Video: NYPD Efficiently Deploys Officers to Clip Bikes on Houston Street

Via Gothamist, here’s the Time’s Up video of police in the act of sawing bike locks on Houston Street last Thursday, in preparation for President Obama’s motorcade. Gothamist reports that a lawsuit may be brewing over the massive seizure of bicycles, which police held at the 7th Precinct for owners who were lucky enough to know where to go and could find their property.

Yesterday police officials told the City Council that they just don’t have the resources to open up life-saving street safety information to the public. But, from the looks of it, they still have sufficient manpower to put 10 or more officers on bicycle confiscation duty.

  • hear hear!

  • Has NYPD made any official comments about this massacre yet? There are some excellent officers and precincts throughout this city but stupidity and disrespect like this is infuriating.

  • Well, this certainly settles the debate on whether or not they sawed locks off bikes parked in bike racks.

    As I’ve said before, all the NYPD had to do was spend a little money on paper and tape to warn bike owners in advance that their bikes would be removed. They didn’t, and now we taxpayers will have to fork over thousands of dollars in legal fees instead.

  • Bring your complaints straight to the NYPD tomorrow evening at Critical Mass, 7pm Union Square North. See how many resources they continue to waste to make cyclists feel unwelcome in NYC. Wear white unless you feel safe in the streets. Bring lights, bells, and positive attitude to counter these negative vibes!

  • No safety goggles?

  • Looks like the NYPD has pretty good grinders, or these bikes weren’t locked that well. Last time I tried to cut through a good U-Lock (because my friend lost her keys), it took me at least 5 minutes.

    It’s also too bad this video doesn’t show the cops actually placing the bikes in the truck. The original post on this showed a mishmashed pile, which would almost certainly damage every one. Any stories from people who actually went down to the 7th to reclaim their bike, or just to check it out? Would be incredibly useful if there eventually is a lawsuit.

    If JSK, locally, and LaHood, nationally, want the gamut of transportation modes to be treated as equals, this should be an outrage to both of them. Would NYPD take cars, without notice, and tow them in a manner that rendered them inoperable?

  • Albert

    If the reason for removing the bicycles was actually a fear of pipe bombs as the president goes by (a possibly reasonable fear, mentioned in an earlier article, I believe), why weren’t the police wearing bomb disposal gear? And allowing bystanders to watch close at hand.

  • Next in the round up of the usual suspects: “pregnant” women and “pot-belled” men, to make sure they are as they look.

  • Emily Litella

    Did they remove the mailboxes and newsboxes too?

  • jooltman

    This is one of the most chilling things I’ve seen in a long time: a real police-state-out-of-control moment. The blatant disregard these officers are showing for people’s private property locked at legal bike racks (installed by the city!) is totally appalling. Nevermind the fact that it takes months (or never!) for them to remove the thousands of truly abandoned bikes that scar our urban landscape. I am really disgusted. I’m also going to send this to our green president so he can see what is being done in his name.

  • Meanwhile… while the police are busy removing or going after bicycles, a car bomb explodes in Time Square. What’s wrong with this picture?


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