28 July 2008

This is New York:: NYPD Untouchable

I witnessed something scary at Critical Mass last Friday. I was riding in the crowd for a few hours---a totally peaceful night, no police harassment. It seemed to me like the quite before a storm.

But when we made it to Times Square, things changed. Two young police officers jumped into the road among the cyclists, and knocked one to the ground. I was immediately behind him; I didn't see him do anything illegal or even interact with the police officers.

They simply assaulted him. He tried to flee from the unlawful arrest (which is legal, since unlawful arrest is assault), and was then arrested.

I admit that, for all I know, this guy was a wanted criminal. I think this is doubtful; even if he were, I find it hard to believe that an officer could have identified him among the hundreds of cyclists and thousands of tourists in Times Square.

Either way, be very scared. Riding a bike is a crime.

UPDATE: Here's a video of it on YouTube:

Also seen on Gothamist

UPDATE: Streetsblog reports,
Mark Taylor, an attorney with the firm representing the cyclist, says he is hopeful the charges will be dropped in light of the video evidence. Asked whether the NYPD plans to go ahead with the charges, a department spokesman said the matter is being investigated. Since the video surfaced, the officer has been put on desk duty.
I hope justice might be served for once.

1 comment:

Rob said...

It make me scary..