NYPD attacks Occupy Wall Street with scooters

Dailies -



According to Gothamist, “The NYPD repeatedly drove scooters at high speeds through crowds of demonstrators during this morning’s march, and another demonstrator was beaten after kicking a police scooter.” The most outrageous incident, however, appears to be the case of this legal observer, who was either hit with or run over by a scooter-mounted police officer before apparently being beaten and arrested. Ari Douglas, who was observing the protests for the National Lawyers Guild, is currently in police custody in an emergency room and faces charges for disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, obstruction of governmental administration, and two counts of criminal mischief. In this age of technology, there’s a plethora of photos and videos.

This video of the incident was published by The New York Times and appears to show police beating Douglas after he’s run over.

YouTube Preview Image

Whether or not Douglas was merely struck or run over by the scooter is being debated. This video does little to shed light on the incident.

A fellow legal observer, Zainab Akbar, who was at the scene, told the New York Daily News, “His leg was stuck under the bike, and he kicked his leg to get the bike off his leg, and then the police attacked him and shoved him into the ground and put a night stick against the back of his neck.”

The scooter in question is a Piaggio BV200, which weighs 359lbs before a couple hundred pounds of cop climbs onboard. It would hurt if it hit you or ran you over.

Regardless of the exact nature of the event, scooters appear to be the latest tool in the NYPD’s war on our First Amendment rights.

Thanks for the tip, Payton.

  • tomwito

    My friend just posted on facebook that he had been hit by a cop for taking photos with a tri-pod. Apparently that is a crime punishable by baton.

    • Kerry

      New York law says you need to have a permit to put a tripod on the ground. That’s what gave rise to the shakey, hand-held camera style of shows like NYPD Blue, now called the New York Style.

      But, being beaten with a baton is not excusable.

      • jphphoto

        Kerry, You don’t always need a permit to put a tripod on the ground. though one of the stipulations is that there is supposed to be a minimum of 8′ clearance on the sidewalk for pedestrian traffic. quoted from here, http://www.nyc.gov/html/film/downloads/pdf/moftb_permit_rules_final.pdf

        something does look fishy in that video though. shouldn’t they require police scooters to have sirens for crowd dispersal?

        “(ii) Filming, photography, production, television or radio remotes occurring on City property, as described in subdivision (a) of this section, (A) if such activity involves the assertion by any means, including physical or verbal, of exclusive use of one or more lanes of a street or walkway of a bridge or (B) if such activity involves the assertion by any means, including physical or verbal, of exclusive use of more than one-half of a sidewalk or other pedestrian passageway or, in a situation in which the sidewalk or pedestrian passageway is narrower than sixteen feet, if such activity involves the assertion by any means, including physical or verbal, of exclusive use of the sidewalk or pedestrian passageway such that less than eight feet is otherwise available for pedestrian use.”…

  • http://rider49er.blogspot.com Mark D

    I would think it’s hard to play Judge Dredd while on a scooter, but apparently the pigs have very active imaginations.

  • superbikemike

    nazi police…. what’s next? this country is becoming so fucked up… the country was founded on the constitution… hell @ work next year we have to have our mouth swabbed for use of tobacco… our country is in major decline…

  • Coreyvwc

    To quote the ever so eloquent Larry The Cable Guy. “That’s funny right there, I don’t care who you are”.

    • zipp4

      Please leave this site.

    • muckluck

      thank the insurance companies for that one, charging your company more for tobacco users health insurance. It’s really sad. I have a feeling that’s just the beginning.

      On another note the protesters will do anything to get publicity for there cause and the best way is to get the cops to react to there constant barrage of abuse from some of the protesters, I can’t imagine being a NYPD cop taking that crap every day you would have to have patience and inner peace of a monk!

  • stefano

    this is going to get uglier and it’s only making me more resolved. we should get a bike group together to buzz by the wall st scooter cop line. who is in?

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      Oh man, I’m so tempted to do that if the protests in LA blow up.

      • stefano

        seriously. i was so tempted to during the major march a few weeks ago in nyc once the cops started being dicks and trying to block protesters from crossing the street for no reason. my SV was only a few blocks away, just needed a flag to fly….

        im going to dinner in silverlake if you want to, ya know, lend me a bike ps ;)

      • Sean Smith

        Count me in. Ashlee’s getting pretty good at shooting from the back of a bike.

