Bike chasers

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Anonymous's picture
Anonymous's picture
Carol Wood (not verified)
Two positive signs at last night's Critical Mass

"1. Three arrests instead of 40; none for ""parading without a permit.""

2. Reporter begins article with anecdotal lede, meaning news is not quite so hard to take.

But some things will take more effort to change:

""....On the tape, Chief Smolka and his aide, who were not in police uniforms and did not appear to display badges, grabbed the riders as they crossed West 43rd Street. Ms. Wheeler fell to the pavement ..... Chief Smolka can be seen grasping the chain as she got up....

I love you, Jim Dwyer. Please keep the spotlight on this abuse of power.


You too, Sarah.
Voice article"

Anonymous's picture
Mordecai Silver (not verified)
Jim Dwyer

Is this Jym Dyer's nom de plume, by any chance? ;-)

Anonymous's picture
Carol Wood (not verified)
More press


""The city may be fighting a losing battle against the Critical Mass bike rides.

As warmer weather promises to bring even larger crowds to the rides, observers wonder whether the recent court setbacks will affect police enforcement....

The NYPD's top spokesman, Paul Browne said the department's position remains unchanged despite the legal setbacks.

'If participants obey the law they will not face arrest or summonses,"" he said via e-mail. ""If they break the law, they do face arrest or summonses.'""

It's amazing how the NYPD keeps up this line, even though most people they collar on the rides aren't doing anything illegal (e.g. riding in the bike lane, stopping at red lights.) And how unnecessarily roughly they treat them."

Anonymous's picture
Richard Rosenthal (not verified)
NYPD geometry: things = to the same thing are NOT= to each other

"Paul Browne states ""If (Critical Mass riders) break the law, they do face arrest or summonses.""

CM riders have been arrested for simply going through red lights and obstructing traffic and their bikes confiscated. OK, ticket 'em, many drivers have ever been jailed for simply going through a red light or obstructing traffic or had their cars confiscated.

Same infraction; same violation; different treatment. Why?

As some failed businessman once said, ""You're doin' a heck of a job, Brownie."""

Anonymous's picture
Peter Engel (not verified)

"In Friday night's Critical Mass ride, I was tagged from behind by NYPD Cmdr. Bruce Smolka at Sixth Avenue between 29th & 30th Street, told I was ""under arrest,"" and then taken to the side, and ""guarded"" by an officer on the sidewalk as my driver's license was run.

Smolka then conferred with other cops in a van. There was confusion for a few minutes as World Carefree Network observers asked us whether we were under arrest. I said I didn't know.

Smolka disappeared after leaving the van. 15 minutes later, I was given a $200 summons for running a red light, only the ticket was issued by P.O. Borland and it says the offense occured at 30th Street.

There are several things that bother me:

- I never even made it to 30th Street (where the light was green) before Cmdr. Smolka grabbed me.

- I actually didn't run any red lights on 6th Avenue. The ride respected those laws, mainly because we were riding alongside the police.

- If P.O. Borland didn't witness me riding through the red light, as Smolka claimed, can he issue the citation?

As you probably guessed, I'm pleading Not Guilty and taking this to court, mainly because I didn't actually break the law. I also feel my rights may have been violated. On the selfish side, that ticket is $200 and points on my license. I can see how these kind of NYPD tactics would discourage CM participation.

I honestly have very mixed feelings about what occurs during CM rides, and don't like the general lack of respect for traffic laws or motorists shown by riders. I rode on Friday night with an open mind, to see for myself what the NYPD would do now that courts say the CM ride isn't illegal. Well, now I know, and I'm angry.


Anonymous's picture
Carol Wood (not verified)


Sorry to hear about it. A $200 ticket is better than $1200+ in court fees plus a night in jail. But it still is unacceptable punishment for a violation you didn't commit.

Did you contact Freewheels? There were a couple of lawyers at Wednesday's panel who can probably help you. I will send you the email address of one.

Also, note that they cannot give you points on your driver's license for a bike violation, or nonviolation in this case. You have to contact the DMV in Albany to get them removed. One of the lawyers can tell you better than I can.

Good luck."

cycling trips