1. daveynyc says

    Not too surprising..the NYPD has had it in for Critical Mass for years. I remember a few days before the RNC in 2004 when about 260 cyclists were arrested by the cops..they were kept in terrible conditions near pier 57 for hours and hours not charged with anything. I guess after Diallo, Zongo and Bell..the NYPD still think they can do whatever they want without consequence and they are pretty much correct. Thank’s to Hizoner for all that he’s done…I guess he can’t see much from his Park Ave penthouse..

  2. johnny says

    From where I sit (and where any reasonable person with working eyesight sits) it sure looks like the idiot cop puposely walked right into the guy! The other cop stood there and let them all pass, why couldn’t Pogan?

  3. Ben S. says

    “These people are taking over the streets and impeding the flow of traffic. Then you gotta do what you gotta do.”

    People in cars have been taking over the streets and impeding the flow of traffic for decades — it’s called rush hour, but no one assaults them. Bike traffic is traffic, too, the main differences being that a bike takes less room, causes less congestion, produces zero emissions, and improves the health and well-being of the rider. For these reasons, shouldn’t the bike be getting priority on the street?

  4. erb says

    Um, this is NOT uncommon for NYPD. I was minding my own business on a street corner, and the cops were off to the side using unnecessary force to arrest someone. Naturally, 4 cops beating on a man who is cuffed and on the ground will attract some attention. Since, there was a crowd forming, they decided to clear the corner. I had my ipod on, and my back was to the melee. Then suddenly, a cop came from behind me and pushed me into oncoming traffic in an effort to clear the corner! I raised my hands in the air and said I was trying to walk home, and that I had identification, and that I would cross once the traffic light was in my favor. Instead of allowing me to wait for the light to change, the officer then continued to push me into oncoming traffic, and told me to “fuck off”, and then he whipped out his billy club, and struck me across the face…I was not resisting anything…I was just waiting for the light to change to cross to walk the block to my apt. Bastards! I’m glad this is caught on tape. Too many times the NY pigs get away with acting like sub-humans, b/c they wear a badge on their chest. We can blame Guiliani for creating a police state…

  5. greg says

    From watching many nature shows,the officers actions are the same as when a predator 1)chooses his victim 2)gets within striking range 3)attacks.
    As some would say in law enforcement, its a slam dunk case….against the officer!Purpose and willful attempt to cause great bodily harm.

  6. scientitian says

    The cop should get fired, but I also have very little sympathy for Critical Mass.
    As someone who walks as opposed to riding a bike, I can say they have ZERO respect for pedestrians. In the past I’ve waited upwards of 15 minutes to cross the street as they swarmed by, shouting “Share the road!”

  7. noah says

    What? New York Police Department officers injuring innocent citizens and covering it up? No! That could never happen!

    What would have happened to this guy had there not been a video camera to record this?

    This thug cop should not be on the force. He should be behind bars for assault and battery and lying on his report. But, hey, his dad’s a cop. So, he’ll probably skate on this. Look at the ridiculous statement from the cop’s father stating how proud he is of his son’s protecting the streets.

    Some people just should not have a badge.

    Last week in Lousiana, an innocent man was tasered to death. The cop lied and said the man was resisting arrest and was high on drugs. The coroner’s report showed the man had no drugs in his system, had been shocked 9 times, several times while he was unconscious.

  8. paul says

    The Critical Mass people are incredibly obnoxious and annoying — but completely harmless. That cop is a dangerous piece of shit. He actually started running toward the biker. Can him. Take away his pension. Set an example. Cops are there to prevent crime, not COMMIT it…while gatting paid, no less.

  9. step says

    even if he is a rookie, all those doughnuts make that fat cop a formidable obstacle. there’s no way that biker could speak much less have resisted arrest after that body blow

  10. tom says


    I live in SF and these bicycle people and their stupid critical mass have been attempting to disrupt our lives on a monthly basis for years.

    Sure, the cop shouldn’t have pushed the guy over…there’s no excuse for that.

