Friday, April 1, 2016

When Riding Motorcycles Became Illegal

I remember in 1978 while living with my first wife and new born son on Boone Street just off of Tucker Street here in East Greensboro. My in laws had volunteered to keep the baby for the weekend so the wife and I could have some time alone. We spent much of the weekend riding my motorcycle.

As I didn't have shelter for my bike I stored it about a mile away at my parents' home on Textile Drive. When we finished riding I dropped my wife off at home and rode to Mom and Dad's to put my bike in the shed.

Just as pulled up to Mom and Dad's place a car appeared head on with bright spotlights but no blue lights or siren coming towards me at a high rate of speed. I accelerated into the yard to avoid being run over but the car drove into the yard as if the driver were trying to run me down. I'm certain that had I not managed to put a huge oak tree between us I would have been hit by the car.

A man got out of the car and began shouting at me to turn off the bike or he would shoot me. The lights from the car were blinding me but I finally made out the uniform of a Greensboro Police Officer.

He was still shouting at me, threatening my life when I heard the familiar sound of the slide on Daddy's 12 gauge pump shotgun coming from behind the police officer. Then as Daddy held his 36" barrel goose gun about 6 inches behind the officers head he said, "You shoot my boy and you won't live to tell it."

The officer left as fast as he could run to his car and speed away. No charges were filed against anyone and GPD denied the officer was ever there despite my neighbors having witnessed the event.

That's the way it was back in the day. The working classes were simply pushed around and there was nothing you could do about it. Had my Daddy not walked out that door when he did I might have been dead, my son left to grow up without ever knowing his father just as many poor children grow up today.

Well today there are things that can be done about it but as Lewis Pitts points out in his article, We, The People, call for police video to be public now, some of the powers that be still want to keep incidents like what happened to me a secret.

After all, there's no law against riding a motorcycle to mom and dad's house. Is there?