Yesterday (really the past three days) was the Annual West Indian Parade It is really huge and ends at Grand Army Plaza, which is kinda around the corner form my house. I remembered not to drive my car (or really not to think I can come home and park).
The entrances to Prospect Park at Grand Army Plaza, Bartel Prichard Square and Welllink were all being used to store police vehicles. The photo left shows a police tank parked on the grass near Grand Army Plaza. I had to walked past it to get to a water fountain. To add insult to injury the officer standing next to it was smoking a cigarette.
On the park roadway the quantity of police zooming around was immeasurable. At one point an unmarked police van was going the wrong way on a closed road. Not know which way he was going go around me I stopped. I wanted to let him decide how to go around me as to not get crushed. He swerved around and gave me a gratuitous burst of his siren as he almost sideswiped me It took all my grown up self control not to turn and flip him the bird.
I left the park at Lincoln Rd and found that I could not reenter the park at Wellink Dr. I was not even allowed to run up Flatbush Ave. I noticed some kids jumbling over the wall to enter the park I asked the cop standing 5 feet from where the kids were climbing over the wall if it is OK if I enter the park that way. She blankly stared away from me and said "You may if you choose" WTF. 20 feet the other way her Lieutenant is not letting me walk up the road and she wont make eye contact and give me the you may... when I ask her if I can climb over a wall that will land me behind the line that her boss wont let me cross.
So up on Wellink Dr there are literally hundreds of cops and they are having a BBQ. Never mind they they are not in a BBQ zone, but they are directly under a tree. The Prospect Park rules that cops are supposed to enforce state that you must be "at least 10 feet away from trees and overhead branches" to BBQ. I assume by now they did not burn down the park, but I will go back soon and see if they left a pile of coals on the grass.
It looks like this police army was all geared up to and detain and arrest a New York City Council Member. and video here.
I will remember to avoid Prospect Park on future Labor Days. I will also share this post with my neighbors the end of August in future years. Maybe the powers that be will also read it and realize that Prospect Park is not their personal shit-hole every Labor Day. Or maybe they will just build a big fence around the park so nobody notices.