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Bloodied rider also asked why he was riding a bike in the street

We love a New York police story here at road.cc as we can laugh heartily at their buffoonery without fear of being shot like a sick or injured racoon.

News reaches us via the Gothamist of an incident, partially captured on video, in which a cyclist was knocked off his bike by a New York police officer exiting an NYPD van in a classic no-look dooring manoeuvre.

 

You might reasonably expect the officer to express his apologies and make some attempt to address the issue of a freshly opened gash in the rider’s knee from which blood is flowing freely.

But no, it seems like the officer was rather indignant that the cyclist had the temerity to ride into his door when he opened it without doing what both common sense and the law dictate.

The rider, 37-year old animator Stephen Mann, told the Gothamist: "The cop opened his door just enough to catch my knee and handle bars and send me off the bike to land on a hapless bystander, and a stopped taxi cab. I expressed my anger with him, and informed him of the law that states you must check traffic for cars, pedestrians and bicycles before opening a driver’s side door into traffic."

Such provocation was like a rabid racoon to a .40 calibre handgun totin’ defender of the good and righteous.

Continued Stephen: “I was instantly surrounded by about seven cops who all started asking me questions, like was I drunk, or on drugs, or how long have I been riding bikes, and all sorts of foolishness. At the same time the driver of the van was reprimanded by another police officer and told to get back in the van and "shut up". Prior to that he asked me why I was riding my bike in the street.

“Meanwhile I was bleeding all over my leg and bike, and a random stranger came over and gave me Neosporin and some bandages, which is ten times more than any of the cops did. They filled out an accident report and asked if I wanted an ambulance. I hesitated and wasn't sure, when another police officer came over and told me "get checked" and so I said I wanted to get checked out.

“But the other cops quickly ushered the helpful police officer away from their group. It was like some sort of bad crime story cover-up; they huddled around me and seemingly tried to intimidate me. I really do think they asked if I was on drugs close to 10 times.”

Eventually an ambulance was called and Stephen’s gashed knee was treated at the scene. There followed some apparent obfuscation by the police officers who refused to provide their names or details of the precinct location where they would file the accident report.

But perhaps most telling of all was the lack of any expression of regret by New York’s self-proclaimed finest. "There were never any apologies given," said Stephen.

The Gothamist, however, suggests such expectations are unreasonable and asks presciently: “But what do you expect when you get in the way of an important NYPD door opening?”

Still, unlike this fellow New Yorker who narrowly avoided being doored by a police officer, at least he didn't get arrested.
 

21 comments

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surreyxc [49 posts] 4 years ago
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whats really worrying is if there are so indifferent to the law and so self serving at this level, then it is very very scary what levels of corruption and law bending the Police must be involved in more serious matters. Should we really be surprised after the last few years has revealed just how crooked government institutes are. When the senior heads of the police, and government are crooked to the core, then the foot soldiers are only going to follow the example.

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OldRidgeback [2554 posts] 4 years ago
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Are you sure the NYC cops had .40 handguns? They often use 9mm weapons - about the only metric measurement widely understood in the US in fact.

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Chuck [521 posts] 4 years ago
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surreyxc wrote:

whats really worrying is if there are so indifferent to the law and so self serving at this level, then it is very very scary what levels of corruption and law bending the Police must be involved in more serious matters.

I don't think it follows at all that the whole NYPD is corrupt because some of their officers don't like cyclists or having to say they're sorry.

This story sucks for sure and I hope it comes back on the cops involved but let's not get carried away.

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Mark Appleton [46 posts] 4 years ago
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Yeah, you could be right Old Ridgeback. Maybe it's just in upstate New York that they go for the 40 cal with its superior racoon take-down capabilities.

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Lcpljoel [1 post] 4 years ago
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Don't want to get hurt, then don't ride your bike on the street asshole

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divebabe31 [23 posts] 4 years ago
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Not defending the policeman involved in anyway - he should have looked before opening his door.

