March 3, 2021

Didn’t We Just March For This?

by Resistance

Background show artwork for Resistance

It’s been nine months since protests kicked off in New York City. Has anything changed?

Where to Listen


Announcer: Hey, just a warning before we get started. This episode of Resistance deals with some heavy themes and has some strong language in it. We'll get started right after this short break.


Saidu Tejan-Thomas Jr.: So I was talking to a New York activist recently, someone who was a leader during last year's protests. And I asked him I was like, "Yo, so what was the point of last summer? Like, do you think things have actually changed?" And he was really quick to tell me that we got a lot done: Black Lives Matter became a mainstream movement, we got a new wave of young candidates running for office, there's been legitimate talks about things like reparations and defunding the police, conversations that were nearly impossible to imagine before the protests.

Saidu: He told me he couldn't see how anyone could look at the year activists have just had and not think it was a good one. It was hard to argue with that. But I tried anyway. Because off the top of my head, I couldn't think of any concrete wins that came out of the protests—but he could.

Saidu: He pointed to the new laws that Governor Andrew Cuomo signed just last year, right after people started marching. Not even a month into the whole thing. It was June. There was a whole press conference, and Cuomo brought a bunch of people up on stage with him, all of them were Black.

Saidu: There was Valerie Bell, the mother of Sean Bell and Gwen Carr, the mother of Eric Garner. He had a couple of Black politicians at the table, and to his left was Al Sharpton. And you know when white people bring out Al Sharpton they're really trying to communicate to you that they are getting something done.

Saidu: Cuomo signed a bunch of new laws at the press conference. Laws that are supposed to make life safer for Black folks in New York. He called it the "Say Their Names Reform Package." And sitting up there surrounded by all these Black folks, it seemed to me like he was making a promise, a promise that these laws would actually serve the community, that they'd really mean something.

Saidu: Well it's been nearly nine months since Cuomo's promises were signed into law. And now I just wanna know, did it work? Are these laws actually making Black people safer in New York? Are the promises being kept?

Saidu: I'm Saidu Tejan-Thomas Jr. This is Resistance, a show about refusing to accept things as they are, even when you've been told they're definitely better now.

Saidu: So in January, there was this case that turned out to be the perfect test to see if Cuomo's promises actually mean anything. One law in particular that he signed—the chokehold ban. I called up the lawyer on the case, her name is Olayemi Olurin. She's a public defender at The Legal Aid Society in Queens.

Olayemi Olurin: So any crime you're accused of in Queens, I show up and I handle the case.

Saidu: Okay. So If I get caught up in Queens, you're the person I call?

Olayemi Olurin: I got you.

Saidu: [laughs]

Olayemi Olurin: I'll show up madder than you. [laughs]

Saidu: Hopefully, I'll never need to make that call. But, you know, shit happens. And if I did, Olayemi would probably be the perfect public defender you could be assigned to. Because she's young, she's Black, she has these impeccably manicured nails that she taps on the table whenever she gets upset. And talking to her, you get the sense that she's one of those people who's so dedicated to her job that she takes it home with her. She tells me she gives her clients her personal phone number so they can call her whenever they need to talk. And Olayemi says she does this because she sees herself in a lot of the people she represents.

Olayemi Olurin: I think that the only Black person in the courtroom shouldn't be the defendant. And I think a little way I can help is if you have an attorney that looks like you, is going to try and make sure that you're not railroaded as much as possible, at least that you get some understanding and validation, I want to be that person.

Saidu: In January, Olayemi got assigned a new client. She opened his case file, and she scanned through this long and kind of random list of things he was charged with: reckless driving, reckless endangerment in the second degree, aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the third degree, unlawful possession of marijuana in the second, disorderly conduct, driving on the sidewalk and driving by an unlicensed operator. Just a long-ass laundry list of charges that she knows cops use when they're trying to find something that'll stick. It made her laugh, actually. But later, once her client got out of lock-up, he sent her a video of his arrest.

