Fort Lauderdale Police Officer Knocks Down Critical Mass Rider With Motorcycle
"He jumped up and yelled 'Do you know what you just did?'," says James Musters, a rider who was about 15 feet behind Benjamin when it happened. "The policeman walked toward him, and he backed off by the verge near a tree."
Christopher Lloyd was riding by when he saw his acquaintance and neighbor yelling at the motorcycle cop.
"Ra got up screaming and shouting, and I stepped in there and pushed them apart," he remembers. "A female officer showed up on the scene and started responding very professionally. She nodded her head and gave me the OK to calm him down before she engaged him again."
Lloyd, who's lived in South Florida for 40 years and usually rides on a tandem bike with his 10-year-old daughter, says that Critical Mass is big enough to need police around and that Benjamin could have handled the situation better.
"[Ra] didn't follow what the cop was trying to say, and he could have just taken a different route home," he says. "If we can get a police escort like they have for funerals, I'm all for it. I don't want drivers trying to plow through intersections or gaps in our ride."
But Benjamin insists that he's going to fight his ticket for failure to change lanes and that the cops acted with excessive force.
"Once I was off my bike, he grabbed me and just chucked me," he alleges. "I was just going five miles per hour more than the pace of the ride, so that's kind of frightening. I have to deal with idiots on the road all the time, and someone wearing a badge doesn't know that if he touches a 150-pound kid on a 20-pound bike with a motorcycle that his life might hang in the balance?"
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