A Fort Lauderdale cop was caught on video dashing through a herd of cyclists to tackle another cyclist on the other side of the road during Friday night’s Critical Mass ride.
It is still unclear what prompted the cop to pounce on the cyclist, but other cyclists have speculated on Facebook that it may have been because he did not have a light on his bicycle, which for all we know, caused the cop to fear for his life.
Others are speculating that the cyclist was riding in the wrong lane, but the video shows that he was in the same lane as the rest of the cyclists.
The video is just over 30 seconds, recorded by another cyclist who apparently was wearing a Go Pro camera, so naturally a few apologists are pointing out that we don’t have the whole story, trying to give the cop the benefit of the doubt.
But cops refused to provide answers to the other cyclists after they finished manhandling the one suspect, so they are probably still trying to figure out what to charge him with.
UPDATE: Here’s a comment from someone on Reddit who was there and said the cyclist did not comply with a previous order, which is why the cop had the right to physically abuse him.
[–]kingoffortlauderdale[S] 2 points 3 hours ago
The other side of the story.
I was there when he was riding in the left lane all alone and blocking the road. He was told to move to the right and let the cop pass and he just kelp riding. The cop had his lights on and siren blaring and was on the pa telling him to move over. While the take down might be excessive, if he would have just moved over there would have been no reason to single him out. As I passed by he was arguing with the cop that he was speeding and concerned for the riders safety and that’s why he did not move, We were all told before the ride that the cops were there and just might be looking for some reason to make arrests and not to give them any reasons to. While there were a few stand outs to attract attention in a bad way, I think most of us did the ride with out causing any problems and had no problems with the police.
UPDATE II: The Broward New Times interviewed the guy who was arrested, who admitted he angered the cop by not only asking him to slow down, but by riding his bicycle in front of his patrol car.
Dan Littell was crossing Las Olas bridge as part of last night’s Fort Lauderdale Critical Mass when a police vehicle whizzed by him and his fellow riders. He knew bridges were particularly dangerous places for cyclists in an already inhospitable town. In the past, Littell had been hit on both Sunrise Bridge and an overpass on Broward Blvd. near I-95.
So seeing a cop car flagrantly speed down a bridge crowded with cyclists compelled him to say something. “Slow down!” he shouted at the driver, just as he would have with any other person making the road unsafe.
But when that didn’t work, Littell says he moved in front of the car, forcing its driver to keep his pace.
“There were kids on the ride,” the 30-year-old explains. “Anyone could have swerved in.”
Tempers flared once the car reached the end of the bridge. “The cop slammed on his brakes to try and get other bikes to hit him,” Littell claims. “And when the ride slowed down, he tackled me.”