The NYPD spends millions of dollars following around a group of bicycling activists who ride through Manhattan once a month, arresting them on charges of playing a radio too loud or simply for "Improper use of a bicycle." During last Friday's Critical Mass ride, the cops ticketed a 5-year-old sitting on the back of a bike for not wearing a helmet, and the activists confronted the man who ordered the heavy police detail, Deputy Inspector David Ehrenberg of the 13th Precinct.
After the activists clock motorists going over 50 mph at the mouth of the Williamsburg Bridge—the same spot where 12-year-old Dashane Santana was killed crossing the street in 2012—they ask Deputy Inspector Ehrenberg why he chooses to assign so many officers to a peaceful, law-abiding demonstration. They also point out that the 13th Precinct has only issued 7 speeding citations all year (the 7th Precinct, which covers the area where the activists were using the radar gun, has issued 16).
"I stand by the enforcement in the 13th Precinct," the Deputy Inspector says, explaining that residents in his precinct complain about cyclists.
Sanctimonious shouting and that cheesy editing aside, the video's point is clear. Spending public resources to harass a group of law-abiding cyclists works against Mayor de Blasio and NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton's pledge to stress speeding enforcement "in all precincts" and crack down on dangerous driver behavior that is the cause or contributing factor in 70% of all pedestrian fatalities.