  • Justin

    if that dude had really been run over he would have tried very hard to get out from under the scooter. instead, he did his best to keep his leg as far under the scooter as possible.

    • stephen


      • Michael

        +1, and watch this style of media combat continue. More to come…its pretty lame its here at HFL. I want to know more about the 1199…etc.

    • jp182

      well actually his leg was broken and apparently after the camera got obscured he kicked the scooter to get it off of him.

      • Justin


  • super20

    Mods vs. Rockers!
    Srsly rhough no matter the exact details the scooter cop was agressively looking for a target. Effed up. Its been peaceful here in Philly. The cops and protestors have been friendly and the Mayor stopped by in the wee AM to talk to and answer questions from the protestors.

  • stephen

    They are not necessarily stepping on the first amendment rights if it allows the restriction of the freedom to assembly if it is necessary “in a democratic society in the interests of national security or public safety, public order, the protection of public health or morals or the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.”

    So if your protest is harming other or the rights of others it can be stopped. The protest may harm local businesses etc.


    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Grant Ray

      That’s quite the rambling run-on sentence, and it’s also quite a stretch of the Millsian notion of liberty.

      The LEO hit or ran over a passive legal observer, who was then brutally beat and arrested. Pretty sure that’s not a proper defensive response to the threatened liberties of any persons or corporations.

      • Greg

        Was looking for that “brutally beat” part; at exactly what point in the video did this “beating” occur? No doubt the “passive legal observer” probably had his foot ran over by the big bad scooter cop (such trauma might actually require an aspirin), but the reaction of the victim reminds me of a European football match in which a player takes a dive and hams up the “injury” in hopes of drawing a foul.

        • jeremy

          Alright Greg, are you volunteering to let HFL run your ankle over with a 400 lb scooter? This is just like the waterboarding shit, put your money where your mouth is or hold your tongue.

        • zato1414

          Greg, you got it right! If this shrieking girlie-man was to stick his leg under a Harley, we could do a burn-out and show him real pain, I mean why waste all that great screaming without just cause… oh yeah.

          Sorry, was I too insensitive or un-PC?

      • Samuel

        No but seriously, there is no beating in this video. It looks like a guy who’s screaming and flailing getting apprehended after kicking over a scooter. No striking, no punching, no hitting.

        The NYPD have a job to do here so this doesn’t turn into another Vancouver.

        • Kerry

          If cops in Vancouver had acted like the one who drove over that guy’s foot, this City would have been in ashes.
          The NYPD might have a job to do, but running over people is not one of them.

  • pplassm

    Looks pretty fake to me.

    • Michael


  • Ray

    Ran over the wrong guy, a civil rights lawyer who was there as a legal observer. Completely outraged by the unprofessional partisan behavior of the cops. Thugs.

    Better than horseback, though.

    From what I’ve seen, the local businesses are booming as a result.

  • http://www.postpixel.com.au mugget

    Something is a bit off with that guy who’s on the ground… he’s screaming like a little bitch, he is not trying to get up, yet he is squirming around like a soccer player trying to claim a penalty kick. I don’t know about you, but if I had a serious injury or any broken bones in my leg I would not be moving it around. And all that screaming, it just looks like it’s a put on. It’s all a bit suss to me…

    But what a mess. Am I glad that I’m not there? Oh yes I am.

    • Tony T.

      Because the first thing that I would do when knocked down by a scooter is think sensibly and calmly, I would have to agree with your analysis.

      Oh, wait a minute, no. I would probably wriggle around and freak the fuck out. Who expects to get run down by a cop? And then beaten?

      • Liquidogged


      • http://www.postpixel.com.au mugget

        Fair enough, but I was just looking at it from my life experience.

        For example I had a BMX accident where I needed some stitches in my shin – I sure as hell did not keep riding, I got of and I did not run around, I did not jump up and down on the spot, I just looked down at the injury then walked away nice and easily to get stitched up.

        Then my brother had a similar injury, but the reaction was the complete opposite – he jumped off the bike, and was hopping and running around and I am thinking “WTF just sit down that’s not helping!”

        So there you have it – I guess it turns out that not everyone can be as cool, calm and collected under pressure as I am. I shouldn’t hold it against the fake scooter injury guy.

  • 2ndderivative

    “Police scooter”. Huh. Learn something new every day.

  • Frosty_spl

    He seems like a bitch, but still I’m sure it hurt if he did get run over.

