University of Pennsylvania police officer's encounter with group of bicyclists goes viral

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Tuesday, June 29, 2021
Police officer's encounter with group of bikers goes viral
A local Instagram star is talking about his encounter with a police officer in Philadelphia's University City section that's now going viral.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A Philadelphia Instagram star is talking about his encounter with a police officer in the University City section of Philadelphia that's now going viral.

Someone called police last Wednesday, saying a group was blocking the sidewalk with their bicycles at 40th and Chestnut streets.

University of Pennsylvania Officer Jenna Ficchi was at the scene. She approached Rayshawn Washington, who goes by Bike Life Rex on social media, saying she recognized him because she follows him on Instagram.

"He looked at me and he said, 'You know, in 11 years of me riding, this is the first time, you know, cops have actually come up to me and spoke to me like a human.' And I told him, 'I'm sorry. I'm sorry, it took this long for that to happen,'" Ficchi said in an interview with Action News.

Washington says he treats many of his friends to lunch often.

On Sunday, Officer Ficchi and a fellow officer reunited with Washington to help hand out sandwiches.

Local Instagram star Rayshawn Washington, who goes by Bike Life Rex, is talking about his viral encounter with a Philadelphia officer.

Washington says he's hoping to show others that officers are regular people, even when they are wearing a uniform.

"Everyone has this mindset that all cops are bad. You know, when you see a police officer, you're ready to clench up and run away," he said. "I'm trying to show them that not all cops are bad."

He added, "They just have a uniform on. Just like you wear a suit, you wear a tie -- there's no difference. They just wear a blue vest with 'police' on it. When they go home and take it off -- in the supermarket-- they are a regular person. So I'm just trying to show that they are regular people even in their uniform."

Officer Ficchi says she's getting positive comments from around the world.