    But there’s also no excuse for the Critical mASSholes to disrupt OUR lives, to bash our cars with bicycle chains, to break open windows of mini vans.

    I have had the personal experience and experienced the terror of being surrounded by the Massholes…they stop your car in the interesection, surround it, rock it, one hit it with a bicycle chain…all the while you’re locked inside hoping they don’t break a window, and hoping against hope the police get there and break it up. Its a disgrace.

    There’s plenty of pavement for cars and bikes to coexist. Its not one or the other. And they dont’ need to harrass us.

  11. Ed says

    I heard the same things as Tom about the Critical Mass people. From what I’ve heard a lot of anarchists have fallen in love with the aspect of causing a a disruption. As a result, they participate for the enjoyment of the disruption and not as much for “cycling rights.” I’ve heard similar things about motorists being assaulted and threatened.

    It doesn’t excuse the cop’s actions in the least but this may be a cue for the Critical Mass people to try a different approach before the levels of aggression become too high on both sides.

  12. MarcoPolo says

    There are videos showing how NYPD officers have infiltrated Critical Mass, especially right before the RNC in 2004. Why do cops think people on bikes are threatening? Are there no rapists, murderers or thieves left?

  13. CM says

    I’m with you Scientitian. As an avid cyclist in Minneapolis, I am ashamed of the behavior of bicyclists towards pedestrians. It’s the exact same mentality as car drivers! Our Greenway trail system is full of rude bikers that, even though they have stop signs, fly through them while walkers have to wait for them to pass or sometimes leap out of their way.

    I seem to remember while applying for my motorcycle license that drivers only pay attention to equal-sized threats. Must be the same mentality.

    At any rate, the cop should be busted. But it could be argued that Critical Mass is doing more harm than good. They just add fuel to the ‘crazy liberal’ fire.

  14. ToddSF says

    There’s a much bigger picture than this video shows and the mistakes of one cop should not distract us from it. If Critical Mass NY is like Critical Mass San Francisco (which started the idea) then three cheers for the cop! If you’ve never seen the group in action as they are in SF — which is far from the prosaic pedaling equivalent of Ghandi or MLK on a bike — then you don’t know what the hell you’re talking about. The SF paper’s online story about last year’s 15th anniversary drew hundreds of mostly negative comments.

    In SF what started out as a decent idea of nonviolent civil disobedience has turned into a monthly excuse to act out by a mass of often “adult children” who are drawn to participate solely by the knowledge that they can get away with whatever they want and rub it in the face of both the cops AND EVERYONE ELSE while giving the majority of riders with good, PEACEFUL intentions a black eye. They’re the same kind (probably some of the same people) who use antiwar and other demonstrations as an excuse to set fires, break windows, etc. After the Rodney King verdict years ago, the majority of the looters in SF were so white they wouldn’t know Rodney King from Coretta King.

    One of CMs typical actions, when they’re not yelling obscenities at/threatening drivers and purposely scratching their cars as they zoom by, is to not just run red lights en masse (by itself not a big, if dangerous, deal) but stop and surround cars that legally have the right to move when the light changes. Legally that is probably assault in the same way if a group on foot surrounded you as you were trying to walk down the street and prevented you from doing it. How would YOU like that?

    Just two incidents where this subgroup of thugs violently assaulted cars and threatened their drivers who unintentionally found themselves suddenly (much of the rides are done at breakneck speed) in the middle of HUNDREDS (sometimes thousands) of riders just as they [the drivers] were trying to turn onto another street thus impeding the fast moving swarm many of whom magine themselves IN TOTAL UNQUESTIONABLE CONTROL OF the streets when the “Massers” as the asshats arrogantly call themselves as if they were something special enough to need their own coined name are “demonstrating” and have the attitude, and often the action, of “fuck you (PEDESTRIANS included) if you get in my way!”

