August 30, 2004

NYPD vs bicycles

As the RNC kicks off at MSG, the NYPD has made it abundantly clear that the biggest threat to the convention is on two wheels. More than half the arrests so far have been of bicyclists, either at the Critical Mass event on Friday, or elsewhere over the course of a protest-filled weekend. It's very easy to arrest cyclists, because any group riding more than two abreast is technically committing a traffic violation. Gothamist's been covering the bike protests well, with Jake reporting today that Josh Kinberg, of the fabulous high-tech-meets-low-tech Bikes Against Bush, was arrested and his bike impounded while he was doing an interview with MSNBC! Kinberg is utterly law abiding, and it's still far from clear what he was arrested for. The same goes for Mike from Satan's Laundromat, who was arrested on Friday.

The police seem to think nothing of cordoning off an entire block's worth of cyclists and arresting them all – along with whatever passers-by might have been in the wrong place at the wrong time – en masse. Toby Bochan says that she "saw a really nasty arrest and two people who were definitely the victims of entrapment – the cop seemed to promise to show them 'how to get out the mess and home' but instead walked them to another cop who put them both in cuffs and took their bikes". The whole thing seems to be getting completely out of hand, and quite at odds with the mayor's pronouncements about welcoming peaceful protestors. Jeff Jarvis, on the other hand, just thinks the protestors are rude, and ought to stay at home and blog, instead.

Posted by Felix at 02:50 PM GMT
Comments
#1

Felix,

I saw what looked like about 10 undercover officers on unmarked mountain bikes this morning.

The critical mass action was pretty harsh since Bloomie decided to crack the whip without notice.

With five hundred arrests right now, it should be interesting to see what happens today.

Gherm

Posted by: Gherimiah on August 31, 2004 01:18 PM