I sincerely believe that in this world there are a lot more good people than bad. Unfortunately it's not true when it comes to police officers.
How come that as soon as you get a little bit of power you feel that you absolutely must abuse it ? Were you bullied by other kids in school? Not happy with your job ? Not getting "respect" you think you "deserve" ? Or you just want to be The Big Man ?
It's not a surprise that nowadays police departments deal more in harassment than actual protecting and serving. Well, they still serve - tickets for a panoply of misdemeanors to collect money for the police department and the city, a legit racket cloaked in the shining metal of the badge.
The other day I was riding my bike with my son from my house to a nearby school's play ground. According to Google Map:
0.3 miles/2 min ride/7 min walk !
But first, let me tell you something about my new "invention".
Have you ever ridden a bike with one of those child bike seats in the back ?
I used to have a p.o.s cheap ass Bell Bicycle Child Carrier that I bought from Amazon for $45. Not only was it a pain in the ass to use ( hard to install, even harder to keep it up ), it was super uncomfortable for my son, he couldn't see shit, not to mention that you can forget about having father-to-son-heart-to-heart conversations while enjoying a ride together.
So, I started looking for a better alternative. I found 2 child bike seats that looked very interesting:
First was iBert Safe-T-Seat
Honestly, even for me it looked a bit "extreme". Flying myself over handle bars a few times, this seat reminded me of "child catapult". Besides, there were no reviews, and product didn't have any age/weight/height dimensions.
TYKE TOTER Front Mount Child Bicycle Seat on the other hand, looked like my child could enjoy the view while carrying a "meaningful conversation"
Instead, I came up with my own idea. I just took my son's bike seat off, and installed it on my bike fame.
We've been riding together on this bike the whole summer, mostly on Interurban Trail from Pacific to Kent. While crossing a few streets, we've encountered many patrol police cars before. And not a single one has ever stopped to tell me .... anything.
This time it was different....
Like I mentioned above, we were on our way to the school's playground...0.3 miles from my house...when a cop pulled over saying that "because it didn't have a seat, we couldn't ride that way".
I was trying to explain to him that there was a seat, and my son was wearing a helmet.
That's when the cop got out of the car to tell me that I'm "not in fucking Russia, and have to follow HIS rules" and that ".... if I tell you that you can't ride your fucking bike, you shouldn't argue with me and do what I say".
According to RCW 46.61.760
RCW 46.61.760I got a $103 ticket for "Too many people on a bicycle" ( that's what it says on the ticket) , plus another $25 for riding without a helmet.
Riding on bicycles.
(1) A person propelling a bicycle shall not ride other than upon or astride a permanent and regular seat attached thereto.
(2) No bicycle shall be used to carry more persons at one time than the number for which it is designed and equipped.
[1965 ex.s. c 155 § 81.]
Rules of court: Monetary penalty schedule -- IRLJ 6.2.
I understand it's the law, and that I'm a "fucking foreigner", but did he really have to be that way in front of a child ?
This picture was taken literally 5 minutes before the incident. We both look happy to spend some quality time together. On the walk back home ( "If you even think about riding this fucking bike back home, I'll arrest you"- the cop said), my son was crying and couldn't understand why "that man was angry at us".
I've learned how to deal with injustice in this life, I've realized that sometimes for a "small man" there is nothing you can do about stuff like that. But as a farther, I'm really concerned about the world my son will be living in.
According to CBS News, Washington is just one of 20 police departments nationwide that the Justice Department has investigated for civil rights violations in the last year - more than any time in history.