More NYPD vs. Bikers

Wednesday, August 6th, 2008

Put aside your distaste for activist bikers for a sec, and note just how much the police reports here diverge from what’s captured on video. The incident starting at around the three minute mark is particularly troubling.

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90 Responses to “More NYPD vs. Bikers”

  1. #1 |  Dublinsaab | 

    This is way I avoid TS like the plague.

    The west village is a much more laid back place, even with all the poncey twats that have moved in over the last few years.

  2. #2 |  Sam | 

    Umm – why is there a general distaste for biker activists? Do libertarian/free-marketeers object to bicycle riding? I seriously have no idea what the objection would be from people who believe in freedom…

  3. #3 |  claude | 

    Starting to not even phase me anymore. :(

  4. #4 |  jagannath | 

    “I wonder how close we are to the day when the failure to have government-issued ID on one’s person is of itself and at all times a crime.”

    Required ID’s worked marvelously fine for Third Reich. It made it so much easier and faster to separate the subhumans or potential criminals of the day from Aryans as all was recorded in the Id papers.

  5. #5 |  J.E. Andreasen | 

    At what point do we begin to treat these thugs as the bald-faced violent criminals that they are?

    Were it not for their clothing and clipboards, any rational person could hardly be faulted in violently resisting them as necessary to stop their assault and protect the innocent from further predation.

    Stop buying into the “State” myth. Its sole purpose is risk reduction for evil.

  6. #6 |  Psion | 

    Sam, as a (formerly) ardent bicyclist, I’d say that it has to do with the behavior apparent from some of these bike activists. When I first got serious about bicycling, the first thing I learned was that a bicycle is a vehicle and the cyclist has to respect the same laws motor vehicle operators do. That means you stop for red lights.

    It’s true you can’t do as much damage to someone running a red light with a bicycle as you can with an auto, but you’re still talking about one to two hundred or so pounds of flesh and metal moving at up to twenty-five or thirty miles per hour. A motorist once pulled a left turn right in front of me as I went through an intersection, leaving me no time to come to a stop … after picking myself and my now ruined bike off the street, I noticed the car I hit now had a sizeable dent over his right rear quarter panel. Another time, while walking on lunch break downtown in a major city, a young woman in front of me stepped off the curb after the light turned green and was immediately and forcefully struck by a bicycle courier trying to get through the intersection before cross-traffic started moving. She rolled, ass-over-head, two or three times before coming to a dazed stop in the middle of that intersection and began screaming. To his credit, the cyclist, who also spilled, stopped to help her. (On my way back from lunch, I saw the cyclist being arrested.)

    I have to say, as a bicyclist, the aggression some motorists show towards people on bikes is disgusting. Many aren’t willing to share the road at all and God help you if you’re a bicyclist using the left turn lane to make a left turn! But the answer to this isn’t to become completely unruly and disobey all laws, but to meticulously adhere to them and be ready to politely and unrepentantly explain how you’re obeying those laws.

    So I feel a bit of kinship with Critical Mass … but only because they’re riding self-propelled on two wheels. There’s nothing to excuse uncooked bacon from trying to throw a cyclist from their vehicle, and I hope those thugs with badges get their asses handed to them over this incident. But I’d feel much more smugly satisfied if Critical Mass were riding with respect for the rules of the road.

  7. #7 |  Justin | 

    Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

    Simply felt that it needed to be said.

  8. #8 |  buzz | 

    “All those talking about “not providing ID”, please google “Hiibel”, and read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hiibel_v._Sixth_Judicial_District_Court_of_Nevada
    You will not be pleased.”

    So perlhaqr
    , did you by chance read your own cite?

    “…held that statutes requiring suspects to identify themselves during police investigations did not violate either the Fourth or Fifth Amendments”

    So what was she suspected of? What were they investigating? That cite of yours does not mean you must provide id solely because the cops ask you for it.

  9. #9 |  JakeR | 

    thank god for video cameras.

    every time i see something like this all i can think about are the thousands and thousands of incidents that happen that aren’t filmed, or the hundreds of thousands of incidents that occurred before we were fortunate enough to have everyone carrying cameras around.

  10. #10 |  perlhaqr | 

    Buzz: The cite was valid. I didn’t say that you could not refuse to show id, but that one should be certain of one’s surroundings before doing so. For example, in Nevada, you cannot refuse to show id.

    “Suspect” refers to anyone the police are talking to. It may not be right, but it’s how things are.

