The Oregonian reports that a northeast Portland man who was tackled off his bike, roughed-up and arrested in 2015 has filed a $475,000 lawsuit against the City of Portland.
An attorney for 23-year-old Anthony James Allen Jr. told The Oregonian her client was arrested without cause simply because he was black. Allen was cycling home from work when the police first made contact with him and began questioning him about an unrelated incident. Here’s more from Allen’s attorney as reported in The Oregonian:
“You need reasonable suspicion,” Albies said. “It can’t just be because ‘I feel like it.’ It can’t just be because ‘You’re black and I want you to do what I want you to do.’ … If that was me on my bike … there’s no way they would have done that. I’m a white woman.”
The lawsuit filed Wednesday (PDF) says that Allen was profiled due to his race. Police were in Allen’s neighborhood because of a shooting that had occurred. Here’s what happened when Allen rolled up on his bike (from the lawsuit):
Once on his street, Allen approached his home on bike with grocery bags in hand. PPB Officer Colby Marrs appeared suddenly out of the shadows and yelled at Allen and his cousin to stop… Allen told Marrs that he had just gotten off work and was going home, and pointed to his house about two or three doors down. Marrs said “not if I have questions for you.” Allen explained that he had just spoken to two other officers who told him to go home. Marrs then told Allen that he was not going home, and that when “an officer tells you to stop, you fucking stop.” Allen, put off by this disrespectful behavior he did not deserve, said that he did not have anything to say to Marrs, and continued on his way home.
Instead of letting Allen go home, Marrs yelled at Allen and grabbed his shoulder. Marrs put his hand on his gun and called for backup, ordering Allen to the side of the street. As Allen attempted to comply with Marrs’ order by bringing his bike over to the curb and telling Marrs he was doing so, Marrs attacked Allen. Marrs grabbed Allen, threw him off his bike on to the ground, and forcefully leaned his knee into Allen’s neck and shoulders, handcuffing him. Allen’s groceries spilled out on the ground, and his bike hit his shins, causing pain and bleeding.
Allen was acquitted by a jury three months later. His lawyers say the Police Bureau failed to adequately train its officers on racial profiling and made a false arrest that caused Allen physical and mental suffering.
News of this lawsuit broke on the same that that the Portland Bureau of Transportation hosted a lunchtime discussion session titled, Vision Zero and the Equity Lens. One of the major currents of that discussion is how to create safe street environments while making sure enforcement does not have an unequal impact on people of color and in designated “community of concern.” Increased police enforcement used to be considered a pillar of safe streets programs; but the City of Portland’s Vision Zero Action Plan was adopted with specific language that prevents increased enforcement. The reason? Fears of racial profiling similar to what happened to Mr. Allen.
Read more coverage of this story from The Oregonian.
— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and email@example.com
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When a police officer tells you to stop–you have to stop.
If you don’t stop tho it isn’t reason enough for an officer to grab their gun or tackle someone to the ground. People who point to what the victim did wrong in these situations totally ignore the fact that there’s such a thing as proportional response.
The officer was responding to a shooting. He told a person to stop – they did not. Why wouldn’t an officer be prepared to draw his gun? All it states is that he put his hand on his gun – not that he drew it.
Anyways – I am very impressed that Allen was able to ride his bike at night with grocery bags in his hands while also having a conversation with a police officer.
Maybe with the settlement money he’ll be able to get a basket for his bike. It’ll make riding home with those groceries a lot easier. And yes, the officer responded to a shooting, but this kid wasn’t the shooter, was he? If he hadn’t been black they would not have responded this way.
I doubt Mr. Allen had any knowledge of that. For him, there was an agitated officer yelling at him and he had no idea why. Perhaps if the officer stated why he was detaining Mr Allen, Mr Allen might have been more receptive.
We only have one side of the story here though. So we don’t definitely know what was said.
I’m not saying who was right/wrong, but we don’t have all the information.
And then recite “am I being detained; am I free to go” ad nauseam until they are so annoyed that they let you go.
Or until they attack you, brutalize you, and/or kill you.
That is such a disgusting excuse for the unwarranted brutality this person endured.
This is the danger of the “BLM” mentality. And it’s going to get people hurt or killed.
There’s a BLM mentality? What’s that?
There sure is. F the police and I don’t have to comply with authority. Keep putting that poison in young people’s minds and there will be more people getting killed.
Lick those boots.
