Donald Baxter writes:
Forgive me if this is common knowledge, but a cyclist was arrested at Critical Mass Friday before last. "Interference with official acts" is the charge and I suspect it's motivated by the Iowa City police wanting to make an example of a rider. Clearly there are traffic violations by some cyclists on this ride (including me) but drivers don't get taken to jail for traffic violations--at least not minor ones.
When the cyclist went to his arraignment the following Saturday he was told he would not be provided representation if he pleaded "not guilty." The rider is pleading not guilty and will ask for a jury trial. He has secured pro-bono representation by an Iowa City attorney. I don't really want to name names at this point because this person is not completely sure how public he wants to be. I think he's afraid that if he's too public that additonal charges might be filed. The charge, if convicted, could carry a $500 fine and up to a 30 day jail term. Is this how we think Johnson County's shortage of jail cells should be used?
If you've ever thought you wanted to come on a Critical Mass ride before, July's ride is the time to come. I'd love to see our ranks break 100 if only to teach the ICPL that we won't be intimidated. Cyclists are not blocking traffic--we ARE traffic.
And the last Socialist mayor of Milwaukee has died, no doubt causing Alice Cooper great distress.