Tag Archive for Gardena Police Department

Gardena police video released in shooting of unarmed man looking for his brother’s stolen bike

As expected, a judge has ordered the release of a video showing the Gardena police fatally shooting the unarmed brother of a bike theft victim.

Ricardo Diaz-Zeferino was trying to tell the officers that the men they had detained weren’t bike thieves, but friends who were helping to look for the bike.

But instead of releasing them, the cops opened fire when he took of his hat and lowered his hands, shooting Diaz-Zeferino eight times, and injuring one of his companions, who had his hands in the air the whole time.

Even though Diaz-Zeferino was unarmed, and as the video shows, made no threatening moves towards the officers.

He was shot, apparently, because they thought he might possibly be armed, and they were too afraid to wait to see if he really had a gun before blowing him away.

And somehow, that’s okay with the DA and the Gardena police department; KNBC-4 reports the officers are still with the force and patrolling the streets.

Even though the city felt there it had enough liability to settle with the victims’ families to the tune of a $4.7 million, paid out of the taxpayer’s pockets.

That’s a lot of guilt if no one did a damn thing wrong.

The city fought the release of the video, claiming it could result in a “rush to judgment” about the officer’s behavior, according to KPCC.

Or it could just let the public see what really happened. And realize that what sounded like a bad shoot by trigger happy cops, was.

It used to be that any cop who shot an unarmed person could expect to lose his or her job, at the very least. I once knew an officer, in another state, who freely admitted carrying a spare gun and a knife to drop by the victim if he ever shot someone who wasn’t armed.

And it used to be that fellow officers wanted bad cops off the force, because they made everyone else look bad and made the public lose faith in the officers charged with protecting them.

In fact, that officer was eventually fired, at the urging of his fellow officers.

Clearly, those days have changed.

So be careful riding through Gardena.

In other cities, getting stopped by the police could get you a ticket you might not deserve, from a cop who doesn’t understand bike law.

In Gardena, it could get you shot.

But it won’t get anyone fired.

Update: I was reminded this morning that Gardena is also where a group of Hispanic riders were illegally harassed by the police two years ago, while on their way to meet with the city manager to discuss the unsolved hit-and-run bike rider Benjamin Torres.


Warning: The video below, posted online by the LA Times, shows the full shooting from two separate angles. Decide for yourself whether you really want to see that before pushing play.

Morning Links: Judge may release Gardena police video, BOLO alert for Ford pickup in Montebello hit-and-run

The LA Times reports that a federal judge says he’s inclined to release the dashcam video of the shooting of an unarmed man in Gardena.

Ricardo Diaz-Zeferino was coming to the aid of two friends helping to look for his brother’s stolen bike when he was shot and killed by Gardena police last year.

The judge agreed there was a clear public interest in releasing the video, as requested by the Times and other media companies, noting that it’s hard to argue that the shooting was legal after the city agreed to a $4.7 million settlement to be funded by taxpayers.

Maybe he should tell that to the LA County DA’s office.

A final ruling on releasing the video could come as soon as today.


Montebello police are looking for a Ford pickup in the hit-and-run death of 24-year old Steven Garcia as he was riding his bike home from work last week. Anyone with information is urged to call Montebello police Cpl. J. Dresser at 323/887-1212, ex. 353 or Cpl. R. Yap, ex. 337.

Although they could have offered a little better description of the suspect vehicle. There are a lot of Ford trucks out there.


KCBS-2 picks up yesterday’s lead story about the CHP officer dangerously buzzing two cyclists on Glendora Mountain Road.

I’m told the CHP’s Southern Division HQ is looking into the video, so something may actually be done about it for a change.

Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.


VeloNews looks at the highs and lows of the first full week of racing in the Tour de France. A TV station reports on the day’s happenings on the Tour’s first rest day, while Teejay van Garderen makes it the Fab Five.

