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Fort Greene Locals Demand Safer Traffic Conditions in Wake of Fatal Crash

By Janet Upadhye | November 20, 2013 4:44pm
 Fort Greene locals calling themselves "Make Brooklyn Safer" marched to the 88th Precinct Community Council meeting Tuesday night to ask police to enforce safer traffic laws.
Fort Greene March on Police Meeting
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FORT GREENE — Dozens of locals marched to the 88th Precinct Community Council meeting Tuesday night to demand that police pay more attention to traffic safety in the neighborhood in the wake of the fatal crash that killed a young boy.

Lucian Merryweather, 9, was killed Nov. 2 when an out-of-control SUV driver jumped a sidewalk on DeKalb Avenue and hit him and his mother, along with other pedestrians.

"I came here tonight in solidarity with the Merryweather family," said Jacob Stevens, whose wife Clara Heyworth was also struck and killed on a Fort Greene street two years ago. "We, as a community, want to make police understand that traffic enforcement should be a priority."

The group met at the entrance to Fort Greene Park Tuesday night and walked eight blocks to the police meeting where they chanted and held signs to draw attention to a spate of crashes in the area.

Captain Scott Henderson, the Deputy Inspector of the 88th Precinct, listened to comments from the public and said that although he has already issued 7,500 traffic summons this year, he would focus on issuing more failure to yield tickets.

Brooklyn District Attorney-elect Ken Thompson also attended the meeting to "listen to the community's concerns."

"The DA has to play a role and that is why I'm here," he said. "I will take this issue seriously and I intend to do things differently in January."

Current 35th District Community Council Member and Public Advocate-elect Letitia James was also in attendance and promised to urge incoming mayor Bill de Blasio to prioritize traffic safety in New York City.

"As Public Advocate my job is to be a pain in the butt to the tall guy. I'm gonna be a pain in the butt on behalf of Lucian Merryweather," she said. "We need to remain angry and we need to remain vigilant so we can put an end to this."