MPD proves motorists can drive into bicyclists without penalty

Jared Nitz

On Wednesday afternoon, I bicycled down Fourth street. I pedal around the construction cones at Sydney Hall. A white SUV drives within an inch or two of my 30-pound cycle and me. I flip him off, he flips me off; it happens dailyâÄîa cyclist grows accustom to this. The driver hits a red light at Fourth and Thirteenth so I take the opportunity to confront him and remind him that the law requires three feet to pass. Met by the typical barrage or swearwords and general loudness, I spit on his vehicle and begin to ride away. A dicey move, I admit, but not grounds for the man to deliberately drive his four-thousand pound SUV directly into me. It happens in an instantâÄîhe does not even think about itâÄîa crime of pure and utter passion. My bike topples over and crashes into the sidewalk as I turn my fall into a fortunate landing. Thankfully, witnesses make their presence known. In dismay, I quickly read his license plate number, tell witnesses to stay, and call 911. In about 15 minutes, a tired and stoic officer approaches me fraught with indifference. He speaks to the SUV driver, the witnesses, and me. I divulge every detail, my bird-flipping, the spitting; I am confident that those harmless gestures would not take away from the fact that a man attempted to murder me. âÄúAt this point, I just have some packets for you to fill out.âÄù That is all officer 9521 would do for me. Knowing that Minneapolis was recently rated the number-one bicycle city in America, I demand more from the cop; a man just drove his truck into me and my bicycle! âÄúIf you were injured, IâÄôd be inclined to do more.âÄù Two more police approach and provide similar apathy. They cannot prove that I did not run my bicycle into his SUV despite witness testimony. As for the driver, he is claiming that he feared I would get away from him after I spit on his car, so her merely was blocking me in. If it would be unfair for me to âÄúget awayâÄù with spitting on a car, imagine how it feels every time a driver endangers a cyclist and speeds away knowing we cannot catch up or memorize the license plate number in time. After today, the Minneapolis Police Department taught me that automobile drivers can drive their SUVs into bicycles with no penalty as long as there is no injury. So should drunk drivers be let off as long as they donâÄôt hurt anyone? I see police targeting and pursuing speeders everyday that have not hurt anyone but could. Today, a man intentionally drove his car into a bicyclist and the police did nothing. ItâÄôs open season. Big thanks to the civil servants whose salary I pay for and services I am refused. Jared Nitz University undergraduate student