What makes a police officer? It should be conduct, not costume.
Replica police costumes can be easily purchased by private citizens.
Thanks to persistent abuse of power and violations of citizens rights, in 2017 when someone in a police costume is doing whack shiz it is absurd for a minority male to assume they are an actual police officer or are acting within their scope of authority.
The officers he spoke with initially told him to go home and he was complying. At some point the man has to make a decision for himself, not just stumble around doing whatever any person in a cop costume tells him to do, hoping he isn’t shot in the back with his hands up.
Caucasians have no grounds to comment on what Mr. Allen should or should not do in such a situation. Interactions with police are clearly life and death situations for minorities, regardless of guilt.
You’re assuming they can just comply and sort out the issues later; so many documented murders of minorities by police make it clear that is not the case.
Philando Castile, Terence Crutcher, the list goes on.
This can of worms will get convoluted so quickly here.
My race does not in any way void my opinion to speak on ones conduct with police no matter what their color.
I lived in the crack capital of the mid south in the 1980s. My actions as a social deviant then would most certainly get me shot in today’s world.
I speak to my child every single day on how to behave when and if a cop enters their reality.
Just like D.L. Hugely, I have that talk.
I know that talk is quite different for them.
My biggest hope is that my child will not be half as stupid as I was.
In no way am I going to cast aspersions on this young man here, and clearly the case he brought was won. I will read more about it as it comes to light.
But it seems some justice prevailed.
I grow so weary that my voice is invalid in other peoples opinions because of my color.
I’ve filed over 27 police harassment charges in my life.
I’ve had cops put guns to my head, I’ve seen friends brutally beaten, I’ve had my face pan seared on the hood of a roller in 110* weather by a black cop. I had my skull split open by a Latino cop. One time an older black cop kept two vicious rookie white cops from having their way with me.
The list goes on…..By all accounts I could have been killed too.
All this in the 1980s.
Today my white ass would be shot. Dead.
I’m sorry there is injustice. Race shouldn’t be an issue, but at times it rears it’s ugly head, and I should be able to speak about it either way.
I hope this is somewhat understandable to you.
I’m not trying to be inflammatory.
I’m not really sure where you think people are impersonating police often enough that this a real threat, but I’m open minded enough to investigate it. That aspect of you comment seems far fetched.
I see he wasn’t awarded the suit yet… The headline lead me to believe the award was given. I hope he wins, if in fact he was wronged.
screw the PPB, they are a bunch of idiots when it comes to incidents like this.
Screw the general public, they are a bunch of idiots when it comes to incidents like this (but they sure are fast to judge based on a one-sided account of what happened).
your brush is too broad. it would be like painting all cyclists the same based on the selfish actions of a few.
Which is somehow only a problem when it’s the subject of a straw man argument..
Held until 4 a.m. and put through a jury trial– none of it should have happened. Best wishes for this lawsuit.
Only 475,000? Should be at least 4,750,000.
“…Police had been scouring the neighborhood for a black man suspected in a shooting when they came upon Anthony James Allen Jr., said his attorney, Ashlee Albies.
Police refused to answer Allen’s questions about why they were stopping him, she said Thursday.
“You need reasonable suspicion,” Albies said. “It can’t just be because ‘I feel like it.’ It can’t just be because ‘You’re black and I want you to do what I want you to do.’ … If that was me on my bike … there’s no way they would have done that. I’m a white woman.” …” oregonian
By the Oregonian story’s report, the police were looking for black man, which by his picture, Anthony James Allen Jr seems to be. His attorney on the other hand, Ashlee Albies, says she’s a white woman. She doesn’t meet even the basic description of the person the police were looking for.
Some people might feel the police were rough with Allen Jr, though knowing that police were looking for a suspected shooter, which Allen does seem to have fit the basic description of, maybe this would moderate their view as to the degree of handling that was justified. When police officer Colby Marrs yelled at Allen to stop, did he stop? Can’t tell from the O story or the lawsuit. I don’t want to say that Allen just kept walking on after he was asked to stop, but he might have. Doing so could have intensified the suspicion of him by the officer.
The cops weren’t just looking for some dude wandering around drunk, peeing in the street. They were looking for someone that may have been a murderer. Sounds as though Allen, claimed to have already talked to a couple officers, may have known who the cops were looking for. Sure it’s annoying to have stop, again, to talk, again, with cops looking for someone whose description Allen happened to meet, but why not just do that? Stop, answer the cops questions, show him i.d., let him call up on his radio and confirm with the other officers what Allen said. I hope this turns out well for Allen.