Sadly, Ivan Basso was forced to drop out after he was diagnosed with a testicular tumor; there’s a high probability it’s cancerous, but more tests are needed to be sure. His withdrawal could adversely affect teammate Alberto Contador’s chances, but what really matters is his full and fast recovery.

A Billings MT cyclist endures rain, hail, snow, calf-deep mud and hallucinations to compete in the 2,745-mile off-road Tour Divide; another rider says the hardest part is knowing when to quit.



It’s been a busy day for the Times, as they look at the PCH safety study recently approved by the Malibu city council; the study lists 120 proposed improvements to the roadway, including bike lanes on part of the highway, along with another 30 recommendations for Caltrans.

KPCC’s Air Talk program discusses the Times’ report on the county’s 817 most dangerous intersections.

CiclaValley appears on the Bike Talk internet/radio program.

A new Replace Your Ride program will give you transit vouchers up to $4,500 if you turn in your gas-guzzling car. But not a penny if you trade it for a bike, damn it; thanks to Day One for the link.

Black Kids on Bikes and the Ride On! Bike co-op bring the Leimert Park community together with an open air tune-up session.

The 12-year old daughter of a space shuttle astronaut was found riding her bike in the Torrance/Redondo Beach area after being missing for 24 hours.



It took a bike-riding tourist to save the life of a 37-year old woman who collapsed from a massive heart attack while jogging in Carlsbad last year.

The wife of the Afghan refugee killed by an allegedly distracted driver while riding his bike in Sacramento feels lost without him; the family arrived in the US just a few weeks ago, after the electrical engineer risked his life by aiding US forces in Afghanistan. His 8-year old son also suffered life-threatening injuries.

A 36-year old man was killed in a hit-and-run while riding on the coast highway near Fort Bragg in NorCal.



California’s retiring Senator Barbara Boxer wins support for bike lanes and sidewalks in the new federal transportation bill.

Good news and bad news, as a new bikeshare study says yes, it provides economic and health benefits and encourages new cyclists, but there’s no proof that bike-sharing programs reduces congestion, gets people out of their cars or helps the environment.

The New York Times looks at the national trend of bike training classes for bicycling-challenged adults.

Not everyone supports Boulder CO’s removal of traffic lanes to make way for wider bike lanes. Shocking, I know.

An Illinois cyclist is nominated for ESPN’s ESPYAward, 20 years after losing his right arm in a construction accident.

Don’t try this at home. A 46-year old Pennsylvania man was killed trying to jump a homemade bike ramp on a children’s bike. Actually, it was probably a BMX bike, which most police departments don’t seem to be familiar with.

An exhibit at the Smithsonian looks at the impact bicycles have had on modern society.

A New Orleans man faces manslaughter and felony hit-and-run charges in the death of a bike-riding artist last week.

The Florida bike rider who crashed hard after slipping in the remains of a dead alligator on the roadway is making a slow recovery, with new titanium plates in his cheeks, forehead and clavicle; his wife calls him Titanium Tim. Now all he needs is a new Ti bike when he gets back to riding.



Toronto police bust a man for stealing a $19,000 custom made racing bike. Of course, that’s only $14,800 US.

Brazil’s Pan Am cycling team is escorted off a major highway by police after taking a very wrong turn.



Caught on video: A BMX rider lands the first quadruple backflip. A Pasadena motorist is caught on video playing acid jazz on a recorder while driving with no hands in moving traffic — and right next to a patrol car, no less.

And speaking of distracted driving, a Brit woman rear-ended a van, apparently because she was pleasuring herself with a vibrator while driving.

Then again, I once encountered something similar, myself.


Morning Links: Completing deadly Rosemead Blvd; Times seeks video of police shooting in Gardena bike theft

Two hit-and-run drivers killed Heriberto Ruiz last weekend.

But maybe a dangerous roadway should share the blame.

According to BikeSGV, Rosemead Blvd in the Wittier Narrows area where Ruiz was killed is dangerous by design, with speeds often exceeding the posted 50 mph limit. Never mind cars zooming off the Highway 60 offramp, which he was trying to cross when he lost his life.

