Brooklyn Bike Patrol on a roll after attacks on women: A volunteer escort home from the subway along dark streets is a phone call away — no charge, no tips. Business is brisk.
On Halloween, Ruiz escorted two women — one dressed as a box of cookies, the other as a milk carton — who felt vulnerable because their costumes limited their arm movements. Many of his regulars, who are listed in his phone by their first names and their usual subway stations, are waitresses who work late and who don’t want to spend $20 or so for a cab ride home.
Nice job, Brooklyn.
Photo: Brooklyn Bike Patrol volunteers, from left, Ryan Finger, Timothy Wright-Bodine and Jay Ruiz prepare for a Friday night of providing safe escorts home from subway stations. Credit: Aaron Showalter, New York Daily News
Dennis Smith, NYU Wagner Associate Professor of Public Policy, explores this question his new video now available on our website.
“Dear Commissioner Kelly:
We all appreciate the grave responsibility that the Police Department has taken upon itself to safeguard New Yorkers from terrorist attacks. All of us who lived through the events of 9/11 here in New York understand what is at stake for our city. However, if our understanding of the newly revealed information is correct – that the Police Department has been monitoring our Muslim student group based on religion alone – then we find this troubling and problematic.
Universities fill a special and especially valuable role in our society. Our commitment to the free and peaceful exchange of ideas is at the heart of our effectiveness as institutions of research and of teaching and learning. This is true even of genuinely controversial ideas, let alone the kind of uncontroversial activities involved here.
Parents and students now wonder whether continued participation in the University’s Islamic community of worship is a risk; whether an opinion expressed at a student group meeting will end up in a government report; whether testing an argument or challenging conventional wisdom will cause one to become a suspect of some sort. These possibilities are disquieting to our students and their families, harmful to our community-building efforts, and antithetical to the values we as a university cherish most highly.
You are a public servant of good will and character facing difficult and complex challenges in keeping New York safe from terrorism, and we at NYU appreciate your hard work. Still, I must report our community’s alarm over the reports of this activity, and that we stand in fellowship with our Muslim students in expressing our community’s dismay.
Here’s the link to the letter on the Islamic Center at NYU’s website.