See what us white guys respond with when cops stop us because we’re 5′ 11″ and look 25 – 40 years old.
There is something strange about this case. The Multnomah County DA actually filed a misdemeanor charge against Allen and took it all the way to trial. Based on the events as described in this post, it is hard to understand why the DA would do that. The DA declines to prosecute arrested persons all the time, and drops filed cases too. They are shorthanded, and prosecutors don’t usually like to take pointless little losing cases to trial.
Either there are additional facts not stated in the post, or the DA made an unusual decision. The version of the facts stayed in the post appears to be taken entirely from Allen’s lawyer, so it is basically an advertisement for the lawsuit.
The relevance of this story to a bicycling blog puzzles me. Allen was on a bike but there’s no reason to think that his bike had any bearing on what happened.
Well, bike. This is a bike blog, a bike was involved. A person was thrown off their bike by a cop. Also, racial equity and the actions of public officials are a topic of this blog (unfortunate necessity).
Sure the cop(s) were wound up. But, in my work, the more the s*** is in the fan, the more careful you have to be. It’s not a good time to assume things about black people because it turns out there is more than one in this town? Also, grocery bags. Duh.
It should have been sufficient for Mr. Allen to say “I’m not a shooter, I’m a person going to my house with my groceries, see?” But this is copland until the damage awards reach a point of unaffordability that all can recognize. The actions of the DA’s office are inexplicable. Instead of knee-jerk backing the cop, they should have offered the guy a new bike or something. And groveled.
Biking while black.
He was wearing shoes and carrying food, so the story should be in footwear blogs and foodie blogs too, then?
I get that racial profiling and police misconduct are very important issues. That also means republishing an Oregonian story on the topic is effective clickbait for any blog.
On the DA’s decision to prosecute: as I said, that is strange. Either something is missing in the version of facts being promoted by Allen’s lawyer (who has a financial interest in the case) or this is also a story about prosecutorial misjudgment.
I disagree with you and your insinuation that this was published here for clickbait is not right, in my opinion.
I published this because it intersects with many important bicycling and transportation-related issues. One reason people of color don’t bike is precisely because of how much more vulnerable it makes them (who are already more vulnerable than white people) to harassment by the police. Look up “biking while black” and you’ll find some very recent research and headlines into the topic.
I also wanted BP readers to be aware of this story because it seems to fit a long pattern at the PPB of treating bicycle users poorly simply because they are on a bicycle. IMO Mr. Allen was the victim of a one-two punch: First, he was profiled because of the color of his skin; second, because he was on a bicycle. I have covered, heard about, and personally experienced bad treatment by police for no other reason than because of bicycle use. Keep in mind it wasn’t many years ago that the PPB went undercover to infiltrate Critical Mass in this town because they believed it was an “anarchist” plot.
Yes who could forget that little bit of racism displayed here by BP readers who singled out an Asian man because he just didn’t seem to fit our tidy little demographic.
Thanks for reminding me about that Lester. I won’t likely ever forget that episode.
“…Were to cops stopping every passing car with a black male in it? I think not. Operating a bike you are more exposed and more vulnerable. Why should Allen be any more prone to being stopped than anyone else simply because he was more available to the remote voice control of the officer? …” lascurettes
Going by info in this story and the lawsuit excerpt, Allen was stopped apparently because he met the description of a shooting suspect. The lawsuit suggests the cop, Marrs, was searching the neighborhood on foot rather than in a car, so no mention of other officers on the call, and who it was driving they may have been stopping.
Allen’s lawsuit claims that Marrs shouted out to Allen a simple request: “Stop!”. Why does Allen’s lawsuit not clearly state, (at least in the excerpt included in this story, because I’ve not seen the full lawsuit.), whether or not he complied with the officer’s order, and stopped?
How recent to the shooting, or reported shooting, was the search that Marr’s was participating in? If a shooting had happened shortly before the search commenced, or even longer, and there was a thought that a person involved in the shooting and walking around with a gun, could be in the neighborhood representing a threat to someone else, than certainly the top priority would be to find that person before they brought harm upon additional people.
