What to Know
- State Sen. Kevin Parker tweeted “Kill yourself!” to a woman who claimed he misused a parking placard
- The tweet was quickly deleted, but captured in screenshots
- Parker later apologized for the tweet, saying he "used a poor choice of words" and adding that suicide "should not be made light of"
A New York state lawmaker who tweeted “Kill yourself!” to a woman who claimed he misused a parking placard later apologized for using "a poor choice of words."
State Sen. Kevin Parker sent the message to Twitter user Candice Giove, a Republican aide, on Tuesday after she tweeted that a New York State Senate placard placed on a car blocking a bike lane in Manhattan belonged to Parker.
“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,” Giove wrote.
“Kill yourself!” Parker responded.
Giove is a spokeswoman for the Senate's Republican conference. The tweet was deleted soon after, but captured in screenshots.
A few hours after the first tweet, Parker offered an apology to Giove.
"I sincerely apologize. I used a poor choice of words," he wrote. "Suicide is a serious thing and should not be made light of."
A spokeswoman for Parker didn’t immediately respond to request for comment.
Republican Senate Majority Leader John J. Flanagan called Parker's tweet "reprehensible."
"I am angry and disappointed that Senator Parker would go after one of my employees, or any employee of the New York State Senate, in this way," he said in a statement. "Suicide is a serious issue, and his cavalier and harmful language shouldn't be dismissed as just a poor choice of words. These words are beyond the pale and beneath the State Senate."
"There is simply no place for discourse like this in politics, in government, or anywhere. Actions have consequences, and as a member of the incoming Democrat Majority in the Senate, Kevin Parker should be reprimanded by his leadership immediately," Flanagan said.
Parker was arrested in Brooklyn in 2009 after a New York Post photographer claimed the lawmaker attacked him for taking his photo. He was acquitted of felony assault for the incident, but convicted of misdemeanor criminal mischief and sentenced to three years probation.
Less than a month ago, the state senator proposed a change to New York’s gun laws that would allow authorities to search social media for potential red flags before approving a handgun license.