Olayemi Olurin: And I sat down and I opened it, and when I opened it and I heard the screams and I saw it, I cut it off.

Saidu: It's a dark video, and the camera is shaky, but you see cops holding a man down. You hear a woman shrieking somewhere in the background, and you hear a man yelling "Why you got your knee on his neck?" And you know what's going on here. The cops are arresting him in a way that's supposed to be illegal now. They're holding the man's neck down with their knee: a chokehold. As a public defender, Olayemi sees videos of police violence all the time. But even for her, this one was hard to watch.

Olayemi Olurin: The moment I saw it I was like, this is horrific for the obvious reasons.

Saidu: It upset you.

Olayemi Olurin: Immediately.

Saidu: Yeah.

Olayemi Olurin: Immediately.

Saidu: I'm assuming that part of that is because it reminded you of George Floyd.

Olayemi Olurin: George Floyd. Right. It just—to me, it's just the bold-face audacity, you know what I mean? To do something like that on the heels of George Floyd, because it just shows me how much they don't care, how much contempt they have for just a disregard for my clients' lives, you know what I mean?

Saidu: There was an anti-chokehold law in Cuomo's big "Say Their Names" reform package. But now, nearly nine months later, here was one man who could have potentially ended up being another name. And what happens when videos like his are made public, is no matter the outcome, no matter whether the person lives or dies, their whole life gets flattened into a name, into this singular, shaky camera version of who they really are. And the video alone be so triggering that, as a viewer, you just scroll past it all together, or immediately cut it off the way Olayemi did when she first saw it. But she couldn't ignore it for long. This was her job after all.

Saidu: And her client had a story, a whole life before this one violent moment. And she needed to make sure that he would have one after. So she got to work getting to know him. His name is Carlyle Arnold. He's 34 years old. He grew up in Queens, and for as long as he can remember he loved riding bikes. Not motorcycles—ATVs. Those four-wheelers you always wanted to ride as a kid but never got so lucky? Carlyle's been riding those since he was young.

Carlyle Arnold: My boy just got this one yesterday. This is a 450. A Yamaha quad 450. I think he paid, like, $3,500 for this last night.

Saidu: I met up with him in Queens recently. He's a tall dude, about 6'1". And he's wearing these blue jeans tucked into black Timb boots. A crew neck sweater underneath a black bubble jacket, and a Rick Ross beard with the cleanest lineup I've seen all pandemic. There's hella ATVs at his house, and I can tell that Carlyle's whole life is about riding.

Saidu: What's your favorite bike and why?

Carlyle Arnold: The Yamaha Banshee. The reason why I like it is because it's a bougie—I put it like this: it's a bougie—it's a bougie bitch. Always need something bougie as fuck. But once you get her right, she's right.

Saidu: Carlyle tells me that to him, riding is all about community and family.

Carlyle Arnold: When you're riding, and it's a bunch of people, you might see 200 people out, you know? And it's like, you might not know no one there, but everybody's still showing you the same love. You know what I'm saying? "Hey, buddy, how you doing?" You know, you break down on the side of the road, somebody might pull up to you. "Yo, bro. You okay? Everything all right? You need a push?" You know, it's just how I feel it's just a lot of genuine love.

Saidu: He rides with his community of bikers all over New York: Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx, Harlem. And if you've ever been out here, you've probably seen them. They'll be decked out in some fly-ass kicks and cool helmets, their engines loud as hell from blocks away. It can low-key be kinda annoying sometimes, but no more annoying than the guys who break dance in the train car, or the boombox blasting music next to a group of people on the corner.

Saidu: Bikes are just a part of the fabric and the soundtrack of the city. You just get used to it, because like most things in this cramped city, whether you like it or not, you're gonna find yourself in the middle of somebody else's good time.

Saidu: And these guys always look like they're having the best time. They're waving their flags, popping wheelies, all that. And they love this shit so much that, when I went to go talk to Carlyle about the chokehold, the main thing he kept coming back to was why he rides.