A bill before the state legislature would turn control of a 2.6 mile segment of the boulevard over to the county, the first step in a possible badly needed Complete Street makeover.

Let’s hope this tragedy is enough to get much needed changes made.



Good for them.

The LA Times has filed suit to get the dashboard video showing Gardena Police repeatedly shooting unarmed Ricardo Diaz Zeferino — the brother of the bike theft victim they had been called to help, not kill.

Zeferino was simply trying to tell the officers they had detained the wrong men when they opened fire after he dropped his baseball cap, allegedly because they thought he was trying to remove something from his waistband.

Yet somehow, the DA’s office ruled the shooting was justified. I guess “unarmed” just doesn’t mean what it used to.

Maybe this will let us all find out what really happened. And explain why an innocent man was shot to death by the people sent to help him — literally at the drop of a hat.

And why the DA doesn’t seem to care.


Calbike says good things are happening for bike riders in the state legislature, including bills that would increase funding for active transportation, and allow riders to attend bike traffic schools to reduce traffic tickets.


That didn’t take long.

Just hours after Bradley Wiggins set a new hour record, he’s accused of cheating by using a non-regulation bike and getting outside assistance from British Cycling. Evidently to confirm the public’s opinion that all cyclists cheat, all the time.

Wiggins will reportedly shift his focus to track events in the 2016 Olympics. Then again, even dogs can ride a tactical race.

But did anyone check their bikes for signs of mechanical doping?



Streetsblog looks at South LA community organizer and bike advocate Tafari Bayne.

The average LA driver spends over $3,600 to get to work and back; 59% of Angelenos would use bike share if it was available in their neighborhood. That’s about $3,600 more than the average bike commuter spends.

KPCC reports on the problem of possibly incompatible bike share systems in the LA area.

Joel Epstein says bike lane opponents are still peddling in the last century. Although what they’re trying to sell, I have no idea.

CiclaValley explores the Compton Creek bike path, which seems virtually devoid of human life.

Whittier police recover a therapy tricycle stolen from an autistic 11-year old girl over the weekend.



OC Parks plans to pave a pathway in Peters Canyon to complete a continuous bikeway from Irvine Park to Upper Newport Bay.

San Diego’s plans for a $200 million bicycle network are over before they even start, according to the San Diego Free Press, which accuses the county association of governments of doubling down on the failed transportation policies of the last 50 years.

NorCal’s Tour de Manure returns for the seventh time. Insert crappy bike pun here.



Just days after we mentioned a transgender triathlete competing as a woman for the first time, a male transgender triathlete wins a spot on Team USA.

A road raging driver intentionally sideswiped a Colorado Springs cyclist, knocking him out of his first pro triathlon. Note to the Gazette: The race is still on, he just won’t be competing in it. Big difference.

My hometown sets its sights on Diamond Bike Friendly Community status. But even diamonds are rarely flawless. And hello to Andrew Reker, a fellow member of the Fort Collins diaspora. 

Bike friendly Boulder CO considers right sizing certain streets by removing a traffic lane to create spacious seven foot wide bike lanes.

Chicago’s 400-pound Puppet Bike has been entertaining people for 11 years; the bike is so heavy, two additional cyclists have to help tow it for distances more than a few blocks.

A New Jersey cop notices a kid riding his bike with a loose brake, and gets out of his car to fix it himself.

Only bike riders run red lights, right? Wrong. A new study shows one in ten New York drivers run reds.

Baton Rouge LA has a dysfunctional bikeway network; less than half of the city’s bike paths connect to another. Sort of like another LA I could name.

The Palm Beach Post asks, but doesn’t answer, whether the rewards of bike riding over age 70 outweighs the risk. Seriously?



As Ontario cyclists get the equivalent of a three-foot law, Alberta tells bicyclists don’t hold your breath.

