Delaware trooper’s words to cyclist in D.C. under investigation

WASHINGTON — Delaware State Police are investigating after a video posted online showed a member of Delaware Gov. Jack Markell’s security detail with the governor’s SUV stopped in a Washington bike lane.

The bicyclist approaches the vehicle and stops to make a call to report the vehicle in the lane. As he is talking, the trooper, who was dressed in a suit and tie, walks down the sidewalk and steps in front of the cyclist.

The video shows the trooper pointing to his waist where his gun and badge are visible as he approaches, saying, “Hey pay attention … don’t play with me, OK?”

The trooper gestures for the cyclist to go around and tells tells the cyclist, “keep it moving.”

The video, shot from a cyclist’s perspective in the bike lane, was posted Tuesday on YouTube by user DCMuppetDrivers. The user’s post read, “Driver parked in L St Cycletrack. I call 911. Driver walks up and flashes a badge and a gun, and tells me I need to leave. I figured he was a US Marshal. Looked closer at his badge later on, and he is just a cop from Delaware. How is it legal for him to threaten me outside of his jurisdiction?”

A Delaware State Police spokesman said in a statement Wednesday that the agency will conduct an internal investigation to determine if there was any policy violation.

“As an avid cyclist and governor of the third most Bicycle Friendly State in America, the governor knows keeping bike lanes clear is critical to the safety of everyone on the road,” said Kelly M. Bachman, a spokeswoman for the governor, in a statement. “He understands the concerns being expressed regarding yesterday’s incident in D.C., in which a state trooper assigned to protect the governor idled his vehicle in a bike lane while waiting for him to exit an event.”

She said officers “must sometimes block lanes of traffic to do their job effectively,” but police will look at how the trooper handled the situation.

Gov. Markell was a speaker at the “Making ‘College Ready’ Matter: College and Career Ready Policies in the States” event on Tuesday in Washington, D.C.

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