Fleeing the police
I am the biker that this article is about and it’s kind of a bummer to see so many people jump to conclusions regarding this incident. First off, this article and the other one floating around on the internet is complete and utter bullshit, that only managed to see the light of day because there was nothing else happening in the news that week. I was not drunk (didn’t have even a drop of alcohol that day), I wasn’t careening into oncoming traffic, and the police never told me to stop.
I was biking through SS with my friend who was new to the city, I turned onto 18th street to start heading back to my house when I police cruiser ran me off the road, an officer opened the door into me, knocking me off of my bike. He stood over me and screamed, “If you stand up, I swear to God I will roundhouse kick you in your goddamn head.” After being questioned and harassed, there was a misunderstanding with why my ID had a different address than where I was currently living, and they called more officers because they thought I was lying. When they continued to harass me, I said, “You should really be stopping the drunk assholes that ran my friend and I off the road two blocks before this who are probably going to kill a family, not two bikers who didn’t do anything.” The two officers got pissed off, handcuffed me, refused to tell me why I was being arrested, refused to read me my Miranda rights and I spent 18 hours in jail, and received bullshit several traffic violations and an “evading a police officer” felony.
When I was finally freed, I read the report and it’s pretty similar to this news report, except they added that “a pursuit was called in, unfortunately lines were down and there is no record”. That is because there was never a pursuit, we didn’t “careen into oncoming traffic”, especially considering the fact that it was 1am on a Saturday night in Southside. Anyone familiar with traffic at that time? It’s literally a straight line that doesn’t move for miles, blocking the box through intersections, with drunk idiots teetering over the yellow line. Yes, we passed cars. No, we didn’t do anything in this article, the officers were just mad because I had enough of their brutality and rude behavior, and confronted them about it.
I know this is almost a year after the incident, but I just stumbled upon this topic after someone brought it up to me, and it is fairly disheartening how quick some people were to judge given only one side of this story. Although I can’t quite say I blame you, considering the gross excuse for journalism that tainted my name and criminal record to this day. Hopefully at least a few people see this.
Given the state of that which passes for “Police”, as well as the weak bullshit that passes for journalism now, it is not a stretch to believe your side of the story. Until the good law enforcement officers, as well as their union, reject the actions of the steroid pumped power tripping assholes in their “brotherhood”, I have meager respect for any of them. As I said back in May, F.T.P. And F does not stand for “flee”.
JinxxedPenguin wrote:it’s kind of a bummer to see so many people jump to conclusions regarding this incident
I apologize for contributing to that. Sorry for what happened to you.
I’ll add my bit since I contributed to this thread:
A lot of the discussion hinged on “assuming the news reporting (and tangentially, the police reporting) to be truth.” Unfortunately, reporting is not always based in facts and truth. The sheer amount of bias I’ve witnessed in journalism recently has caused me to become skeptical of any/all news reporting. I’ve been working to be more present in such conversations and to consider opposing sides of issues/arguments, especially when the proposed “facts” (ohgod scare quotes are needed here) are gleaned from news reports. Thank you for the reminder!
@JinxxedPenguin: I’m curious, did you cross into the opposing lane to pass through traffic?
Based on what you said, it sounds like you either didn’t hear or possibly ignored a lawful command from a police officer. Then, the police interpreted your non-compliance as willfully fleeing, giving them justification to pursue and detain you.
Maybe you never heard the command from the police, in which case, it sounds like you were the victim of some bad luck. It sounds like a crappy experience no matter how you slice it. Thanks for sharing your version of the story.
I’d like to point out one other inconsistency in the tale: how exactly were you moving through traffic? It’s well known that the PA Bicycle Drivers Manual gives advice on getting through a traffic jam, but Pub 380 also says there’s a right and wrong way to do it. For example, moving on and off the sidewalk, moving quickly in dense traffic (which can be done, especially when cars are lined up at a stand still for miles), and so forth are generally bad/unsafe practices. Can you describe how you were filtering that night?
No, he is not a victim of “bad luck.” He is a victim of a shit police force that has absolutely no oversight and is never held accountable for anything they do.
This is a majority white, middle class community and we have tales of police brutality. Go into a minority community and they have tons more stories that never make the news.
I’d also like to pat myself on the back for getting part of the story right:
“And we automatically assume The Police are right. Isn’t traffic in the SS on Carson St usually gridlocked during that time? So what I’m picturing is the bikes trying to go around essentially stopped cars. Not much room to maneuver. Maybe the bike was moving up the line of cars to make a left hand turn and crossed the line a little bit, something that cars do all the time. And yeah, that’s really a danger to society!”
I mean damn, this is the first time police overreact, right? Bring hyped up charges for non-existent crimes and then drop them after the heat is off? Not at all similar to what happened here:
I think the story is even funnier because they were tripped up on a fucking outdated drivers license. Like yeah, nobody ever moves and then forgets to update their license and carry around that stupid card for x years. Never happens. Recall that we live in a society where carrying a license isn’t required. But the prick cops decided to hold him on it, I’m assuming, as another form of punitive punishment.
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