In the past few years, there has been no shortage of headlines about police brutality in New York and across the country. While many incidents of police misconduct involve aggressive arrests and improper discharge of firearms, police brutality may come in other forms.
Recently, two New York lawmakers filed suit against the New York Police Department for violating their rights. The lawmakers allege officers used police-issued bicycles as battering rams to stop an otherwise peaceful protest.
A peaceful protest
According to reporting from Insider, in response to police misconduct, two Black lawmakers joined a group of protestors outside the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. At the time, the city had no curfews in place or any other notable restrictions on protesting. Still, after a few hours, officers decided to end the protest. At that point, the peaceful gathering turned into a nightmare for the lawmakers and other protestors.
No way out
Rather than allowing the protestors to leave, officers surrounded the group with their bicycles. The lawmakers’ suit alleges officers then used their bikes to assault the protestors, including the two lawmakers. This action caused members of the crowd to suffer physical and emotional injuries.
In addition to claiming officers assaulted them with their bikes, the lawmakers assert members of the NYPD illegally detained protestors. They also say officers violated their fundamental right to free speech. This allegation stems from the officer’s decision to end the legal protest.
While a city spokesperson claims the NYPD intends to investigate the incident, the lawmakers’ lawsuit highlights the expansiveness of police brutality. Ultimately, the suit is likely to make its way through the legal process eventually, perhaps leading to compensation for the lawmakers.