No Justice, No Peace (4.20.15): It was only a matter of time be for the national spotlight was shined on just how racist the police in my city can be. While my local squad has been focused on busting the school-to-prison-pipeline, we kept hearing a similar story: people felt like they were being targeted by the police simply for riding their bike around their neighborhood. Yesterday, the Tampa Bay Times released a damning report, showing just how real and severe the practice is. The police are targeting black communities and black bike riders as a precursor to making advanced searches, in a strange twist on stop and frisk.“Officers use these minor violations as an excuse to stop, question and search almost anyone on wheels,” the investigation report reads. “The department doesn’t just condone these stops, it encourages them, pushing officers who patrol high-crime neighborhoods to do as many as possible.”
The Times report added that Tampa has issued 2,504 bike tickets within the last three years — which the newspaper said was more than were given in the Florida cities of Jacksonville, Miami, St. Petersburg and Orlando combined.
But police say that they are targeting high-crime neighborhoods, and that by aggressively punishing bicycle violations, they’re helping to thwart further criminal activity.
Nearly 80% of all ticketed in the city for bike infractions were black, and 60% of enforcement was focused on majority black communities. #staywoke #farfromover