Awful police story out of New York, reported by CBS New York on Friday:
The trial of a man involved in a deadly police chase in the Bronx last August will get underway Monday.
Police said Adalberto Gonzalez was driving a dirt bike the wrong way on a one-way street without plates or a helmet. Officers said that they didn’t follow him, but later saw him stopped at Randall Avenue. When officers approached, Gonzalez allegedly ran off and hopped on the back of another unregistered bike.
The cruiser followed, and police said that Gonzalez jumped off the bike just before the cruiser hit them from behind.
The bike’s driver — an unidentified 28-year-old man — was killed.
Surveillance video caught the scene as a police cruiser slammed into the bike during the chase in Hunts Point.
Gonzalez is charged with resisting arrest and reckless endangerment.
His lawyer is now asking why the officer driving the cruiser was cleared of any wrongdoing.
You can see the video here, which makes "involved in a deadly police chase" as per the language of that story a bad joke. The deadliness was 100 percent the cops fault, after two guys on a bike travelled yards safely down a street. Less "chase" than summary slaughter.
And it also looks to me like the cops first hit the bike on which Gonzalez was sitting, before then slamming into him and his friend from behind when he ran and jumped on his friends bike. That police action killed the friend. (The news story quoted above merely says "officers approached" Gonzalez, but again, looks to me like they drove into him before driving into him again on the second bike).
Just another stupid police brutality story, maybe. It has its larger policy implications, though.
The more harmless things that are made excuses for police to interact with you--whether drug possession or bicycle helmet (or motorcycle helmet!) or plate laws--the more horrible crap like this will happen.
Also, alas, the more citizens whose outrage should quell this sort of awful police behavior. are likely to just think, well, if you weren't breaking the law, then the cops wouldn't have had to drive full-on into two bikes within a minute.