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Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Bicycling While Black?

Frank Reddick, Tampa City Council chair
Frank Reddick, Tampa City Council chair

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Tampa City Council Chairman Frank Reddick called Monday for an investigation into whether the Tampa Police Department is violating civil rights law with its long-standing practice of targeting poor, black neighborhoods for bicycle tickets.

Reddick said he wants police Chief Jane Castor and Mayor Bob Buckhorn to publicly answer questions about how officers are handing out tickets.

Reddick’s call was in response to a Tampa Bay Times report on Sunday that revealed police have been using bicycle law as an excuse to stop, question and search riders in high-crime neighborhoods.

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As a result, black residents have gotten 79 percent of all tickets written, even though they make up only a quarter of the population.

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