Friday, April 24, 2009

Breaking News: More Tales Of Gross Injustice By The Police After A Hummer Driver Attacks A Group Of Cyclists. Officer Let's Driver Go.

The forum thread on this topic has gone flying with comments and is hard to follow, but apparently a group of about a dozen cyclists were riding together in Downtown L.A. when a hummer hit a cyclist causing ankle injuries. Others of the group got in front of the vehicle to prevent the driver from getting away, but he plows through anyways smashing several bikes as the riders scatter to avoid being hit. Officer Cho of the LAPD catches the vehicle and the occupants all flee on foot but the driver is wrangled in. However Officer Cho takes the motorists side of the story wholly and sympathizes saying later "If it had been me with my family in that car, I’d have done the same thing, and I carry a gun in my car." The driver of the vehicle is let go with no citations, despite a carnage of wrecked bikes in his path.

This is gross injustice and we should not stand for this. Our safety depends on officers to enforce the law, not let maniacs roam the streets looking for groups of cyclists to smash for their twisted idea of a fun time. Apparently the occupants of the vehicle who later returned alluded to gang connections by telling the cyclists if they talked to the cops they would return "60 crips deep".

More complete coverage on WestSide BikeSide and details continue to emerge on the Midnight Ridazz thread. With stories like this, and a recent story of road cyclists in Ohio being tasered by an officer simply for riding on the road, after being told to get off of it, a not legally justified request made by the officer since they had a right to the road, is it any wonder cyclist and police relations are poor at best and out right seething at worst.

I hope this driver is brought to justice, and the officer demoted, fired, or at the very least reprimanded. It sounds like Los Angeles Critical Mass is going to make some noise at City Hall after stopping at the new ghost bike for a cyclist fatally wounded in Echo Park recently. Cycling activist super hero Stephen Box is also on this issue like peanutbutter on jelly, which make me feel better that something is being done about this. It's getting crazy out there, ride safe, maybe with some legal advice handy and hopefully around witnesses..


squiddy said...

That is outrageous!! What can we do???

Chrisman said...

Gary, will you post a follow-up or at least a comment here when you find out the officer's name, or any other bit of information that we can act on?

That's ri-goddamn-diculous and, living in Denver, I would love to be part of "nationwide outcry" on this issue, demanding that officer be fired and the driver charged with attempted murder.

Chrisman said...

(Forgot to follow comments. Ignore this comment.)

Gary said...

Thankfully a lot is already being done, bike activists last night organized LA Critical Mass to rally around this, and Stephen Box has been following up on this and has a meeting planned with the LAPD for the cyclists to speak their complaints.

I can't keep up with everything that is going on with this on my blog due to my limited time to post here, but WestSide BikeSide has some more details in their post, and though they crashed last night from traffic are back up again. Everyone knows about this now and people are certainly not taking it laying down. When I know anything conclusive I'll update this post or post a follow up.

A lot of attention has also centered around the cyclist who died in a hit and run accident in Echo Park recently, home to many regular cyclists, and the Media showed up to huge gatherings at the ghost bike memorial that was set up this week.

Tim Wilbur said...

This is exactly why I founded We deserve better that this.

We intend to be agents of change in attitudes. Having laws is fine but attitudes need to change.

I think the way to do it is to record video and audio PSAs that will play on TV and radio. That's my mission.