Below is my letter to the editor of the Collegian in response to the article about Rob Lowrey’s resignation and criticisms of the BEEP program.
Like many students, I am saddened to see Rob Lowrey leave CSU. Those who have met with him know he is a thoughtful and relentless advocate for students’ rights. I encourage every member of the CSU community to read his resignation letter published on the Collegian website. He details the rampant abuse of constitutional rights perpetrated by the BEEP program on campus.
Bicycle Enforcement interns, or “bike cops” are not police officers and do not have the legal authority given to police, yet as all those who have been stopped by bike cops know, they routinely self-identify as police officers, threaten to write municipal tickets, detain citizens by physically blocking their movement, and threaten arrest for non-compliance. I call on CSU to release the full letter written by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) regarding the unconstitutionality of the program. I also request the university expand other bicycle safety education options that do not infringe upon the rights of our community members, such as the remarkably successful RamBassadors program.
Overreach by police departments is an ongoing problem in this country. If this issue concerns you, or you have been mistreated by bike cops, please write to the CSU administration, CSUPD, or the ACLU with your concerns and suggestions. If you witness bike cops misrepresenting their authority, consider contacting a lawyer. Together, I believe we can find a solution to this issue that emphasizes safety while respecting the civil rights of our community.