Alec Baldwin is right. Well, kind of. Police are in fact "anxious to criminalize behavior once thought benign." Any cyclist who has received a ticket for pedaling out of the bike lane or refusing to wear a helmet or rolling a stop sign/light or fined $1,555 for riding a bike would agree. But should he have been arrested after receiving a ticket for biking the wrong way yesterday? Was he "belligerent" enough to merit being handcuffed?

Reports conflict. In Touch has one witness who said he was, and another who said he wasn't. An NYPD spokeswoman told us that he became "belligerent" after being stopped and "cursed" at the officers.

"He was not calm & quiet he was rude and condensing to both female officers," says a witness who emailed us about the altercation. When asked to be more specific about Baldwin's demeanor and what he told the officers, they replied, "He had a wild eyed expression and said something like 'Oh, really and you studied for how long?' But I did not hear the context in which the question was asked."

A salon worker who saw Baldwin get pulled over described him to the Times as "an old senior citizen."

They don't have to, but they often do. If Baldwin truly did not want to receive "special treatment," he would have taken a ride to the 13th Precinct anyway, with his hands free to Tweet angrily about how he was being treated.

The police do indeed lie with some frequency, but with the evidence we have, it's impossible to say what exactly happened. Though if Baldwin was merely annoying (and he is usually annoying) there is no crime against that.

The Post's editorial board reacted to Baldwin's arrest with characteristic fat fingered, pseudo-snark. "We never thought we’d say so, but Alec Baldwin has a point," they write, their ketchup-stained shirts rising and falling with excitement. "At least with regard to the selective enforcement of traffic laws on cyclists. Every day New Yorkers see thousands on bikers running red lights, cycling on sidewalks and in general making themselves a menace."

Ah yes—those "menace" cyclists, who kill hundreds of people each year without prosecution.

Yesterday, Streetsblog covered the unveiling of a redesigned intersection at 96th Street and Broadway (you know, that intersection where all those cyclists kept killing pedestrians), and captured the NYPD's Chief of Transportation, Thomas Chan, explaining to a 1010 Wins reporter why they are specifically targeting distracted motorists and not pedestrians or cyclists.

“Motorists are operating a 4,000 pound vehicle. And we cannot be distracted while we’re operating that vehicle,” he said. “When a collision occurs between a motorist and a pedestrian, the pedestrian loses 100 percent of the time. So again, it’s very important that our motorists, who are obligated to be licensed, that they operate in a way that’s not distracted.”

The Post does have a point when they complain that Baldwin shouldn't be "singled out" over all the other cyclists who ride the wrong way. The officers in a Precinct that has done a decent job this year of fining motorists who endanger pedestrians' lives [PDF] would have been better off giving the cyclist a stern warning. If that had happened, we wouldn't be reading about Alec Baldwin.

Some cyclists, like our publisher Jake Dobkin, believe that Baldwin's initial crime isn't a crime at all. "This is New York City, and if you can't salmon one or two blocks once in a while, why the fuck do we live here anyway?"

Not us though. Nope. Also: cellphones are for pedestrians.