Police have released the first 911 tapes from an incident involving hundreds of ATV riders and motorcyclists that took over the streets and freeways of Miami on MLK Day in January.
At least three people were arrested as the group of riders weaved through the streets and freeways of Miami in January traveling at dangerously high rates of speed.
Chopper 6 flew over the scene as they continued on for more than four hours. Police say the dangerous journey started after a Martin Luther King, Jr. parade in Liberty City. The group traveled south on I-95 to downtown Miami before returning on the northbound lanes. The riders exited the road again and stopped at a gas station to regroup before heading northbound into Miami Gardens.
According to police, the group was attempting to provoke authorities into chasing them. Officers refused to do so, saying it would cause an even greater safety risk to the general public.
Florida Highway Patrol estimated that there were more than 500 bikers involved. While the group was disobeying a multitude of traffic laws, FHP and police agree that trying to stop the large crowd would have been just as dangerous as the group itself.
The riders were part of a group called #miamibikelife on Instagram. The loosely organized event was coordinated through social media and some of the cyclists likened their actions to the civil rights marches of the 1960’s. Some of the riders came from as far away as Washington, DC to take part in the ride.
Their aim was to make a statement about police brutality, according to Instagram.
One veteran of the Civil Rights movement, Professor Marvin Dunn, told NBC 6 South Florida that the stunt was probably the "dumbest way to honor the legacy" of Martin Luther King, Jr.
At least three car accidents occurred as a result of the incident. Thankfully, no one was seriously injured.
Miami police did issue a significant amount of traffic tickets, as the hours long ride ended just a few steps away from police headquarters.
Miami police issued a statement after the event, saying:
"There aren't any open charges on anyone unless independent action was taken by officers that may have stopped bikers on a traffic violation (s) and cited them. We do have a plan of action that is followed for each event that is held in the City of Miami and an after action report that is reviewed the commander of the event (sic). I am sure there will be contingency plans added to future plans of action in the event that we have this type of incident arise during one of our future events."