Today I was summoned to appear before a magistrate for the heinous crime of cycling on the sidewalk. Not only is riding a bike on the sidewalk completely without a victim and could never be a crime, the officer who wrote me the ticket used an ordinance that doesn’t even to apply.
MC § 14-1703. Riding On Sidewalks states,
(a) No person shall operate a bicycle or unicycle on a sidewalk in the central business district, or on any street designated as a mall street by the provisions of this Code.
(b) Whenever any person is riding a bicycle upon a sidewalk, such person shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian and shall give an audible signal before overtaking and passing such pedestrian. At the intersection of two or more sidewalks, where the vision of the operator of a bicycle is so restricted by hedges, bushes, buildings, or any other obstruction so that the approach of a pedestrian cannot be observed and there is danger of a collision with the pedestrian, the operator of a bicycle shall dismount and walk through the intersection of the sidewalks. (Orig. Ord. 3811; Rep. and Added Ord. 6130, 1962; Am. Ord. 6495, 1964).
Michael Manfredi, a known civil rights violator, issued me a ticket for riding on the sidewalk in a residential neighborhood in the area of Blackstone and Shields. The only reason he bothered to write the ticket in the first place was because I called him out on a warrantless search of a truck that was parked on private property. Manfredi wasn’t man enough to have his authority challenged and decided that retribution in the form of monetary extortion was in order.
During the court proceedings I watched as person after person instantly plead guilty in order to make the experience more convenient, paying no mind to the fact that every action they were taking responsibility for, were without victims and therefore could not be criminal actions. I was in traffic court so almost every case involved some sort of vehicle infraction.
The current paradigm of punishment for traffic violations is nothing more than an extortion racket. A ruling minority have agreed on what is considered acceptable behavior on the road and decided that failing to comply with their arbitrary sanctions will result in armed men demanding money from you. Failure to comply can result in caging and/or death.
Regardless of the judges preconceived notion that I would plead guilty, I asked for a motion to dismiss and requested a trial. I refuse to become the scapegoat for the states made up infractions and you should as well. There are few things worse than being stolen from and one of them is being asked to treat those that would make a living by robbing you with respect and admiration.