Two major bicycle manufacturers responded in vastly different ways to photos and video showing police around the country using their department-issued bicycles as weapons against demonstrators protesting in the wake of George Floyd’s homicide during an arrest in Minneapolis, Minn.
Bike Co, the North American distributor of Fuji bikes, announced Saturday it will immediately suspend sales of police bikes and begin talks about substantive change in the way bicycles are used by law enforcement.
“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,” the statement says.
Millionaire Trek scion John Burke released a 1,200-word screed June 2 calling for a number of economic and societal reforms to address generational racism experienced by black and brown people in the U.S.
Burke did not address police violence, nor the role of Trek bikes in it.
“If you want to reduce racism in America, the answer is not to send white politicians to the funerals of black people; it is to come up with a simple, bold plan to provide equal opportunity for ALL,” Burke’s statement, released on the Trek website, says.
Several disturbing videos and images have surfaced from the nationwide protests against racism and police brutality showing cops using their bicycles as bettering rams or batons against protesters.
In it’s statement, Bike Co. called the weaponization of bicycles “unacceptable,” and said the company would begin talks with police departments to implement “real change.” before resuming sales. The statement did not say exactly what change it needed to see or how long that might take.
“In an effort to make real change, we are beginning a dialogue with police departments nationwide to address how bikes are used in police activity and to ensure that police’s on-bike training reinforces that bicycles are not a weapon against our community. At this time, we are suspending the sale of Fuji police bikes until a conversation with these departments has occurred and we are confident that real change is being made.”
Burke, Trek’s president, lays out a Neo-Liberal plan to tinker with the U.S. economy, and proposes programs such as one designed to reduce childhood poverty by half, by 2030. Burke in his post does not propose eliminating childhood poverty, nor racism overall, just reducing it. And while he does not address the vicious ways cops have used Trek bicycles
“George Floyd’s murder should be a wakeup [sic] call to actually do something that will provide real hope and real change for millions of Americans who—the facts would tell us—have almost no reason for hope today,” Burke says.
Trek and Fuji are major suppliers of police bicycles, although other manufacturers such as Marin, Volcanic, Haro and Cannondale also provide bikes to law enforcement.
Read Burke’s entire message HERE. Bike Co.’s full statement is below.