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  1. #1
    Life is good RonH's Avatar
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    This stinks!!! Emory (Atlanta) student arrested.

    From today's Emory Wheel (page 3)
    http://www.emorywheel.com/media/pape...s/o69km3vj.pdf

    Bike-Riding Protester Faces Charges

    Michelle Ye Hee Lee

    Posted: 2/9/07

    A College junior will go to court on Feb. 19 to face charges of disorderly conduct, and if convicted, could serve maximum prison time of 12 months, pay a $1,000 fine or both.

    College junior Brian Goldner was arrested on Nov. 24 in downtown Atlanta for interfering with vehicle and pedestrian traffic and obstructing justice while participating in a Critical Mass Ride, according to the Fulton County police report.

    Critical Mass is an international movement to promote bicycle use and reduce the impact of cars on the environment. Members ride their bicycles around the city on the last Friday of every month to celebrate their "vision of a preferable alternative mode of transportation in the city of Atlanta," the Atlanta chapter's website reads.

    Goldner said he witnessed an Atlanta Police Department Zone 2 precinct officer handcuffing one of the 300 participants present on Nov. 24. Goldner said he stopped to ask the officer why the other man was being arrested.

    "He said [the other biker] was blocking traffic. And that's when I said, 'I think you're mistaken, officer, I don't think he should be arrested because he is traffic,'" he said. "That's something we've always said about Critical Mass in the beginning, that we are traffic. [Bicycles are] considered a moving vehicle in Georgia."

    Goldner said that according to his public defender, there will not be a jury present at the trial because the crimes are city ordinances. Not being entitled to a trial by jury is upsetting, Goldner said.

    "I could lose a year of my life, be forced to drop out of college and forced not to go to med school," he said. "I don't know what I'd do with my life."

    The officer was unavailable for comment, but according to his incident report, Goldner stopped 25 feet ahead of him.

    "I stated loudly for him to come to my location and he shook his head no," the report read. "At this time I started walking toward him and he attempted to flee me on his bicycle."

    The officer pursued Goldner on foot, commanding him to stop, the report said, and finally tackled him on Peachtree Road. The officer broke the front wheel of Goldner's bicycle after tackling him, Goldner said.

    "By that time, the wheel was in the shape of a taco shell," said College senior Brad Nowack, who was also with Goldner. "Brian was stunned because he really hadn't done anything wrong."

    Goldner said he took off "because it was an illegal arrest."

    "If I saw that it was a legal arrest I would've stayed but I thought he was going to harass me," Goldner said.

    Goldner and the other bicycle rider were taken to the Fulton County Jail. Goldner was bailed out for $1,300 and released early the next day.

    Goldner went to court with his public defender on Jan. 31, hoping to qualify for a Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI) program, which would have enabled him to take a class or perform community service and potentially have the charges dismissed.

    According to the Atlanta Municipal Court city solicitor's office website, the city solicitor typically approves a program when "participants are charged with minor criminal offenses, do not have prior convictions, do not have any cases pending, and have not already gone through a diversion program."

    Goldner said his public defender thought Goldner was a prime candidate for the intervention program.

    "I'm an aspiring student," said Goldner, who has a 3.8 grade point average and works in a lab at Yerkes National Primate Research Center.

    But for reasons neither Goldner or his attorney could explain, the city solicitor did not approve the PTI. The city solicitor's office did not respond to the request for comment.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Gomez308's Avatar
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    Sorry Ron. I have as much sympathy for him as I did for Rodney King. When a cop tells you to do something you probably better do it. If not you have to face the consequences. You better be sure it is worth it, if you disobey. There might be a time for doing that, but this doesn't seem like it to me.

  3. #3
    I-M-D bell curve of bikn'
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    I agree that it went too far. But who is he to question whether it is an illegal arrest. He should have stopped and talked with the officer rather than this escalating to a confrontation.

    Goldner said he took off "because it was an illegal arrest."

    "If I saw that it was a legal arrest I would've stayed but I thought he was going to harass me," Goldner said. < An assumption.......maybe true but until you know that an assumption.

    Goldner said he witnessed an Atlanta Police Department Zone 2 precinct officer handcuffing one of the 300 participants present on Nov. 24. Goldner said he stopped to ask the officer why the other man was being arrested.

    "He said [the other biker] was blocking traffic. And that's when I said, 'I think you're mistaken, officer, I don't think he should be arrested because he is traffic,'" he said. "That's something we've always said about Critical Mass in the beginning, that we are traffic. [Bicycles are] considered a moving vehicle in Georgia."

    Above quote.......he should have just kept biking and minded his own business there and not confronted an officer saying he did wrong. I was not there but never approach a officer saying "Your doing wrong." That is crazy. Even if the officer is it usually washes out. The fact your challenging the officer's authority will almost always end in you getting among the arrested.

    This accomplishes nothing.

    I am not too educated on this orgainized ride or what ever it is but if the police are leaving you alone then do your thing. It is not like he (the other rider friend or not) is going to be shipped to Siberia to work the rest of their life with no one ever seeing them again.

