Sheree Barbour holds her fist within the air as folks protest the grand jury resolution within the Breonna … [+] Taylor case on September 23, 2020 in Denver, United States. (Picture by Michael Ciaglo/Getty Pictures)
“The Seattle Police Department is aware of a video circulating on the internet that apparently shows an SPD bike officer’s bike rolling over the head of an individual laying in the street,” mentioned a September 24 press launch from Seattle police. [UPDATE: Based on a follow-up press assertion, issued on September 24, the “officer has been placed on administrative leave,” mentioned Seattle police.]
The incident was captured at protests that began final evening after a grand jury in Louisville, Kentucky, declined to indict officers for killing unarmed sleeping Black girl 26-year-old Breonna Taylor on March 13. Ex-officer Brett Hankison was charged with three counts of wanton endangerment for firing into Taylor’s neighbors’ flats.
The grand jury’s resolution sparked protests in Louisville and a number of other different U.S. cities, together with Portland, Chicago and Seattle.
Seattle police arrested 13 folks through the in a single day protests, police mentioned.
“In total, officers arrested 13 individuals for charges ranging from property destruction, resisting arrest and failure to disperse as well as assault on an officer,” the police launch mentioned.
“Multiple officers were injured to include one who was struck in the head with a baseball bat cracking his helmet.”
One of many Seattle Police Division’s responses to the in a single day protests was the deployment of its armored bike squad, members of which have been beforehand captured on video allegedly finishing up acts of violence on protestors.
Final 12 months, viral movies appeared to point out officers utilizing patrol bikes to battle counter-protesters at a pro-Trump march. The incidents had been filmed in Seattle on December 7 on the Mega MAGA march. In a single video, an officer tripped over the wheel of a patrol bike and appeared to cost towards the closest counter-protester in a match of pique. In a second video, an officer appeared to intentionally trip his bike into the again of a protester on the sidewalk.
In lots of latest movies shared on social media, bike cops are proven utilizing interlocked bicycles to create cellular boundaries, yelling as they inch ahead: “Move BACK! Move BACK!”
MORE FROM FORBESU.S. Police Batter Black Lives Matter Protesters With BicyclesBy Carlton Reid
In June, police departments in a number of cities got here below hearth for utilizing patrol bikes to regulate crowds throughout demonstrations in response to the dying of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis, on May 31.
Lengthy historical past
Using patrol bikes in crowd management by cops has a protracted historical past—New York Metropolis’s bike cop squad in 1895 was run by then Police Commissioner Teddy Roosevelt, a motorcycle increase bike owner who wrote in his autobiography that “any feat of daring which could be accomplished on [bicycles, the squad] were certain to accomplish”—however the trendy model was developed in Seattle within the 1990s.
By a service known as Tiger Mountain Tactical, Seattle Police Division bike squad officers have educated police forces across the U.S.
Tiger Mountain Tactical—or TMT—describes itself as “team of current law enforcement officers who have the most comprehensive knowledge and experience in police bicycle team operations.”
TMT’s lead teacher is Jim Dyment, a 28-year veteran of the Seattle Police Division. (Lieutenant Dyment didn’t reply to requests to be interviewed for this text.)
Based on TMT’s web site, Dyment “developed the first policy and training for bicycle crowd management stemming from experiences during the 1999 World Trade Organization Conference in Seattle.”
A member of the Nationwide Guard joins the Seattle Police in quelling protests through the World Commerce … [+] Group’s (WTO) 1999 convention in Seattle. (Picture by �� Christopher J. Morris/CORBIS/Corbis by way of Getty Pictures)
Corbis by way of Getty Pictures
50,000 folks confirmed as much as protest this assembly. Most of the protesters had been well-organized, utilizing cellphones to coordinate actions, foxing lots of the old-school riot techniques of the town’s mid-size police division. Nonetheless, the town’s bike cops—not but sporting armor, aside from polystyrene bike helmets—had been capable of maintain their very own, proving to be extra cellular and versatile than officers in automobiles.
Writing for Legislation and Order journal in April 2016, Dyment mentioned: “The police cyclist provides a constant presence within a crowd, which is a clear deterrent for criminal behavior.”
One tactic Dyment teaches at TMT is the “Mobile Fence Line.”
“This,” he wrote, “is a squad tactic that uses the coordinated movement (picking up the bicycle and moving it forward one or two steps) of the bicycle line to move forward. This is done in a manner that is disciplined, uniform and deliberate.”
As described in a 2002 article written by the late Mike Goetz, a Seattle bike squad officer, one other frequent police tactic is the “crossbow.”
For this tactic, the police squad “forms a double-column behind the line, far enough behind so they can get a little speed up,” wrote Goetz.
“On command, the line makes a gap in the center, and the bikes ride through this gap.”
“Once they are in position,” continued Goetz, “the cover officers dismount and use their bikes as barriers. If the crowd becomes a threat, an application of [pepper] spray may be used. The lead riders make the arrest or tend to the injured person, and the squad retreats back through the line to safety. This maneuver must be conducted with enough speed and force to make a hole in the crowd, and completed quickly enough that the crowd does not have time to react.”
At the moment’s bike officers may be extra armored—and extra closely armed—however, as Goetz wrote in 2002, bike cops are efficient as a result of they’re quick and agile: “The speed and mobility of the squad allow it to quickly outflank a crowd if it moves in an undesirable direction. A squad or two of bicycles positioned several blocks away from the action can be moved in a fraction of the time required to move a foot squad or even a vehicle squad, as bikes are not hampered by stairs, traffic, or a lack of roads.”
Equally, Dyment wrote in 2016 that bike squads have the “ability to keep up with coordinated, fast-moving, and dynamic crowds.”
Sustain? Sure. Rolling over the heads of inclined protesters? No.
Headline modified September 24 from “riding over” a protestor’s head to “running over.” This extra precisely describes the incident described within the article. An extra replace was added when Seattle police put the bike officer on administrative go away.