Vancouver’s Chris Bruntlett writes about the pain of bike theft. And how the fear of theft influences where and how we ride. I often choose to walk instead of ride for trips under two miles, because it’s not worth the hassle of carrying a heavy U-lock and field stripping my bike.

A Montreal letter writer bemoans the behavior of her fellow bike riders, saying they don’t behave as well as riders in Copenhagen. On the other hand, Copenhagen has streets and laws designed around bikes; Montreal doesn’t. Or LA, for that matter.

Caught on video: A Brit bike rider is terrorized by the driver of a massive truck dangerously crowding his wheel.

Someone sabotaged the driveway of a popular Brit helmet cam safety campaigner with drawing pins.

A UK personal trainer plans to ride the entire Tour de France route on a chopper bike. Note to CTV News: There’s a bike difference between riding the Tour de France route and actually competing in it.

The Cardiff UK edition of the World Naked Bike Ride stripped down last Sunday; the LA edition rolls out on the 27th. Just promise you won’t get too excited.

The Times offers a nice profile of a woman cyclist in Afghanistan, a country generally unaccommodating to both.

An Israeli city bans e-bikes in some areas, while the country’s police want to require permits for their riders.

A former Manchester United goalie gets off with 12 months probation for deliberately turning his car into a bicyclist during a Sidney, Australia road rage dispute. Would the courts have been as lenient if he’d used a gun instead of a car? Either way, it’s still assault with a deadly weapon. Thanks to Simon for the heads-up.



With the right skills, you can do anything on a bike, or to it, as the eighth annual Bike Smut exhibition of two-wheeled erotica makes painfully clear. A Cleveland man gets released from jail once he sobered up after being busted for being drunk and sans pants in public — and promptly steals a kid’s bike on his way out.

And an Arizona teenager is busted at the border with $1,600 worth of dope in his bike tires.

But seriously, how was the ride?


LA County DA rules Gardena police were justified to shoot and kill the unarmed brother of a bike theft victim

Finally, we know what really happened.

Or not.

In July of 2013, two men were shot by Gardena police responding to the theft of a bicycle.

Except they didn’t kill a dangerous bike thief and wound his partner in crime.

The man they mistakenly killed was the brother of the man whose bike was stolen. He was just trying to tell the officers that the men they had stopped weren’t vicious thieves, but were actually helping to look for the missing bike.

Unfortunately, the three officers didn’t seem to understand Ricardo Diaz Zeferino’s Spanish, even though customers at a nearby restaurant could clearly make out what he was saying. And he didn’t seem to understand the cops commands to stop.

Now the DA’s office has ruled that they acted within the law in shooting the unarmed man eight times — including twice in the back.

The same with what they say was the unintentional shooting of his similarly innocent friend, who was also shot in the back.

The DA’s decision was based on dash cam video, which apparently captured the whole thing. It reportedly showed Diaz Zeferino reaching into his pockets to toss unidentified items to the ground, then taking off his baseball cap, despite orders to stop. The officers opened fire when he started to raise his hands again.

The cops couldn’t see his right hand, according to the Deputy DA who reviewed the video, and believed he was going to reach for a weapon.

A weapon that didn’t exist.

Not that that inconvenient fact seems to matter to anyone.

Not surprisingly, the attorneys for the victims reached a different conclusion, arguing that the video showed the police gave confusing orders, and that Diaz Zeferino’s right hand was empty and in front of his body when they opened fire. And that the other victim, Acevedo Mendez, was shot despite keeping his hands over his head the whole time.

Unfortunately, we’ll never know which version is true, since the Gardena Police Department has refused to make the video public.

Although they did allow the cops to view the video before making their statements so they could get their stories straight.

On the other hand, whatever the video showed, it was enough to convince the city of Gardena to settle a civil rights lawsuit over the shooting for $4.7 million. Not that any amount of money will do Diaz Zeferino a lot of good.