    Take it to court and explain to the judge the circumstances.
    Ego Campana Inflectum of Circuitous

  4. #4
    Banned. ModoVincere's Avatar
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    I agree that Goldner has to take some of the responsibility in his being arrested. That said, it seems to me that the cities in the Metro Atlanta area are, for some reason I do not understand, getting rather mean with cyclists lately. Examples appear to be Kennesaw Mtn, E. Wesley, and this. I'm sure there's more going on than I know of.

  5. #5
    hehe... member thatguy's Avatar
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    Yet another example of why I believe Critical Mass is bad for cycling.

  6. #6
    Senior Member tbdean's Avatar
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    I didn't know they were doing arrests during the ATL Critical Masses. Is this the first one, or have they done arrests before?

    And yeah, running was a dumb idea.

  7. #7
    One speed: FAST ! fordfasterr's Avatar
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    he must have been a slow poke if a cop could catch him on foot so easily...

    sucks for him !!!
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  8. #8
    Life is good RonH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gomez308
    Sorry Ron. I have as much sympathy for him as I did for Rodney King. When a cop tells you to do something you probably better do it.
    I guess my viewpoint is somewhat skewed. I've had too many bad experiences with the police and very few good experiences.
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  9. #9
    I am not a car Map tester's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tbdean
    I didn't know they were doing arrests during the ATL Critical Masses. Is this the first one, or have they done arrests before?
    The only arrest I have heard about in the past (over a year ago) was someone in an altercation with a car (property damage). The area Brian got arrested is called Buckhead--very upscale and very different than downtown. This occurred on Black Friday (Friday after Thanksgiving). On most rides thru downtown and surrounding areas, the police we meet are helpful and most of us thank the police officer for assisting with getting the mass through an intersection. However, in Buckhead is a completely different vibe--don't get between people and their destinations there.

    Both the December and January CM rides were well attended and peaceful. A great way to see the city and enjoy the company of fellow bicyclists.
    "Bad facts make bad laws." FZ

  10. #10
    Senior Member cooperwx's Avatar
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    I agree with most here that the cyclist was in the wrong to challenge the cop, but I get the general feeling that the officer(s) were looking for a reason to interfere with the ride.

    This may be wrong, but along with the other things brought up by Atlantans here in this SE forum, I sense a culture where the city of Atlanta (police, infrastructure, citizens, etc.) is trying to discount and further marginalize the cycling population in the city. Is that the way you guys are feeling?
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  11. #11
    I-M-D bell curve of bikn'
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    I would say the feeling toward cyclist varies by region in every city; county; & state. I think here in Asheville, NC we are accepted more but if you ever go downtown or around the city area you can see why Asheville is so diverse and understanding.

    You take a large metro city like Atalnta, GA or Charlotte, NC on very busy roads (for one I would not ride the busy roads) but you get traffic impedement and then you get folks agitated. Is it right or wrong? I say everyone has a right to their transportation means but still, those who hate and those who love.

    Even if I am in a hurry here in Asheville and get behind alot of cyclist.......I take my time and do not pass them unless I have a clear lane. I have been passed on some narrow roads just because the idiot behind me did not want to wait a single second for an opening. People are just at times less tolerant.

    I wish alot of things but unfortunately I don't get my wishes most of the time. Mainly I wish there were much wider roads and those with protected bike lanes that go anywhere a car can with a barrier between the lanes with openings every 2 miles or so to exit. Whoaaa........now that is a dream that will never happen and only in the Jetson's could that occur. Well not really.................they fly in the air but you get my point.
    Ego Campana Inflectum of Circuitous

  12. #12
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    A young man that works for me got arrested also, I think at that same ride because if I recall the timing was the same (he was in jail and missed work the following day) - the thing about his arrest is that this kid, a new college graduate of Perimeter College, had NEVER done a Critical Mass Ride or even heard of them until a day or two before, when one of our other employees was telling him about it. After the arrest he had related to me that he didn't know what was happening until the officer knocked him off his bike. I wonder if it's the same cop? He said he was on his bike, he thought riding with everyone else, and then got hit.

    So ok, he should have educated himself a bit about it beforehand, absolutely, to know the group and the point the group is trying to express. But knowing this kid I also know he tends to be believable, so I do believe him when he says he had no idea what was happening until he'd been knocked off his bike. I think there had to be a touch of zealousness occurring from the police force. His arrest is City of Atlanta, not Fulton, however. It's a bit of a shame, that he had no chance to explain himself to the officer, or be given any wiggle room, just a trip straight to jail.....

  13. #13
    Senior Member Green Jager's Avatar
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    I hate to say this but my bet is that only half the story has been told. If someone is being arrested and you come near the arrest and you are asked to leave and you don't you are interfering and under most state laws you can go to jail. As far as spending a year in jail I doubt that will happen, there are lot more serious crimes that cells are needed for.

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