    Those cops are pretty smart, beating someone in a sea of cameras. Can’t wait to see the outcome.

  • walter

    Doesn’t seem like this ‘occupation’ and New York PD’s idea of law and order will add up to anything but swinging batons, tear gas, mass arrests, extra judicial punishment, use of vehicles as weapons, etc.

    I’d consider that scene a full frenzy. A core of cops battering some sap, surrounded by a circle of cops fending off a circle of media.

    I just hope they got all the angles.

  • Chris Reedy

    The real question here is whether or not he deliberately got run over the first time or not and how did he even fall down to begin with? The cop slowed to essentially zero speed right before he hit the guy. This whole scene with the group of cameras and easy-bake-injury seem kinda fishy to me…

    • Liquidogged

      If the guy had thrown himself under the scooter or some bullshit like that, you can bet your ass the NYPD’s PR department would have been all over that like stink on shit. But they’re not.

      What a bunch of armchair generals. Ok, you big-balled man-gods, go ahead and get run over by a full-grown man on a scooter and then report back to us on how few aspirin were required due to your huge man-balls. Woot.

      • Greg

        Here’s a “dramatization” of what went down:


      • longtravel

        Hey I’m not saying either way, but the mob of cameramen instead of protesters in the area it sets the scene a little differently than just one guy catching the shot from across the street.

        I mean, I’m no stranger to painful leg injuries after 2 broken legs and a tibial nail but if it meant a huge settlement and more steam for my cause instead of $50,000 of hospital bills then it seems kinda tempting. This would not even be close to the most extreme thing that someone has done in the name of a cause or a quick payout.

      • mike

        Something had to happen with all the cameras ready to go – and this was it.

        • Liquidogged

          All those protestors are packing cameras all over the place, at all times. Big ones, little ones, still, video, everything in between. A mob of protestors IS a mob of cameramen. It’s one of the reasons they’re getting attention – they are generating a huge amount of images and video. Ahem, like the the image and video that spawned this article.

          Really? It’s tempting to get run over? Because you’d get paid? Sorry, but that’s fucking insane. I’m not going to say it’s impossible, but it’s damn sure not likely. If you’re trying to find the simplest explanation of this event, I’d say keep looking.

          • Greg

            I’d say you’re the naive one to believe it’s “not likely”.

  • rohorn

    It seems to me that far worse things have happened at previous scenes covered here, complete with gritty photos! Maybe the cop should have done a burnout on his crotch – that’s always, among other things, photogenic!

    I’m surprised Count Olaf, there, writhing about the macadam, didn’t hold out a cellphone and take a self portrait.

    Suddenly, police issue Harleys make sense…

  • robotribe

    Bullshit. No reason to be going at that clip on the scooter into a crowd.

  • Good Thomas

    Look at the video between about 0:19 and 0:27. Kinda looks like the dude on the ground stuck his leg under the scooter.

  • clickeye


    • slowtire


  • caferacer

    Here, the LAPD have also lost their marbles. Three-wheeled tactical assault chariots and armored riot quads?? That’s just embarrassing. This is what happens when Ford stops making the Crown Vic and no one knows how to ride horses any more.

    If you’re going to clobber me, at least do it with little class and style. Who can take authority seriously when it’s this dorky?


    • http://rider49er.blogspot.com Mark D

      Needs more this.

    • Archer

      Who can take protestors with no cogent agenda seriously?

      • Good Thomas


  • Ste

    The scooter was moving about 1mph.
    Look at that idiot writhing around on the ground. What a fucking drama queen.
    Are you guys serious with this article, or is it satirical? I honest to god can’t even tell.

  • chaz

    Oh my god, are you guys serious? The cop that comes up does not RUN anyone over, and yes, even the still pic shows the guys putting his foot under the scooter…

  • nick2ny

    That white shirt cop in the top video around 1:00 looks like such a wuss! Way too docile for the white shirts, who are supposed to be extra violent. Someone should let him know he can be more confident, he’s allowed to beat, pepper spray, and tase anyone there!

  • Aaron

    Bullshit. What a bunch of over reacting babies. The people around don’t even help just yell and try to incite a riot. What a bunch of whiny bitches.

  • zato1414

    Kicking a scooter… guilty as charged! Punishment…take your beating! Judge Dredd in 2011, I can dig that.

    Bring in the scoops and clean-up the streets.

