2008-07-29- Assault Not Isolated

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contacts: Judy Ross – 917.405.1544 
                   Barbara Ross – 917. 494. 8164

  
BODY SLAM OF CYCLIST RIDING IN TIMES SQUARE WAS NOT AN ISOLATED INCIDENT

Videos show a pattern of excessive force against cyclists by the NYPD

 
New York, NY (July 29, 2008) - The body slam of cyclist Christopher Long by an NYPD police officer while Mr. Long was riding his bicycle through Times Square on July 28, 2008 was not an isolated incident. Civil rights activists and cycling advocates have long seen a pattern of excessive force and harassment against cyclists from the highest ranks of the NYPD. The event on July 28, 2008 was the third such example captured on video in Times Square alone.

On March 30, 2007, Richard Vazquez was riding in a Shared Use Lane on Broadway and 43rd Street in the Critical Mass ride. Without clear or reasonable direction, Sgt. Horohoe, violently pushed him off his bicycle to the ground in a dangerous and harmful manner.   Among his other injuries, the fall to the ground resulted in a deep gash on Mr. Vazquez's hand.  The Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB) investigation resulted in a finding of 'substantiation' against Sgt. Horohoe for excessive force being used against Richard Vazquez. Mr. Vazquez is represented by Wylie Stecklow, (212) 566-8000.

On February 24, 2006, Adrienne Wheeler, was riding on the Critical Mass as a legal observer for the National Lawyers' Guild. Ms. Wheeler was riding on 43rd Street between Broadway and Seventh Avenue when she was grabbed by the bicycle chain around her waist and pushed to the ground by the then-NYPD-Assistant-Chief Bruce Smolka. Ms. Wheeler's civil rights case against The City of New York, Asst. Chief Bruce Smolka and Lt. Caneco arising out of the incident was settled earlier this year for $37,000. She was represented by Jonathan Moore of Beldock Levine & Hoffman LLP, (212 ) 277-5850. Assistant Chief Smolka announced his retirement from the NYPD in January, 2007.

"Unfortunately the July 25, 2008 incident is part of a pattern of targeting Critical Mass bike riders. This hostility and selective enforcement of the laws needs to stop immediately. Mayor Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Kelly need to provide the necessary leadership to confront and resolve this issue." states Civil Rights attorney, Norman Siegel. 

VIDEO LINKS OF ALL THREE INCIDENTS:
03/07   Raw footage from the Vazquez incident  
02/06   Raw footage from the Wheeler incident
2006- 2008   5 minute video of all three incidents with more detail and context
(Broadcast Quality h264 available upon request)
PHOTOS OF RICHARD VAZQUEZ'S WOUNDS FROM 03/2007 INCIDENT IN TIME'S SQUARE 

Richard Vazquez wounds from March 2007

Richard Vazquez wounds from March 2007