“…It should have been sufficient for Mr. Allen to say “I’m not a shooter, I’m a person going to my house with my groceries, see?” …” x
Why do you think Allen saying that to officer Marrs, should have been sufficient? Do you think Marrs knew who Allen was before calling out to him to “Stop” ? I get the impression from the lawsuit description of the incident, that Marrs had no idea who the person he initially saw, was, other than he met the general description of a suspected shooter.
How does Marrs know without questioning Allen, and maybe checking his bags and whatnot, who the heck this guy he asked to stop, actually is? Maybe a requirement for cops today, should be that they’re clairvoyant or have ESP, so they know exactly from a distance who they’re seeing so they won’t have to bother people coming home from getting groceries. .
I came here to learn about bikes, not the systematic exploitation of black and brown bodies for capitalistic gain! /s
The other day I was musing to my partner, instead of adopting a kid can I just run a summer camp where I teach kids to ride bikes and how recognize structural inequality? I mean, those go great together. Glad I’m not alone in thinking so. 🙂
Do we think he would have been treated differently if on foot or in a car?
No. He would have been treated differently if he was white, though.
Thanks for not being afraid to point out the obvious. Clearly he was targeted because he was black. If a white person had been involved in a shooting they wouldn’t go harassing the first white person on a bike they see, especially if they’ve got their groceries. So ridiculous.
‘Suspect is a white male. Harass every white male in the area.’
I think it’s quite unusual for a cop on foot to pull over a car driving by. If Allen gets a six-figure settlement, I wonder if he might not find driving a car an attractive choice.
Maybe, but it wouldn’t change his situation that much. “Driving while black” gets just as much police harassment nationwide as “biking while black” or “walking while black”, and he probably grew up knowing this.
Yes I do. Police — as is the general public and our society — has a strong bias around bicycle users. Bicycle users are systemically discriminated against for no other reason than the fact that they are using a bicycle.
I’m convinced that part of the reason this is true is that traffic cops spend at least 50% of their time on the job looking through a windshield.
This is what I wonder about. I feel the vulnerability of being on a bike, even to the point of being a little extra nervous when I ride past cops—but only because I wonder whether I’m doing everything perfectly by their standards, and whether I might get some kind of bogus citation. But (and I can only imagine, since I would likely not ever be taken for a person of color), I wonder how amplified the “V” in “VRU” becomes when one is a non-white person on a bike. The threats can seemingly come from multiple spaces, not just errant MV operators. It isn’t too difficult to see how incidents like this one can keep those with any kind of choice from using a bike for transportation.
Most people get a little extra nervous when driving by a police officer too.
Yes, but I know how much slack drivers usually are given. Enforcement of laws against bicyclists seems often much more capricious. For example, what if I am waiting in a left turn lane when a cop pulls up behind me? What if the street I am turning onto has two lanes each direction and I make a [technically] improper left turn by swinging all the way over to the bike lane after turning? What if there are right-turning cars ahead of me and I move out of a bike lane to pass them on the left, and a cop comes up behind me while I’m doing so? In my car, I know I’m not going to get busted for letting my tires roll across a bike lane line, or for going 5 over the speed limit, but what if, while on my bike, I move out of a bike lane, or get caught doing 5 under the speed limit while otherwise taking the lane? My anxiety comes from possibly encountering a cop that does not agree with my interpretation of the rather vague rules covering use of lanes on a bike.
I don’t know, I have been pulled over twice for blatantly running red lights on my bike (no one at the intersections in the early AM.) The cops were behind me far enough both times that I did not see them.
I got a warning both times and both times I frankly admitted that I rode through them because there were no cars around.
I have been treated far worse being pulled over in a car.
I surely would have been given tickets for running the lights had I been in a car.
“…what if I am waiting in a left turn lane when a cop pulls up behind me?…”
What about it? Wait for the light to change, or a break in traffic…signal and make the left turn.
“…What if the street I am turning onto has two lanes each direction and I make a [technically] improper left turn by swinging all the way over to the bike lane after turning? …” el bic
Assuming you signaled for the left turn as you’re proceeding through it onto the street you’re turning on to, make a transition from the left turn signal to a right turn signal and move across the two main lanes and over into the bike lane. You’ll most likely be extended latitude for not signaling exactly 100′ in advance for each lane transition.
