Commissioner Raymond Kelly, NYPD spokesperson Paul Browne, and over 15 other NYPD officers were deposed on their roles and knowledge of the policing of the Critical Mass rides. These depositions were taken by the plainpng’s lawyers to prepare for the 5BBC lawsuit against the NYPD.
Below is excerpts from Officer Kenneth Wagner’s testimony confirming the NYPD’s policy of following small groups of cyclist out of Union Square, sometimes as far as to the cyclist’s home and testimony showing Commissioner Raymond Kelly was apparently not aware of this and other questionable tactics of NYPD’s policing of Critical Mass.
Excerpt from pages 423-424 of the deposition of Officer Wagner, who patrolled at approximately 20 rides since October 2003:
Q. And did you specifically receive orders to follow small groups of bicyclists in connection with Critical Mass details?
A. Yes, I did.
Q. And what were your instructions with respect to your duties when you were following these small groups of bicyclists?
A. We were to follow the small group of cyclists until they had reached their ultimate destination, and if that turned out to be another area where they were re-forming a larger group to reconstitute the mass and commence the ride from a different location, we were to report that back to our supervisors.
Q. Were you instructed by your superior officers when assigned to follow small groups of bicyclists to disregard the traffic violations of other bicyclists in favor of continuing to monitor the bicyclists to which you were assigned?
A. Yes. We were to follow the cyclists to their ultimate destination.
Q. And isn’t it true that on some occasions you followed cyclists all of the way to their homes?
A. Yes, I believe so.
Excerpt from pages 102-105 of the deposition of Commissioner Raymond Kelly:
Q. Are you aware that it is a common practice at Manhattan Critical Mass rides for pairs of scooter mounted officers to follow groups of bicyclists as small as five that they find proceeding in Manhattan South?
Q. Are you aware of testimony in this matter that groups as small as five bicyclists have been pursued from Union Square all the way to their homes by scooter officers in an attempt to ensure they did not assemble with other bicyclists?
Q. Are you aware that as they are pursuing or following the groups of five bicyclists that the officers are also applying a zero tolerance law enforcement policy?
You have never heard that officers follow small groups of bicyclists to cite them for equipment violations?
Click here for complete transcripts from all available depositions taken to prepare for 5bbc lawsuit.