Posts on social media described N.Y.P.D. officers violently seizing bikes from peaceful Black Lives Matter demonstrators, who were continuing to march in defiance of the 8 P.M.. lockdown. In one widely shared video clip, a jittery camera captured a cop wheeling an apparently commandeered bike; a woman can be heard screaming at police, asking why bikes are being taken, and how protesters are supposed to travel home. Another piece of viral footage, retweeted by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, among others, shows three policemen clubbing a cyclist with batons on a Manhattan street. It’s unclear whether the man was arrested, or what became of his bicycle.
In the days that followed, the N.Y.P.D’s anti-bicycle actions continued. On Thursday, Catherina Gioino, a reporter for the Daily News, tweeted that police had been ordered to “focus on the bicyclists.” Newsday’s Matthew Chayes said in a tweet that police had proclaimed that bicycles were “not allowed” and that bike-riding after the curfew would result in an “automatic collar.” Other online posts documented arrests and violent attacks on cyclists, including journalists with press credentials. The city’s first curfew since the Second World War had been imposed, according to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s executive order, to curb “assault, vandalism, property damage, and/or looting.” New Yorkers were left to wonder how scenes of cops beating protesters and snatching their bikes—or, in some cases, leaving the bikes littered on the street—squared with the stated objectives.– – – –
The Bicycle as a Vehicle of Protest | The New Yorker
Jody Rosen, June 10, 2020;A week ago, on Wednesday night, the third night of a citywide curfew in New York, police officers were seen confiscating bicycles