Skip to Content
Streetsblog New York City home
Log In
Bike Lanes

Cyclist: Cop Used Trump’s ‘Go Back Where You Came From’ When I Complained About Him Blocking a Bike Lane

12:01 AM EDT on August 15, 2019

The Instagram photo in question.

Make America hate again.

A Brooklyn cop paraphrased President Trump's hate-filled demand that foreigners "go back" to where they came from in an unhinged interaction with a cyclist who confronted the cop this week for parking in a painted bike lane.

In the cyclist's initial Instagram post about the incident, they* said they approached the officer only because he was parked unsafely and illegally in the bike lane on Washington Park, the street on the eastern side of Fort Greene Park, on Monday at around 4:45 p.m., forcing the cyclist to maneuver into traffic.

go back cop two shot

"When I asked whether it was courtesy, professionalism or respect (to explain the blocking the bike lane), the officer replied over his PA that I should 'Go back to where I came from,'" the cyclist posted on Instagram. "When I turned around to ask him whether I'd heard him correctly, he threatened to ticket me for going the wrong way."

The cyclist reiterated to the officer that it's illegal to park in the bike lane, but the officer repeated the Trumpian demand that the cyclist "go back" to where they came from. (The cyclist is from upstate New York.)

The cyclist has reported the incident to the Civilian Complaint Review Board, based on the belief that the cop was citing Trump in a manner befitting the president: to sow hate and divisiveness.

"It's certainly how I felt it," the cyclist said. "And the fact he used it twice. The first time was over his PA system, broadcast up the street."

The bike rider admitted that in the overall scheme of things, the cop's treatment is "sooooo minor compared to that inflicted on many fellow humans," but could not simply ignore the cop's taunt.

"The hate-fueled rhetoric is so endemic that people think it, well, trumps the ethics and mores of their role," the cyclist wrote.

In an interview with Streetsblog, the cyclist said they are "particularly sensitive at the moment given the 19 cyclists death this year."

"Every.single day, I see cops breaking the law," the cyclist added. "For example, I reported a school safety officer for being parked in the bike lane especially as it was the middle of the summer [and] she was blocks from the nearest school. She nearly hit me in her haste to get away from my taking a picture of her scofflaw act."

The NYPD declined to comment.

* Streetsblog is using the pronouns "they/their" to conceal the cyclist's gender. The cyclist's Instagram account is private.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog New York City

Wednesday’s Headlines: Concerted Effort Edition

The Great Lawn will be closed to the public six weeks earlier than normal because of those damn rockers. Plus other news.

October 4, 2023

Broadway Vision: Watch 15 Years of Transformation in a Single Streetfilm

It's hard to see the big picture of just what has been accomplished between Times and Union squares. That's where Clarence Eckerson Jr. comes in.

October 4, 2023

What Do ‘Livable’ Streets Look Like in an Era of Driverless Cars?

In today's Brake podcast, Kea Wilson asks Bruce Appleyard what future livable streets have in a world of autonomous cars.

October 4, 2023

NYPD Steps Up Effort Against Illegal Mopeds, But Some Advocates Want a Different Approach

The NYPD seized some illegal wheels from delivery workers in the middle of their route on Wednesday, part of a stepped-up effort.

October 4, 2023

Astoria Organizers Lead the Way on Street Safety with a Reddit Strategy

The western Queens neighborhood has become a hub for a new kind of safe street advocacy.

October 3, 2023
See all posts