However there is a very good reason for the 'ride a car-door width away from parked cars' guidance in our highway code - and if you can't leave such a gap then, if you care about yourself, you should cycle defensively. The speed the cyclist was zipping through those gaps was hardly defensive cycling.

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handlebarcam [543 posts] 4 years ago
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I think I know where this guy went wrong...

Quote:

I expressed my anger with him, and informed him of the law


Does he look like he wants to be poked?

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automatic_jon [68 posts] 4 years ago
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Nice to see that all other crime in New York has been solved and that the police can spare all these PCs to hang around on the off chance there's a cyclist who needs maiming.

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OldRidgeback [2554 posts] 4 years ago
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divebabe31 wrote:

Not defending the policeman involved in anyway - he should have looked before opening his door.

However there is a very good reason for the 'ride a car-door width away from parked cars' guidance in our highway code - and if you can't leave such a gap then, if you care about yourself, you should cycle defensively. The speed the cyclist was zipping through those gaps was hardly defensive cycling.

The laws in the UK say anyone getting out of a vehicle should look and I imagine the US has the same regulations. The cop should've looked but didn't. Has he been charged with an offence? The camera appears to be mounted on the bars, in other words lower than a rider's head, so the speed seems faster than it is.

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surreyxc [49 posts] 4 years ago
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hmmm not sure I am overreacting, when half dozen policeman without any discussion can on the spot collectively decide to make the injured party, the guilty party, to protect themselves and their self interest that smells very much like a certain culture of values within the force, namely they will uphold the law, protect and serve as long as it does not go against their own self interest. Only one policeman seems to have had any hestitation that it was the wrong way to go, and he was shut up pretty quick.

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pj [147 posts] 4 years ago
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the guy was filtering at high speed. he had it coming. in the run up to the dooring there are pedestrians everywhere. if you ride like a total douchebag then you deserve to be treated like one.

the righteous indignation of the wronged cyclist is getting tedious. does he really need an apology for this? was he arrested? was he shot in the head? if this is the worst thing that ever happens to this sandal-clad buffoon, then he's going to have an amazingly happy life.

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pj [147 posts] 4 years ago
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surreyxc wrote:

hmmm not sure I am overreacting

er... yes. he's not jean charles de menezes.

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stewieatb [292 posts] 4 years ago
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Erm right.

The law clearly states - both here and in the US - that the onus is on the car driver/passenger to check the mirrors before opening a car door. It doesn't say "unless the cyclist is riding like a dick, in which case, go ahead, door him, he deserves it". In any case, filtering is perfectly legal, and I can't see anything wrong with what he's doing. His speed is actually reasonable, a touch over 10mph at a guess. He's wearing trainers, not sandals. And there aren't "pedestrians everywhere". Maybe 2 are visible in the whole clip, one of whom is the one who caught him as he was knocked off.

I suppose you're the type of person who claims that a girl who goes out in a short skirt deserves to be raped, yes?

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OldRidgeback [2554 posts] 4 years ago
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pj wrote:

the guy was filtering at high speed. he had it coming. in the run up to the dooring there are pedestrians everywhere. if you ride like a total douchebag then you deserve to be treated like one.

the righteous indignation of the wronged cyclist is getting tedious. does he really need an apology for this? was he arrested? was he shot in the head? if this is the worst thing that ever happens to this sandal-clad buffoon, then he's going to have an amazingly happy life.

Watch the video again. The camera is mounted at handlebar height so it is lower to the ground than a rider's head and the sensation of speed is an illusion. There are plenty of people who do ride like total douchebags but this guy seems to have been going along at a not particularly fast pace, nor was he weaving in and out of vehicles and pedestrians or whatever. The cop who opened the door broke the law so rather than giving an apology, he needs to be charged for committing an offence. That is the point.

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pj [147 posts] 4 years ago
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stewieatb wrote:

Erm right.

The law clearly states - both here and in the US - that the onus is on the car driver/passenger to check the mirrors before opening a car door. It doesn't say "unless the cyclist is riding like a dick, in which case, go ahead, door him, he deserves it". In any case, filtering is perfectly legal, and I can't see anything wrong with what he's...