“… What if there are right-turning cars ahead of me and I move out of a bike lane to pass them on the left, and a cop comes up behind me while I’m doing so?…” el bic
I’m kind of guessing here, but am thinking that if you at least do basic precaution such as looking to the rear for traffic, and displaying some conspicuously visible hand signals for turning before you start swinging around the right turning cars, you’re likely to be ok with any officer that might be nearby. Avoiding delays in traffic presented by a bunch of people backed up waiting to make right turns, is a desirable thing to do, but also has a potential for serious risk: pulling out and then having some speeding vehicle come up fast. So, checking for traffic and signaling is critically important, I think, in such a situation.
“… In my car, I know I’m not going to get busted for letting my tires roll across a bike lane line, or for going 5 over the speed limit, but what if, while on my bike, I move out of a bike lane, or get caught doing 5 under the speed limit while otherwise taking the lane? …” el bic
I think maybe you worry too much when you’re riding, bic. As long as you’re making a visible effort to ride safe and responsibly without being a total goof, doing some kind of anti-social, antagonistic or just plain stupid thing, the cops are likely to search much farther and wider for more important things to do than spend time on the side of the road with some guy on a bicycle. By the way…a occasional smile, a wave, or a thumbs up when you pass a cop on the road, is not a bad idea.
Enforcement of traffic laws against cyclists is so rare, that when it happens it feels capricious.
dwk, do you still run red lights?
Drivers can get cops being just as stickler-y with the rules too. My wife got a ticket in our car for exactly what you are talking about (turning improperly into the right of two lanes).
Like anything it seems to somewhat depend on the cop (which is its own problem).
“Assuming you signaled for the left turn as you’re proceeding through it onto the street you’re turning on to, make a transition from the left turn signal to a right turn signal and move across the two main lanes and over into the bike lane. You’ll most likely be extended latitude for not signaling exactly 100′ in advance for each lane transition.”
Heh. This, I will say, never works when there are cars behind me that are also turning left. Drivers instinctively will overtake me mid-turn, and I do not want them swinging around to my right when my destination is the far right lane (bike lane). If I turned “properly” into the near lane, as I would in my car, it would then create unnecessary friction/risk in attempting to subsequently move two lanes over while drivers were zipping around me on my right. It is another example of legal != safe.
Otherwise, yes, I know how to properly perform the maneuvers I listed—hand signals included—and I perform them regularly with complete confidence that I am doing the safest, and usually legal thing. However, I have seen enough reactions to these and similar maneuvers by regular drivers (e.g., pulling up to a stop sign in the oncoming lane next to me if I am stopped in The Lane, or passing me in a residential zone when I am going at or above the speed limit), that I know there are people who don’t believe I ought to be doing what I am doing. I know there is a huge degree of variance when it comes to understanding of laws by police (witness the recent training class written about by Naomi Fast, in which the audience was told that riding on the sidewalk is illegal if there is a bike lane). All it takes is a cop with misunderstandings of the law, who doesn’t think I ought be doing what I am doing, and I’ve got a ticket as my reward for operating safely and legally.
Admittedly, my examples are somewhat contrived, and John Liu has a point about rarity feeling like capriciousness, although on the rare occasions that I hear about, it seems that the laws that were chosen to be enforced against bicyclists have the least to do with safety, and are more aimed at punishment for “holding up traffic”, or “being in the way”.
Regardless, this whole side-thread is a derailment of my original point that no matter how much “fear” of cops I might have while riding my bike, it must be amplified n times for anyone who isn’t a privileged white fella like me. Although you and I might feel we can have confidence that “…the cops are likely to search much farther and wider for more important things to do than spend time on the side of the road with some [white] guy on a bicycle”, that confidence can’t necessarily be shared by everyone.
“dwk, do you still run red lights?”
Yes I do. If it is safe and there are no cars around.
That’s a curious response to being warned twice.
Do you stop at lights at 6 in the morning with zero traffic around?
I think that is more curious.
Why would you?
Because the law compels me to. And because, like it or not, people associate ME with ALL CYCLISTS. And because you never know who’s watching. I leave for work at 5am, and there are lots of people around then.
So you also come to a FULL STOP at every stop sign?
“And because, like it or not, people associate ME with ALL CYCLISTS.”
That is a ridiculous burden you are bearing.
Yep. If you exhibit behavior that conforms to someone’s stereotype of you, then that just reaffirms their believe that all members of your group are like that. I for one don’t really care about being a model representative of my various groups, but that still doesn’t mean I condone stereotyping.
“Do you stop at lights at 6 in the morning with zero traffic around?
I think that is more curious.