Carlyle Arnold: Sometimes it's just like, damn, I want to get some smoke off my chest. Meaning, like, get some stuff off my chest. That's what we call it. I want to get some smoke off my chest. You know what I'm saying? Just go ride with your guys, do whatever. Come back home and you feel good. You smile and watch TV and enjoy the rest of your day. You know what I'm saying? And that's how we—you know, if you ever interviewed a few bike dudes, that's all—"Yo, I just want to ride, man. I just want to ride, get some smoke off my chest and I'll come back home and I'm chilling. I just want to ride. I just want to do this. I want to ride, man. I just want to ride." That's all we want to really do.

Saidu: It's illegal to ride ATVs on the streets of New York City. And Carlyle knows that. He's always known. The way folks who drink beer on the beach know that's illegal, but they do it anyway, because watching the sunset with sand under your feet and a drink in your hand feels damn good. Carlyle says, until bikers are given somewhere else to ride, the streets are the only place to go. So he takes his chances.

Carlyle Arnold: Yes it's trouble. But it also gets me out of a lot of trouble. For example, you get on your bike, you meet up with the fellas, you're not worrying about beef. You're not worrying about—even though I have nothing to do, I don't beef, I'm not in no gangs. I'm 34 years old, you know? Been there, done that, past all of that. But when you look at the young kids, you know what I'm saying? Like, 19, 18, 22, you know, and they have nothing better else to do, you know what I'm saying? They'd rather sell their drugs or have a gun, or they don't have no guidance from they mom or dad or whatever the case may be, and they hop on the bike, by the time you ride your bike, and you're worrying about fixing your bike, and catering to your bike, by the time you get home, you're tired, you're ready to eat. You know, it brings your life in a different direction. The trouble margin is different.

Saidu: It's that calculated risk that Carlyle takes every time he rides. Better this than something else that could be really dangerous. And that's what he tells the young kids too. There was this one guy in his early 20s that Carlyle really started to take under his wing. His name was Little Sean.

Carlyle Arnold: And he got introduced to me by my other boy Sean, you know what I'm saying? So we call him Little Sean. But, you know, Little Sean basically was, I wanna say like a little brother that was always trying to do something but just can't get right, you know what I'm saying? He was the type who would hurt himself. He'd break his leg or something. You know what I'm saying? And he'd hurt himself, lose his bike. When it came to the bikes, he just had the bad end of the stick. He just needed to—you know, he couldn't get right yet. He just couldn't get right. He was just trying to find his way.

Saidu: Like a lot of people with little brother energy, Little Sean was overconfident, but in the way that people really liked. They liked seeing Little Sean trying his best to pop a wheelie and messing up. They liked that, even though he couldn't keep up sometimes during rides, they had no choice but to turn around and make sure he didn't get left behind. Little Sean was part of their community.

Saidu: So when Carlyle got on Instagram one day and saw a post saying that Little Sean died of gun violence, he was speechless. It's exactly what he'd been trying to prevent. He needed to grieve for Little Sean, and for him that means riding. He had to blow some smoke off his chest.

Saidu: Carlyle found out that there was a vigil happening in Queens a couple days later. So he got together with the rest of his guys and told them they should stop by. When they pulled up, there were some cops off to the side just posted, watching. But Carlyle didn't pay them any attention. He was focused on paying tribute to Little Sean. So he started revving his engine as hard as possible.

Carlyle Arnold: I just wanted to give it it all. Like, give the bike whatever it had.

Saidu: The bike starts slowly spinning, doing donuts, the tires smoking against the asphalt. Carlye's on top in powder blue jeans and Timb boots, head down, arms twisting the gear. He's a few feet from a row of candles and balloons for Little Sean. Other bikers and mourners are watching him do this kind of sacred act for his little homie.

Carlyle Arnold: Tires spin as hard as I could, even my pipes turned red. You know, I just kept doing it, kept going, kept going, kept going, kept going.

