Following images and videos of police using issued bikes as riot control gear and as weapons against protestors, Fuji Bikes has suspended the sales of their bikes to police forces in the U.S. Fuji announced their decision via Instagram over the weekend.
“Fuji’s core values have always been rooted in supporting communities and organizations that are making real change at home and abroad. 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.”
“We support many diverse organizations and athletes–not for marketing stories, but because we truly want to make a difference in our community. To have these efforts overshadowed by cases of violence with bicycles is unacceptable.”
Fuji attributes the decision to images and videos where police across the country have picked up their bikes and used them to control crowds, hit protestors, or construct makeshift barricades.
Fuji says that this isn’t a permanent decision, but that they need to readdress how police are using their bikes.
“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. We also must stand together against the mistreatment and abuse of the Black and Brown community.”
Frame bag maker Revelate Designs says that they are also ceasing their sales to a supplier who sells their Ranger frame bags to police departments.
“We are shocked, sickened and outraged by the images circulating of bicycle police forcibly using their bikes against protestors in major cities. For the last few years Revelate has sold our Ranger frame bags to a vendor that supplies bike gear to several major police departments. We will not be complacent and ignore police brutality and excessive force against black people that are being committed by those with a badge. Today we are ceasing that relationship and line of business.”
NBC 6, a Miami news station documented Miami Police Department’s Bike Response Team response to protestors, and how they train to handle riots. The police department deploys bicycling officers to form barriers and to push protestors back.
Video in their opening report, and many other photos circulating shows officers using their Trek police bikes to shove and hit protestors. Shortly after, people began calling across social media for Trek to cease sales of their bikes made for police forces. Trek hasn’t made any official statements on their police bike program, but according to a company email written by Trek CEO John Burke that was shared with Singletracks, it appears that they will be continuing the program.
“Lastly, I have received a number of notes questioning Trek’s police bike program. I take pride in the fact that we supply police departments across the country. The vast majority of police officers do an amazing job and put their lives on the line every day to keep our communities safe. I know some current and former police officers and Secret Service agents who are amazing people. The few who abuse their positions of power should be held accountable and should be brought to justice swiftly.” Burke added that he wants to do more than just say they’re going to do something.
“It bothers me, when organizations and companies release statements about their concern over the current situation and do NOTHING. All they do is check the marketing box, for those who hang out on social media. That is not how we have operated for 44 years and it will not be how we operate in the future. In this highly charged atmosphere, facts matter even more.”