Rights advocate says state senator with violent history shoved him at New York Capitol

ALBANY — A disability rights advocate made a complaint to New York State Police saying he was shoved twice in the state capitol building by state Sen. Kevin Parker, a Brooklyn Democrat with a history of violent behavior.

Michael Carey said his confrontation with Parker took place Wednesday after he approached the senator before a committee meeting and asked him to cosponsor a piece of legislation. Parker lost his temper, Carey said, after the advocate described the legislation as tackling a “Dr. Martin Luther King type of situation” regarding discrimination against people with disabilities.

Carey said the senator got inches from his face and yelled “I don’t care.”

Carey, who became an advocate after his son Jonathan died while in state care, said he responded “You don’t care that my son died?”

He said Parker then grabbed him by his shoulders and shoved him, causing him to stumble backward. Carey said Parker then shoved him again.

“I was shocked. I couldn’t believe what happened,” Carey told The Associated Press.

Parker opened a committee meeting after the incident by joking that he hoped it would be “as exciting as the pre-game.”

His office did not respond to requests for comment.

New York State Police said Wednesday that they responded to a “disturbance,” but didn’t elaborate.

The office of Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins did not respond to questions asking about the incident.

Parker has a history of physical altercations.

In 2005, he was arrested on a third-degree assault charge after he was accused of punching a traffic agent who gave him a ticket for double-parking. The same year, he had his pass for state buildings temporarily suspended for violating security regulations. Two former aides complained that Parker had physically assaulted them in separate incidents. One said he shoved her and smashed her glasses at a campaign office. Parker wasn’t charged in either incident.

In 2009, Parker was arrested again after he chased a New York Post photographer and damaged his camera. He was ultimately convicted of misdemeanor criminal mischief charges. The Senate majority leader at the time, Malcolm Smith, stripped Parker of his position as majority whip.

Last year, Parker was accused in a lawsuit of raping a woman early in his legislative career. The lawsuit is still pending. Parker called the rape accusation “absolutely untrue.”

Carey said he had wanted Parker’s support for legislation requiring staff in state and private facilities to report incidents of suspected abuse or neglect of vulnerable people to a 911 operator.


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