NY Lawmaker Tweets to GOP Legislative Aide: “Kill yourself!”
By Nick Reisman City of Albany |
(NY1.com) – Democratic state Sen. Kevin Parker tweeted “kill yourself” to a spokeswoman for the Republican conference in a since-deleted exchange on Tuesday, that led to a rebuke from incoming Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins.
“I sincerely apologize,” Parker wrote later on Twitter. “I used a poor choice of words. Suicide is a serious thing and and should not be made light of.”
What prompted Parker’s tweet was when Senate GOP spokeswoman Candice Giove tweeted that a parking placard assigned to Parker did not match a vehicle’s license plate. The car itself was, according to another tweet, blocking a bike lane.
Parker’s comment was swiftly criticized by lawmakers in both parties.
“I was disappointed in Senator Parker’s tweet,” Stewart-Cousins said in a statement. “Suicide is a serious issue and should not be joked about in this manner. I am glad that he has apologized.”
Republican state Sen. Tom O’Mara called the comment “outrageous.” Another Republican, Sen. Robert Ortt, called it “reckless.”
“At a time when 20 veterans a day commit suicide, tweets such as Sen. Parker’s should not be taken lightly, and I expect my colleagues across the aisle to hold him responsible for his comment,” O’Mara said.
Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, who was made aware of the exchange by a reporter in an unrelated question-and-answer session, called the comment “inappropriate.”
The blow up came just weeks before Democrats are taking majority control of the state. Parker himself is in line to become the next chairman of the Senate Energy Committee.
He is the sponsor of a bill that would require law enforcement to review a person’s social media history before obtaining a firearm.
Information on the national suicide prevent hotline can be found here.