The past couple weeks of George Floyd protests and unrest has produced the somewhat new phenomenon of some local restaurants and cafes in big cities like Atlanta or New York City refusing to serve police. This as a driving “anti-cop” ideology has been central in many instances where initially ‘peaceful’ demonstrations have broken out into violence and rioting.
But one 120-year old company has now suspended all sales of police bicycles to law enforcement departments nationwide amid activist claims that officers are using them as “weapons” against protesters.
The North American distributor of Fuji Bicycles BikeCo, said in a weekend statement: “to hear that there are instances where bicycles have been used as a weapon against those who are vulnerable, those speaking out against the unjust treatment of people of color, and those standing alongside them advocating change, has deeply upset our community, our company and the heart of the Fuji brand.”
“In the last week, we have seen our bicycles used in violent tactics that we did not intend or design them to be used for,” the company said, and vowed: “In an effort to work towards real change, Bike Co. the North American distributor of Fuji Bikes is suspending the sale of police bikes.”
However, some observers noted the Philadelphia-based company didn’t provide a single specific example of police using a Fuji bike as a weapon in the lengthy company statement.
A biker gang brutally beat these protesters in Philly today. pic.twitter.com/r1TzXrOpNW
— Morgan J. Freeman (@mjfree) June 5, 2020
One police and law enforcement industry journal commented cynically in response:
Well, two can play this silly game. Law enforcement certainly has the right to “suspend” all purchases of Fuji Bikes forever.
There have been examples circulating on social media of police lines holding back large groups of protesters using bikes.
But it’s unclear whether these particular instances involve Fuji bikes, or other popular brands like Trek.