    In both instancs the drivers were from out of town and had no idea of what to do to get out of the intersection but SLOWLY continue driving. CMs take this as an a priori attempt to run them down and stop and swarm the cars and begin beating upon them with their fists and bikes. One van which contained a woman driver and five suddenly petrified and screaming young ACTUAL children had its back window broken out among another damage. Another time it was a couple in their 70s whose car was assaulted when they tried to get out of the way.

    If this was a group of hundreds/thousands rampaging EVERY MONTH through the streets ON FOOT threatening everyone caught innocently in their path, tying up traffic at times for hours [imagine how much more CO2 poisoning the air THAT cause], NO ONE would put up with it regardless of what “cause” it was done in! Even people with the best of intentions STILL have obligations to everyone else doing nothing wrong AND to recognize when good milk has gone sour.

  15. cynical mass says

    I’ve been wanting to do that for years. Critical Mass is an obnoxious, trustafarian hanky head bunch of spoiled rich white boys form the suburbs. They need to get a life.

  16. DCMNYC says

    Attention Critical Mass- Please note and do something about the critical flaw in how you go about promoting your message of “sharing the road”. It would really help your argument and build respect for what you stand for if you obeyed traffic signals and respected pedestrians by letting them pass on the road as well.

  17. Mark says

    As a cyclist in NYC and member of Transportation Alternatives, I was shocked to see this video. Since the rider was not wearing a helmet, the cop endangered his life by tackling him and knocking him off his bike.

    I support Critical Mass in theory, but I am wary of a mob mentality.

    SCIENTITIAN, I know where you’re coming from. There are many hostile bikers on the street, but we have to be hyper-aware, diligent and aggressive in order to stay alive. Pedestrians that stand in bike lanes and cross against the lights put us at equal danger (them getting hit, and me flying over my handle bars). I can’t tell you how many times I’ve nearly been sideswiped by cars and pushed towards the curb and nearly hit pedestrians that feel entitled to cross in the middle of the street without looking.

    There has been an incredible surge of cyclists in the city and awareness needs to be raised on all levels.

  18. scott says

    Look, slamming someone off a bike is horrible and unecessary. However, I have to say that on a daily basis I see these a-hole bike riders screaming through red lights almost running down people in the crosswalk, riding on the sidewalk, or riding the wrong way on a one way street. I myself have daydreamed about clothslining one of these smug hippies myself.

  19. anon says

    In the mind of most cops, their job is to enforce “normalcy” more than the law itself. Anything they view as abnormal (which depends a lot on where they come from) would be curbed. Thus, hippie, long-hair, commie freaks, such as Critical Mass, are going to rub the cops the wrong way. This is also why they routinely allow “normal” crimes to happen. In some respects, it’s the job of the cop to align their sense of decorum with the polity at large, and it helps if they start out the same. This is also why minorities are so frequently targeted by cops.

  20. tom says

    TODDSF’s observations are all perfect.

    Dont let what happend in SF happen in NY. The Massholes will attempt to take over in a subverted attempt at Ghandi like civil disobedience….its just a RUSE.

    SF has a history of ‘tolerance’ which in my opnion, in many areas has gone way too far. The rights of the majority are subverted to the illegally operating minority.

    We now have our ‘sanctuary’ law to add to that, where we give sanctuary to illegal aliens who now cluster in our city, knowing that no matter what they do, they wont be deported. We’re seeing the repercussions of that policy…increased theft, now murder and other crimes.

    Tolerance is good, but in SF it’s now over indulgence…like overindulging the behavior of bad children..There’s a difference.

  21. Bosie says

    THESE COPS FORGET …THEY WORK FOR US, not themselves, they are out there to take care of us not to attack us. COPS and I mean all the country need a fuckign wake up call and we need to get some laws in.

  22. Robert in SF says

    As for the cop:

    He should be fired, AND arrested for mutiple crimes: assualt, filing a false police report, whatever else. Then prosecuted both criminally and civily! Man, he’s an asshat!

    As for Critical Mass:

    Here in SF I have been caught once in a Critical Mass. They annoyed the hell out of me but this was about 3 years ago, so maybe it was before they really had the transition to/infiltration of a more “anarchy” mindset.

