Tuesday, April 23, 2019

About the NYPD cracking down on bikes without bells Saturday in Tompkins Square Park

[Screengrab from YouTube]

In case you were wondering about the large NYPD presence in Tompkins Square Park on Saturday afternoon... an estimated 50 cops turned up in the Park ahead of the sixth annual "420 Bake and Race" biking event.

According to published reports, organizer Shardy Nieves was arrested before the event started.

Per Streetsblog:

Nieves said as he walking into the park, he was greeted by the police officers — and one officer showed him a folder full of social media posts promoting the event, whose name is a cheeky pun for marijuana use, though Nieves claimed it actually refers to baked goods and pizza that the riders enjoy after the race.

Nonetheless, he was arrested on what cops said was an outstanding open container warrant.

The timing of his arrest the day of his racing event was suspicious, according to Nieves, who said he was pulled over this past summer for running a red light and was told his record was clean.

Following his arrest, police reportedly took Nieves to his home borough in the Bronx, where a judge dismissed the charges.

Meanwhile, the NYPD wasn't done in Tompkins Square Park.

Back to Streetsblog:

Police also wrote up cyclists, most of whom were kids of color, for not having bells on their bikes.

Cops confiscated their bikes and brought them to the local [9th] Precinct. Several kids had to wait hours to get them back, according to social media reports and one of the victims.

The NYPD left Tompkins Square Park for Union Square.

You can read the account of the day via this post at Gothamist. (There's also this 30-minute video taken during the NYPD's time in Tompkins.)

Council Speaker Corey Johnson shared his thoughts on the NYPD's actions on Saturday in this tweet...

Safe street advocates wonder why the city won't give the same attention to reckless drivers. Citing NYPD statistics, Gothamist reported that traffic fatalities in New York City this year have increased by 41 percent compared to the same time period of 2018.

Said City Councilmember Ydanis Rodriguez, chair of the council's Transportation Committee: "There are other priorities that the men and women of the NYPD should have, especially fighting crimes. Targeting cyclists should not be their priority. ...We don't have a history of cyclists being involved in crashes in a number that is alarming. So I hope the NYPD stops this type of practice and focuses their resources to fight crimes."

In a statement to Gothamist, NYPD spokesperson Detective Denise Moroney said:

The detail was in response to a large gathering of bicyclists called “420 Bake and Race” advertising smoking marijuana and traveling on New York City roadways to various locations. There was a total of four summons written for no bell on a bicycle (1236-B of the VTL) in the area of the park. There were a total of four bicycles were taken into custody for the violation and once the violation was corrected (bell affixed to the bicycle) all bicycles were returned in a 24-hour period. One person was taken into custody for an outstanding warrant. Members of the public and the NYPD have a shared responsibility to ensure safety for all navigating the streets of the city.

The "420 Bake and Race" ended up happening after all, just a little later than originally planned and without as many participants.

• NYPD Intimidates and Cracks Down on Cyclists For No Good Reason (Streetsblog)

• NYPD Seizes Bikes Without Bells, Arrests Cyclist Leading Group Ride (Gothamist)


Anonymous said...

Thank you NYPD, keepin us all so safe, n shit.

Anonymous said...

It's been 12 years since Janette Sadik-Khan was appointed Transpo Commish, kicking off the "complete streets" revolution that put city government squarely behind more bikes and bike infrastructure. It's been 5 years since Bill deBlasio became mayor, in part because he campaigned as the father of black children who would end racist police abuse (he also promised to expand bike infrastructure). We have a City Council full of explicit anti-racists and environmentalists who say they want to see bike ridership increase. And yet this shit keeps happening. NYPD keeps bullying cyclists and young people of color. Can anything stop it? Are they totally unaccountable? Is it always still Giuliani Time for our boys and girls in blue? I'm so angry.

Anonymous said...

Four tickets at a pot meetup and one open warrant arrest doesn't sound like much of a crackdown. protip: if you are asked for your ID and you have an open warrant you are going to have a problem.

As a cyclist I don't get the bell requirement and have never been ticketed for it. Some mid level cop was offended by the pot angle and decided to be a uh bummer.

Anonymous said...

One more instance of bikers thinking the rules don't apply to them. And then they wonder why people have an issue with bike riders?

A BELL is a minimum requirement for the safety of the riders and everyone else the rider encounters, yet many of these people can't be bothered, which reads as a big "eff-you" to pedestrians and officials alike.

If bike riders want more respect, they need to learn that respect works both ways.

Anonymous said...

I was there for this nonsense. Over 30 cops and a handful of cyclists. Never seen so many cops in the park in the last 20 years. Where are they when actual crimes are taking place? Ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

meanwhile they won't do anything about open drug use, defecating in public, homeless and drifters taking up sidewalks and parks as their home to destroy as they please. leaving filth, needles, garbage, etc. making it awful to even just walk down the street. NYPD leaves them be, can't do anything about it but this, they just can't walk away from this.

cmarrtyy said...

All rules of the road should be enforced whether 2 wheel or 4. Then we all can feel safe.

Anonymous said...

I wish the police would do something about the private trash haulers who fly around the streets in the pre-dawn hours. I've called 311 with license plate numbers of the trucks I see run lights. The city is more concerned with ticketing 13 years olds for having a bike with a bell though.

Anonymous said...

Historic NYPD motto:

Makin' quota AND harshin' the buzz

Anonymous said...

Take some of those cops and put them on eastbound M14D buses to stop the ceaseless flow of people with expensive clothes, Apple ear buds, and fancy shopping bags from boarding the bus through the back door and evading the fare. It's especially bad at the Irving Place stop, if they care to check it out.

Anonymous said...

@5:24 PM

Do some research about the origins of the private trash haulers. They are wise guys, so to speak. Bikers over sharing on social media about a smoke out too er happy to realize it's not fully legal yet. They aren't wise guys, in more ways than one.

Giovanni said...

If the NYPD wants the public to obey traffic laws, then they really need to change their motto to something other than "To Protect and Swerve."

Charles said...

Agree with the nypd's tompkin's square park action, but would also like to see similar effort put on lawless, reckless bicyclists who speed and run red lights. These types give all bicyclits a bad name.
And focusing on motorists who speed to make turns, and then not yield but cut off bicyclists already in the bike lane (with the right of way).

Anonymous said...

@Anon 3:20 -

Perhaps that two-way respect could start with the commissioner himself, who doesn't bother with a bell:


Andy said...

I have the shittiest bell on my bike because I heard about this type of entrapment.

John Penley said...

Next year call it bring a 40 oz bottle of cheap beer instead of pot to the ride and promote it as a good old daze TSP get together with free beer and bikes. Ask Jerry The Peddler to bring a case of Old English to give away. I promise to travel from wherever I am for the party and bike ride.

Anonymous said...

My bike bell makes that "AAAOOOOOOOGAA" sound.

Anonymous said...

Another positive community-building event, courtesy of the NYPD--not! I wait for the day the NYPD figures out that they make their own job a lot tougher by building distrust and fracturing community support through such pointless displays of white supremacist power.