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The Worst Bicycle Cop Ever.

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The Worst Bicycle Cop Ever.

Old 06-06-08, 01:03 PM
  #1  
ivegotabike
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The Worst Bicycle Cop Ever.

Last night I was sitting at a cafe in the downtown area of my hometown when a bike cop rode by. The street where he was riding is a two way street with parking between the two lanes. This cop was riding the wrong way up one side, and then ten minutes later, he came cruising back down on the sidewalks. This particular area of my town has a specific ordinance forbiding sidewalk bicycling.

How can a police oficer get away with this level of ignorance in relation to the law? Especialy laws pertaining directly to what he does every day in the line of duty. I was disgusted.
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Old 06-06-08, 01:10 PM
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Issue a citizens arrest immediately! ... or just ignore him and he will eventually learn the hard way that he is supposed to be follow the same rules as automobiles.
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Old 06-06-08, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by ivegotabike View Post
Last night I was sitting at a cafe in the downtown area of my hometown when a bike cop rode by. The street where he was riding is a two way street with parking between the two lanes. This cop was riding the wrong way up one side, and then ten minutes later, he came cruising back down on the sidewalks. This particular area of my town has a specific ordinance forbiding sidewalk bicycling.

How can a police oficer get away with this level of ignorance in relation to the law? Especialy laws pertaining directly to what he does every day in the line of duty. I was disgusted.
Call the cops on him! The moron's a menace and danger to society!
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Old 06-06-08, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by OH306 View Post
he will eventually learn the hard way that he is supposed to be follow the same rules as automobiles.
what's the "hard way" for a cop? no one's going to arrest him and if he hits someone, he'll just write them a ticket.

in my town, the bike cops like to stunt around on their mtbs on the steps of city hall.
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Old 06-06-08, 02:05 PM
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Call the station and report him to his superior officers. Don't even need to talk to him, necessarily.
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Old 06-06-08, 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by JusticeZero View Post
Call the station and report him to his superior officers. Don't even need to talk to him, necessarily.
+1


someone did this in my city when a cop swerved into them while on a cell phone.
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Old 06-06-08, 02:15 PM
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oh my god...he was riding the wrong way on a bike...well they do that in cars too. Often, during routine patrol, officers write tickets... an easy to identify ticket is "expired registration". walking, riding or driving the "wrong" way allows an officer to see the registration sticker (as well as the inspection sticker) on the windshield. Police officers can do things that are prohibited by civilians...thats just the way it is. What he cannot do is carelessly place people's lives or personal safety in jeopardy in a reckless manner. From your scenario, he did not.
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Old 06-06-08, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by ivegotabike View Post
Last night I was sitting at a cafe in the downtown area of my hometown when a bike cop rode by. The street where he was riding is a two way street with parking between the two lanes. This cop was riding the wrong way up one side, and then ten minutes later, he came cruising back down on the sidewalks. This particular area of my town has a specific ordinance forbiding sidewalk bicycling.

How can a police oficer get away with this level of ignorance in relation to the law? Especialy laws pertaining directly to what he does every day in the line of duty. I was disgusted.
Better check your own level of understanding of the law. Many, perhaps all, states have statutes exempting LEOs on bikes from at least some of the statutes applicable to bicycle riders.
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Old 06-06-08, 02:55 PM
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I'll add my story. Last year I was pulled over by and LEO on my commute home for taking the lane and "blocking traffic". Whe I pointed out that--by NC law--cyclists are allowed to take the lane when necessary (and gave my reasons) he told me he was a bike cop in Durham so he "knew the law" and that the law doesn't allow cyclists to take the lane. I'll skip a bunch of the story but say that I assumed he wasn't telling the truth about being a bicycle cop since he was so ignorant of the law.

Fast-forward to the Ride of Silence a few weeks ago. We were escorted by several cops riding bikes. Standing in the parking with my wife before the ride, sure enough one of the police cars pulled up alongside me and my wife and out came the officer who pulled me over, and he had one of those police bikes and carriers on the back.

Alas, I didn't have the b*lls to go talk to him.
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Old 06-06-08, 05:22 PM
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First, many police do not know all the traffic laws; bicycle-specific laws are often buried deep in the traffic codes. Secondly, as was mentioned above, many jurisdictions do indeed exempt police from traffic and some public-place trespassing laws if the performance of their particular duty at the time is made more expedient by doing so, providing they exercise due care to not present a safety hazard to the public. Obviously, this can be abused, and is a huge gray area, but this is what allows, for example, an officer to park a police car in a no-parking area for enforcement or safety purposes.

