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500 Bicycles for Needy Children

It’s Rumble in Rio time again, and this event is now one more reminder of why we don’t want Mayor Marty Chavez (subscription) to be elected to the United States Senate:

Firefighter Melvin Parker and the American Civil Liberties Union sued the city last year after city officials threatened to discipline— or fire— anyone who participated.

Parker won the lawsuit, allowing city police officers and firefighters to participate.

“To be honest with you, I didn’t think we would ever be at this point,” said Parker, who will face Albuquerque officer David Padilla. “What we did a year ago wasn’t just about the Rumble in Rio. Our suit pretty much set precedent that the city cannot dictate what you do outside of the department.”

Trouble started last year when Mayor Martin Chávez and then-Public Safety Director Nick Bakas said any city firefighter and police officer who participated in the event could face disciplinary action.

Oh, did I mention that “last year’s Rumble in Rio raised $50,000 and bought 500 bicycles for needy children.” Nice guy that Mayor Marty Chavez.