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Thread: A strange incident

  1. #11
    ShawnoftheDread's Avatar
    ShawnoftheDread is offline I really need to log off the internet and go for a ride.
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    No way he was "undercover" if he responded that way. You should have gotten his badge number, or at least a description of him and his license plate number and filed a complaint with every person you could think of in DC.

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  3. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by dasgeh View Post
    To me, it sounds like he was abusing his position, and deserved to be reported to MPD. If he was, in fact, undercover, he could have easily played dumb (like so many other drivers who park in bike lanes) and just told you to go around.
    We could give lessons on how a civilian bike lane parking scofflaw typically reacts - now THAT would be undercover op planning.

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    dasgeh is offline Queen of Family Biking & All Things Kidical
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    Quote Originally Posted by lordofthemark View Post
    We could give lessons on how a civilian bike lane parking scofflaw typically reacts - now THAT would be undercover op planning.
    Sounds like he was close, just shouldn't have turned on his lights and said he was a cop.

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    As for "what you should have done", given that you were faced with an aggressively irrational and physically large authority figure, there wasn't much to do besides what you did: maintain your own composure and disengage at your first opportunity. Maybe asking to see his badge would have worked but, since he was already out of line, maybe not. Depends on how big a risk taker you are. Sending a photo of his license plate, with an account of the incident, to his department might have been best.

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  9. #15
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    As the cyclist, you should have changed lanes one to the left and moved with the flow of traffic. Take the center of the lane. The bike lane is nice and all, but it's not the only lane.

    Also, similar to the Rock Creek incident described a couple of threads ago, getting off your bike to engage someone is a momentous decision. By dismounting you give up a major advantage. You have to be absolutely right and be prepared for a no-holds-barred irrational "debate." Instead, keep the cyclist's advantage by saying your piece on the fly and getting out of there.
    Last edited by Brendan von Buckingham; 05-01-2014 at 06:30 AM. Reason: on second thought

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    Once he said he was undercover, I think the snarky side of me may have offered that his urban camouflage of being yet another ahole blocking a marked bike lane was brilliant up until the moment he decided to turn his police lights on. Perhaps followed up by, I bet a bike in the bike lane would be even better.

    There are a few good apples in the MPD that I truly think are great offices and a lot of don't care/bad apples in it.

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    Thanks all. Good to see that opinions pretty much match up with mine on the matter. Officer behaving irrationally and out of line, but not worth the effort to have that fight at that moment. If he would have just flashed his badge and gave me the "get the hell out of here" hand signal he could have saved us all some grief and kept his undercover status. I think he has some issues anyway.

    Brendan: like I said in the post, the lane to my left was full of moving cars, stretching back a few blocks. I would have moved over if I could.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lordofthemark View Post
    ...naturally upset, and his reaction was quite human.
    Upset because someone tapped on his trunk? That's not 'natural' and his reaction was quite human... for a pig.

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    This is why gopros are awesome. He could have been a youtube sensation: "How not to maintain your cover".

    What an idiot.

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  17. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rod Smith View Post
    Upset because someone tapped on his trunk? That's not 'natural' and his reaction was quite human... for a pig.
    No, upset that his undercover operation was falling apart. Now as we said above it didn't have to be with proper training and planning - he could have not used the bike lane as a place to park - or he could have pretended to be a civilian bike lane scofflaw, and kept his cover, etc. Its clearly his fault (or the fault of whoever planned the op) for not thinking through the contingencies of his cover. Its natural to get upset when things go awry, and unfortunately its quite human to get upset at the immediate cause of a problem that is in reality one's own fault.

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