A bike store in Austin, Texas has cancelled its contract with the Austin Police bike patrol unit after three ‘woke’ employees complained that the bikes were being used for crowd control during Black Lives Matter protests.
In a Facebook post (since deleted), Christopher Carlisle explains how for eight years he maintained a contractual relationship with Mellow Johnny’s Bike store in downtown Austin to provide bikes and other equipment for the Down Town Area Command (DTAC) Bike Patrol and the Bicycle Public Order Team.
Now thanks to the last two months of BLM social justice protests in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd, that relationship is apparently over.
“Today I received a call the sales manager I have worked with for years at MJ’S, he informed me that they have three employees who work for them that are complaining about providing bikes to the police department in this time of social unrest in protest and disturbances,” writes Carlisle.
“They stated to ownership that they did not like the fact that we use bicycles to help us manage crowds and crowd movement.”
Carlisle asserts that the store caved in to the woke employees by canceling the contact with Austin police that had four years left to run, “because three employees do not like police officers and did not like us in the store.”
The APD had been purchasing around 40 TREK police bikes a year as part of the agreement, meaning the amount of income the store is sacrificing in order to satiate its leftist staffers is reasonably substantial.
Mellow Johnny’s Bike Shop has since issued a statement on Facebook:
In the context of the current evaluation of community policing in Austin, we have decided to no longer purchase, re-sell, and service police-issue Trek bikes and accessories under a City of Austin RFP the shop was previously awarded.
We regret not publicizing our decision before it was presented by others on social media. It’s difficult in these times to balance the needs of a business and a community. Our entire employee group was engaged in this dialogue and we delved deep into our community to understand how we could best do our part to keep our customers safe and this city moving in the right direction. These are certainly trying times and we understand people will object to any decision made along these lines.
Businesses can no longer be non-participants in the communities they serve. We chose what we think will do the most to suture these divides and place our community on the right side of history. We have had to make these choices before when we felt companies whose products we sold put kids at schools at risk of violence. We lost sales due to this choice. We also saw our former vendors later divest of holdings and we’ve returned to selling these products. We will live with the choices our customers make if they want to buy bikes and bike products somewhere else.
We are committed to the city of Austin and the community of cyclists that we serve every day.
We are not anti-police. We do believe our local police force will protect us from the very threats we are receiving right now.
We wish this entire community peace and progress and togetherness at the conclusion of these trying times. And we intend to be a part of the discourse, struggle, and growth for Austin, as we have since we opened our doors in 2008.
Tim Enlow responded to the news by posting, “That is their absolute right as business owners. It’s also every citizen’s right to decide to take their bicycle business elsewhere,” calling for a boycott of the store.
* * *
There is a war on free speech. Without your support, my voice will be silenced. Please sign up for the free newsletter here. Donate to me on SubscribeStar here. Support my sponsor – Turbo Force – a supercharged boost of clean energy without the comedown.