Show #507 – June 13, 2020

Guests: Rachael Maney; Sgt Mike Wear

This week’s show tries to put some perspective on the events of not only the past two weeks; but, also the raw realities that have emerged about everything we might have been taught when we were in school and what we think we see in the news and on the streets today – and how the bicycle can be a symbol for both good and bad.

As we try to untangle and understand all the myriad things that are happening – – from COVID19 and its profound effects on our lives and the economy, to the horrific and sickening death of George Floyd and the subsequent global outcries for equity and justice, I turned to my friends and supporters at Bike Law for some perspectives that you may not have heard yet.

Peter Wilborn, who is the founder of Bike Law, started out as a civil rights attorney. In fact, in 2016, Peter wrote a piece for the Bike Law Blog titled, Biking is a Civil Right.

National Bike Law Director, Rachael Maney, has some very personal connections to discrimination and civil rights herself.

So today, Rachael and I take a look at everything from statistics and consequences to illustrations of how inequities show up in everyday situations.

Then, I speak with Sgt Mike Wear, the VP and Public Information Officer for IPMBA. the International Police Mountain Bike Association (IPMBA) is a non-profit association dedicated to promoting the use of bikes for public safety, providing resources and networking opportunities, and offering the best, most complete training for public safety cyclists.

Over the past couple of weeks as people demonstrated, and sometimes rioted and looted, you may have seen photos of police officers holding their mountain bikes up as shields – or what some headlines have said as weapons – to fend off crowds of people.

From those photos came a barrage of commentary from bike manufacturers that they would no longer supply bicycles to police departments and will “do better” and be “all in” in making changes in their work cultures.

Then I got to thinking and started seeing another side – a way different side – of police on bikes and decided there was way more to the story than the knee jerk reaction – including mine – of condemning the police for the work they were trying to do.

4 Replies to “Show #507 – June 13, 2020”

  1. Good afternoon Diane & The Outspoken Cyclist!

    I truly appreciated how you were fair and balanced, by seeking differing perspectives and opinions! As a disclosure, I am a public safety cyclist instructor colleague and friend of Sgt. Wear — from afar in SoCal.

    I have to correct Rachael on her comments on the “Teen cyclist arrested after Seminole County deputy says he ran stop sign; cycling community outraged” article by the ORLANDO SENTINEL, FEB 09, 2020 | 3:21 PM. The two cyclists were not simply stopped for running a STOP sign.

    Within the article, they mentioned, “A Seminole County deputy witnessed Javier López and an unidentified male run a stop sign on their bicycles near the intersection of Florida Avenue and Van Arsdale Street, according to the arrest report. The deputy said in the report that he yelled three times for López and the other cyclist to stop, but they looked at him and ignored his commands.

    The deputy caught up with them by driving his patrol truck with emergency lights and siren on and pulled ahead of the two cyclists before stopping in their path on the road, the report said.

    López is charged with fleeing a law enforcement officer and obstruction without violence. He was released from Seminole County Jail on a $8,500 bond.” Unfortunately, they should have obeyed the deputy and pulled over. If they had, they probably would have only received a warning for the STOP sign violation.

    Your interview with Sgt. Wear was excellent and he did a great job! I would like to add some additional comments:

    I was very saddened and upset at the brutal death of George Floyd, as all Americans and good law enforcement personnel were!!! Is police brutality (and other injustices in society) an issue, YES, and it needs to be addressed and eliminated! However, based on my 24 years in law enforcement (23 as a bike cop) and continuing teaching (25+ years) in Southern California I never saw what is called “systemic racism” and/or police brutality. I strongly believe most the men and women of law enforcement are good and hard-working professionals! However, good and hard-working does not mean officers, or any other human being, are perfect or without flaw.

    As human beings, we ALL are flawed and have a “heart problem!” As Franklin Graham (son of American evangelist Billy Graham) stated in his April 30, 2013 letter, entitled Franklin Graham: America Has a Heart Problem: “Every generation in history has been filled with wickedness and violence and cruelty—it all comes from the human heart…While I was writing this letter, I had a phone call from the White House about proposed gun legislation in the Senate. I reminded them that you could pass more gun laws every single day and it will not change the human heart. Only Christ can change the heart, and what America has today is a heart problem.”

    So whether it is a race issue, bicycle issue, gun issue, or anything else, it truly comes down to EACH person’s heart! Let us all work together and lift one another up in God’s love!

    One practical suggestion to both the community and law enforcement might be for law enforcement agencies and/or training centers to invite concerned citizens, the bicycle industry, or media to view portions of their bike patrol training — in a manner of transparency and care for the communities they each serve. This has been successfully done in the past.

    With the terrible and evil things that have recently happened, America is still the greatest and most free country in the world!

    Thank you, be safe, and healthy!

    1. Thank you for writing this! I truly appreciate it! I’ll try to digest it all and see what we can put together.

      Diane

      1. Thanks Diane!

        Being a retired police officer — still teaching thought to not only law enforcement, but the community, bicycle clubs, and the bike industry (including on e-Bike use) — I have a lot of time on my hands.

    2. Clint,

      No correction is needed.

      Please review the dash and body cam footage we obtained (and immediately provided to the public) with our reports during our representation of Javier Lopez.

      While Javier was accused of fleeing and resisting, the very reason the criminal charges were dropped is because the evidence clearly proved he did neither of those things. The video evidence provided by the Seminole County Sheriff’s Department itself illuminated the false allegations and recitation made by the arresting officer in his report and subsequent news article which you quoted.

      Additionally, there was never, at any point in time, an interest in shirking the responsibility Javier and the other young man had/have to obey all traffic laws while riding.

      If you’d like to review the camera footage I’m happy to provide it as it seems you’ve not yet seen it.

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