Beware ‘bomb-throwing Bolsheviks on bicycles’

Watch out, everyone! Not only could you go to jail for carrying around bags of poop and pee (although really, why would you be doing that anyway?), but now those bikes in the garage and old maps in the glove box could land you a ticket straight to the chain link jungle.

As today’s Denver Post reports, “weapons” has a rather broad meaning here in the Mile High City.

Denver Police have issued an internal bulletin for all officers to be on the lookout for anyone stockpiling potential weapons that may be deployed during next week’s Democratic National Convention, including items=0 Alike maps and bicycles.

Maps, the document stated, “are frequently used by violent protester(s) to plan direct actions against conventioneers.”

Bicycles “are used to blockade sidewalks, streets and can be used to slow down responding emergency vehicles,” according to the document.

Last Friday, officers questioned a woman who was unloading bricks from a truck in front of her home on the 1000 block of Lipan Street, telling her a neighbor had complained she was stockpiling them to be used as weapons during the convention.

“This is bad policing, this is bad policy,” said Mark Silverstein, legal director for the ACLU-Colorado, who held a press conference Thursday to discuss the document. “In light of the spy files case five years ago, this document is unnecessarily provocative.

“It exaggerates the specter of violent protesters. It gets police officers amped up with adrenaline, presenting them with the image of bomb-throwing Bolsheviks on bicycles.”

I’m not usually one to agree with the ACLU, but nice alliteration. The spy file reference, however, seems a little out of place. Good work staying on message, though.

With all due respect to the men and women in blue who put their lives on the line to keep us safe, do you think maybe the brass has gone a little off the deep end here? Or maybe REI is actually headquarters for the Revolutionary Army of Pinkos and Protesters! Wait a minute, I shop at REI… Uh oh, what’s that knock on the door — are they after my bicycle?

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Colorado Independent’s blog-i-nist (blogger-columnist) Jeff Bridges has worked in Democratic politics for the last 10 years, serving as communications director for two congressional races in Colorado and two governors races in the Deep South. Bridges also worked for Sen. Ken Salazar as a legislative assistant in DC, and currently serves on the board of directors for New Era Colorado and the Colorado Conservation Voters.

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