NYPD officers arrested 16 kids for biking on Sunday, CBS New York reports.
Hundreds of young people took to city streets and highways for a “ride out,” which is sort of like Critical Mass for the social media age. Kids organize large group rides, pop wheelies, and post videos of themselves online.
Videos of Sunday’s ride show the group biking on the Cross-Bronx Expressway. You may see kids taking advantage of safety in numbers to have some fun on city streets over the weekend. NYPD sees a criminal offense. About an hour in, NYPD officers set up a roadblock and began arresting participants.
In one video of the arrests shared on Instagram, officers hold a young rider against the ground. Other videos posted on the “NYC Social Cycling” Facebook group show helicopters and other police vehicles tailing the group, and one boy with bruises from being knocked off his bike by a police officer riding a moped.
“This was a planned citywide rally of bicyclists,” a police spokesperson told CBS New York, as if that constitutes a menace to public safety. NYPD did not disclose the ages of the people arrested or what charges they face. The Post reported that most charges were for disorderly conduct. (Streetsblog has a request in for more information.)
This isn’t the first time NYPD has filed criminal charges against young people for riding bikes in groups. In April, after the Staten Island Advance posted its third scare story about the scourge of teens riding bikes, officers from the 122nd Precinct arrested at least four kids.
About a decade ago, NYPD issued new rules outlawing group rides of 50 or more people without a permit, an outgrowth of police aggressively targeting Critical Mass in the wake of the 2004 Republican National Convention. It didn’t make sense then, and it doesn’t make sense now.
The 16 kids arrested on Sunday now face more serious consequences than most drivers who actually end someone else’s life on city streets.
Hundreds of Kids Biked on the Cross-Bronx Expressway — So NYPD Arrested Them