NYPD escalates bicycle crackdown

From the New York City environmental group Time’s Up, June 4:

NYPD Cuts Locks, Confiscates Bicycles and Arrests Bystanders in Bike Raid on East 6th Street
NEW YORK — On Thursday night, May 31st, the NYPD seized approximately 15 bikes locked on 6th Street between 1st and 2nd Avenue and arrested two bystanders who questioned the police action. 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 badge number. 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.

Time’s Up!, along with 6th Street cycling community are asking for a meeting with the commanding officer of the Ninth Precinct to explain the actions of the NYPD and inform the community how they plan to return th approximately 15 bicycles that were seized. They also demand. They also demand that charges be dropped against Robert Carnevale and Carole Vale.

See our last post on the Critical Mass struggle.