Saidu: And when you watch the video, you can see it. His exhaust pipes are bright red, like radioactive red, a clear sign that the bike is being pushed to its limits. Like, the engine can blow at any moment. But that was the whole point: for Carlyle to blow out his engine in honor of little Sean.

Carlyle Arnold: That was my way of showing my love and respect for the guy. You know what I'm saying? That was my saying, "Fuck it, we're gonna bring the whole pack over here." We wanted to just show some love, man. Have our last ride with him. You know what I'm saying?

Saidu: He says he was in the zone, and did this on and off for, like, 10 minutes. But as hard as Carlyle pushed the engine, it just wouldn't blow. He was expecting to hear it sputter and give out, but instead what he felt was a car bumping him. When he looked up, it was the cops.

Carlyle Arnold: That's when I stumbled off the bike and then I got tackled off the bike and straight to the floor.

Saidu: Suddenly, there were four officers on top of Carlyle, pinning him to the ground.

Carlyle Arnold: Now when I'm on the floor, I can't move. I'm already pinned, you feel what I'm saying? I got my hands, I got my knees, neck and my back. I can't do nothing. And then it seemed like he had his shin in my face because I couldn't see nothing, I couldn't see nothing. I couldn't do nothing, it was nothing. So I just put my hands behind my back. And I heard a lot of screaming. "What the fuck? Get off of him! Why you got your knee like that? Why you doing this?" I can't see and I can't move. I just hear screaming.

Saidu: Carlyle says, no matter how much people screamed, the cops wouldn't move.

Carlyle Arnold: They was just like, "Fuck what the people are saying on the sidewalk. Fuck them. Fuck him. Fuck him. This is what I want to do, until I am finished. All right, cool. Now let's put him in the car."

Saidu: The police officers dragged him into their car and took him to jail. He spent the night there. And when he got out, he was on his phone just scrolling on Instagram when he came across the video of his arrest.

Carlyle Arnold: It didn't really register, really register until I seen it, physically seen it myself.

Saidu: Until you saw yourself on video.

[ARCHIVE CLIP, Instagram video]

Carlyle Arnold: Yes. I'm like, "Oh, shit!" Like, you know, like, "Oh, man. What the hell?"

[ARCHIVE CLIP, Instagram video]

Carlyle Arnold: Like, that's—when I looked at it. I'm like, "Oh, hold on. What the fuck?"

Saidu: Like, "That happened to me?"

Carlyle Arnold: Yeah, word! I'm like, "Yo, this is really me?" You hear people screaming, "Get off of him!"

Saidu: That's when he sent the video to his lawyer, Olayemi. And when she got the video, she was pissed.

Olayemi Olurin: First of all, why are you even arresting this man? Because he's on his ATV at a candlelight vigil. He's having a vigil for a friend that passed. A group of Black people go out because their Black friend has passed, mourning a friend. There's a trauma associated with that. Now here comes the police, and let me aggressively arrest you in a pandemic. My client has a mask, everybody else has a mask. NYPD has no mask. The disregard for his life, everybody's life, that's reckless. And you're kneeling on his neck while women scream hysterically. And the reason they're screaming hysterically is because we all know there's been an entire public shift in consciousness to the danger that is what you're doing. Like, we all know, because of George Floyd, because of this. And they wouldn't stop. At no point in that video, despite all the hysterical screaming, did they lift their knee.

Carlyle Arnold: Didn't we just march for this? Right? Didn't we just march for this? So it just meant nothing. It just meant nothing. All of this meant nothing.

Saidu: In June, Cuomo said that there should be a national ban on chokeholds. Then he passed this anti-chokehold law and he named it after Eric Garner. But months later, Carlyle had a cop kneeling on his neck. The law already failed him. But will it make any difference in what happens next?

Saidu: That's coming up after the break.


Saidu: What's good y'all? Welcome back.

