If you care about cycling in New York, or just about your Constitutional right as a citizen to freely assemble, the transcript from the first day of testimony in the lawsuit over NYPD's ongoing crackdown on Critical Mass is a fun read. The defense spent most of the day trying to establish that the police have been selectively enforcing Critical Mass rides by coming down heavy on the Manhattan rides while cooperating with the Brooklyn rides. Then, during the afternoon session, someone pulled a Pacino in And Justice for All, bursting into the courtroom yelling, "This is a corrupt system you've got here!" And in cross examining Critical Mass participant Madeline Nelson, lawyers for the city brought up a typical example of ridiculous NYPD cyclist harassment: "Q. At that ride we are speaking about you were issued a summons for an improper taillight, correct? A. That's right, I was. Q. And isn't it correct that your bicycle did not have a taillight at the time that summons was issued? A. Yes, but I had a taillight mounted on my helmet... And I did, in fact, offer to move that light then onto the bicycle and, nonetheless, I was summonsed for not having it mounted on the bike when it was in fact on my helmet and flashing."
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