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Tampa Florida Cops Use Bicycle Tickets As Means To Harass African-Americans

Shady police practices? In Florida?? Say it ain’t so…SMH

Via TampaBay

If the tickets are any indication, Tampa residents must be the lousiest bicyclists in Florida.

They don’t use lights at night. Don’t ride close enough to the curb. Can’t manage to keep their hands on the handlebars.

In the past three years, Tampa police have written 2,504 bike tickets — more than Jacksonville, Miami, St. Petersburg and Orlando combined.

Police say they are gung ho about bike safety and focused on stopping a plague of bike thefts.

But here’s something they don’t mention about the people they ticket:

Eight out of 10 are black.

A Tampa Bay Times investigation has found that Tampa police are targeting poor, black neighborhoods with obscure subsections of a Florida statute that outlaws things most people have tried on a bike, like riding with no light or carrying a friend on the handlebars.

Officers use these minor violations as an excuse to stop, question and search almost anyone on wheels. The department doesn’t just condone these stops, it encourages them, pushing officers who patrol high-crime neighborhoods to do as many as possible.

It’s policies like these that exist in police departments all across America that have lead to the loss of the public’s trust of law enforcement officials.

You can read this story in its’ entirety HERE.

Image via Shutterstock

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