The city has agreed to pay $965,000 dollars to cyclists arrested during the monthly Critical Mass rides. This is on top of the money the city spends to have a small army of cops on scooters issue summons to cyclists during the monthly rides. And the settlement doesn't include the lawsuits filed by bike riders arrested during the Republican National Convention in 2004. That's when the troubles began; for over a decade the NYPD had cooperated with the monthly ride, treating it like a parade and even stopping traffic at intersections so cyclists could pass. Here's video documentation from 1999, around the 1:30 mark:
But in 2004, the monthly Critical Mass ride coincided with the start of the Republican convention, and the NYPD decided to set the tone for the weekend by cracking down on the ride. The Villager reports that 264 participants were arrested, and ever since the NYPD has taken an adversarial stance against the ride. The situation deteriorated further in 2006 when two officers on scooters collided while policing the event. The Village Voice reported that "cops on the scene were clearly pissed. 'He landed straight on his head,' said one scooter cop who asked not to be identified. 'It’s not fun and games any more.' " The NYPD currently sends hundreds of officers, a mobile command unit and a helicopter to police the ride.
The 83 participants who were arrested or ticketed between September 2004 to January 2006 will get payouts ranging from $500 to $35,000, for a plaintiff who was arrested multiple times and was injured because of the arrests, the Times reports. For more, Times Up, the environmental group that acts as informal representative of the rides, has put together a short history of Critical Mass.