Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A Fun Time Had By All

7. Bad cop, no donut. 33 Things Not To Say To A Cop,

There is a link making the rounds of a Lafayette, CO police officer "arresting" a cyclist for not dismounting his bike and walking it across a crosswalk. The clip begins well into the contact and ends at the point the violator - a kind and upstanding pillar of the community - is placed in handcuffs. It is a perfect illustration of the expression "so you thought I was having fun."

Colorado law does not require that a cyclist dismount in a crosswalk. It does, however, require due care and slow speeds. The city I work in has not enacted additional restrictions, but it is within our city council's authority to do so. I assume the city of Lafayette has done so.

Some young cyclist was contacted by a Lafayette motor officer (the stylish boots are a dead giveaway) who was attempting to issue a citation for the traffic violation. What follows is a classic example of a person talking themselves into cuffs. Watch the video (it isn't hard to find, but proved beyond my ability to clip) for these, and other, teaching points.

1. The young man is loud, shrill, and drops the usual number of F-bombs. The officer never raises his voice, only saying "I'm not swearing at you." He isn't. Neither does he object to being photographed.

2. The thing in the officer's hand is the 21st Century version of a ticket book. All this fellow was going to get was a summons for violating a city ordinance. I can't imagine the fine would be all that substantial. Instead....

3. The kid refused to identify himself. Bad move. Colorado law clearly leaves the officers with limited choices in that case. He can physically arrest the person and transport him to be "booked" - oh, we don't actually use books anymore. His picture and fingerprints are taken and an attempt is made to identify him. If he has never been fingerprinted (and so the state system would not have a record) he will (probably) be held in jail until he decides to stop being pigheaded. Pun intended.

4. Or the officer can decide not to issue a summons, and give the kid a warning  Yeah. Can you imagine a system of law where the violator had only to refuse to identify himself to escape having his "day in court?"

5. At no point does the officer threaten, yell, use unprofessional language or label the violator a "punk kid" although that was entirely accurate. The kid is obnoxious, petty, and suggests that the officer has better things to do. Okay, there he's correct, except....

6. About halfway through the clip some kid on a tiny little kid bike rockets through the intersection in an amazing example of why the officers might have been there writing tickets in the first place. But because the violator is being a jerk the officers have to deal with him, and not get the other kid too.

You think this is fun? This kid's parents never taught him respect, how to maturely deal with difficult situations or the proper forum for fighting a summons. Consequently, this professional police officer who treats him with respect gets to be on YouTube and have a lot of moronic comments made about his parentage. When I tried to point out a few things on FB I was invited to perform sex acts on multiple male partners.

I declined. I'm already taken. But thanks for that....

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