Reader Mail: Biking While Black Shouldn't Be a Crime

Profiling Cyclists

"You're accusing the cops of enforcing a law they are sworn to enforce at the request of the area's law-abiding citizens. Am I missing the point here?"

Cops doing their jobs: So you wrote five pages of literary B.S. about how police are supposedly harassing black bicycle riders over their registrations ("Biking While Black," Kyle Swenson, October 31)? But basically you're accusing the cops of enforcing a law they are sworn to enforce at the request of the area's law-abiding citizens. Am I missing the point here? This paper would have been put to better use filled with just the usual head-shop, pain-clinic, strip-joint, and masseuse advertisements without any stories to go with them. America

Don't talk to police: In Texas, the cops' excuse is always, "I saw your car swerving!" Do not talk to the police. Be nice, give them identification, and that is all you have to say. If they keep questioning you (which they will), tell them you are so shaken up that you cannot think clearly and need to speak with an attorney! Do not talk to them, because everything you say can and will be used against you. They do not have to read you a Miranda warning to use whatever you say against you — not for you but against you. They are not there to serve you but to arrest you. They can lie, torture, and use whatever means they want to extract a confession or get you to say something they can turn and twist to get a conviction. The scales of justice are not equal; just look at the rich and famous and how they get handled with kid gloves. Don't believe me, go on YouTube and spend the day looking at people that this has happened to. tenmen

Put away the race card: This is truly getting out of hand. You can't do or say anything to a black person these days without them calling out the race card. Really? We are in 2013 with a black president. Get over it. Maybe you got stopped because you looked like you were up to no good. It's not only about race, and I'm tired of having to walk on eggshells because anything you do or say to a black person makes you a racist. hannha

An impossible task: Police say they're just enforcing the registration rules, but I defy anyone to try to register their bike in Fort Lauderdale. I saw a link in the comments about an online Broward County registration system. But I'm talking about the local Fort Lauderdale registration. I have been stopped multiple times (even with a registered bike) but had to spend multiple hours and multiple days attempting to register my bikes because (1) the police don't know how or where to register bikes, (2) any information about location and hours to register bikes is obscure and likely inaccurate, and (3) no one answers the door at the bike registration offices, even at the hours posted on the door of the office (the location of which has changed twice since I registered my bikes). gary

Dumb laws: Cops do whatever they want, especially when we pass laws to encourage it. There are far too many laws restricting our freedom now, and all you ever hear is, "There ought to be a law for that!" Where does it stop? Normal people have no idea what goes on behind police station doors and in courtrooms. They're used as a place for legal shakedowns. Register a bicycle? Come on. kcguitarplayer

Obviously targeting black riders: This bike registration rule is just an idiotic ordinance. If it is not targeting certain groups, then how come every place that sells bikes doesn't automatically register those bikes? Sorry, but this sounds more than a little bit fishy. smdrpepper


Saving the Glades

Always exploiting Native Americans: The tale of the Miccosukee's battle to save the Everglades ("Still at War," Deirdra Funcheon, October 31) is the same old story of broken promises upon broken promises. This is the history of Native Americans in their interactions with whites from the time Columbus set foot in the New World. Now the continued exploitation of the Everglades for profit makes the broken promises of the feds everybody's problem. gumsandals


El Duque's Rip-Off

Robbing Hialeah taxpayers: So thanks to Orlando "El Duque" Hernandez and his new city-supported baseball program ("Bring the Heat," Michael E. Miller, October 31), a park that had been open to the public now is a private facility? That's just Hialeah as usual. The good thing is that since it's Hialeah, all that's required is a bolt cutter to get into the fields and you can go play to your heart's content. adolfojherrera

 
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