Skip to Content
Streetsblog New York City home
Streetsblog New York City home
Log In
Today's Headlines

Thursday’s Headlines: NYPD Discovers Chained Bike Locks Edition

Locked and loaded ... with lies?

The morning after cracking down on the brief student occupation of a building at Columbia University, NYPD officials on Wednesday exhibited a bike lock chain — complete with a Kryptonite-brand u-lock — they claimed pro-Palestinian protesters at the school used to barricade doors to the school hall.

Appearing on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program on Wednesday, Deputy Commissioner Tarik Sheppard brandished the bike lock to imply protesters were "professionals," since no student could possibly own such a device.

"This is not what students bring to school. This is what professionals bring to campuses and universities," Sheppard said. "These are heavy industrial chains that were locked with bike locks."

Watch the clip below:

As Twitter commenters and members of the media quickly pointed out, Columbia University in fact recommends the specific bike lock and chain in question to students — among other, less hefty, options. Bike lock maker Kryptonite even markets the product as its "New York Fahgettaboudit Chain," as The City reporter Katie Honan tried to point out to Sheppard after Mayor Adams's press conference Wednesday morning.

"This is the same chain," Honan told Sheppard, according to video posted by Hell Gate's Christopher Robbins. "This is an industrial chain," Sheppard insisted.

The New York Fahgettaboudit Chain is one of Kryptonite's only products that comes with an "anti-theft" guarantee if a bike is stolen in Manhattan, 404 Media reported — meaning New Yorkers who lose them can register to have the cost of their bike reimbursed if someone steals it while equipped with the lock.

While MSNBC's hosts appeared to eat up Sheppard's specious assertion, New York City cyclists eagerly harped on the NYPD's flimsy attempt to paint student protesters as outside agitators (as of 4:55 p.m. Wednesday NYPD had yet to identify any non-students among the 300 people arrested at either Columbia or City College, according to Honan):

Check out The City's excellent coverage for more on the NYPD's crackdown on campus protests at the two schools. Disturbingly, cops tried — and seemingly failed — to keep the press from covering the events.

In other news:

  • Our friends at Vital City are out with a bunch of great pieces on congestion pricing: Sam Schwartz on potential hazards once the tolls launch in June, Alon Levy on how the MTA can invest money raised from tolls "the right way," Nicole Gelinas on the need to claw back the space left by fewer drivers for pedestrians and Henry Grabar on parking policy. Streetsblog contributors John Surico and Austin Celestin are also in the package, as is Upper West Side community board leader and Streetsblog fixture Howard Yaruss.
  • The Times wants reader input on the state of New York City streets... with odd framing that includes the sentence, "Does it seem like there are too many people?"
  • Ignore the headline -— Bronx News12 did a decide dive into a borough community board's recent push for more daylighting.
  • Oonee unveiled its latest secure on-street bike parking design. (Shabazz Stuart via Twitter)
  • What's holding up better transit connections to LaGuardia Airport? (City and State)
  • F train rider who saw Daniel Penny kill Jordan Neely "still reeling" from harrowing experience one year later. (Gothamist)
  • ICYMI, the boss went to Sweden — where he can't seem to find any covered or defaced license plates to fix:

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog New York City

MTA’s Demotes OMNY Contractor Cubic In Hopes of Speeding Up Commuter Rail Fare Integration

Officials are giving up on Cubic's delayed plans to bring Metro-North and the LIRR into the OMNY-verse.

May 20, 2024

Microtranist Is Taxpayer Funded Uber, Advocates Warn — And It’s a Threat to Real Transit

American cities are falling for the "false promise" of microtransit, a top transportation union argues — and we're all going to be the ones who pay for it.

May 20, 2024

Monday’s Headlines: Road Safety is No Accident Edition

There were two big stories over the weekend — and both were about street safety. Plus other news.

May 20, 2024

Garbage Company Involved in Fatal Crash Will Ply Streets of Eastern Queens, Too

The private garbage company whose truck driver struck and killed a Manhattan pedestrian on Thursday according to police has won the right to pick up trash in a wide swath of Southeast Queens, raising concern for safety there.

May 17, 2024

Friday’s Headlines: Fleet Week Edition

Some good news about the city fleet. Plus other news from a busy day.

May 17, 2024
See all posts