Saidu: So after Olayemi got the video of Carlyle's arrest, she tweeted it and it started going around the internet. The mayor responded to having seen the video, and all of sudden there was an investigation. The Public Integrity Bureau, which is supposed to investigate the police, held a meeting with Carlyle and Olayemi to go over the case. But Carlyle says the whole time he just felt like they were trying to point out what he did wrong.

Carlyle Arnold: It's like, "Sir, I went to jail. Sir, I got held accountable for my actions." You know what I'm saying? Now you're over here showing me a video of me doing burnouts in the street. Yeah, that's me. You see my face, yeah, that's me, sir. A hundred percent me. I went to jail for it. A hundred percent. I was held accountable for my actions. Now your officer here, you ain't showing me that video. You know what I'm saying? You're quick to show "Oh yeah, you did this. You did this." I know. I went to jail for it. I always get held accountable for any actions I do. I just want the same.

Saidu: It's been almost two months since his arrest, and Olayemi says she's seeing a lot of feet dragging.

Olayemi Olurin: The Public Corruptions Bureau, the DAs claim they're investigating. I've been talking to them. But just look me in my eye and just—just know all the faith I don't have in that. [laughs]

Saidu: Right.

Olayemi Olurin: The reality is this: chokeholds were banned since 1993, let's be clear, all right? Since the year I was born, chokeholds in New York City were banned. It's been illegal, right?

Saidu: Olayemi says this is a pattern. Every so often somebody gets killed, and New York passes a law about chokeholds. And it sounds great, but then somebody else gets killed and they pass another law. Anti-chokehold laws were passed in 1985, in 1993—the year Olayami was born—and then again last June. At this point, these laws seem more like PR than anything.

Olayemi Olurin: The thing is, police, you could make everything as illegal as you want for police to do, but if you don't actually enforce it against them, it means nothing. And they know it's not being enforced, because they have their body-worn cameras on, they see people recording them. There's always witnesses. In every video that we see a police committing some kind of brutality, there's always people screaming, people telling them not to do it, people who can see them. And they do it in plain day, plain sight, because they can. So it really doesn't matter if you pass these laws, if you've made it very clear to officers that they can do it with impunity, regardless. Like, because all that'll happen is police will chokehold somebody, the video will come out, everybody will be outraged. They'll say, "We're calling for an investigation at once. What we think we see in the video appears to be heinous. So let's investigate that." And then they let time drag on, and then they'll do nothing. And that's just how it tends to go. So I don't have—I don't have much faith in it.

Saidu: The way these things are handled can feel a lot like smoke and mirrors. A kind of "Now you see the investigation, now you don't" routine they put on. And the more I learned about how these laws are enforced, the less faith I had that they would actually get justice for Carlyle. But it got me thinking. Are the rest of Cuomo's promises just as weak? So I started running through them with Olayemi. I asked her about this law that now makes it illegal to make false race-based 911 calls.

Olayemi Olurin: Rubbish. That one I'm not even gonna pretend like there's something there. That one's got no teeth to it. That's rubbish. Let me tell you why. First of all, making false police reports of any kind, it's already illegal.

Saidu: Like the chokehold ban, this is also a law that more or less already exists. But last summer, that white woman Amy Cooper called the cops on a Black man bird watching in Central Park. And all of a sudden, they passed a new law for an old problem.

Olayemi Olurin: It's just fluff. It's just something done to say we've something, while not doing anything to the people that actually perpetuate the harm. That's all that is.

Saidu: Olayemi told me that these laws that seem like they're doing something to address racism, they don't just do nothing, they can be worse than nothing. Like, she told me about this one law in South Carolina, a hate crime law that was brought in a couple years back. Of the six people who've been charged under that hate crime law, five of them were people of color.

Olayemi Olurin: Here's the thing. Any laws they pass, any criminal laws they ever pass in the wake of these things, this is the part people need to acknowledge. They will eventually be used against Black people. That's just the truth. That is the majority of who is in the criminal system. I've represented hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people, I can count on my two hands how many white people I've represented. So them passing more criminal laws is only gonna harm us in the long run.

