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Sunday, November 18 , 2018, 7:58 pm | Fair with Haze 56º


Letter to the Editor: Cops Should Focus on Fighting Real Crime

I just witnessed the most absurd thing ever on State Street.

I was riding my bike back to work from my lunch break, coming up Ortega Street to cross State Street and then make a left to head toward the beach, back to work. There were two motorcycle cops hiding behind a car on Ortega, both on new Honda motorcycles.

I cruised by them, crossing over State Street and then waiting for the light to change. A girl was standing on the corner calling out to her friends across the way. She was ecstatic to see them, and was a very happy person who added to the vibrant feel of the downtown scene.

I continued on my path, and she crossed the street to meet her friends, cutting an angle so she could beat the stop light. This was with no cars present and did not cause a danger for anyone in Santa Barbara.

I look back and see one of the two cops run a red light and literally drive his motorcycle up onto the sidewalk, shocking the girl and her friends. All of this because the girl didn’t cross the street properly. However, the cop on his new motorcycle ran a red light and put the girls in danger by speeding up from behind them on the sidewalk. A bold action like that could have startled one of the girls, causing them to fall and get injured, or he could have lost control on the sidewalk, injuring a pedestrian.

I don’t know if the cop cited the girl, but there is more to this than that. The blatant misuse of police resources is exactly why gangs are able to roam free, but a happy-go-lucky girl can’t cross the street without being harassed and subjugated to the fear of a domineering cop.

Why aren’t these cops patrolling the troubled neighborhoods? Do they fear real crime, but embrace interaction with cute girls? It is a reflection of poor leadership and a lack of direction from top to bottom on the Santa Barbara police force. It is time to reprioritize and get cops out of the mindset of harassing good Santa Barbara citizens and fighting real crime that poses a threat to society.

Justin Tevis
Santa Barbara

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