I was coming back from a 3+ hour ride that started in Fells, with a turnaround out in the County on Tufton, and the ride back home. I was in Charles Village at 40th and University, stopped for the red light, no cars were turning left in front of me, and a car was maybe 100 yards to my right slowly for the right turn. I had a comfortable amount of time and space, so I pulled out across the street and was making my way down University when I got pulled over by a police car. This was getting well into the third hour of my ride, I was tired, hungry, and just wanted to get home, so I was a little standoffish to the cop, but I didn't use profanity, shout, or even raise my voice. I really just didn't buy his argument that he was trying to keep me safe by giving me a ticket. He then tried to contend that I had in fact run two red lights, which was completely incorrect, which he furthered by saying "I bet you didn't even know where the second one was," and of course, I didn't because he was next to me when I ran the light. At this point a second squad car pulled up and another officer got out. The first officer asked for my license, and I gave it to him immediately, although I did ask what would have happened if I did not have my license because I was not operating a motor vehicle, and he really didn't give me a substantive answer.
He then went to look at what appeared to be the cross street, which was Linkwood, so I said "the street is Linkwood" and the second officer immediately snapped "Let him do him job!"
He then wrote me up a ticket anyways. He implied that the ticket might have been avoided if I had agreed with his lecture on bike safety and bicycling needing to follow the exact same rules of the road. I tried to argue that some of the laws of the road don't make sense to biking versus driving, and that if I had been running instead of biking, nothing would have come of the "running a red light". I literally ran 75% of the red lights on Calvert out of the city, but I always initially stop at each of the red lights to make sure no cars are coming before I cross. I had done this in front of at least three cop cars on today's ride, and none of the other cops even lifted a finger. I asked what would have happened if I was out for a run, and ran across the street in the same circumstance, and he said "we have citations for that too".
I understand that some rules are meant to be followed, and traffic rules are in place for the protection of drivers. I'm on a 20 pound piece of carbon that is in contact with three inches squared of pavement. I stay as far to the right as possible, and cars still blow by me a foot away. If I really had to follow the same rules, I would take up a whole lane to myself and ride under the speed limit (since its a limit after all). But that's not the way the world works. When I'm in my car driving, cyclists often piss me off by riding a few abreast or riding on an unusually busy road, and when I'm on my bike, I get aggravated by cars. It's just the nature of the sport.
The officer handed me my license back, and I took it from him and put it in my wallet. He then said "if you take this citation out of my hand the same way you took your license, we're going to have some real issues".
I'm just a graduate student at JHU, so the $140 ticket is quite a blow. I didn't put anyone else other than myself at potential risk, and I initially stopped at the red light to gauge the situation. I'm definitely going to fight this because it's completely ridiculous.
I'm also considering filing a harassment claim for the officer's treatment of me, including his alleged claims that I ran multiple red light, and the way he handled handing me my citation. I was completely reasonable, did not refuse a single request asked of me, and did not swear or yell. I was obviously pissed off, but I had just gotten pulled over. There's no law that says I need to be friendly to officers who pull me over for no good reason.