I suppose you're the type of person who claims that a girl who goes out in a short skirt deserves to be raped, yes?

We're talking about a guy knocked off his bike. I was quite strident. I could have toned it down a tiny bit. Filtering at 10mph through narrow gaps in stationary traffic in a huge city street is a dangerous business; I didn't mean he deserved a deliberate door in the leg, rather sooner or later it was always going to happen. It wasn't clear, I accept that. Yah de Yah. There's a wider point here, but nevermind. However...

You're last comment is unbelievably, hideously crass, a bogus and offensive analogy.

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OldRidgeback [2554 posts] 4 years ago
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If you think 10mph is fast then you must be a very slow rider. That's just 2.5 times my walking speed.

There is a wider point. The police are supposed to ensure the law is upheld by all. To set an example to society, the onus is on the cops to abide by the law. here they didn't. And they accused the victim. That's the issue.

Cops are human. They don't always get things right. I've had worse treatment by cops in other countries, an automatic rifle held at my head by a drunken cop wanting a bribe in West Africa to allow me passage over a state line roadblock for instance. But in developed nations though we expect a certain standard of behaviour.

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the_mikey [156 posts] 4 years ago
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The Strokes have something to say about that: "New York city cops, they ain't too smart", in their song 'New York city cops'.

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skippy [408 posts] 4 years ago
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Seems there are a few "anti cyclists" that are lurking on this site !
"Lcpljoel " made the first and last post one hopes since this is a site for cycling news rather than the "Chip on the shoulder brigade" !
Been doored in an empty street in Rome before the "2000 giro " so know that riding door width is always the safest option .

Wing mirrors are a legal requirement with a purpose and whether getting out of the car as driver or passenger OR making a "U turn" a quick look saves all , grief ! No matter how quickly a cyclist is moving a door moves faster !

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pj [147 posts] 4 years ago
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OldRidgeback wrote:

If you think 10mph is fast then you must be a very slow rider. That's just 2.5 times my walking speed.

thanks for the assumption/lazy/ill-thought out comment: i think i'm a careful cyclist, but i'm not slow.

10mph, at least, is plenty quick enough through narrow gaps in traffic on a busy street when filtering. it certainly doesn't give you enough time to avoid a door being opened. in this situation the cyclist's riding style and choices contributed towards the accident. yes, police should have looked, and so on, but he cannot absolve himself of all responsibility for this crash simply because he was on a bike. i've been doored before, and it really really hurt, but if i hadn't been so close to the door in the first place it wouldn't have happened, regardless of whether the person should have looked or not. i certainly didn't film it and then let it go viral like all 'wronged cylist' videos seem to do.

i'm not anti-cycling, in any shape or form. however, i think there is a furious hysteria associated with incidents like these that is counter-productive, insofar as it blows it out of all proportion. it's one incident, in a street, from aggressive metropolitan police officers. if you think police in big cities, or the 'developed world' are somehow any different, then you're deluded. it's possibly worth remembering that the aftermath of the incident is different to the incident itself. yes, the police were wrong, but the cyclist could have avoided this, pretty easily.

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OldRidgeback [2554 posts] 4 years ago
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Well I've been doored before on my mountainbike by someone in traffic who decided to get out of the driver's side and also on my motorbike a couple of times - there's no excuse for the inexcusable - you're wrong so just accept it, sorry. I'm a cautious rider on my bicycle and on my motorbike but I've been taken out by people who aren't so cautious.

When cyclists get things wrong and do something stupid the people on this site don't hold back on criticism for what they've done.

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booswain [11 posts] 4 years ago
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Lcpljoel wrote:

Don't want to get hurt, then don't ride your bike on the street asshole

That is the stupidist,most immature and pathetic comment I've ever heard.Anyone-child or adult should be safe to ride their envirnomentally friendly,healthy bike in safety anywhere.Who are you to dictate where people ride their bikes?Maybe if someone close to you comes to a similar fate you'll feel differently-just maybe,but here's hoping.