  11. #11 |  Adrian | 

    From comment #46 “If an officer asks you for your ID, you cannot act that way. You can say ‘Officer, my 4th amendment rights only require me to respond to that request only if you have probable cause to request it. I respectfully decline your request’.”

    The standard in States that have statutes requiring identification to officers would be reasonable suspicion of criminal activity (see Terry v. Ohio). Probable cause is a higher standard ( required in order to arrest someone or have warrants issued). The difference in reality may not exist but technically the terms differ in the required legal standard.

  12. #12 |  Whim | 

    Did you remember to always shoot the Oppressors right, smack in the face?

    No armored vest, there.

    What a SURPRISE!

    Ouch!

    That way, their loved ones cannot have an Open Casket funeral.

    Not very pretty anymore.

    So sorry.

    Does Sergeant WhoreHo need the first shot? Right in the mouth?

    He deserves it.

    More the better.

  13. #13 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

    To Whim:
    Ah, the old G Gordon Liddy method of problem resolution. Are you a cigar chomping, violence-craving fascist like Gordo? Ya know, maybe we could just take the officer’s badge and put him in jail for his offense. I know it doesn’t satisfy your blood lust, but it would be, you know, more consistent with the way we are supposed to do things in the ol’ US of A. By the way, aren’t you missing a 9-11 truther convention or something?

    P.S. Wait just a darn minute, are you by any chance an “agent provacateur” on a super secret mission to make Radley Balko’s site look like it caters to wack jobs? His work probably does piss off the powers that be, so, just asking. It’s happened before.

  14. #14 |  Cop-bashing - Page 3 - The Unofficial BMW M5 Messageboard (m5board.com) | 

    […] shining beacon of professionalism: The Agitator

  15. #15 |  Harvey | 

    The Joyce Lin part is troubling for me.

    First of all, I know she was within her rights. However, she uses a camera flash in the cop’s face.

    Not good.

    Secondly, she just ignores the cop when he asks for ID. And does it with attitude.

    Really not good.

    She’s within her rights, I understand, but cops don’t like attitude. Attitude will get you nowhere with the police, regardless of your rights. Anybody who’s had any dealing with cops should know that. The other lady produced her ID and was let go. A waiving of her rights, yes, but cops like a person who has nothing to hide. And at least feigns respect.

    The idea though that she started screaming like she was being murdered almost seems planned, very dramatic. However, if she knows her rights, pulling away from a cop when he says you’re arrested is pretty much going to get you a resisting arrest charge. Then everybody yelling fascist and police state doesn’t help matters. If you’re gonna be a martyr, you gotta be prepared to go the full nine.

    I’ve gotten out of more shit for feigning respect and producing ID. However, I was in the wrong; things like fighting and drinking in parking lots (general drunken misbehavior). My point is, if you’re going to flaunt your Constitutional rights, be prepared to suffer the consequences. Not everybody has read it. Most likely, they’re cops.

    Kudos to everybody involved who made this video. Still freaks me out that so many people have cameras pointed at everybody but this is a good example of concerned citizens producing a damning indictment of a ill-trained and poorly staffed police force.

  16. #16 |  Billy Beck | 

    “She’s within her rights, I understand, but cops don’t like attitude.”

    Fuck them, right out loud. What they “like” doesn’t matter.

  17. #17 |  Billy Beck | 

    “Cops don’t like attitude.” The original master of attitude on the American street and they don’t like attitude? Goddammit, the more I think about that, the more ready I am to jam an attitude in a cops face and make him suck it like it’s my big throbbing dick. I don’t give a runny shit what a cop “doesn’t like”. That has fuck-all to do with his job, and if he can stand that, then the worthless shitbag should go into rutabaga ranching or whatever but he should get his pig ass out of my sight.

  18. #18 |  MacK | 

    Harvey so what you are saying is it is better to be an oppressed ass kisser, and show respect to the public servants (notice not public masters), even when it is not deserved (like a modern day slave to the establishment), then to stand up for your rights, and encourage others to fight the good fight?

    It seems like this may have been Benedict Arnold’s attitude also.
    Thank god many of the founding fathers had a stronger constitution, and risks their lives to stop the insane rule of King George III.

  19. #19 |  MacK | 

    Damn Billy Beck you’re getting me all worked up!
    Shout it! Shout it out loud!

  20. #20 |  SayUncle » The report must match the tape | 

    […] Only it doesn’t. […]

  21. #21 |  Whim | 

    Whenever it is decided to strike back at the Oppressors, it will be easy:

    They generally wear UNIFORMS, and drive prominently Marked Cars.

