2005-05-11 Smolked Out - NY Press

Smolked Out

NYC bicycle insanity forces riders to reconsider


http://www.nypress.com/18/19/news&columns/aaronnaparstek.cfm

New York Press

May 11th, 2005

By Aaron Naparstek

Last month's Critical Mass bike ride ended in 34 arrests. Even the
New York Times, no big fan of pesky bike radicals clogging up
midtown traffic, has begun to notice that something has gone extremely
wrong with the NYPD's approach to the once-peaceful monthly ride.
Perhaps that's because this month Times reporter Colin Moynihan
got shoved by a cop, jacked up against a car and cuffed for the
crime of conducting an interview on the corner of E. 6th Street and
Avenue A.

It was refreshing to wake up on Saturday morning and see the
Times finally putting a name and a face to the inept and
unlawful police crackdown: Assistant Chief Bruce Smolka, former boss
of the disgraced and disbanded Street Crimes Unit, the cops who put
41 bullets in Amadou Diallo. The Metro section carried a prominent
picture of Smolka in action, roughly dragging a young woman off the
street by the collar like some kind of caveman. If it's the same woman
described in the news story, she is being arrested for trying to walk
away from Union Square with her legs straddling her bike, her feet on
the sidewalk. According to Smolka, that's illegal.

Copyright 2005, The New York Press