Heins Rodriguez, a 26-year-old from Queens, New York, was riding his bike in the Corona neighborhood on August 13, 2015. Based on surveillance footage from the area, we know how the ride ended: A pair of police officers following Rodriguez in an unmarked car veered toward him, running him off the road and possibly striking him. Rodriguez crashed on the sidewalk, landing on his side.
Both officers then left their car, approached Rodriguez after he got to his feet, and cuffed his hands behind his back. They charged him with “resisting arrest.”
“What prohibits [the officers] from pulling 25 feet ahead of [Rodriguez], pulling over, and signaling for him to stop?” asked Daniel Flanzig, a New York attorney who once represented a woman who was thrown from her bike by an NYPD officer for running a red light. According to Flanzig, the department needs a better strategy for stopping cyclists. He noted that police wouldn’t run drivers off the road unless they were a danger to themselves or others.