If police officers are observed doing something perceived as dangerous, illegal, or otherwise questionable, there is no harm in writing a letter or sending an e-mail to the appropriate official offices, to address the issue. Just keep in mind that their actions may be legitimate, even if it does not look that way. If the actions are not legit, I would think that letting the powers-that-be handle it would be the best first course of action. No need to get all activist about it unless the powers-that-be ignore a problem, and it is indeed determined to violate a law or policy.
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Last edited by Rex G; 06-06-08 at 05:28 PM. Reason: clarity
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Old 06-06-08, 05:56 PM
  #11  
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Why should they follow the law on the bikes? when was the last time you ever saw a highway state patrol car anywhere NEAR the speed limit.

Police officers can do things that are prohibited by civilians.
if the officer is in the US: No they are not allowed to violate the law nor are they seperate from civilians. The police are civilians they are subject to the exact same laws as the general population.
The military personel are not civilians as there are not subject to either the US constitution and subject to local civilian laws and the UCMJ which allows double jeopardy if in violation of a civilian law. i.e public drunkeness. you get the civilian court punshment + the ucmj punishment.

additionaly military personnel are not subject to the benefits given in the constitution that a civilian law enforcemnt officer has. search and seiziure and so forth.
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Old 06-06-08, 06:10 PM
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Originally Posted by st0ut View Post
if the officer is in the US: No they are not allowed to violate the law nor are they seperate from civilians. The police are civilians they are subject to the exact same laws as the general population.
A LOT of states have laws on the books prohibiting traffic citations for public employees "in the official performance of their duties." Ever see a cop car parked on a sidewalk? They can, if they need to, to perform their duties.

As for Portland, there is a specific exemption for bike cops to ride on the sidewalks written right into the law.
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Old 06-06-08, 06:43 PM
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Before making blanket statements about what a local jurisdiction says police can or cannot do, it might be prudent to look it up first. In some cases, such exemptions may not be in the traffic or penal code, but may be part of "case law." Case law is an opinion rendered by a higher court, which has the effect of statutory law.

I don't have my voluminous Texas traffic code with me; it is at the station, in my locker, and I am on vacation, so I cannot research whether the traffic law exemption for Texas peace officers is written into the traffic code. It may be in the Code of Criminal Procedure, but that is also in my locker. Obviously, an emergency vehicle, with proper lights and a siren, can disregard traffic laws, but what about the entirely practical aspect of a foot pursuit? If I am, for example, on foot patrol, and see a robbing hood knock a bicycle commuter on the head, grab his Timbuktu messenger bag, and flee on foot, do I cease my foot pursuit at the curb when the perp disregards a "Don't Walk" signal?

In a similar vein, how can I check a city park for trespassing crackheads and thieves, if I don't enter the city park myself? (Local parks close at 11 PM, except those otherwise posted for 24-hour access.) On private property that is publicly accessible, and posted against trespassing, how can I check for trespassers if I don't cruise through the parking lot and look behind the building? Think the DA will prosecute me for trespassing. Nope, of course not; the very act of the property owner posting the signs indicates he wants enforcement to happen.

Other than actual written exemptions and exceptions, there is also what jurisprudence calls the doctrine of competing harms. Thinks of it as a variation of the lesser of two evils. That is what is at work when I drive into a business parking lot to look for graffiti artists and copper thieves. It is also what is in play when a private citizen shoots an armed intruder. It may be illegal to discharge a firearm within a populated area, but that does not mean bandits can ****, loot, and pillage at will.

OK, I am not a lawyer, and this is all just my educated opinion/interpretation. I wear a badge, but not for the hometown shown in my profile. Moreover, I am addressing larger issues, not just the specific incident in the original post.
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Old 06-06-08, 08:19 PM
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if the owner of the property does not want loe on the property they should not go on said property. for routine patrols. think of industiral campusus where you are trespassing and if you are on that campus and you see technology that is still under development what is your obligation to see whats under the tarp? or enter the building in general? basiccly with your loose interpretation where does your imminate domain stop?


City park you are essentially the city security .. much like securitas at my company's campus.


i love how those with a badge and a gun get to determine what laws they do an do not get to bend / break.

If these are in your local laws i would fight to have them repealed.

i am not anti L.E. i am anti I have a gun and a badge and what are your going to do about it attitude that is previlent in the l.e. community.
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Old 06-06-08, 09:25 PM
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Originally Posted by st0ut View Post

if the officer is in the US: No they are not allowed to violate the law nor are they seperate from civilians.
Yes, they do have to abide by the same laws of the land...but they are separate from civilians......What I said was officers can do things that civilians cannot. Officer's primary responsibility is the prevention and detection of crime or the enforcement of the penal, traffic, or highway laws of the state. In performing those duties they can do a lot of things that civilians cannot...
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Old 06-06-08, 09:34 PM
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get a life.

mind your own business.
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Old 06-06-08, 09:37 PM
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Originally Posted by ivegotabike View Post
Last night I was sitting at a cafe in the downtown area of my hometown when a bike cop rode by.
In this case I've got to side with the cop. He was the cyclist while you were merely a sedentarian. I mean Jeeze, what's next... sedentarian lanes? "Share the road with sedentarianists" signs? Vehicular sitting! At a cafe huh. Probably a trendy cafe where everyone dresses in black. That would make you a ninja sedentarianist. Okay it's not like you all can sneak up behind me, but dang it's hard to see you guys at night. There needs to be mandatory reflector laws for the sitting.
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Old 06-06-08, 10:24 PM
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can you open a cars trunk? no
can you demand to see someones pockets no.
can you assualt no
can a polce car run a red light with out lights. no

My sons first ride on the rode was almost his last when a squad car OUT of Jurisdiction cut across a gas station lot to avoid the red light and the 3 cars on front of him. Stop the I am a cop there fore i don't have to follow the law, besides what are you going to do about it." You do.

