Long Beach, CA — A video uploaded to YouTube Saturday shows the power of citizens knowing the law when being harassed by police.
In the video, Lieutenant Mark Coble approaches a group of people riding their bikes on Rainbow Harbor Esplanade in Long Beach and attempts to tell them riding there is illegal. However, Sean, the man taking the video knew that it was, in fact, not illegal to ride bikes in this area and politely tell officer Coble that he is wrong.
“If you’re doing tricks up here I don’t care,” the officer says in the video. “But once you get off of this, you can’t ride your bikes down here. You can pass that word along. That will keep people from complaining to me and I won’t come talk to you.”
“Is there a law change?” Sean asks.
“Yeah, you can’t ride your bikes on the boardwalk,” the cop responds.
“When did that law change?” Sean inquires.
“Uh, it’s been a law for quite a while,” the officer says.
“16.16.502 is the civic sectional code that states you can ride your bicycles around out here,” Sean says. “So I don’t know what law you are referring to.”
Sean was off a bit on the code, (It’s actually 16.08.502) but he was close enough for us to find it. And it clearly states that bicycle riding is allowed so long as cyclists do not exceed a certain speed between the hours of 10:00 am and 10:00 pm.
“Ok, you want to go that way?” the officer asks. “We can go that way.”
“You want to pull out your civic code and you want to look up the code?” Sean asks. “16.16.502 states that you can ride your bicycle out here.”
“Exactly where?” the cop asks, clearly baffled that a citizen is spouting off municipal code references.
“The Rainbow Harbor Esplanade which is this entire area,” Sean asserts. “All the way at the end down there, to all the way down here.”
“So did you get your law degree on Facebook?” Cobel asks, in an apparent attempt to belittle this informed man. “Where did you actually obtain that?”
“So do I have to have a law degree to be an informed citizen?” Sean responds in a most polite yet assertive manner successfully deflecting the officer’s attempt to belittle him. “Is that what you’re saying?.. Is it wrong to know your rights?… Last time I checked, when officers come and try to invalidate your rights by telling you bulls**t laws and enforcing their opinions, that’s not what you are supposed to do.”
“You’re supposed to support the law and what the law says is that you can ride your bikes out here,” Sean adds. “You have no business coming up and harassing anyone telling them they shouldn’t ride their bikes.”
“Oh this is harassment now?” the cop asks.
“When you tell someone not to ride their bike when they’re legally able to ride their bike, yes that is harassment,” Sean says. “Your opinion is irrelevant. The law states we can ride our bikes. Now do you have anything else to say or are you going to leave us alone?”
It is at this instance that a glorious moment occurs — the officer concedes and walks away.
“Have a great day dude,” says the officer, who then walks away.
The Free Thought Project looked up Long Beach Police Lieutenant Mark Coble, and seeing how much he makes; it’s particularly worrisome that he doesn’t know the code. One would think that an officer who makes over $200,000 a year would know a bicycle code that he is trying to enforce. But, this wasn’t the case.
Below is this epic rights flexing moment captured on video. Enjoy.