Marijuana Policy Project
Curved Papers

NYPD Gave Badass Bikers a Free Ride

Bikers on West Side Highway
Bikers pursue SUV on New York’s West Side Highway.

It was like a scene out of Mad Max on Sept. 30 when a gang of motorcyclists terrorized a driver on New York's West Side Highway. Police were nowhere to be found, despite four frantic 911 calls made by the driver's wife.

The motorcycle rally of hundreds of bikers began in Brooklyn. The contingent headed to Manhattan where they rode north up West St., which merges into the highway at 57 St. For some reason several bikers slowed up and surrounded the black Range Rover  in question, driven by Alexian Lien (his wife and two-year-old daughter were also in the car).

In the video, it appears that Lien bumped into one of the bikers. He continued to drive, then was surrounded again and stopped. Lien took off again, riding over bikes and bikers in his way. He exited at the Washington Bridge and stopped again on a street near the bridge. At his point, several bikers smashed his windows, one using a helmet. The video does not show Mien being beaten.

I'm not sure who's right and wrong here. What I do know is that the terrifying ride on the highway went on long enough for police to get to the scene and prevent more violence from happening.

NYPD are quick to stop and frisk and bust potheads, but where are they when they're a really needed? Frisking minorities and busting potheads, of course. That's a lot easier than taking on a biker gang.

In the video below, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly admits he was aware of the bikers, who were "somewhat disruptive" during their rally, called Hollywood Stuntz, last year. "This particular group did not ask for a permit… We had over 200 calls just on Sunday about this particular group operating in a reckless manner."

So then where were police when they were needed on Sunday? As it turned out, there were at least three off-duty undercovers riding with the bikers. They did nothing to stop the violence for fear of blowing their covers and only stepped forward several days after the incident. All have been charged with either gang assault, rioting or criminal mischief and administrative leave. At least four bikers have been arrested.

If this was an Occupy Wall Street march, there would've been hundreds of cops corralling and arresting demonstrators.

When and if Bill de Blasio is voted the next New York mayor on Nov. 5, the first thing he must do is fire Ray Kelly.

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Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

Publisher of CelebStoner.com, former editor of High Times and Freedom Leaf and co-author of Pot Culture and Reefer Movie Madness.