According to the DA’s report, the toxicology report showed he had meth and alcohol in his system. Which is no more relevant to the case than whether he was wearing a bike helmet.

The three officers who opened fire are still on active patrol duty nearly two years after the shooting; the department’s internal review over the shooting was on hold until the civil case was resolved, which happened earlier this week.

The outcome of that review is something else we’ll never know about; any disciplinary action will be confidential under California law.

This is the second time this year the DA has refused to prosecute cops who killed someone in a bike-related case. And the second time that disciplinary action, if any, will be a deep, dark secret known only to the officers involved.

So if your bike is ever stolen in Gardena, maybe you’re better off just letting it go. Those cops could still be out there, ready to shoot at the drop of a hat.


And whatever happens, don’t count on the LA County DA’s office to do a damn thing about it.


Daughter of LAPD Sgt. accepts plea in death of Gardena cyclist Jesse Dotson

Despite her best efforts, the killer of a Gardena bike rider was unable to avoid justice after all.

Although her semi-successfult attempt to flee the scene may have spared her from a more severe penalty.

Twenty-three-year old Vanessa Marie Yanez was reportedly driving home when she collided with 60-year old postal worker Jesse Dotson as he was riding into work on Gardena’s El Segundo Blvd in June of last year. Yanez fled the scene, leaving Dotson bleeding in the street; he died in a local hospital a few days later.

The daughter of a veteran LAPD sergeant, Yanez reported the car stolen to the Huntington Park police the next day. However, an alert HPPD officer put two-and-two together after seeing news reports of the collision, and contacted Gardena police to report Yanez as a suspect.

Her car was found, complete with shattered windshield, still at the home she shared with her father, less than a mile from the scene of the collision. KNBC-4 later reported she told police she had been drinking before the wreck; if true, fleeing the scene would have given her time to sober up before her arrest.

She was arrested on suspicion of manslaughter, perjury, filing a false police report and felony hit-and-run.

Gardena police initially said her father, Sgt. Arturo Yanez, could face charges if it was shown that he had knowledge of his daughter’s actions or was involved in the attempted cover-up. No such charges were ever filed, though, even though it’s hard to understand how such an experienced officer would be unaware of what was happening under his own roof.

There were also reports that he could face an internal investigation with the LAPD; however, such investigations are considered personnel matters, and the results are unlikely to ever be made public.

Today, the LA District Attorney’s office announced (pdf) that Vanessa Yanez had changed her plea to no contest on three counts — a felony charge of leaving the scene of an accident, felony perjury, and misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter. She is expected to be sentenced to two years in state prison on September 25th.

The sentence seems light under the circumstances, suggesting she accepted a plea deal in exchange for a lighter sentence, as usually happens in traffic cases.

However, light sentences do little to stem the epidemic of hit-and-runs. And her sentence would have undoubtedly been much stiffer if it could have been shown that she was under the influence when she hit Dotson.

Which is just one more reason why the penalty for hit-and-run should be stiffened to match the penalties for drunk driving and remove the incentive for intoxicated drivers to flee the scene.

Correction: This story initially said Yanez had pled guilty; it has been amended to reflect her actual plea of no contest.


Gardena BWB tickets dropped, bike rider shooting caught on video, York road diet improves safety

Good news from Gardena for a change.

Streetsblog reports that the LACBC, along with a number of outraged letter writers, have been instrumental in getting the Gardena police to drop the tickets issued to a group of riders stopped for apparently riding while brown.

The riders, mostly members of the East Side Riders and Los Ryderz, had just replaced a ghost bike for fallen hit-and-run victim Benjamin Torres, which had been removed by the city. And which was removed a second time just hours later.

They were on their way meet with city officials when they were stopped, frisked, and — after much delay and debate among the many officers present — ticket for obstructing traffic, in violation of state law.

I doubt that members of La Grange, or any other spandex-clad Westside riding group, would have been stopped under the same circumstance. Let alone frisked.