    EASY targets. Surprise them coming off of donut or bathroom break.

    Just make sure you bring enough rope. Electrical conduit will do as a substitute.

  22. #22 |  shay | 

    SayUncle » The report must match the tape | August 7th, 2008 at 8:39 am
    […] Only it doesn’t. […]
    ““““““““““““““““`
    And it usually never does……………….

  23. #23 |  tde | 

    “Distaste for activist bikers” eh.

    Sort of like distaste for people who demand to see a lawyer instead of just cooperating with the cops the way that all honest people should do?

    Insisting on one’s rights? That kind of distasteful activity?

  24. #24 |  Frank | 

    #63

    The problem is that the chance approaches unity that the cops in question will get nothing more than a two week paid vacation for their wrongdoing, when what should have happened is that they should be in jail (general population).

    Oh, and in NY you are required to ID yourself to a police officer on demand. That does not necessarily mean show ID — stating name and DOB is enough to comply with the law.

  25. #25 |  Photography, Travel, and Freedom » NYPD vs. New Yorkers | 

    […] Holy Shit. […]

  26. #26 |  Andrew Williams | 

    Just out of curiousity, is anyone posting here a member of any police force in this or any other country?

    Whim, I’m looking in your direction…

  27. #27 |  HtownGuy | 

    From Harvey:

    My point is, if you’re going to flaunt your Constitutional rights, be prepared to suffer the consequences.

    Yeah, that’s pretty much what has us worked up these days….

  28. #28 |  Light | 

    Complain to the police commissioner Here: http://www.nyc.gov/html/mail/html/mailnypd.html

  29. #29 |  Whim | 

    The police are necessary, but need to be closely controlled by civil authorities.

    They are NOT under close control. They are mostly OUT OF CONTROL.

    They rarely suffer any consequences for severe abuse of authority.

    Their bane is the cell-phone camera. They hate an independent witness to their actions. Next, they’ll want cell-phone jammers like our military in Iraq have.

    I’m no policeman.

  30. #30 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

    Whim: If you aren’t just trying to make Radley look bad, then your a plain nut job. Whatever you are, why don’t you try your local Indy Media site. They hate nuanced discussion as much as you do fuck nuts.

  31. #31 |  Dana | 

    The worst part about reading this is most of the riders in critical mass events (I rode just one) want the government to have more power over what we eat, our healthcare, etc. This is an example of what happens when the government has power. We are doomed

  32. #32 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

    #81 Dana:
    Yeah, that’s the “anarchist left” for you. I guess that’s why I moved in a libertarian direction–I don’t have a fetish for control freakery. I don’t know that we’re doomed though. All we can do is keep talking to people about this nonsense. With blogs like this and the decentralization of media that is occurring, thanks largely to the internet, its just getting harder for power abusers of all stripes to hide their dirty deeds. Keep your head up.

  33. #33 |  Harvey | 

    “Harvey so what you are saying is it is better to be an oppressed ass kisser, and show respect to the public servants (notice not public masters), even when it is not deserved (like a modern day slave to the establishment), then to stand up for your rights, and encourage others to fight the good fight?

    It seems like this may have been Benedict Arnold’s attitude also.
    Thank god many of the founding fathers had a stronger constitution, and risks their lives to stop the insane rule of King George III.”

    What I’m saying is, pick your battles wisely. Going by her reaction, Joyce Lin wasn’t ready to fight it and somewhere along the lines wasn’t told that cops sometimes don’t play by “the rules”. Her reaction is one of total naivety. Notice the other bikers who calmly accepted the circumstances. I’m not saying the cops were right because they weren’t, but those bikers picked their battles wisely.

    There seems to be a lot of bluster about how people would react and what they’d do in a cop’s face. That’s fine and all on the internet to other anonymous and like-minded people but how many of us here are ready to pick up a gun and fight to take this country back against such grevious Constitutional abuses? Last time, I checked the American Revolution wasn’t fought by riding bicycles and screaming and running away when oppressed and talking big on the internet. Are you ready for armed revolution? And who here will fire the first shot? Otherwise, it’s educating others on libertarian philosophy. Once I explain about libertarian ideals to people, they light up. If you’re not going to fight it in the streets than fight for the minds.

