28 August 2010

Something I saw yesterday

So. I'm very deliberately not alleging anything or accusing anybody of any wrongdoing with this post. For one thing, I don't have any proof that any wrongdoing was done. For another, I would be really uncomfortable and/or concerned for my own safety if what I thought I saw was what actually happened.

Here's a story for y'all - my own experience, nothing more. Disclaimer that I'm sure I've got incomplete knowledge of the situation.

About 4:25 or so PM yesterday, I was biking from my apartment over to Safeway. It's only a couple of blocks. I was riding down my alleyway towards 47th and I saw three bike cops hanging out on the sidewalk across the street. I slow down, make sure to signal, make sure to come to a complete stop before turning, all that stuff, and one of them pulls out onto 47th just in front of me while the others bike down the sidewalk to the intersection of 47th and University Way.

The one in front of me is laughing and talking with the other cops while we're all stopped at the light there (I'm immediately behind him). I hear him say "I've got dibs on this one, all right?" And then I hear the other officers assent. One of them says "All right, dude, if you want a turn."

The light turns green, the two bike cops on the sidewalk cut around some pedestrians in the crosswalk and stay on the sidewalk heading towards Brooklyn. The bike cop in front of me accelerates on his bike, runs the stop sign at 47th and Brooklyn, then cuts left and onto the sidewalk next to the BP. I'm looking right because I need to turn onto Brooklyn.

As I'm turning, I hear the bike cop yelling. I pull onto the sidewalk and look over. The same bike cop who'd called 'dibs' when he was at 47th and University Way is standing over a homeless guy on the sidewalk. I hear the cop say "what the hell do you think you're doing?" He then starts chewing the homeless guy out for hitting him - I can't tell if he means getting in the way of the bike (my assumption) or actually attacking him (highly unlikely, given the homeless guy isn't lying on his face covered in pepper spray). I can't make out the homeless guy's response. I stand there for a couple of minutes while the three bike cops surround the homeless guy and yell at him. I then duck into the Safeway for a few minutes. When I come out, I see the homeless guy sitting on the edge of the curb with his hands behind his back; it looks like he's handcuffed. One of the bike cops is talking on his radio.

So, yeah. That's what I saw. Like I said, I don't know if there was any kind of weirdness going on, and it's entirely possible that the whole situation was a matter of a homeless guy, out of the blue, attacking three bike cops. Given that there was no arrest made that I can find today, though, and that I heard one of the cops calling dibs a block before the situation occurred - it just seems a little odd to me.

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