Ghost bike for Echo Park cycling fatality; Police-blessed vehicular assault Downtown

Stephen Box managed to get the information I couldn’t find anywhere else.

Earlier in the week, I’d written about the cyclist killed by an intoxicated hit-and-run driver in Echo Park early Sunday. Despite my best efforts, I wasn’t able to learn any more about the victim than had been included in the initial reports; Box reports that he was a day laborer from Sonora, Mexico, who used his bicycle as his primary means of transportation.

Just one of the countless nameless, faceless workers we Angelenos pass every day without a second thought.

Yet he died as one of us. 

And he is being memorialized this evening where he was killed on Glendale Blvd. As Box put it:

Let’s work together to make sure this is the last Ghost Bike placed in our community.

Meanwhile, the local cyber wires are buzzing with the news that a cyclist was injured late last night when he was struck by a driver in Hummer with no license plates — apparently intentionally. The occupants of the vehicle then threatened the other riders with guns and gang violence, and ran over several of their bikes when they tried to block the vehicle until police arrived.

But the real injustice came when the lead officer let the driver go, and told the cyclists that he would have done the same thing the driver did — and suggested that he might have used a gun, as well.

So who exactly is he trying to “protect and serve”?

As a number of people have commented on the Midnight Ridazz forum, some of the other officers on the scene were far more sympathetic. But this represents an anti-cyclist bias that seems far too common in the L.A.P.D. — one that I’ve experienced myself, when I was threatened with arrest after being the victim of a road rage incident a few years back.

The difference is, now there really is a cycling community in Los Angeles, and protests are already being planned for next week. And in fact, may be occurring right now, as there were plans to extend the Ghost Bike ride into a protest at Parker Center.

And less than a week after Jesus Castillo was killed in Echo Park, another cyclist was the victim of yet another hit-and-run in Orange County today.

Some run away.

And some just get away with it.

2 comments

  1. deanS says:

    Has anyone thought of organizing a group of people to calling KPCC’s Patt Morrison show when they have there monthly “Ask the Chief” segment and ask LAPD Chief Bill Bratton polite questions about the attitude shown toward cyclist by the LAPD.
    Btw Officer Cho’s attitude kind of reminds me of the media commenting that some of police were acting like some of the gang bangers they are suppose to be policing.

  2. vin says:

    I wrote a bunch of letters about cars running around LA without plates. Never got a follow up. Cops don’t care one iota. The LAPD is full of “ex-gang-bangers”. Only a fool would call them for help. They let people get away with anything. Be very careful biking out there. And remember this: 1 in 4 cars in LA County carries “affordable auto insurance”. maximum payout is $10,000 per individual death or bodily injury, and $20,000 maximum for multiple deaths and bodily injuries.
    Life is getting cheap in LA. Ride accordingly
    Peace

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