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Trek Bicycles Declines To Divest From NYPD

Police used their bicycles as weapons against protestors in New York. Source: Twitter

The company that sells bicycles to the NYPD has refused activists’ demands that it divest from its relationship with a brutal department — even after NYPD cops were caught on camera last month using bikes to brutalize peaceful protesters.

Trek Bikes admitted in a statement issued to Streetsblog on Tuesday that its bikes were being used by police “in ways that are abhorrent and vastly different from their intended use.” But the statement suggested that now that everyone has seen the evidence of misuse of bikes, society can move forward for positive change — with the company’s product front and center:

For over 25 years, we have seen police on bikes, out of cruisers and offices, building relationships in the neighborhoods they serve. The past two weeks has turned the view of police on bikes from a community asset to a liability. A positive outcome of the recent protests is that we are starting to see real police reform being discussed at local and national levels. We believe bikes can play a positive role by continuing to get officers out of cars and armored trucks and into the community where trust can be built.

The company also announced six reforms it pledged to initiate because “black, African American, and other people of color throughout this country do not have the same opportunities that white people have.” The company says it will:

    • Create 1,000 cycling industry jobs for people of color.
    • Bring bikes, jobs, and stores to underserved communities.
    • Establish a $1-million “Community Investment Fund.”
    • Create a more diverse future for competitive cycling.
    • Create a more inclusive Trek culture.
    • Encourage activism by Trek employees through “paid time off to volunteer for non-profits that build our communities.”

The announcement came after cycling and social justice advocates demanded the company stop selling bikes to the NYPD after multiple instances of New York’s so-called Finest misusing the company’s bikes.

“Join me in reminding [the president of Trek Bikes] that cops are using his bikes as weapons against protesters and he should stop selling bikes to cops,” said Jessie Singer of Transportation Alternatives.

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

The NYPD declined to comment.

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