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Bike activists will rally on Friday after an NYPD officer reportedly tackled a bike rider in Midtown, which was just one incident in a rash of police ticketing cyclists in the area.

Cyclists, delivery workers and other transportation activists will gather in Midtown between 8th and 9th Avenues Friday afternoon to call for a stop to a recent NYPD crackdown on New York City cyclists.

On Thursday, an NYPD captain allegedly tackled a cyclist whom he was trying to ticket. A video from the scene at 46th Street and 9th Avenue begins with the bike rider seen on the ground, and the captain standing in front of him.

A witness in a car can be heard in the video saying, “He knocked him off the bike, he pulled him off the bike.”

 

“I saw, I saw,” other bystanders say.

Cyclists have reported a rash of ticketings after a cyclist died from a hit-and-run in Midtown this week when Joseph Chiam was struck by a truck driver on Monday.

Many have reported seeing the NYPD out in droves, issuing tickets for infractions like riding without a helmet — which is not a requirement for cyclists over 14 years of age, StreetsBlog notes.

In response to a request for comment about the increase in ticketing and the Thursday situation in which an officer reportedly yanked a rider off his bike, the NYPD said in a statement that, “The Midtown North Precinct was addressing community and safety concerns in the vicinity of West 46 Street and 9th Avenue. The individual was stopped and advised of his violations, and released without summonses.”

“How can the response to a truck killing a cyclist be to target cyclists?’ City Council Speaker Corey Johnson asked on Twitter.

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Quoting the cyclist who said she received a $50 fine for biking without her helmet, Johnson also said that he asked the NYPD for more information, and that “if true, this is not how we should be protecting pedestrians and cyclists.”

NYC cyclists rally against NYPD time, location

Biking Public Project, Transportation Alternatives, Make the Road New York, Asian American Federation and other New York City cyclists and supporters will rally on Friday to oppose the NYPD’s actions.

After the NYPD captain reportedly tackled the cyclist at 46th Street and 9th Avenue, there was “a series of baseless stops by the NYPD of other cyclists, mostly people of color and working cyclists, where individuals were asked for IDs and bikes were reportedly confiscated on dubious legal ground,” per the activists.

Mayor Bill de Blasio has touted his Vision Zero efforts, including the construction of more bike lanes throughout the five boroughs, along with his vision to make New York the “safest big city in America.” But this recent behavior runs counter to those efforts, activists say.

“We will rally with delivery workers, allies, and supporters on the steps of Midtown Precinct North at 4 p.m. to demand an end to Mayor de Blasio’s and the NYPD’s unjust crackdown on working cyclists and for the legalization of e-bikes,” they wrote in a release.

Rally: #DeliverJustice! Rally to Stop The Police Crackdown on Working Cyclists
Time: Friday, February 8, 2019 at 4 p.m.
Location: Midtown Precinct North, 306 W 54th Street, (between 8th & 9th Avenues)

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