Video: Over Three Dozen Cyclists Held Over One Shoplifted Beer

14 squad cars and 37 people searched for $5 of allegedly shoplifted beer from LAPD illegallysearches on Vimeo.

One of last Friday’s group bicycle rides stopped at the CVS at at 14735 Ventura Blvd for a pit stop.  Hours later, what was left of the group rolled out after a harrowing experience with the LAPD.

The manager of the CVS believed that one of the cyclists shoplifted some beer and dialed 911.  Because the manager could provide no description of the alleged beer thief, 14 LAPD squad cars were summoned and 37 cyclists were detained and searched until the cops found one person who had a beer without a receipt.  LAist calls some of the text on the video is "slightly over the top," but it still provides more ammunition for those that argue that cyclists are treated as second class citizens.

After all, if the only description the manager could provide was that the alleged thief was occured by a person of certain race, would the LAPD have just detained everyone in the area that met that description?

  • “was occurred by a person of certain race, would the LAPD have just detained everyone”

    Umm, yeah.

    If a 37 black teenage kids were in the vicinity of Ventura Blvd and one of them stole a beer, yeah they would have done that. I’m pretty sure they would have done that, but they would have called them a gang, even if they weren’t a gang, even if they were doing it as a prank.

    The LAPD does do this. They do this all of the time to Latino kids and black kids, something happens and they detain everybody. I know I’ve been one of those kids.

    I’m an adult I got questioned by LAPD just a month ago drinking coffee at Starbucks because of my race, so yeah the LAPD has no problem harassing people who fit the description owing to race. There are lots of studies done on it.

    It’s not right. It’s totally messed up, but…I am serious at a lost for words here that this incidents of teenage kids stealing is being painted in this odd way. Not the wrongness of the cops detaining everyone that is total BS, but “the minorities don’t get treated as bad or in this way” spin. We do.

    As I said no way was it ok, totally not ok, but this happens all of the time to teenage kids of color, it just doesn’t get filmed or blogged about and it just gets spun in a completely different way.

    It’s sad that the LA community seems to be all very completely out of touch of what other people in the community deal with on a regular basis.

    Yeah so the cops would have no problem detaining a bunch of kids based on race, but in the papers they call black and brown kids doing a prank gang members.

  • But what if the manager could only say a guy stole a beer and then got in a car? Would they round up anyone in a car within X square miles?

  • Stag Nasty

    wow nice euphemism… shoplifting is now merely a “prank”?

    these teen-aged bicycle riders are seriously retarded, instead of chastising the thief amongst them, they lash out at the cops for doing their job. This is why I stopped going to “party rides” too many teenage drunken dreamers with no sense of responsibility to the community. DON’T FUCKING STEAL IN THE FIRST PLACE DIPSHITS.

  • The prank thing. The problem is this someone does a low level crime, like stealing a beer and all of his friends get rounded up because they associate with this one person some people view this as ok, but what if the company you worked for was stealing large amounts of money?

    Now say you worked at a company. And at this company one person or a few people stole millions and millions of dollars, does the cop round up all of the people those people had tea with? Do they even think about touching anyone until they have all of the proper documents and they are absolutely sure? No, they sure don’t.

    Why does our society view it completely ok to violate and humiliate people over small bits of money, but the people who do the real harm to our society you know ruining people’s lives (Enron) get all type of courtesy?

    I’m not saying that people who are loaded shouldn’t get courtesy, but I think everyone should be given that same courtesy.

    If you have ever been detained by the cops just because you were in the same area as someone else doing something stupid you would understand how not cool this is. Being detained by the LAPD is one of the worse things to experience in Los Angeles. What if the cop is having a bad day, what if you get a bit of an attitude, they could say anything.

    They could take away your life by putting you in jail, making up stories or just shooting you and saying you had a gun. And if you don’t have a lawyer you are screwed and most people don’t have lawyers.

    Look up the ludicrous Thin Blue Line theory and you’ll see exactly why we have one of the most horrible police departments in the US, in regards to just abusing people needlessly.

    The LAPD treats the people of LA as if they are the enemy.

  • Jeffrey W. Baker

    It seems to me that, regardless of whether this bicyclist stole the beer or not (being in possession of a beer and not a receipt is not strong evidence of that) there’s no way he can be charged with shoplifting. “One of these 40 people stole my beer” is not probably cause for searching the 40 people. If the police didn’t have probably cause to search his person then any beer or any other thing discovered cannot be used as evidence later. So not only is this bullshit, it’s also bad police procedure.

  • Jeffrey W. Baker

    Ugh. Even though I said “probably cause” twice, y’all know I meant “probable cause”, right?

  • “instead of chastising the thief amongst them, they lash out at the cops for doing their job” – Stag Nasty

    If you knew anything about the situation you would know that in the community cycling forums some people were calling for punishment for this thief, or any thief who tries to hide under the cover of group rides, that would be a lot worse then what the police had in mind. You make it sound as though it is not possible to disagree with theft and police conduct at the same time.

  • Let me say publicly what I emailed to Browne last night.

    Sloppy writing on my part. I didn’t want to say that minorities don’t get profile treatment from the police. I was trying to say that people that just brush this sort of story off should look at it from the profiling angle.

    I go on group rides that have pit stops at CVS and Ralph’s parking lots all the time. If someone from the ride stole a beer, I would be calling for whoever took the beer to turn themselves in, but since most people on these rides don’t know each other we’d probably have no way of knowing who it was that was the perp in the first place.


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