The new semester had just begun. Oswald Muniz Sanchez was riding his bike to biology class at Santa Ana College, earphones in both ears, listening to the dulcet tones of National Public Radio.
Sanchez saw no cars at the intersection of Washington and Freeman streets, so he buzzed through the stop sign, as cyclists so often do. That’s when he saw the Santa Ana policeman, half-way up the side street.
Moments later, sirens blaring and lights flashing, Sanchez was pulled over. Santa Ana police Officer Berg told him to sit on the curb. How are you going to hear someone honking at you with earphones on? the officer asked. I heard you, Sanchez said. What music were you listening to? the officer asked. It wasjust the news, Sanchez said. If you were in your car, would you have stopped? Yes, Sanchez said. Are you going to give me a warning? No, the offficer said. I’m going to cite you for running a stop sign.