Police Knock Cyclist Off Bike With Their Car And Then Arrest Him For ‘Resisting Arrest’
A pair of NYPD cops are under fire thanks to this security footage, which shows them knocking Heins Rodriguez off his bike and then arresting him, with no clear reason for the arrest.
Why did they target Rodriguez in the first place? That’s not entirely clear. According to the Daily News, the NYPD said officers Zheng Zuopeng and Alan Chen were attempting to pull him over for biking the wrong way down a one-way street. However, the security footage shows Rodriguez biking with traffic when the officers drove into his path.
Police also said they found 12 bags of marijuana on Rodriguez after they stopped him. However, Rodriguez never faced any changes over the weed and was only charged with resisting arrest. Per the Daily News, the officers reported that he flailed around and refused to be handcuffed. Yet the footage shows him peacefully submitting to the cuffs. The charge was later dropped.
It’s not clear whether the officers actually hit Rodriguez with their car or just pulled close enough to run him off the bike. Either way, it was a potentially dangerous maneuver for what they allege was only minor traffic violation.
In a 2016 lawsuit filed in federal court, Rodriguez said he asked the officers to go to the hospital after the arrest, but that they “ignored his plea and his obvious need for medical treatment” and took him instead to the local precinct house. Once he was finally taken to a hospital, Rodriguez said he was diagnosed with bulging discs, a painful spinal condition that has required ongoing physical therapy and still affects him to this day.
Both Rodriguez and his lawyer declined to comment. But given the details of his arrest and injuries, could the officers have found a safer way to stop a cyclist on city streets?