Why would you?” dwk
At 6 in the morning, if you saw a cop, parked in their car or in motion in the area of a traffic control device, shortly before you rolled up to a stop light, or stop sign, would you stop? It seems some people likely wouldn’t, for various reasons. It can be kind of interesting to think of reasons they wouldn’t stop:
‘Hey, it’s 6am…not traffic, why should a cop worry about me not stopping at the light?’.
Or, because of there being little to no traffic, or they’re tired from lack of sleep, or being stressed out about something, or drunk, etc, not particularly fit to drive… they’re not really watching their surroundings. So, ‘bink!’, they ride right by the cop that’s parked at the curb near the intersection, or discreetly in the nearby parking lot, watching for anything suspicious.
When the early bird on a bike rolls through the red traffic control device without stopping, that’s a pretext for the cop to stop the road user. ‘Good morning…are you a big hurry? I noticed you failed to stop at that stop light back there. Can I see your identification?’.
Yesterday as I was riding in on Couch, I stopped at a red light and there was a car stopped across from me. A cyclist behind that car, squeezed around the car and went through the red light. I’m sorry, but maybe I’m not evolved enough to just not give a **** like that.
“A cyclist behind that car, squeezed around the car and went through the red light.”
Because that is exactly the same as running a light or stop sign with no traffic around….
The reason the cops did not give me a ticket is because they realize that stopping for a light in early morning darkness with NO other cars around is not really a big deal.
Otherwise I would have got a ticket.
You seem more concerned with other cyclists behavior than the police do.
No other cars around….except two police cars.
“You seem more concerned with other cyclists behavior than the police do.”
Since they pulled you over, twice, I assume that they do have some concerns regarding your behavior. It’s not like I’m shouting at people on bikes when they do this, I just feel embarrassed for them.
Incidentally, I’m more concerned with other drivers’ behavior than the police are too. Around here that seems to be a good thing.
“… I know there is a huge degree of variance when it comes to understanding of laws by police (witness the recent training class written about by Naomi Fast, in which the audience was told that riding on the sidewalk is illegal if there is a bike lane). …” el bic
With all due respect to bikeportland’s westside correspondent, the story written did not say the audience was told that riding on the sidewalk is illegal if there is a bike lane nearby. At least that’s my impression from having read the story, and reading her response to comments I posted to it about that very point.
Next item: …the left turn onto multiple lanes signaling thing. Works for me, I’ll say almost every time, though it’s tricky, requires some co-ordination which some people, like for example, elementary school kids, don’t have. I wouldn’t recommend it for them. I’ll give you a specific street example:
Beaverton…Watson Ave just north of Canyon Rd (both multiple lanes…one direction for Watson, both directions for Canyon.). Typically, returning home from the west on Millikan Way, I turn onto Watson and transition left across that streets three lanes to either the middle or the furthest left lane. Usually have to wait for the light with motor vehicles both ahead and behind. So we wait. As soon as the light changes, I’ve got my arm up for the signal…down while I get the bike slowly rolling…then up again so I’m signaling left as I enter the intersection.
Just as I’ve completed the turn but before I’ve actually ridden any significant distance on Canyon, I switch arms and use the right arm to indicate moving from Canyon’s left lane to the right lane. Next: get off Canyon asap, which is easily done by continuing to signal right for a turn on West St past bob lanphere hondaland…not to be confused with (minor joke alert.)… ‘honalee’.
By the way, if the description hasn’t made it clear already, this is some serious traffic. Lots of vehicles using the road, mostly motor vehicles with the occasional person biking. I’ve never had a problem with other road users in making that turn with the bike.
Last item: …the DWB/BWB phenomena: I don’t doubt it has happened, and continues to happen. I know it’s a problem. From the info supplied in the two stories…bikeportland’s and the O’s, plus the lawsuit excerpt, I’m just skeptical this is what Allen experienced. I mean…c’mon…all Allen had to do, annoying though it probably was for him, was to be a little bit sensitive to the word about a shooter being around somewhere in his neighborhood…and when the cop searching around in the shadows, called out to Allen to ‘Stop’, he should have stopped, and responded politely, with respect. If he responded with some ad lib/back talk, which by the stories and lawsuit, it sounds as though he may have…that was an invitation for trouble.