  • http://www.techno-obscura.com/~delgado/ jmdelgado13

    The most violent thing I saw going on here was the swarm of photographers that got whipped up into a frenzy as soon as they saw cops and someone on the ground.

  • http://www.muthalovin.com the_doctor

    Motorcycles are dangerous!

    Scooters on the other hand, well, I guess are kind of dangerous. Kinda.

  • Kevin

    Don’t get sucked in by this Wes. The guy faked it . The football analogy was right on. If this is the sort of tactics that these guys use then they are lame at best. move on

  • soban881

    What a load of crap. People like that drama queen, once associated with otherwise legitimate protests, ruin it for everyone. You don’t need manufactured beat downs to spread the message; in fact, it just dilutes that message. And yes, this is also the reason why I don’t watch soccer.

    • Archer

      “otherwise legitimate protests” generally have participants who can at least articulate WHY they’re protesting.

      Hell, even the Vietnam War protests proven decades later to have been initiated by KGB operatives at least had a clear MESSAGE.

      What’s the MESSAGE here? (from the organizers, please, not your interpretations).

      • soban881

        Heh, I kept my reply vague for a reason – don’t read too much into it. The message here is certainly fragmented, and while I can get behind the sentiment that lead to these protests, I don’t think they’re very effective, and you won’t find me joining them. Perhaps “legitimate” was the wrong word for it. My comment was simply about the whiny actor in the video. The one thing thing creating fake and transparent dramas will do is give the news reason to turn this into an us vs. them pissing match, which will only add noise to the debate rather than anything useful.

      • Roman

        “Hell, even the Vietnam War protests proven decades later to have been initiated by KGB operatives at least had a clear MESSAGE.”

        You know, it is entirely possible to take issue with the video without resorting to revisionist history bullshit. Btw, the guy is not part of the protest, he’s a non-partisan legal observer.

        • Archer

          I didn’t say ALL the Vietnam era protests were KGB instigated- but there were some. I have personally seen the documentary proof.

          Have you?

          • Roman

            Dude, your statement speaks for itself. Didn’t see the word “some” anywhere in there. I’m not getting down in the dirt with you about 1960s conspiracy theories. I come here to talk bikes, would rather just keep it at that.

            • Archer

              Well then, go right on ahead.

  • GT

    Those ass-clowns should go away.

  • pplassm

    Look, I am no fan of over-the-top police tactics, but this ain’t it. That dude was just causing a scene. I can’t discern why he was being detained, but if he resisted, well, they might get rough with him.

    At least they’re not arresting everybody recording them doing their jobs, like some other jurisdictions.

    My understanding is that cops have been more than tolerant of these folks.

  • Skank NYCF

    What a bitch. He deserves a fuckin beaten after that poor showing of his acting. I bet he enjoyed that piece of piss stained cement floor under the Manhattan court house and his free baloney sandwich.

    • http://www.facebook.com/beastincarnate Ben Incarnate

      It’s upside down day: I agree with Skank.

  • Campisi

    I was less concerned about how convincing the reaction of the laid-out civilian was to being hit by a moving vehicle, and more concerned about, you know, said civilian getting beaten by a gang of pigs and thrown in the back of a van immediately afterward.

    That’s just me, though.

    • chaz

      yes, it is just you. I saw him being arrested for sure and flex cuffs being brought out. I saw police officers. I sure didnt see and beating, and didnt see any “pigs”.

  • NickK

    “non-partisan legal observer” That’s the funniest part of this whole thread.

    I love the irony of these people protesting Wall St., corporate America, et alia while using cell phones and cameras provided to them by Wall Street, corporate America, and a (granted: flawed) capitalistic system.

    They should instead be camped out on college campuses. It would be much more productive to rail against a higher ed system that hoards absurd endowments, charges insane fees, and then turns around and brainwashes and indoctrinates its customers.

    50 years of liberals dominating education has brought us to this: Ill-informed assholes vying for a system based solely on intention, not results.

    • http://rider49er.blogspot.com Mark D

      I don’t think we have to choose between cell phones and an equitable distribution of wealth.

      “I doth love the irony of these mere peasants protesting Our Sovereign Lord by means of the very pitchforks our Great and Divine King provided them to pick turnips!”

      • isambard

        Nicely done. Dude did somewhat undermine the poignancy of his suffering by squealing like a little pig though.

      • NickK

        Edit: Meant for Mark D. (And isambard can come to the beer summit too.)

        Touche, Sir. That was awesome.

