New York State Senator Kevin Parker tweeted “kill yourself” at a GOP aide after she pointed out unauthorized use of his official parking placard.
Parker has since deleted the tweet, which was captured in a screenshot and shared on Twitter, and apologized for “a poor choice of words.”
Here’s what happened: Candice Giove, a former New York Port reporter and current Deputy Communications Director of the New York state Senate’s Republican majority, responded to a tweet from Dec. 13 concerning a car blocking the Second Avenue bike lane between 43rd and 44th streets.
A parking placard on the car identified the vehicle as being on “official business” for the state of New York, but obstructing a bike lane is illegal in New York City.
The original tweet identified the then-unknown senator responsible for the car as an “arrogant scofflaw” for clearly breaking the law.
Giove then stepped in with more information, identifying the parking placard as one assigned to Senator Kevin Parker. But, she added, the license plate number on the placard does not match the vehicle, meaning “he either used it in another car or gave it to someone to use, both of which are not permitted.”
It got to the bottom of this. The placard is assigned to @SenatorParker. However, the license plate # on the placard does not match the vehicle. So he either used it in another car or gave it to someone to use, both of which are not permitted. https://t.co/dcu6ZUyVVO
— Candice Giove (@candicegiove) December 18, 2018
It was to this tweet that Parker responded, “Kill yourself!” The person who originally tweeted the photo, Chesney Parks or @chesneycheckers, was blocked by Parker on Twitter, as well.
Chesney (not their real name) told Metro in an email that they cycle around New York City all the time and often tweet pictures of drivers who abuse their city parking placards and compromise cyclist safety.
“Placard abuse is a huge problem in this city and symptomatic of a wider culture of entitlement and corruption among authorities and city workers,” they told Metro. “Senator Parker’s response to this has been absolutely disgraceful and shows that he has the wrong temperament for public service. He could have just apologized and promised that it wouldn’t happen again, instead he chose to get abusive. He even blocked me!”
“Expose a senator’s corrupt law breaking and this is the thanks you get,” @chesneycheckers tweeted with a screenshot showing they got blocked.
Beyond parking placards, Senator Kevin Parker and outbursts
When Giove shared Parker’s tweet, adding, “Did a Senator just write this to me?” Parker then deleted his harsh response. He tweeted to Giove, writing, “I sincerely apologize. I used a poor choice of words. Suicide is a serious thing and and should not be made light of.”
But the internet never forgets, and people immediately started sharing screenshots of Parker’s “kill yourself” tweet.
Parker’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Metro, but it seems Parker isn’t done tweeting. About two hours after telling Giove to kill herself, he attacked her again.
“Where was @Candicegiove when NYers voted for a #Democratic State Senate & progressive legislation like the Dream Act & CFE funding? That’s right, working with the #NOIDC appendage of the GOP. #DreamAct #CFEFunding,” he tweeted.
A few minutes later, he added that Giove “is on the wrong side of history for every important issue facing New York State!”
This isn’t Parker’s first outburst, either. The New York Times wrote about Parker in a 2010 article headlined “A Toxic Anger,” noting that Senator Parker is “known as the man with frightening rages that could erupt at any time and on almost any subject.”
He has been charged with punching a traffic enforcement agent, per the Times, faced allegations of shoving an aid and stepping on her $300 glasses, and was fighting charges of assaulting a New York Post photographer in 2010.
Parker seems to revel in his aggressive reputation, though. He told WCBS in 2010 that his outbursts of calling State Senate colleagues “racists” and “white supremacists” got him on the show — as in, more press attention.