I was told by a cop that i was not allowed to have a car with a differnet licence plate then the state of my drivers licence. at which point i told him to get his superviser and da out here so we can discuss the matter. Why cause i had out of state plates.

i had a cop shine alley light in my car at 5am in the winter yes while i was on the highway. with my family because i refused to move to the right when was doing about 90 and got on my bumber while i had the cruise set for 65. empty highway he could have passed after a few miles enought time to run my plate i did move to the right and thats when he tried to blind me. if he was on a call why would he tailgate me for so long if he was not on a call why was he doing 90? sorry i have been on the other side. and have seen too many instance of this agresive behavior from cops. cops just expect non cops to bow down .. sorry thats not how a democracy works.
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Old 06-07-08, 12:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Rex G View Post
Other than actual written exemptions and exceptions, there is also what jurisprudence calls the doctrine of competing harms. Thinks of it as a variation of the lesser of two evils. That is what is at work when I drive into a business parking lot to look for graffiti artists and copper thieves. It is also what is in play when a private citizen shoots an armed intruder. It may be illegal to discharge a firearm within a populated area, but that does not mean bandits can ****, loot, and pillage at will.
This is a very good post by Rex G; can I say that this is definitely not the first post from him that was a balanced, intelligent perspective from a LEO?
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Old 06-07-08, 02:27 AM
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Originally Posted by JusticeZero View Post
Call the station and report him to his superior officers. Don't even need to talk to him, necessarily.
How about we just cool it and be glad there is a police officer on the beat on a bicycle or on foot?

A police officer is riding a bicycle on a sidewalk and THIS is worth getting all wound up about?

Time to get outside for a bicycle ride.

If you see the bicycle cop, buy him a coffee and have a convesation with him. Maybe you can ask HIM why he is riding on the sidewalk and against traffic.
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Old 06-07-08, 06:24 AM
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Originally Posted by st0ut View Post
i had a cop shine alley light in my car at 5am in the winter yes while i was on the highway. with my family because i refused to move to the right when was doing about 90 and got on my bumber while i had the cruise set for 65. empty highway he could have passed after a few miles enought time to run my plate i did move to the right and thats when he tried to blind me. if he was on a call why would he tailgate me for so long if he was not on a call why was he doing 90? sorry i have been on the other side. and have seen too many instance of this agresive behavior from cops. cops just expect non cops to bow down .. sorry thats not how a democracy works.
Sentence structure, capitalization, punctuation. Maybe a point?
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Old 06-07-08, 09:18 AM
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I know that there are bad cops out there, but in a place like Los Angeles they have an awful job and I certainly cut them some slack. In all but one occasion they've been courteous and helpful. Not many of us have to worry about someone possibly trying to kill us everyday at work.

I'm with some of the other posters and am happy every time I see a cop out patrolling, it means they are doing their job.
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Old 06-07-08, 09:39 PM
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there was a bicycle blog floating around and periodically a bicycle cop would post an article every now and then.

He specifically addressed the riding on the sidewalk thing. They have a very good reason to do it, and they aren't breaking the law.

They typically go very slow (under 5mph) when riding on the sidewalk. They ride slow so they can be visible to the community and can stop and talk to pedestians, store owners, etc. etc. It's pretty much impossible to ride 5 mph in normal traffic.

Riding slowly on the sidewalk also gives them greater field of vision than riding on the street. I'm sure someone remembers the blog and will post a link to the article. It was an interesting read.
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Old 06-07-08, 10:46 PM
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^ precisely correct! it's all about "community policing" and getting to know the populace, storeowners, restaurant proprietors, mechanics, and others who are part of the extended "eyes & ears" of crimefighting.
don't get all frothy about a police officer pedaling on the sidewalk, he/she is keeping his/her eyes open to help decent, law-abiding people.
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Old 06-07-08, 11:17 PM
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Originally Posted by st0ut View Post
if the officer is in the US: No they are not allowed to violate the law nor are they seperate from civilians. The police are civilians they are subject to the exact same laws as the general population.
Incorrect. In WI, law enforcement officers are allowed to exceed the speed limit, disregard parking restrictions, block the flow of traffic, etc. as allowed pursuant to WI State Statutes. Show me a source where civilians can do any of the above legally.
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