I’m familiar with the area in your example; it was part of my route to work for years. If your target destination is southbound on West St., then turning from anything other than the middle lane of Watson is a bad idea. This turn from Watson onto Canyon has a destination lane for every turn lane, leaving no ambiguity as to where folks should go. You can start from the center lane of Watson and perfectly legally turn into the far right lane of Canyon. Also, someone who started out directly behind you isn’t likely to switch lanes and swing around mid-turn when there is an unambiguous destination lane and the threat of other cars they could run into.
My specific example is turning from a single left-or-straight lane (I suppose I didn’t make that clear before) onto a two-way street with two travel lanes each direction (from SB 153rd onto EB Cornell). That means that turning vehicle operators have a choice of lanes to turn into, and they—in my experience—will consistently choose whatever lane I appear not to be turning into and will overtake me mid-turn. Since that is what 99% of drivers will do, I would just rather offer them a lane that I don’t subsequently need to cross to do it. Attempting a “proper” left turn in my situation would only create unnecessary confusion and risk. The other issue with this location is that the left turn signal will remain green for about 3 seconds, on the assumption that everyone has 200 hp to work with, so I don’t have time for wobbly one-handed starts and signals—I’m standing on the pedals until I get through.
Maybe I can strive to never say “never”, and we can both acknowledge that different situations require different tactics. I think we will probably always disagree on legal==safe in all situations, so I agree to disagree.
Um, yeah. I turn left out of the Sunset Transit Center onto Barnes and head straight for the bike lane. No way am I going to get stuck in left lane on Barnes while a column of cars guns it past me on the right.
“…left out of the Sunset Transit Center onto Barnes…”
This is another one I do every day I ride, and may I just say, “boy howdy”.
You may be pleased to know that I’ve reported the bike lanes to the transit center to Tri Met for cleaning. They need to be cleaned out every 3-5 months or they become completely worthless.
Middle lane of Watson is best for a left on Canyon and then a right on West, but good signaling can make either work. I’ve sometimes used the left lane if traffic is backed up in the middle lane, with few vehicles waiting in the left lane.
Not well familiar with the quirks of 153rd and Cornell.
“…Police — as is the general public and our society — has a strong bias around bicycle users. Bicycle users are systemically discriminated against for no other reason than the fact that they are using a bicycle.” maus
That’s your opinion, not borne out or supported by facts in your comment. What incidents and examples you’re basing your opinion on is difficult to say since you’re not specifying. About this particular incident, The O in a story which you provided a link to in your story here, reported:
“…Police had been scouring the neighborhood for a black man suspected in a shooting when they came upon Anthony James Allen Jr., said his attorney, Ashlee Albies. …” oregonian
No mention that the black man they were looking for, had a bicycle with him, or was riding one, or that Allen having a bike that he was using to haul groceries, had anything to do with his being ordered to stop by officer Marrs.
Do some people in the Metro area, Portland, Beaverton and so on, have a bias against people biking? Most likely. Can that perception towards people biking be said of the general public? Incorrectly so, I’d say, but yes.
As the lawsuit proceeds, I hope to hear more as to whether Allen having had a bike had anything to do with his having been stopped, or whether the suspected shooter was reported as having been using a bike around the time of the shooting….that is, if there was a shooting.
Jonathan, this comment comes off as very short-sighted. While I agree with your comment about the treatment of bicycle users, I think the fact that the victim is black has far more bearing on the incident than the fact that he was riding a bicycle.
Harassment of people of color on bikes is not a myth, John.
“…The Multnomah County DA actually filed a misdemeanor charge against Allen and took it all the way to trial. Based on the events as described in this post, it is hard to understand why the DA would do that. The DA declines to prosecute arrested persons all the time, and drops filed cases too. They are shorthanded, and prosecutors don’t usually like to take pointless little losing cases to trial.
Either there are additional facts not stated in the post, or the DA made an unusual decision. The version of the facts stayed in the post appears to be taken entirely from Allen’s lawyer, so it is basically an advertisement for the lawsuit. …” john liu
Did you run across what was the misdemeanor charge against Allen? Apparently, it wasn’t reported, or it missed my attention. The DA has to at least think it has solid grounds for a case in order to proceed. Maybe it wasn’t until late into the proceedings that the DA concluded it was a losing proposition.
Any word yet that Allen’s lawsuit will be approved to go to court? I wonder how sharp his lawyer is, whether she has thoroughly examined as many aspects of the incident as could be, and still feels there really is a case here.
Let’s not let this devolve into “white people defending cops” thread. Let’s see this for what it is.
“white people defending cops”
The cops actions were about as racist as a 29er