Fresno Cop Harasses Cyclists Riding on Sidewalks Using Imaginary Law

A Fresno cop and his partner were filmed on three separate occasions, within ten minutes of each other, harassing cyclists for operating their bikes on the sidewalk. Most cyclists in Fresno believe that it is illegal to ride a bicycle on the sidewalk; sadly so do a lot of the cops who make up the police force.

I myself have been stopped and ticketed for operating a bicycle on the sidewalk and it was the subsequent court trial that enlightened me to the realities of operating a bicycle on the sidewalk in Fresno. I documented the stop, later arrests and the court trial which resulted in a victory for traveling on the sidewalk.

According to the municipal code § 14-1703 the only places cyclists are required to dismount and walk are the downtown business district and any street designated a walk mall.

Obviously the police are either ignorant to the law or are choosing to stretch a municipal code that clearly states where you can and can’t operate a bike on the sidewalk in order to harass and criminalize innocent people.

MC § 14-1703

(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.

If riding a bicycle on the sidewalk in legal, why then are officers with the Fresno Police Department harassing cyclists for operating them on the sidewalk? Is it because they themselves are ignorant to the laws or are they preying on the ignorance of the average cyclists in Fresno?

Whatever the reason maybe the next time you find yourself stopped for cycling on the sidewalk, remember to turn on your camera and remind the officer of this municipal code.

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Brian Sumner

is an Activist, Journalist and Photographer from the Fresno area who has taken a special interest in the "Police State". He facilitates a watchdog group called the Fresno Liberty Movement, advocates filming the police and alternatives to state controlled protection services. He also served in the U.S Army from Oct. 08' thru Mar. 12' with a tour in Iraq in 2010. Most recently he participated in the CopBlock Network's #MACtour Check out more of my writing at: The Fresno People's Media & Follow me on Social media: Facebook YouTube