Cyclist Alleges Fort Lauderdale Police Used Excessive Force

Cyclist Dan Littell said police used excessive force when arresting him during Friday's critical mass.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A man riding in Fort Lauderdale's Critical Mass claims police used excessive force when they stopped him. NBC 6's Gilma Avalos reports. (Published Sunday, Jun 1, 2014)

    A cyclist riding at Fort Lauderdale's Critical Mass on Friday claims police used excessive force when they arrested him for intentionally blocking police cruisers on the road.

    Dan Littell, an avid cyclist, said the incident began on the Las Olas bridge during Critical Mass, a monthly event where large groups of people ride their bikes through the city.

    He said a Fort Lauderdale Police cruiser was speeding next to the cyclists on the bridge, a dangerous spot for the bike riders.

    "I yelled, 'Please slow down, we're on bikes here,'" Littell said.

    He said the officer ignored him, so he pulled into the left lane from the right lane where other cyclists were pedaling and pulled in from of the police car.

    "To block them to slow them down," Littell said. "Because they weren't slowing down... They were driving recklessly."

    Police, meanwhile, said Dan was confrontational and started giving them the middle finger as he cut them off.

    Video uploaded to YouTube by another cyclist shows the moment Littell was arrested. It appears the police officer tackles Littell and pins him down before taking him into custody on charges of resisting arrest and impeding traffic, according to the Broward-Palm Beach New Times.

    "I finally did stop, and they were stopped too," Littell said. "He could have come over and talk to me. I wasn't trying to run away or do anything crazy."

    The Fort Lauderdale Police Department said it is conducting an administrative investigation. Police also said they take it upon themselves to help riders maneuver through the city during Critical Mass but that some riders are disrespectful and hard to maneuver.

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