NY Critical Mass Cyclists Win Lawsuit

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Five cyclists who say they were harassed by police during a March 2007 Critical Mass ride were paid a total of $98,000 by New York City on Tuesday, according to The New York Times. The settlement marks a major stick-it-to-the-man win for Critical Mass — an infamous and international movement that “organizes” urban bike rides to call attention to bike advocacy and alternative transportation. The traffic-snarling and controversial rides have lost popularity in recent years as police crackdowns and zealous arrests have dissuaded people from participating. In this case, the New York cyclists had solid evidence of their mistreatment by NYPD officers: One video clip (above) that was posted on YouTube shows Richard Vazquez, 55, being pushed off his bike by Sgt. Timothy Horohoe then arrested over a trash can. The tension between Critical Mass riders and cities like New York will surely continue.

— Jennifer L. Schwartz