Park Slope

Woman Tries To Take Down Sammy Cohen-Eckstein Memorial


Sammy Cohen-Eckstein Memorial via ckoh on Instagram

Soon after 12-year-old Sammy Cohen-Eckstein was hit and killed by a van near his home on Prospect Park West in October, a memorial of signs, stuffed animals, and flowers was arranged nearby at the 3rd Street entrance of Prospect Park. While his family, friends, and the community still grieve, apparently one woman decided that it was up to her to say when that memorial should come down.

A neighbor wrote to FIPS about what he’d seen happen there on Thursday:

Biked into 3rd St. entrance to Prospect Park just as a woman was cutting all of the mementos off of Sammy’s memorial. The woman came prepared with a scissor and large shopping bag to put the mementos in. It so happened that another neighborhood parent – whose child was also a friend of Sammy’s – happened to run by and as he yelled at her she said she felt that there had been “enough mourning.” She told me she lived in Park Slope, which she felt gave her the right to do this.

The cops were called, the neighbor left, but then saw the woman again later near Grand Army Plaza.

Gothamist spoke with Sammy’s mother, Amy Cohen, who told them she’d replaced some of the items last night. “I cried inconsolably when I heard but I have no more information,” she told them.

Following Sammy’s passing, neighbors began getting more active about street safety in our area, and the city as a whole. The City Council has been currently considering a bill to lower the speed limit throughout NYC, and Amy even testified at a Council hearing to support the bill.

While we wait to see what happens with that, drivers on Prospect Park West at least will be required to slow it down a bit — Park Slope Neighbors noticed this afternoon that the DOT had installed new speed limit signs along the street, lowering the limit from 30 miles per hour to 25.

Photo by ckoh

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  1. Thank you for posting this! When I first read it, I was disgusted!! This person whoever they are has absolutely no right to do this!!!

    Who is she to decide what is ‘enough mourning”??? the only people to take down that memorial would be Amy or Gary or the Parks Dept!!! And, what was she planning on doing with the things she did take down? Was she going to give them to Sammy’s family?

    There are other sites around Park Slope where people died and and even years later, there are still flowers and other things left there, is that wrong too?

    My son who knew Sammy and went to elementary and middle school with him left something at the site. I’m going over tonight to see if it is still there, if not, it will be replaced. I wish someone had taken a photo of this woman. Grrrrr.

  2. Shameful. Let it stay up forever so that family and friends have a place to grieve and to remind people of the need for safer streets for our children.

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