    Believe me, I’m with everybody on this NYPD travesty, but life experience has taught when and where to deal with the cops and what attitude I should take at the time. Whether it’s quoting the 4th Amendment to a police officer (and winning) or refusing to waive my right to a trial (also winning), there’s a time and a place. And if you do, be prepared to take the possible, maybe immediate consequences (and I was).

  34. #34 |  More NYPD Cops Gone Wild « Serf City | 

    […] NYPD Cops Gone Wild Radley Balko has some additional footage of New York’s Finest behaving badly at last month’s Critical Mass […]

  35. #35 |  Ben | 

    as for accepting the situation calmly harvey, I think the police would be a lot less eager to trample on constitutional rights if they got the shit beaten out of them by a mob every time one of these travesties occurs.

  36. #36 |  markm | 

    “My point is, if you’re going to flaunt your Constitutional rights, be prepared to suffer the consequences. Not everybody has read it. Most likely, they’re cops.”

    So, for us, ignorance of the law is no excuse, but it’s OK for someone who is paid to enforce the law to be ignorant of the land’s most basic law?

    Of course, our real beef isn’t with the cops, but with the courts and legislatures that grant them and their supervisors and departments qualified immunity and every conceivable benefit of the doubt – and more – even when there is no doubt whatsoever that a cop has perjured himself in a situation such as this, he won’t be prosecuted for perjury. If every time a cop detained someone or demanded ID without due cause, his bosses had to cough up $5,000, you’d bet they’d see their hired guns understood constitutional rights. If every time a cop was caught filing a false report to incriminate someone, his department was on the hook for six figures in damages and legal fees, any hint of testilying would become a firing offense. And if people recovered full damages for wrong-door raids, and drug raids inspired by lying informers, the police departments would probably discover that they just couldn’t afford the war on some drugs.

  37. #37 |  Harvey | 

    “as for accepting the situation calmly harvey, I think the police would be a lot less eager to trample on constitutional rights if they got the shit beaten out of them by a mob every time one of these travesties occurs.”

    There may be some truth in that but more than likely, you’d have gun-shy cops wasting people and having it found “justifiable”. Police union here in my town wants to have an internal shooting review board. Nice, huh?

    But also, as I asked before, who will be the first to fire the proverbial revolutionary shot or in this case, jump on a cop when he’s violating Constitutional rights. Those folks around Joyce Lin could only yell “police state” and “fascist”. Nobody jumped in.

    Depends on what kind of revolution you want. I think people really are waking up to things like this, but in the coming years, it may get more and more violent, which is something I wouldn’t prefer. In essence, that would make us as bad as the cops and the actions were discussing here. But then again, through violence is how we got this country and the words we’re supposed to live by today from our Founding Fathers. People got sick of their form of government and took to rebellion.

  38. #38 |  Shell Goddamnit | 

    Oh yes indeed I think that Joyce Lin’s screaming was deliberate. She did make a mistake in fighting physically however; just gives em an excuse to continue to press charges later instead of dismissing all.

    I think it’s good tactics. Don’t go quietly. Don’t struggle, gives em an excuse to taser or beat you, but scream your head off, scream bloody murder rapine & fire. It makes the cops VERY unhappy, and also, notice that in the video there is no concerted gathering of a crowd, no real rise in the threat level, until Joyce Lin starts screaming.

    I fully expect that there would follow a rash of arrests for screaming, but surely even in this climate that would be seen as going too far?

  39. #39 |  rob | 

    Let me see these people were arrested and assaulted for taking pictures.This is a discrace.The New York police department know that 911 was an inside job and they don’t even care that alot of their fellow officers suffered from the attack.That is a slap in the face of families of the victims.These pigs are joinning the communist movement,because they enjoy the power they have over the people.

  40. #40 |  John | 

    Anyone else notice the awful typo: Adjerned?

    “Oh, and in NY you are required to ID yourself to a police officer on demand. That does not necessarily mean show ID — stating name and DOB is enough to comply with the law.”

    And whether or not one knows this is no excuse to ignore an officer when she makes a request. “My name is ____ Lin. What seems to be the trouble, officer?” Cops aren’t pigs, inherently. A lot of them in this video were acting badly. On the same hand, if indeed the beginning of the vid shows bikers evading citation for traffic violations, well, that’s already an escalated situation and should be treated as such by the onlookers.

    By the way, constitutional rights really only have power in the court-room—on the street they exist as ad hoc heuristics on the same level as your basic ability to reason. There’s no reason to be confrontational with a cop if you know you’re acting legally.

    And just a thought: You know who’s gonna be enforcing new, more bicycle friendly street laws? Cops.