I was dragged to a cage by three Clovis police officers while out CopBlocking with three of my friends that had joined up to film the police all day Sunday. The town of Clovis is a yuppie area with a lot of money in it. The Clovis police are known for harassing people over their appearance. I have heard more than one story about Clovis police serving up a beat down and telling whoever is on the receiving end to “go to Fresno.” They also are not fond of anyone who uses alternative transportation. I have witnessed the harassment of cyclist on multiple occasion on Clovis Ave.
We were driving north on Clovis Ave. heading to the old town area where there are a lot of bars. A police cruiser passed in front of us heading west on Bullard Ave. and we decided to follow it hoping for an opportunity to film. Just as soon as we pulled in behind the cruiser, the officer made a left on Pollasky and quickly turned left entering a small apartment complex. By the time we parked and walked over the officer had a couple of guys on skateboards detained.
After the interaction was over, the skaters told us, the police stopped them because they thought they said “fuck the cops.” Skateboarding is not a crime and neither is saying “fuck the police.” It’s pretty much indisputable that the officers lacked probable cause for their detainment and were merely preying on these young men with hopes of making an easy arrest.
After they let the guys skate on all three of the officers approached us. From their body language I knew one of us was going to jail, most likely me. I was aware of a potential bench warrant for missing a court date late last year and the officers behavior at the scene made it apparent that they ran checks on us. These officers know we aren’t the type to go around victimizing people and merely ran us with hoping the outcome would permit them to harass us. They asked if I was “Brian” and I declined to answer. Still the officers grabbed me and dragged me to their car. One of them said, “You should have a warrant” but they never produced one.
I was taken to the Clovis Police Department where I was cited and released. When I was brought into the jail I had a small amount of my Cannabis medication in my jacket. The officers attempted to throw a smuggling charge at me for failing to report the medicine but after producing a cannabis recommendation they decided better of it. When I was released the entire station smelled like cannabis and knowing that they would have to smell my weed, after I left, was a small victory.
I thought it was ironic that in the land of the free a person can be snatched off the street and taken to a cage by a group of armed men who make unsubstantiated claims to validate their violence. The reason I was being arrested was because I failed to appear for court. The reason I had to appear in court was for riding my bicycle on the sidewalk. Never in the chain of events did I in any way, shape or form create a victim. Without a victim there can be no crime. Without a crime there should be no court appearances and without a court appearance there would be no warrant. There would be no warrant if Sgt. Manfredi had been able to control his butt-hurt as well.
In August of last year I got a ticket for riding my bicycle on the sidewalk. Sgt. Michael Manfredi was just being a dick and was looking for some retribution after I called out his warrantless search. He had torn into the tarp of a truck bed in order to see what in the bed. No one gave him permission and he didn’t have a warrant. I called him out on it and later when I started to ride off, Manfredi pulled up to write me a ticket for cycling on the sidewalk.
Riding your bicycle on the sidewalk in Fresno, CA is only a crime (by definition not by action) if you are in the downtown area or at a walking mall. The only walking wall Fresno has, just happens to be in Downtown Fresno. Pretty much don’t ride your bike on the sidewalk in the downtown area and you are fine. It’s still not a crime but it’s the only play the cops are allowed to mess with you over it. Obviously they apply the penal code very loosely and use it to generate revenue knowing full well people wont challenge the ticket.
Manfredi was either ignorant to this law or intentionally chose to ignore it. Either way his actions were not legal and this type of behavior from law enforcement is exactly why people say “fuck the police” in the first place.
I still haven’t been to court for this bicycle ticket but the police have set a date for me to appear on April 25, 2016. I still haven’t decided if I’m going and only time will tell if I make this appearance. Don’t be surprised if I get arrested again for non compliance with the establishments kangaroo court.
Watch more videos associated with this bicycle ticket.
Sgt. Manfredi Bicycle Extortion
Sgt. Manfredi Warrantless Truck Search
Arrested for Failure to Appear Warrant