[*BCM*] MPLS biker tased, detained, framed, taken to trial--all based on clea
Rachel Elizabeth Dillon
red at mit.edu
Thu Jun 21 09:39:46 EDT 2007
On Wed, Jun 20, 2007 at 12:53:16AM -0300, Daniel Tepper wrote:
> If I had tried to resist any further orders I?m sure I would have been
> arrested or detained. It sucks to be pushed around by some asshole
> cop. I should have gotten his badge number and reported him, but I was
> eager to just get out of the situation.
> Has something like this happened to anyone else? Does anyone have a
> stood-up-for-my-rights storiy with a happy ending?
A while ago in Boston I was riding up Mass Ave from Central to Harvard ---
this was, amusingly?, on September 11th 2006 at around 3:15 PM. There
was some guy on a mountain bike going about 5mph in front of me on the
shoulder (there isn't a marked bike lane, but there's a wide area between
parking and traffic that's usuall safe to ride), and so I looked behind
me, saw one car far away, and passed him. Then up comes an undercover
cop in the dark green car I saw yelling at me over a loudspeaker to
``stay in my lane.''
I respond ``It's OK, I saw you, but thanks,'' and then he rolls down his
window and says ``You have to stay in your lane.'' We're both going around
12 mph or so at this point and I say ``I have the right to take the lane by
law, sir.'' He was basically like ``No, you don't,'' and I said ``I have
the right to take the lane by law, sir,'' so he told me to pull over.
I wrote down what I thought he said when I got home; it's not what I
remember now but I assume it is more correct since it was right then.
"Listen to me, I am the police. You will do what I say, and I say to
stay in the lane. That was too close for you, and it was too close for
me. Stay in the lane."
If I hadn't been late to something I might have said "Oh hell I might as
well get arrested, I keep meaning to do that" but I was, so I just kept
my mouth shut and stood still until he drove away. Basically, as best I
can tell, there's no good way to handle that kind of situation except to
do what they say and file a complaint later, unless you have the time,
money, and energy to fight a legal battle, and possibly lose.
Realistically, most police officers, at least here, are not like this.
I've biked a bunch around downtown Minneapolis, too, and found it much
friendlier than Boston in general. However, since police officers are
people, and some people are... well, let's go with ``less enlightened
about different things than others,'' some of them are going to harass
us about things we shouldn't be harassed about. Honestly I'd rather the
arrogant cop who just wants to powertrip than the guy in the hummer who
actually tries to hit you with his gigantinormous car. For all that some
cops make bikers' lives miserable, I've never seen a cop be dangerously
Hopefully that's not just because I have been lucky, though the story that
started this thread gives me pause...
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