Fort Lauderdale Police Officer Knocks Down Critical Mass Rider With Motorcycle

rahimbefore.jpg
Courtesy of Christopher Lloyd (No, not the actor from Back to the Future...)
Rahim Benjamin claims a motorcycle cop hit him on purpose moments after this shot was taken by a passing cyclist.
Last Friday marked the first Fort Lauderdale Critical Mass in which the police offered to help direct traffic. But instead of showing up on bikes, officers policed the area in cars and motorcycles. Although video circulated on Saturday of a 30-year-old accountant being tackled from his bike after blocking a cop car from passing, that wasn't the only confrontation -- or cyclist -- that went down.

Who was right or wrong in these instances isn't entirely black and white. What's clear is that tensions arose between cyclists who behaved a little recklessly and cops who didn't understand that it's technically legal for a bike to take up an entire lane of traffic or to overtake using the left lane. When officers don't understand bike statutes and put cyclists on the defensive, it creates a self-perpetuating cycle of conflict.

Rahim "Ra" Benjamin, a 23-year-old who lives in Sunrise, was not even part of the Mass on Friday. He was biking home from his job at an optical center in Plantation when he pedaled through Victoria Park and came upon the pack of about 900 cyclists. He turned east on 16th Street and tried to pass the mob, traveling just over the double-yellow line near the street's 1700 block. That's when a cop, he and several witnesses tell Pulp, started trying to force him into the crowd.

See also: Fort Lauderdale Cops Tackle Critical Mass Cyclist on Video

"I'm not in the Mass!" Benjamin explained to the cop. "I'm turning just up ahead."

But the motorcycle-riding officer didn't want to hear it. Fearing that he was going to be hit or hit somebody else, Benjamin booked it for the far side of the left lane, which was blocked off to oncoming traffic. He was mere feet before his intended turn before the cop sped ahead, veered a sharp left and caused the back of the motorcycle and the front of the road bike to collide. Benjamin fell to the side and into some bushes.

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16 comments
reddingjeff9
reddingjeff9

I would love to see a Critical Mass ride on Bee Ridge Rd. in Sarasota to protest the lamp posts in the middle of the sidewalk and the lack of a bicycle lane.


I am a vision impaired disabled vet who has been fighting with the FDOT for over ten years about their policy of placing street lamp posts in the middle of the sidewalk and calling it ADA Compliant because they only have to provide a 36 inch clearance to the curb for wheelchair access. They are using the ADA to circumvent other standards regulating the obstruction of sidewalks.  The ADA was not made into law so that the FDOT and their contractor friends can save money by obstructing the middle of sidewalks.  As a disabled veteran this dishonors my service.  Anyone concerned about Civil Rights and the ADA should be outraged at the conduct of the FDOT.

Florida Government and the FDOT are corrupt.  From 2000 to 2010, there have been 781 federal convictions on corruption charges in Florida.  That's an average of one every five days for 10 straight years.

cparman5
cparman5

As a Floridian and graduate of UF, this is just one of the reasons I left South Florida and the state in 94'. People in south Florida as just plain A-holes !

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

........................and then there is this:

The South Florida Sun Sentinel was awarded the prestigious Pulitzer Prize for public service journalism Monday for its investigation of off-duty police officers who endangered the lives of citizens by speeding.

The newspaper, owned by Tribune Co., started its investigation after an off-duty Miami police officer was pulled over by a Florida state trooper for driving 120 mph in fall 2011. The resulting three-part series, "Above the Law," found that accidents caused by officers driving at high speeds — in many cases when off duty — caused at least 320 crashes since 2004, killing or maiming 21 people

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

....................seems like the police are causing more problems than the civilians

i have lately witness more police harassment against the homeless hobos downtown ft liquordale .................. and at least three dozen will get indicted on the rothstein matter - many senior officers, so things are closing to the end for some long term LEOs careers

once the bad eggs are removed maybe things will change for the better

kage10
kage10

It's funny that we had no problems without the cops. The whole point of the ride is the mass - it's not "an event". It's to bring awareness to drivers, who get mad, yes, but deal with it! It's one night a month. Bikers have to deal with angry motorists trying to run us down every day. Kee the cops at home. We get harassed enough from civilian motorists.

KennyPowersII
KennyPowersII topcommenter

Fire every cop and make them reapply after a psych evaluation.

FatHand
FatHand

FTL PD, just people helping people for a safer city...by knocking over one bicyclist at a time.

John Herman
John Herman

When as a group so large, they ( cyclist ) don't use the roads but instead take them over ignoring all the " rules of the road " forcing pedestrians and motorist into abyss! Hats off to the Cops!!!

ted017
ted017

@frankd4 FOP - these drunks think they are beyond the law carrying their tin badges in a ANY STATE.

Charlie
Charlie

you are an inhuman monster

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