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A recent Tampa Bay Times expose revealed that Tampa police write more bike tickets than the combined cities surrounding it combined. Those tickets are for things including not using lights at night, riding close to the curb and keeping hands on handlebars.

Not surprisingly, eighty percent of those stopped are African American or black. Apparently the police are racially profiling blacks on bikes – some as young as three years old — because they claim to be super gung ho about bike safety.

Or maybe because tickets – as places like Ferguson, Missouri have shown us – are a great source of revenue for municipalities. Cities continue to reap money from black and brown people through the police departments there.

The ACLU, which has sued other cities around this very issue reports:

The Tampa Bay Times reviewed 12 years of data on civil traffic citations in Hillsborough County, Florida, and discovered that the Tampa Police Department issues an astronomically high number of bike tickets, overwhelmingly to Blacks. From 20o3 to 2015, Tampa police wrote more than 10,000 bike tickets and issued 79 percent of them to Blacks — even though Blacks comprise only 26 percent of the Tampa population.

In the past three years, Tampa police wrote more bike tickets than the combined total number of tickets issued in four of the five largest Florida cities. Those targeted, the paper found, are concentrated in Tampa’s poor Black communities.

Equally disturbing is the conduct that police are choosing to sanction, including the ticketing of children. ACLU review of the data shows that in 2014, Tampa police issued 70 tickets for “bike riding w/no hands” — all but three went to Blacks. During the 12-year period studied, at least 142 bike tickets were issued to kids aged 15 and under, including children as young as three. All but 9 of these children are Black or Hispanic.

Not only are children being stopped and ticketed, but the police want older folks to have receipts for their bikes (ostensibly to prove they are not stolen).

The paper reports that Alphonso Lee King was stopped by police and had his bicycle confiscated because the 56-year-old could not provide a receipt to prove the bike was his. The Tampa Bay Times says that these hese tickets can have dire repercussions including driver’s license suspensions and reports to collection agencies when people — even children as young as 11 years old — cannot afford to pay.

According to the ACLU, the outgoing police chief says that bike tickets are issued to people allegedly involved in criminal activity but the Tampa Bay Times’ finds that only 20 percent of the adults ticketed in 2014 were arrested for criminal activity  in the course of the bike stop.

Which means that 80% of those stopped were innocent – the same 80-90% innocent stopped for the few guilty in other Stop and Frisk cities like New York.

Even today, the ACLU reports that Tampa is not alone in reports that police are profiling Black kids on bicycles. Reports out of Fort LauderdaleBoston  and Michigan also suggest a problem.

The Tampa Police Department has agreed to let Department of Justice Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) review its program. But the ACLU wants a definitive review that includes an investigation into racial profiling and civil rights violations as well as meeting with rights groups and faith leaders to discuss bicycle enforcement and reforms to address racial disparities in policing.

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ACLU: Tampa Police Harrass Black Men, Women And Children On Bikes was originally published on

18 thoughts on “ACLU: Tampa Police Harrass Black Men, Women And Children On Bikes

    • Richard Jones on said:

      Why do you people argue with these idiots about race in America. Those people who think that whites are better than black are screwed up in the head. Blacks are no better than whites, there are great white people and great black people. I’m glad to know both. If you feed these cowards who hide behind their computer, and make commits, they will eat all day long. Ask any of those cowards to say that to your face, they will melt like snow in the summertime.

    • Faith Abgail on said:

      Repulsive comments by retarded people. Disgusting humans trying to sound macho hiding behind their PC..Keyboard warriors!

  1. They need to crack down over here in this town Largo and Clearwater area!! Rednecks racing like crazy from light to light! They’ve had numerous hit and runs,..and no cops nowhere. Racing on motorcycles,..seems like I never left the Midwest,..unbelievable. They race from one red light to the other, tail gating, racing their engines, with not a cop in sight,..I guess they in Tampa harassing bike riders!

  2. Ted A on said:

    Black kids are found not to be buckled into cars 50% more often than white kids from fatal car crash reports. If those same black parents were all ticketed prior to the crashes, the kids would be alive and the parents would be screaming “racism-we get ticketed 50% more often than whites”.

    It no longer matters if blacks break certain laws more often than whites or deserve the tickets or arrests. Blacks have special privileges and shouldn’t be ticketed or arrested if they break the law.

  3. What do you call a young black child on a tricycle???

    THIEF !!!!!

    If I was President my policy on abortion would be it should be legal and rewarded for blacks but illegal for white woman if the father is white. The government should fund a program to give a brand new car made in the USA to all blacks that agree to be sterilized. It will kick start the economy,


  4. jootjoint on said:

    Every police department across the US should now be required to collect and post statistics on the arrests made within their jurisdictions, so that all citizens are aware of how fairly citizens are being served.


    • I am quite surprised, me and my family just moved down here from the Midwest, and seems we haven’t left. We live in this town of Largo,..same people, smoking cigarettes, racing on motorcycles, racing thier cars from red light to red light. without a cop in sight. White trash everywhere,.I am retired military and thy want to look down their noses at me, looking like white trash,incredible

  6. Mac Ben,
    So are you saying that had those Blacks just followed your suggestions then the cops would not have stopped them at all?

    Do you know the statistics of Whites being stopped?

    Are Whites being stopped when they do not wear helmets, use signals and lights?

    Are Whites asked to produce a bicycle receipt?

    I know what it is! Those Blacks were bicycling with headphones on! Yep! And darn those 16 years old and older bicyclist that fail to wear the law-required helmet!

    The ACLU should just hire people such as you and they would save a lot of wasted time suing. Using your logic, Cities would double their revenue.


      • What they want to be able to do is group all Blacks ans Hispanics under one stereotype to justify their racism and double standards. I am quite surprised to find this level of racism in Florida, I could expect it in the Midwest,..most of them seem like they were born in a barn.,..But its the same type people over here in this Largo,..unbelievable

  7. Mac Ben on said:

    Put on a helmet, use signals and lights and you won’t get a ticket. Everything is about race. You dont get a pass for being black.

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