An Austin, Texas, bike shop owned by the disgraced “Tour de Farce” champion Lance Armstrong announced that it will cut ties with the city’s police department due to its “current evaluation of community policing” in the city.
“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 [Request For Proposal] the shop was previously awarded,” Mellow Johnny’s said in a statement.
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KXAN reported that the city and the shop agreed to a deal worth over $300,000 in 2019. The deal was for five years and essentially covered all the department’s biking needs.
The station reported that city police have been using these bikes to respond to protests and cited a now-deleted Facebook message from a user with the same name as a police officer that claimed the shop based its decision with the protests in mind.
“We are not anti-police,” the store said on social media. “We do believe our local police force will protect us from the very threats we are receiving right now.”
Critics of the store will likely say this is the latest example of the public assault on police departments across the country in order to score cheap political points with the public. In June, a Rhode Island donut store announced that it would no longer offer discounts to police officers or members of the U.S. military. The owners of Allie’s Donuts wrote that they were “fed up.”
“Until local police takes action to solve problems with racism & injustice, Allie’s Donuts will choose to stand with the people of our great state. We will no longer offer military or police discounts. Thank you for your service, and shame on you for your silence,” the donut store said at the time.
Fox News reported that the bike shop has already cut ties with Vista Outdoors due to its relationship with the National Rifle Association.
There was some confusion since there is another Mellow Johnny’s bike shop in Forth Worth, but the two stores are under separate management and ownership, the KXAN report said.
“Mellow Johnny’s Forth Worth supports our community as well as responsible and ethical law enforcement,” it said in a statement.