Saidu: Can't argue with that. But there is this other part of the package that I kinda held out hope for. It's something a lot of activists I've spoken to are pretty happy about. And that's the repeal of 50-a. The repeal was supposed to—for the first time in nearly 50 years—open police disciplinary records to the public. Give anybody who wants it a record of how individual cops have messed up in the past.

Olayemi Olurin: But all the police departments are pushing back on it. They've come up with every reason under the sun not to turn these things over, right?

Saidu: Some police departments aren't releasing records because they say the requests are too broad. Other departments are actually charging people wild amounts of money just for putting the records together—one charged $47,000. And some just aren't even responding to the requests at all. I mean, who's gonna make them? The police? But it's not even about that. Olayemi says the repeal of 50-a misses the larger point.

Olayemi Olurin: Here's the thing, and I think people forget this sometimes. Like, we don't start from the right framework. The conversation and accountability always starts with after the police have already done what they've done, right? But we need to start from the beginning, right? Police beat people, police kill people. Let's start there. These people that we're talking about, Eric Garner, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, all these people—they're dead. They're not coming back. Like, these people have been taken from us. So we need to start there. We need to start with what is—what stops that, right? And we could pretend like having access to police officers' disciplinary records does, but it doesn't. Because a lot of these cases, we've witnessed the police do it. Like, in a lot of these—these popular, we saw them happen. We saw it happen. We all know what happened. Did that accountability of us being aware of it change anything in terms of how the government dealt with it? In terms of how it continues to happen? No, right?

Olayemi Olurin: I don't want to be able to sue the police because they killed my sibling, or they did this. I want them to not do it. You know, I think if you ask every parent, family member, everybody of every Black person that's been killed, I think they'd all tell you what they want is their family member, their loved one back. Not to be able to sue afterwards.

Saidu: Are you trying to get disciplinary records from the cop who kneeled on Carlyle's neck?

Olayemi Olurin: They're not gonna give that to me, but I'm gonna find it within my people that I trust.

Saidu: Right. But you're not gonna get it—you don't feel like you're gonna get it from the 50-a repeal?

Olayemi Olurin: No. No. Yeah, no. They are not in the business of helping me. I am a pain in their ass. I'm sure there are a bunch of people cursing me in their homes privately every night.

Saidu: The last law we talked about in Cuomo's reform package is the one that says if anyone is killed by police, the case will be investigated by the New York State Attorney General instead of the District Attorney. The District Attorney has a direct line to the cops, and they work together hand in hand. It's an obvious conflict of interest. So by making the Attorney General the prosecutor in cases of police killing people, the idea is that they'll be more removed from the whole thing. They'll be this third party that can be fair to both sides.

Saidu: And I guess I had some hope in this new law because the new attorney general, Letitia James, is suing the NYPD right now for the way they handled last summer's protest. Maybe she'll keep that same energy.

Saidu: Is this one of the things that I should hold on to and be like, this is a big win right here?

Olayemi Olurin: I hate to be the killer of joy, but I'm gonna go with it's better than nothing. But at the end of the day, right, here's the thing: if the reason why we like the idea of it being an attorney general prosecuting them is because we think they're independent or more independent than the DA's office, we're acknowledging that the DA's office and the police work together, right? The courts, the DAs and the police are all on the same—they're on the same line, right? It starts with the police. The prosecutor chooses to go with the charges, whatever bad behavior the police did, and then the judges go and legitimize that, right? They all work together. In the same breath, you know, the rest of our legislators are kind of under the same umbrella. So I mean, no, I don't have the utmost faith in it. I don't. I do not. But I think it is better than leaving it to the DA's office. I think it’s better than it was before, but i don't think its great. I don't think it guarantees us justice.

Saidu: Olayemi says you don't have to look that far back to see how putting the attorney general in charge of prosecuting these cases is not necessarily a good thing. You might remember that in Breonna Taylor's case, the attorney general took over and he decided not to bring murder charges against the cops who killed her.

