City Critical Mass Attack
Sounds like a couple of K.C. deputies got out of hand at yesterday’s Critical Mass ride. (On the last Friday of every month at 5:30, bikers mass at Westlake Center and bike through downtown in a show of biker power.)
Here’s a report from one biker who witnessed what sounds like a cross between a police temper tantrum and an arrest.
I was riding up the street from Alaskan and turning onto Western Ave to head North when I saw 4 or 5 folks corking the one minivan (basically that means stopping the car from driving through the throng of bike riders. It’s a safety thing we do at every intersection. When you see a few riders surrounding one car, it means the driver decided not to wait even though one rider was already in front of him/her and and tried to drive through the crowd of bikes. Other riders then surround it to raise the stakes of continuing to drive forward).
As I turned the corner, one beefy white guy got out of the van and ran after a guy sitting on a bike (he was not corking at that point). He was in the process of getting ready to ride off at the time. When the guy from the van ran after him, it happened really fast. he caught the bike rider and threw him to the ground. I assumed at the time that he was an angry driver with road rage and jumped off my bike to help the rider. I started pulling the rider up by his backpack in order to get him away from the nut attacking him who kept grabbing him and throwing him to the ground. At the same time, the guy on the bike was trying to get free of his backpack (the attacker had grabbed it too) and was swinging violently too as I was falling over the bikes and trying to get in the middle to seperate the two and try to stop the violence. At that point, the attacker started yelling “Stop! Stop! You’re under fucking arrest! I’m a fucking cop! You’re under fucking arrest. I’m a fucking cop!” I didn’t believe him at first as he just seemeed to be so needlessly violent with no cause whatsoever. I kept trying to break them apart.
By then an Asian (Hawiian?) cop had gotten out of the van and was involved with another biker who had been trying to pull the first cop off the first guy. That cop pinned the second biker to the ground face to the pavement. I *finally* saw a badge and backed off, pulled out my cell phone and started clicking pictures as fast as I could. They pinned the first guy who was attacked down, pretty fiercely, and sat on his back and legs, they roughly pulled him up and dragged him away. I pointed my camera in the face of the asian cop while his knee was on the biker’s back and got a picture of it. then I circled around the brawl, got a picture of the big white guy and tried clicking a few more. I got a picture of their license plate as well and some of the tussel.
At the end, as the cops dragged the riders into their UNMARKED minivan, the crowd started chanting “Fuck You!” When that stopped, the cops yelled something about clearing off and shutting the fuck up or something and I called them assholes. They told us to get the fuck out of there and I told them to fuck off and come and get me if they wanted to. They stormed into their car though.
Anyway, that’s my story (though a block later a marked SPD car cut through the scraggly group of bikes and in front of us and when I yelled “Nice fucking signal!” he replied, “Fuck you asshole!” But that’s not a part of this incident, just emblematic of cops who give cops a bad image….)
Apparently the cops were King County police and if you ask me were ready to blow up at the slightest provocation… My opinion (based on their beefienss and temper): Steroids, but that is total conjecture).
Here’s a thread on the arrests.
My prediction: Next month’s Critical Mass ride is going to be huge.