Tuesday, June 05, 2007

In the "cops with nothing better to do" department...

"Bike month is over...break out the circular saws..." says the blog on NYTurf.

Last Wednesday, cops decided having bikes locked up on East 6th street was a huge public nuisance and took it upon themselves to remove locked bikes. Some might call this theft and continual harassment of the bike community making people feel its generally illegal to operate or lock up a bike in NYC.

info from Time's Up.

"Witnesses state that without any prior notice, the NYPD used circular saws to cut the locks off of about 50 bicycles on 6th street and allowed people to walk up and take bicycles without showing any proof of ownership. The NYPD then took away approximately 15 of the bicycles in an unmarked van. Bikes locked to D.O.T. bike racks were also seized. In at least one case, the NYPD sawed through a $100 lock even as the bike's owner showed the police her key to open the lock.

Cinematographer Robert Carnevale was arrested while videotaping the bike raid after he asked one of the officers for his name. Carole Vale, a nurse observing the scene, was also arrested when she asked why Mr. Carnevale was being detained. Mr. Carnevale was held for 22 hours and Ms. Vale was held for 13 hours."

According to Time's Up! there appears to have been a bike sweep last Wednesday Night in which Police clipped the locks and confiscated bikes along a whole block.

The bikes were on 6th Street between 1st avenue & 2nd avenue were allegedly taken by the police without notice. Time's Up! says they have received phone calls and emails from four witnesses. Time's Up! says the first witness to contact them said the police allegedly clipped her lock even when she approached the police and offered to unlock the bike. Time's Up! and civil rights attorney's are interested in hearing from other witnesses or anyone who had their lock clipped or their bike disappear. You can email Time's Up! at timesup@panix.com

At this time the Police do not seem to have posted any warnings or notices to alert bikers not to chain up on the block. Time's Up says they canvased the street Friday and did not see any notices. There were mixed reports why Police might have confiscated the bikes - one reason heard was that the bikes were chained to public property. Another was that the community board had complained bikes are an eye sore and that bikes were even taken from bike racks. In any case, in general, it is a violation of the 4th amendment to seize property in this manner.

Again Time's Up is interested in hearing from witnesses or if you had your bike taken Wednesday night from 6th street.

Police Arrest Witness
According to Time's Up a witness was also arrested Wednesday night who was attempting to video tape the confiscations. Time's Up says it is reviewing raw footage today. As soon as that video is available it will be posted here.

He was arrested after asking for the officer's name.

Times Up pictures of raid

Vlad's video of the raid


Blogger Paul Tay said...

NYC Bicyclists: Public Enemy Number One. Oh brother, how UTTERLY ridiculous.

9:38 PM  

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