2011-04-08 NYPD Harrassment Campaign Exceeds $3M

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Press Contact: Barbara Ross - 917.494.8164, press@times-up.org
Legal Contact: David B. Rankin, 212.226.4507, Gideon Oliver, 646.263.3495
 

CITY SENDS OUT CHECKS TO CYCLISTS TO PAY OUT $965K CRITICAL MASS LAWSUIT SETTLEMENT 

Total taxpayer costs for NYPD harassment campaign against cyclists on Critical Mass exceeds $3 million

NEW YORK, NY (April 8, 2011) - - The City of New York sends out checks to 83 cyclists who sued the City for wrongful arrest during Critical Mass rides from 2004-2006.  The settlement for the cyclists and their attorneys totaled $965,000.  Taxpayer cost for NYPD campaign against cyclists on Critical Mass is estimated to exceed 3 million dollars.  This estimate includes current & past lawsuit settlements, NYPD expenditures and court costs*.  Despite hard economic times and large lawsuit payouts, the NYPD continues to spend money to harass cyclists, without any credible justification or oversight by the city council.

This past month the 10 cyclists participating in the March 25th Critical Mass were confronted with over 20 NYPD officers at the Union Square meeting point. The NYPD detail for the ride included high-ranking officers such as supervising Captain Sorensen and Lieutenant Albano, the head of NYPD Legal.

Glassbead Video Collective and Time’s Up!, long-time advocates for cyclists’ rights, have been documenting hundreds of hours of footage proving continuous expenditure of NYPD resources on controversial practices and over-policing of cyclists on targeted group rides.

“How can the NYPD continue to justify deploying a police detail twice as large as the number of ride participants when the Mayor announced last Friday that they will need to be reducing the size of the police force?” says plainpng and Critical Mass participant Barbara Ross.

The majority of New Yorkers favor increasing cycling and bike lanes in NYC. Time’s Up! will continue to support all group rides, including the Critical Mass, which provides a safe space for new cyclists to ride and celebrates the benefits of cycling.

The plainpng’s legal team, attorneys Gideon Oliver, David B. Rankin, Rose Weber and the law office of Rankin & Taylor, has offered matched donations of up to $21k to selected organizations including Time's Up! and the National Lawyers Guild - NYC Chapter.

"We are very pleased to be able to compensate the Critical Mass community for some of the indignities inflicted upon them by the NYPD," says David B. Rankin, lawyer for the cyclists.

For video of overwhelming police presence at March 2011 Critical Mass CLICK HERE or below.

For videos of additional months of NYC Critical Mass videos CLICK HERE.

*Critical Mass cost estimate of $3M based on cost analysis calculations developed by Economist Charles Komanoff and Time’s Up! in 2006