Police can only handcuff you in two instances…

…and as far as I know, jaywalking, taking photographs, or riding without a bicycle license are not among them.

Earlier today, Sean wrote about the cyclists who were handcuffed during a Saturday night ride. Per Zach Behrens at LAist, “the LAPD is allowed to handcuff detainees in two situations.”

One is when officers are responding to a call with weapons. The other is at an officer’s discretion, based on how cooperative a person is or if they think the situation could turn violent. “Everything is done is to keep it from escalating to the next level,” explained Officer Sam Park, noting that handcuffs can be used in any situation including minor ones like traffic stops and jaywalking. “You never really know who you’re dealing with on the street.”

Alas, one can only hope that our well trained men in blue found these cyclists to be a threat, and weren’t simply abusing their authority and trying to keep anyone from documenting the situation. Or possibly just have it out for cyclists.

Zach adds:

The only time I’ve observed a cyclist’s attitude and actions before he was arrested, cuffed and searched (bag included) was during a bicycle ride in the Valley. Officers picked him out of the crowd for earlier blocking an intersection, a method called corking to allow a group to continue to ride through a light, red or green, while blocking cross traffic. He was not acting out of hand, in fact, they snuck up on him from behind as he was standing with his bike at his side and put him in cuffs swiftly…


…I also came upon a cyclists in hand cuffs in Sherman Oaks for not having a light at night. He was cited and released. The big concern here is that 90% of the time, I hear about minor bicycling infractions and handcuffs being used in the same incident.

7 thoughts on “Police can only handcuff you in two instances…”

  1. I’ve been handcuffed for jaywalking, plus they sent about 3 undercover cars and some normal cop cars. I think they thought I was someone else. Harassment is their game, many of us already know that.

  2. Looks like bicyclists are on a voyage of discovery wherein they find out what it’s like to be a pedestrian in Los Angeles.

    As soon as you’re not in a car you’re fair game.

  3. Its unfuckingbelievable. Cuffing when there is no flight risk, weapons etc., is just barbaric. How exactly have we devolved to this point?

  4. Y’know, well-armed sadists with a moral conviction that “if they do it, it’s the law” can (and do) just about anything. If we ever saw charges and convictions against cops who blatantly abuse the law, we would quickly see a lot less of this thuggery. Instead, about all we ever see are more stories about the heroic exposure to danger cops face in the line of duty… in reality, injury and death are far less common in cop’s line of work than in a huge number of other professions never so subject to media demagoguery (agricultural, construction, mining, etc… all many, many times more dangerous to workers).

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