Could YouTube lead cops to bikers who halted traffic?

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by DAVID SCHECHTER

Bio | Email | Follow: @davidschechter

WFAA

Posted on June 6, 2011 at 10:35 PM

Updated Monday, Jun 6 at 10:40 PM

DALLAS — Police are planning their response to a large group of motorcyclists who shut down North Central Expressway in Dallas on Memorial Day weekend and captured it all on tape.

News 8 has learned police leaders met Monday to develop that strategy.

Legal experts say the riders' own video is enough to prosecute them.

One pastime for reckless riders is posting video of themselves breaking the law. Because they're almost always wearing helmets, the cops can't use the video to prosecute.

But SMU law professor Meghan Ryan says the holiday weekend video presents police with an opportunity to do just that.

"Certainly, you could use the YouTube video in a prosecution,” Ryan said.

The new video clearly shows faces; we counted at least seven.

Police said they will direct “substantial resources” to an investigation aimed at charging those who can be identified.

That's a departure for a law enforcement. News 8 has spent almost a year showing how police pay little attention to groups of stunt riders who can sometimes terrorize motorists.

"The YouTube video is quite strong evidence that a crime was committed," Ryan said. "It shows them engaging in acts of graffiti, destruction of property, etc.”

The crimes are misdemeanors, so the punishments might not be severe — but perhaps the message will be heard.

E-mail dschechter@wfaa.com

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