[*BCM*] CM arrest today
info at adamshoop.org
Fri Apr 28 20:42:33 EDT 2006
I suppose I'm the first to get back to back to my computer after
today's Critical Mass ride, but for those of you who missed the ride
or kept riding on after Harvard Sq., one person was arrested after
blocking traffic. A few individuals took down his name, etc. and
contacted sympathetic lawyers. The police officers (one motorcycle
cop, one or two squad cars and one wagon used to transport the
arrested person and his bike) would not say what charges were being
He did make an announcement--to the 15 or so other riders who stopped
and gathered around the arrest--along the lines of: "you're all
having a good time and riding bikes but don't ride away after
blocking traffic when I tell you stop and don't give me fake
information when I ask you."
Unfortunately, I think what might have resulted in traffic tickets or
disorderly conduct might land the rider in jail for a night. The
relevant state law requires simply that cities "provide a noncriminal
ticketing procedure against violators of the provisions of sections
11A and 11B [requiring that bicyclists obey the traffic laws, etc.]"
But further on states:
"A police officer taking cognizance of any such violation may request
the offender to state his true name and address. Whoever, upon such
request, refuses to state his name and address, or states a false
name and address or a name and address which is not his name and
address in ordinary use, shall be punished by a fine of not less than
20 nor more than 50 dollars. Any such offender so refusing to state
his name and address may be arrested without a warrant, but no person
shall be arrested without a warrant for any other such violation."
I've been on most Boston rides since last year and to my knowledge
there haven't been too many problems. Occasionally massers have been
asked to leave Memorial Drive, and once were escorted by motorcycle
officers to the Longfellow Bridge and stopped being followed once we
crossed to Cambridge.
I've casually followed the legal proceedings against CM rides in New
York and as far as I recall, all injunctions and lawsuits have been
thrown out (including two federal suits (1) to prevent the
environmental group Time's Up! from advertising or supporting the
event, (2) one to require a parade permit for each ride; and the New
York state Supreme Court suit to obtain a monthly permit for the event).
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