An Amusement & Diversion for The Genteel Cyclist. Daily.

Monday, April 27, 2015

More on Tampa's "Bicycle Blitzkrieg" against black riders

From Vox comes this summary of the Tampa Police Department's racial profiling of cyclists. It's much worse than we thought.

Florida police are targeting people riding bikes in poor black neighborhoods for minor — and sometimes, imaginary — offenses, as an excuse to question what a department memo called "potential criminals." In practice, "potentials criminals" translates to "African Americans."
Here are some of the stories :
  • After a 56-year-old black man rode his bike through a stop sign while pulling a lawnmower, police handcuffed him while they confirmed that he had not stolen the lawnmower, but borrowed it from a friend.
  • Police confiscated the bike of a 54-year-old black man because he didn't have a receipt proving that it belonged to him.
  • A 63-year-old black man was stopped for not having lights on his bike, when he did actually have lights on his bike.
  • After a 33-year-old man ran a stop sign on a bike without a light, police officers punched, kicked, and choked him until he was unconscious. Later, the officers explained to a judge why they were suspicious that he may have had a weapon on him: "He was in a high-crime area," and "He had large clothing." ("Was he black, too?" the judge asked. She dismissed the criminal charges.)

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