Updated 05/01/2010 05:04 PM
NYPD: Bikes Seized For Security
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The New York City Police Department is defending itself after police officers removed dozens of bicycles from a Manhattan street.
The NYPD said Saturday that it was done a security measure.
The department came under fire after an amateur YouTube video emerged showing officers cutting locks and confiscating the bikes. The video, taken by environmental advocacy group Times Up!, shows officers sawing through bike locks on East Houston Street and hauling away bikes in a truck last Thursday, ahead of President Barack Obama's motorcade.
An NYPD spokesman said the bikes and dozens of cars were removed because of bicycle bombings that have taken place around the world. He said signs were posted in advance informing residents.
But City Councilman Peter Vallone, who chairs the council’s Public Safety Committee, says the car and bike removal could have been handled better.
"Let's look at the way notice was given here,” Vallone said. “Obviously it could have been done better because there a lot of cars and bikes that were still there. Let's look at some alternatives like bomb sniffing dogs, and let's get some notice out to the people in the future. Is this going to happen every time a president comes to town? So we can work with the NYPD to make this better."
Cyclists were directed to the 7th Precinct where their bikes were returned.
No fines were given.