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Police officers charged with assault after stopping cyclist for riding without lights

The cyclist, who officers claimed attempted to flee the scene, was treated in hospital for his injuries

Three police officers in Michigan have been charged with assaulting a cyclist who they had stopped for riding without lights on his bike.

State troopers Justin Simpson and Ryan Fitzko were charged last week with misdemeanour assault and battery, while a third officer, Cody Lukas, also faces the additional felony charge of misconduct in office in relation to the shocking incident, which took place on 24 August last year in Owosso, Michigan.

Dashcam footage of the incident, released by Michigan State Police “in the interest of transparency”, shows the officers turning onto a street where a cyclist can be seen riding on the side of the road and travelling in the opposition direction.

However, in the police report, the troopers claimed (incorrectly) that the “subject” was cycling “in the middle of the road”.

After the officers had turned their vehicle to pursue the victim, he can next be seen riding on the pavement. Leaving the car to question the cyclist, one of the troopers can be heard in the video saying: “A few things, man. You’re in the middle of the road, you don’t have lights on your bike”.

At that point, the man begins to slowly ride away, which prompts the officers to tackle him to the ground.

The state troopers, who are soon joined by another officer, can then be clearly seen punching, kicking, and deploying a taser to the cyclist, who they placed under arrest for “resisting and obstructing police”, along with possession of a controlled substance. The substance was found after the officers cut the straps of his bag before searching it.

The victim, who can be heard in the video shouting “Are you f***ing kidding me? For lights on a bike?” as the officers continued to hit him, was injured in the assault and taken to hospital for treatment.

> Cyclist stopped by police three times and “told to put bike in van” after a “load of complaints” from motorists on foggy climb

Along with releasing the footage and police report of the incident, Michigan State Police confirmed that all three officers have been suspended for the duration of the criminal case and any resulting internal investigation.

“The use of excessive force by a Michigan State Police trooper against anyone is unacceptable and inexcusable,” the force’s director, Col. Joe Gasper, said in a statement.

“In this department, we have zero tolerance for police officers who engage in criminal misconduct. Policing is a privilege bestowed upon those who swear an oath to uphold the constitution and protect the public’s safety, and it is incumbent on every officer, and those who lead police officers, to hold themselves and those around them accountable for their conduct.”

Ryan joined in December 2021 and since then has kept the site’s readers and listeners informed and enthralled (well at least occasionally) on news, the live blog, and the Podcast. After boarding a wrong bus at the world championships and ruining a good pair of jeans at the cyclocross, he now serves as’s senior news writer. Before his foray into cycling journalism, he wallowed in the equally pitiless world of academia, where he wrote a book about Victorian politics and droned on about cycling and bikes to classes of bored students (while taking every chance he could get to talk about cycling in print or on the radio). He can be found riding his bike very slowly around the narrow, scenic country lanes of Co. Down.

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Bmblbzzz | 1 year ago

I'd say this is only tangentially related to cycling – the fact that it happened to someone on a bike is just chance. It's more a policing story.

Adam Sutton | 1 year ago

Murica, f*** yeah!

Why isn't this at all surprising? I guess the surprise is they didn't shoot him.

ChrisB200SX | 1 year ago

Riding without lights is safety issue, we don't want you getting hurt... so we'll jump you, kick the sh!t out of you, tase you and arrest you. USA Police logic!

Car Delenda Est replied to ChrisB200SX | 1 year ago

The lights were the excuse to test whether they'd respect the police's authority.
The beating was for not showing them the 'proper' respect.

They act like the enforcers of a fascist police state, I wonder why..

grOg replied to ChrisB200SX | 1 year ago

He was beaten for attempting to ride away, not for riding without lights; this is clear from reading the article, regardless of the click-bait headline..

Dbloke | 1 year ago

Good job he wasnt black or they'd of shot him.

dreamlx10 replied to Dbloke | 1 year ago

"They'd have shot him"

cyclisto replied to dreamlx10 | 1 year ago

Murica cops are highly more likely to shoot him if he made more grammar mistakes than natives. It is sad but true.

NotNigel replied to cyclisto | 1 year ago

cyclisto wrote:

Murica cops are highly more likely to shoot him if he made more grammar mistakes than natives. It is sad but true.

bit like posting on here.

Car Delenda Est replied to dreamlx10 | 1 year ago


Bob's Bikes replied to Car Delenda Est | 1 year ago

Surely, that should be: They would have.

grOg replied to Bob's Bikes | 1 year ago

The double contraction, they'd've, means just that..

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