David Eby, executive director of the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, with a $100 ticket he was given for not having a bell on his bike.

When David Eby stopped his bicycle to catch a glimpse of two police officers searching a camper Saturday, he never thought it would land him in hot water.

But when all was said and done, the executive director of the B.C. Civil Liberties Association ended up with a $100 ticket and a sense that cops don’t like being watched.

“The message was pretty clear – ‘mind your own business,’” said Eby. “It was intimidation, they didn’t like that I was watching them do their job.”

The incident began when Eby, coming home from a shopping trip that afternoon, noticed two officers searching a camper and knocking on the door.

The practising lawyer found it odd that the Vancouver police officers were writing on the camper with a pen and paying so much attention to it, so he decided to stop his bike and watch from the side of the road.

Before long, the officers’ attention turned to him.

“They were asking me if I knew the man, what I was doing and asked for my driver’s licence,” Eby recalled. “I said I didn’t need to identify myself and then he said there’s no bell on my bike and that he was going to write me a ticket. I was like, ‘Here we go.’

“Somewhere between using my rights and witnessing what they were doing, it landed me a $100 ticket.”

Eby intends to pay the ticket, but is more worried about the message being sent to law-abiding citizens.

“I hope this isn’t something that occurs often,” he said. “Police should encourage the public by being more transparent.”

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