Then again, it’s not like you can hide much in Spandex. Or anything, for that matter.

Fortunately, justice and rationality has finally reigned in Gardena.

Now if they can just keep their cops from killing crime victims.

The story notes that another memorial ride will be held this weekend. And this time, Gardena police have been invited to take part.

Now, the United Riders of South L.A. are asking for you to show your support for them, for victims of hit-and-runs, and for cycling in Gardena in general by joining them on this weekend’s memorial ride.

The group will meet this Saturday, August 10, at Rowley Park (13220 Van Ness Ave) at 3:30 p.m. to do a loop through Gardena and stop to pay their respects at the site where Torres was killed. If you have any questions, please see here or contact the East Side Riders or Los Ryderz.


The LAPD offers security video showing two gunmen targeting a bike rider in what would have been a drive-by, except the shooters got out of their SUV to fire their guns repeatedly.

Not surprisingly, police think the shooting, which occurred in El Sereno late last month, was gang related. The victim was treated and released for non-life-threatening injuries.

And just to clarify, gang-related does not necessarily mean the person getting shot at is a gang member; just that the people shooting at him may have been, or thought he was.

Anyone with information about this crime is asked to contact Hollenbeck Detective Donna Cornejo at 323-224-0104.

However, someone should tell the LAPD that bike riders, even ones getting shot at, are not pedestrians.

Mistaking the two could explain a lot when it comes to why some cops seem confused about the rights of riders.


Analysis of the 2006 York Blvd road diet shows it cut collisions by 23%, and injuries by 27%. And reduced felony hit-and-runs by a whopping 47%. However, collisions involving bicyclists continue to rise, perhaps due to increased ridership.


LA’s proposed street repair bond is revived by the city council; with reports due back to the council on the feasibility of including fixing sidewalks and complete streets serving all road users — including bicyclists — in the bond issue.

Of course, there’s a difference between mandating a complete streets approach and requesting a feasibility study. So we’ll want to keep an eye on this one.


Free three-hour bicycling skills courses will be offered by Metro and the LACBC over the next two months. The Culver City Bicycle Coalition hosts a family ride this Friday. The next Wolfpack Hustle midnight drag race gears up on September 7th; registration opens August 10th. Santa Monica’s new Streetsblog edition is coming next month. Formerly bike-unfriendly Malibu will show just how much they’ve changed with two PCH Safety Study Meetings later this month, on the 20th and 22nd. Oh the horror of it all, as Glendale streets are losing lanes and gaining signs to accommodate non-motorized road users. Long Beach looks into funding for their own ciclovia.

The Huntington Beach bike shop looted in the recent surf riot now offers T-shirts proclaiming it Riot Proof, as locals pitch in to pay for the damage. San Diego’s Qualcomm is working on a portable system to help drivers avoid bikes and pedestrians; thank goodness, because eyes and ears don’t seem to do the job. The fourth annual Ventura Share the Road Ride is scheduled for October 5th. Cyclelicious looks at the bike section of the updated 2013 California Drivers Handbook; not perfect, but it’s getting better, even if it does still say you can park in a bike lane. This is the guy behind many of the recent innovations in bike design. A San Francisco bike rider is killed in a Calistoga SWSS — Single Witness Suicide Swerve. A Red Bluff man says bicyclists don’t belong on local highways unless they pay to put bike lanes on them, neglecting to consider who pays for the traffic lanes he drives in — or that most cars come equipped with brakes to help them avoid slower traffic. Downtown Chico sports new green bike lanes, thus ruining their chance to pass for LA’s Spring Street in any Hollywood production.

