[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.]
Consider this an update to my post earlier today suggesting that the poor performance of snow plowers in NYC, if deliberately deficient, might give rise to criminal liability.
Dan Halloran is the city councilman who first brought out the story about the intentional work slowdown, so he appeared on Your World with Neil Cavuto (an extremely misleading title, because Cavuto was nowhere to be seen), and told his tale.
In my mind, the really devastating part is the stats this guy rattles off. He says, more or less, sure there were less workers. But there were just as many plows and plenty of men to man them. He pointed out previous instances involving greater amounts of snow where the clean up went faster. And he pointed out that 10% of the sanitation workers “called in sick” that day. If all that is true, it is hard to defend. The last time I wondered if homicide charges would be justified. And while there are significant questions about the cause of death and how much this alleged slowdown might have contributed to it, I am confident now that if they caused this child’s death, they can be held liable for criminal negligent homicide, if not actually manslaughter.
Meanwhile Mayor Bloomberg is calling for a probe, which is the right thing to do. These are serious, but unproven, charges. Let’s find out what happened. And I was pleasantly surprised to see Bloomberg not playing this up too much, even though it might save his political bacon.
And I had been hearing reports all day about a second death potentially attributable to the stoppage and finally tracked down that report:
A Queens woman who was having trouble breathing and a baby born in a apartment building lobby reportedly died after emergency crews had difficulty reaching them due to snow-covered streets.
The 75-year-old woman’s daughter and neighbors called 911 for 20 minutes on Monday, according to the NY Daily News. After finally getting through, they allegedly waited three hours for EMS to arrive at their home in Corona. The woman had died.
Her daughter, Laura Freeman, told the paper that EMS workers did all they could to reach her mother.
State Senator Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst) is demanding an inquiry into the woman’s death.
“The city must immediately determine whether the death of Yvonne Freeman can be attributed to the impact the snowstorm had on the city’s ability to respond to emergencies–from an overburdened 911 system to unplowed streets impeding timely movement of emergency vehicles and lifesaving equipment,” said Peralta.
And there is this bit. I had never heard the actual amount of snow that fell before:
New York City was slammed with nearly two feet of snow that began falling on Sunday afternoon. By Wednesday, streets in all the five boroughs remained unplowed.
Um, wait, two feet? That’s what caused all of this? That is what took days to clean up?
Okay last year, we had two feet, in motherfraking Manassas, Virginia. We weren’t half that paralyzed. All this bullsh– is over two feet? You have to be fraking kidding me. In my mind the theory of deliberate stoppage just became 100% more plausible.
Finally as a little video zen, here’s Reagan responding to the air traffic controllers’ strike.
H/T: The Campaign Spot.
[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]