A recent Greater Greater Washington post detailed how a cyclist in D.C. was improperly cited and found at fault after a car crash. He was ticketed for running a red light—though camera footage showed otherwise—and told by a Metropolitan Police Department officer that he was at fault because he was a biker.
As cyclists, we’re familiar with this kind of bias. We’re working to collect stories of police officers getting it wrong so that we can work with police throughout the region to improve their responses when crashes occur. (This effort is separate from our general crash tracker, because we want to know about specific instances involving police bias.)
Additionally, due to a number of existing reports of such bias from cyclists riding in the District, we’ve recently requested that Councilmember Tommy Wells, chair of the Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety, hold a hearing to address MPD’s bias when dealing with cyclists. We hope that the councilmember’s office will work with us to move forward and fix MPD’s approach to crashes involving cyclists.
Please share with us your story of biased interactions with police throughout the region, particularly if you have evidence showing an officer did something wrong or made an explicit statement of bias. We depend on the protection of area law enforcement officials to keep us safe, and we need to push back against bias that undermines that protection and our safety.
Image by Flickr user randomduck
Are you kidding? If I had a dollar for every illegally parked police vehicle I see on a weekly basis in this city, I wouldn't have to waste my life counting illegally parked police cars and posting about them online... PS agree w/ Lydia the first problem with bias is cyclists who demand "share the road" without being willing to share the responsibility of following traffic laws.
Thanks Ryan Humphrey Please send us your story through the form on the web page. We don't want to miss any of them because they're coming through various social media formats, and we need some other info to be able to present an organized argument for improvements.
Not a crash, but a very very close pass at high speed in the same lane. Officer's first question/comment "...but he didn't HIT you right?"
Yes, definitely work with Councilman Tommy Wells to work towards resolution of this problem. If the MPD stands by their statements of the hearing I attended in November 2011, they will also want this practice to stop. Meanwhile, every cyclists needs to obey all traffic rules.