    They poured through the intersection, stopped in packs to block traffic IN the intersection and would take shifts in replacing one another.

    They should consider the chaos as only causing resentment amongst drivers, not support for more bicycle friendly designs for roads. I didn’t see one sign, flyer, or banner announcing what they wanted or were demonstrating for. It was more of a party that a demonstration. Just goes to show you, full communication is important to get the message across and help change things.

    As for the complaints I have and have read:

    Drivers don’t see bicyclists, and should be much more diligent. Turns especially are full of potential to hurt/kill a bicyclist! That includes left AND right turns.

    Bicyclists need to obey the traffic laws! That includes red lights, stop signs, right of way, and allowable riding areas (the bicycle lane or the appropriate position in the car lane). Predictability allows drivers to know what to expect.

    Pedestrians (myself included) are selfish assholes too! Crossing against the light, mid-block, and especially starting to cross when the walk/don’t walk light is clearly already counting down! That actually means: DON’T START TO CROSS! It does NOT mean “get going…if you can finish before it’s Don’t Walk then cool, you made it!” The flashing/count down timer is for cars to complete a turn (left and right) before they lose the right of way or end up blocking the intersection when trapped by pedestrians!

    Also, pedestrians have the right of way in the crosswalk. Read that again: IN the crosswalk. If a car starts to turn and you are not in the crosswalk, you are NOT supposed to walk in front and “claim the right of way”. The law in SF is clear about the wording (I looked it up and printed it for my glove box). I cannot stand asshole pedestrians who start to cross in front a car already starting their turn, forcing them to stop in the intersection and then the pedestrian gives the car a little, “Hey dummy, I have the right of way…whatcha gonna do? Hit me? Ha! I will sue and win! Hahahaha”. Jerks.

    Also, pedestrians, stop STANDING in the gutter, just off the sidewalk when waiting for the light to change. It makes turning right hard and dangerous!

    Just a few things… :)

  23. kyle says

    Two wrongs don’t make a right. Critical Mass and the NYPD need to grow up. I suppose they didn’t sort out their egos when they were supposed to: Kindergarten recess!

  24. Robert in SF says

    As for the SF City Council, I think that sometimes they lose the point in their “principle based” proposals.

    For example, if I remember correctly, they won’t let the military recruit in SF schools because of their gay discrimination. And have heard of late that it also has to do with the recruiting practices/propaganda and unethical practices that have been reported in other schools. But all we hear is how SF is anti-military. SF needs a communications expert to come in and train the people who represent SF to the world to be much more clear, complete, and concise (to help reduce harmful sound bites from being taken out of context. It won’t ever stop since the right wing SF-haters don’t need much to work with, but it will help).

    Hmmmmmmm…just like critical mass. Letting the message get diluted or hidden by the method/medium. I sense a trend.

  25. Kyle Michel Sullivan says

    The cop won’t be fired. his union will stand behind him and blame the victim, and they’ll get away with it. As usual. Cops don’t feel like they have to follow the laws they are supposed to enforce. They can kill, maim, ruin lives with minimal cause and be let off with a warning after they lie under oath about what happened. And anyone who disagrees is told, “You have to understand how hard a cop’s life is.” Pathetic…but I’ll bet you a fiver, right now, that cop’s still on the job a year from now and will be even if he kills someone.

  26. says

    I don’t know how it works in New York, but in most states, bicycles are considered vehicles and, although you don’t need a license to operate one, you must obey the traffic laws as they apply to all vehicles. A bike has every right to be in the street just as a motor car or an Amish buggy.

    This cop should be summarily fired.
    Unfortunately, I agree with KMS, unionization will win the day. The institution of union to protect skilled and trade workers is now just used as a safety net for incompetence and mediocrity, or worse – blatant abuse funded by the victims themselves as in this case.

  27. john says

    If you actually looked carefully you would of seen the person knocked down leaning towards the cop walking his way to knock down the officer and the officer pushed him over in defense.

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