• City shocked as family surrounded, attacked by black bikers
By Jeffrey Smith
NEW YORK, New York—A shocking incident of violence in Manhattan by a gang of inner-city motorcycle club members has sent shock waves through the public that include condemnations on a level not seen in recent years. A group of perhaps 50 riders surrounded a family’s SUV on Manhattan’s West Side Highway attempting to forcibly enter the vehicle after completely stopping traffic on the drive.
The driver, Alexian Lien, who was with his wife and two-year-old child, made an emergency escape from the mob mowing down several of the group and setting off a crazed chase through the streets of the West Side, Harlem and upper Manhattan. Ultimately the chase ended in traffic where the gang broke into the vehicle, hauled out the driver and attempted in full view of witnesses to slash his face and beat him unconscious.
The incident instantly went viral in the hours afterward, due in part to members of the gang apparently proudly posting videos on the Internet.
In the explosion of reaction to it, a wide range of groups have depicted what occurred as an indication of the actual downward spiral of the city. It has also widely called into question the wisdom of the recently passed strong firearms restrictions in New York under Governor Andrew Cuomo, which among other new requirements halved the magazine capacity of firearms in the state.
In the days after, many leading patriotic activists and Second Amendment supporters cited the incident as an example of the dangers of gun control.
Eric Reed, President of Gun Rights Across America, often seen as one of the nation’s most active and effective Second Amendment organizations, called it an example of the failure of the New York philosophy on the right to self-defense.
Following the incident large parts of the political and media establishment here either remained silent or sought to downplay it. But that effort was dealt a serious blow when the good Samaritan, Sergio Consuegra, who had stepped in to stop the violence against the Lien family, appeared. Consuegra revealed that the gang had not only dragged Lien out of his SUV but had also broken into the passenger side and was attempting to drag out his wife with the couple’s child in her arms. Also under sharp investigation was the fact that up to five members of the gang were, in fact, police officers.
In the storm of public notice, the city administration under Mayor Michael Bloomberg first said that the officers were undercover and could not stop the assault on the family.
But as public outrage failed to dampen, prosecutors moved and one police detective who was riding with the gang was arrested. Further administrative actions are being taken against at least two other cops who were in the group. Sources say that other officers are under investigation for their involvement in the rampage.
Jeffrey Smith is a freelance writer based in New York. He is also a longtime member of AFP’s Eastern Bureau.