Authorities in Cologne are trying to wipe the egg off of their faces.
Administrators are now apologizing after one of their officers fined a handicapped man for having only one hand-brake on his bicycle.
After a late March encounter in the city, the officer declared that Bogdan Ionescu's bicycle was illegal according to German laws.
But Mr. Ionescu had a persuasive reason for having only a brake on the left handlebar of his bicycle: he has only one arm.
He had a modified bike to better suit his needs.
The handicapped defendant tried to explain to the officer that in addition to his one hand brake, the cycle was also equipped with a rear foot brake, but the officer still decided to cite Mr. Ionescu €25.
Local citizens were outraged by the incident.
National and international media ran the story, and calls in support for the one-armed bicyclist rang loudly from around the world.
Understandably, police administrators decided to refund Mr. Ionescu's money and issue an apology.
It was also reported that Wolfgang Albers, the city's chief of police, will personally apologize to the cyclist.
Glad to hear that they are getting it right.
When a community entrusts a police officer to protect and serve, honesty and integrity are at the top in terms of the desired attributes.
A characteristic also highly sought for an individual in law enforcement is common sense.
And common sense should direct an officer to use discretion--in this case, choosing not to cite a one-armed bicycle rider with functional brakes who uses his leg muscles to get to and from work.
It is not that much to ask of any government official.
In whatever the country that you call home.
Happy 4th to my American friends, and I hope you all have a good weekend.
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