        However, I’d argue two points: First, that for your comparison to hold, they should be outside the Whitehouse and the Capitol. Second, when you try to equitably distribute wealth, you do actually damage the engine that gave us cell phones and feeds us all.

        When the OWS’ers talk about wringing the crony out of capitalism, I’m with them. But the economy is not a zero sum game, and people shouldn’t be coveting another man’s money unless it’s ill-gotten. That’s where our system of laws has broken down and become corrupt: Corporations and governments intersect in nasty, protest worthy ways. The bulk of the fault, however, lies with the government who bring to bear the force of law and punishment. You can’t make everyone good, but you can punish the bad mercilessly. We gave our government the responsibility of operating a system and punishing malefactors, and it has failed. So I’d much rather tear down the government than Wall Street. They should be occupying Washington.

        Unfortunately, and perhaps I’m wrong here, but the OWS’ers seem to have not considered the above. They appear to be talking more about equalizing outcomes, not opportunities. And so, in my mind, they end up looking like traditional hackneyed socialists pining for the halcyon days of the 60′s – before Keynes was proven wrong. Repeatedly.

        Loved your rejoinder, though. I bet you’d be a fun guy to go round for round with over beers. (Or flagons of mead).

        • http://rider49er.blogspot.com Mark D

          By equitable distribution, I certainly didn’t mean across-the-board equal! Just, well…more equal? Hard to put a finer point on it without sounding like Mao.

          And you’re right on many points; bankers and corporation will always, predictably, act like bankers and corporations. The trust we put in governments to anticipate, and correct for, where that “greed is good” mentality inherent in business is counter productive has clearly been misplaced. Protesting bankers and business to stop trying to make as much money as they legally (or illegally-with-no-consequences) can is like trying to toilet train a bear.
          If you’re in SF anytime, I’ll glad quaff some mead with you!

          • NickK

            Bringing it back to motorcycling, San Fran – what a great place to ride. I live in LA, have friends up there. Job ending soon, and have serious need of travel. If I make it up there, I’ll let you know!


          You don’t go to Washington if you want to speak truth to power.

        • doublet

          They ARE in Washington. A friend of mine works their, and we were discussing how civil it has been in DC, vs this all-around debauchery that’s occurring in NY. The permit came due, and the parks service (or whatever the name of the exact organization responsible) came to an amicable agreement that they have their area until sometime in December.

          MarkD- That quote is fantastic!

      • Edward

        Hilarious. Where did that quotation come from?

    • stephen

      This. And if you redistributed the wealth, people would just spend it and become poor all over again.


    Whether you think he flopped or not, why aren’t the police concerned about the possibility that he was injured? He obviously wasn’t a threat. This man wasn’t a suspect until he got ran over. That is a problem, whether you are for or against the protests.

  • Zaron Gibson

    The first video you can see the guy run up and get down on the ground, positioning himself on the ground. He wasn’t run over, he’s just acting like a dickwad to get attention.

  • Michael

    Refresh HFL to see more comments and less news. Let’s have some more bike news please.

  • Mark Kenney

    I’m very skeptical of that guy getting “ran over.” There’s too many people in the way and it happened off-center of the frame. I’ll also be very interested to learn the follow-up on this story – additional camera angles, extent of injuries (if any), etc.

    As for the scooter, can someone tell me the point of a 360-lb scoot? Seems counter to the original point of scooters, but maybe that’s just me.

  • Boltrider

    For someone in extreme pain, he sure has no problem keeping a firm grip on what appears to be a wireless device (camera/phone maybe?) in his right hand, and something else I’m not sure of in his left hand.

  • dan

    f#ck the NYPD, they have been behaving like assholes since this began. Their first reaction is aggression and attitude and that includes even getting pulled over for a traffic stop. And this comes from someone with lots of family on the job. A tough job yes but the bs thats been going on for this protest has to stop. The world is watching.

    • Archer

      Watching, and waiting for a coherent message from these people.

  • Dan

    MOTORCYCLE NEWS PLEASE!!! I PAY for motorcycle news. I get political bullshit 24/7. I come here to get away from that shit.

    • chaz

      +1….and can you make it like real police abuse next time.. just sayin’

  • Martin

    Fun fact: the Piaggio BV is known as the “Beverly” in Europe. That would make this one a “Beverly Crusher”.

    • http://twitter.com/metabomber Jesse

      Someone owes me a coffee, to replace the one that just left my nose.