use a reflective vest to throw it on their dashboard, "identifying" themselves as such to make it look like they are specially entitled to park there for free, without regarding for the parking regulations like these below. Some locations take up metered spaces which clearly is stealing from the city's revenue source, as well as making it difficult to have open parking spaces for customers and businesses.
For "smart truck" study: @placardabuse #theftvest in loading zone = oversized, double parked delivery truck = epic Flatbush congestion. pic.twitter.com/osN3d8B5l9— Joanna Oltman Smith (@jooltman) September 14, 2017
Blocking @NYCSanitation street cleaning hours. Fake @NYC_DOT @placardabuse, #theftvest at St. Johns & 7th @NYPD78Pct pic.twitter.com/LlF3HNvGW5— Joanna Oltman Smith (@jooltman) September 19, 2017
Is it safe to assume anyone using #theftvest is trying to cover for homemade placard, @placardabuse? If it’s real, @MTA should lose periods. pic.twitter.com/eHifqKX35T— Joanna Oltman Smith (@jooltman) October 4, 2017
Oh yea, you don;t need to work for the NYPD to get a vest - - it's all over eBay like this one sold. Want to make it look like you work for NYC Transit? Go bid on items like this MTA NYCT vest too. Oh, did we forget contractor vests? Amazon has them too. Then once you get that vest, you can literally park anywhere for free.
4. Finally the investigation does not tag real placards on vehicles which are registered from far away states, such as Florida and North Carolina - - like these.
@placardabuse another insurance fraud. @NCDOT @NCdotGov plate #DMZ8686 with @NYSCourtsDOPI placard pic.twitter.com/06gORPk3pD— David-Paul Gerber (@WakefieldBxDave) October 3, 2017
Video of vehicles with illegal license plate covers and Manhattan DA office staff with placard and Florida car. Incredibly, this video was taken the evening after the arrests - - of the Manhattan DA's office prosecuting these "dirty 30" they forgot one of their own for committing insurance fraud - - register you car in Florida while working in NYC to get dirt cheap insurance rates. Yet, nothing from DOI ot the Manhattan DA's office on this,
We have a long way to go in erasing placard abuse and insurance fraud.