Olayemi Olurin: We saw the attorney general there, we saw how that was handled.

Saidu: Right.

Olayemi Olurin: Again, I want to be more optimistic, but I'm a person who likes to look at history and precedent and it doesn't bode well.

Saidu: Okay. Damn. That's sad.

Olayemi Olurin: Yeah. No, I hate to do it to you. [laughs]

Saidu: My heart! I mean, I want to hope. I just want to hope. I just want to feel ...

Olayemi Olurin: No. And listen, you feel that hope. Don't let me take that from you.

Saidu: [laughs] I won't. I won't.

Olayemi Olurin: Listen, I want you to have your hope. Don't let me stop you.

Saidu: Give me a reason to hope, please? Just, like, what should I hold onto?

Olayemi Olurin: I think there might not be hope in the traditional—from the traditional machines that we were taught to, you know, trust or go to, whatever, we might not get it from them. The Cuomo and the DeBlasio and all of them or whatever, and the DA's office, we may not get it from them, but we'll get it from us. We'll inspire the change amongst us. We can push it in a different direction, we're just not gonna get—they're just not going to hand it to us in the way that we want them to.

Saidu: Despite all of the ways she thinks these laws are trash, Olayemi is hopeful. Just not for the reasons that you might think. She's hoping that people will see that these incremental reforms just ain't it.

Olayemi Olurin: It isn't enough to put these little band-aids on the situation, because they don't do anything. So I think by allowing for these laws to be passed and then being able to highlight and show the public, look how they don't enforce them, look how you have these laws on the books and the police are still acting this way, it shows that reform efforts are kind of empty, and that there's a entire systemic structural way that the system is messed up. That we have to change the system. These reform efforts are just symbolic. It's just means to placate you while they continue to perpetuate the same abuse they've been engaging in the whole time.

Saidu: For Olayemi, there is a kind of hope in watching Cuomo's promises fall apart. And the hope is that people will see this and realize that the real solution isn't incremental change. It's getting rid of things like policing and prisons. It's changing the whole system.

Olayemi Olurin: So I do think there's an advantage to it. I do think—I don't think it's useless. I just think it doesn't—it's not for the ends you might think. It's not to show, like, this is the answer. It's to show that here's this larger answer we've been trying to tell you. It seems radical, but it's the way.

Saidu: I feel like I want to see Carlyle ride off into the sunset, and not have to worry about cops arresting him. But the reality is, he has a court date on March 24. They haven't dropped any of the charges against him. And he faces up to one year in prison if he's convicted. I asked him if he's planning on riding again.

Carlyle Arnold: I never stop riding. I always ride. That's what I love to do.

Saidu: I think that's a promise he's gonna keep.

Saidu: Resistance is produced by Aaron Randle—thank you, Aaron—Bethel Habte and Wallace Mack. And hosted by me—Saidu Tejan Thomas Jr.

Saidu: We had production assistance from Navani Otero. Our supervising producer is deadset legend Sarah McVeigh. We're edited by Lynn Levy, Lydia Polgreen and Brendan Klinkenberg.

Saidu: Mixing, scoring and magic by Catherine Anderson. Additional scoring and theme by Bobby Lord. Our music supervisor is Liz Fulton. Original compositions by Drea the Vibe Dealer.

Saidu: Fact-checking is by Isabel Cristo. Our show art is by Darien Birks of The Stuyvesants. Credits music is “Dogtail” by Mau from Nowhere.

Saidu: And special thanks to Muna Mohammed. She picked this week's credits music. I really appreciate it, homie. If you ever want to pick credits music for our show, follow me on Twitter @saiduttj. That's S-A-I-D-U-T-T-J. I'm usually on there asking for music recs all the time.

Saidu: And if you enjoyed this episode, tell a friend about it. And you can follow us on IG @resistancepodcast.

Saidu: Resistance is a Spotify original podcast and Gimlet production. All right, see y'all in two weeks.