The Federal Highway Administration moves to back separated cycle tracks. AAA’s own stats say high speeds kill, yet the Auto Club consistently opposes attempts to lower them. Not surprisingly, bike riders gravitate towards protected bikeways. The Bike League offers an in-depth report on women’s bicycling, and how to get more women on bikes. New flash cards help assess concussion in cycling falls; every racing team and riding club should have a set. No one really knows why your bike doesn’t just fall over; then again, maybe they do. Now that’s sad, as a barking dog leads strangers to the body of his master, who was killed in a fall from his bike. Seattle newspaper calls for more and better bicycling infrastructure. A Las Vegas bike rider is slashed by a double meat cleaver wielding Juggalo; my worst nightmare — homicidal, probably insane and horrific taste in music. The Denver public library goes mobile with a WiFi equipped book bike. Bike share generates more foot traffic than car parking in Chicago. How to not bike like a dickweed. New York mayoral candidate calls for a Vision Zero plan — aka no traffic deaths — for the city; long past time for one of our own here in the City of Angeles. Beyoncé bikes across the Brooklyn Bridge to perform at the Barclays Center; no one recognized her, proving that bikes really do make you invisible. Boston guards bikes in a subway station with a cardboard cutout of a cop — and it works; thanks to D.D. Syrdal for the link. In a heartbreaking case, the family of a cyclist riding near his home witnesses the hit-and-run that killed him. Mass insanity strikes Cobb County GA as they reject a grant because it reeks of a UN Agenda 21 plot to take away their cars. Louisiana bike rider tries to outrun a patrol car after stealing soda and beer.

Toronto cops are ordered to track doorings, while a local writer says let the city’s bike share system die a slow and painful death. In a hard-hitting piece, a Brit blogger says it’s really not funny when someone claims they were only joking about killing a cyclist or raping a woman, and the two have more in common than you might think. Britain’s Liberal Democrats call for proportionate liability to hold the larger vehicle responsible in a collision; something I’ve long called for (#10) here. Bike riders don’t deserve the abuse they receive on Twitter. Eight in ten British cyclists fear for their safety on the country’s roads; evidently, the rest don’t read online comments. Or maybe it’s because the courts send 95-year old drivers who kill cyclists after fainting back out to do it again. Advice on how to stay safe on your bike, and what to do if that advice doesn’t work. Aussie shock jocks are blamed for a bike lane backlash. Australian police crack down on rogue cyclists. A search for the best biking city Down Under. A Yokohama bike lane is a real obstacle course. A Japanese construction crane operator is arrested for hit-and-run in the death of an 11-year old bike rider; yes, a construction crane.

Finally, you can now protect yourself from the sun while you turn your helmet into a giant sombrero, but would it block the view from your built-in cam? Here’s the perfect bluegrass-flavored soundtrack for your next ride.

And if you haven’t seen it yet, just try to keep your jaw from hitting the floor when a mountain bike racer goes horizontal off a billboard to take the win.

Was the brother of a Gardena bike theft victim murdered by the cops sent to help them?

Maybe those riders in Gardena are lucky they only got ticketed for blocking the lane.

It was suspicious enough when Gardena police blew away the brother of the victim — yes, victim — of a bike theft last month, because they couldn’t be bothered to let him explain that the bike-riding men they’d detained were friends who were helping to look for his brothers bike.

And yes, he said it in English, according to witnesses.

Somehow, the patrons at a nearby restaurant were able to understand Ricardo Diaz-Zeferino clearly. But the cops couldn’t seem to make it out, claiming he was shouting and gesturing before reaching towards his waistband.

So they shot him.

Eight times.

Including twice in the back.

One of those non-bike theft friends was also shot. And yes, also in the back.

Maybe they have a problem with backward shooting trick shot artists down there.

Never mind that the officers shot and killed an unarmed man. Or the recklessness they showed in opening fire just feet from of a crowded Redondo Beach Boulevard restaurant.

At best, it looks like an incredibly bad shoot by a trio of trigger happy cops. At worst, they may have murdered the brother of a petty crime victim

I cannot repeat that enough. They killed someone helping the victim of the crime.

And now those officers are back on the street after being placed on administrative leave.

I don’t know about you, but I’m going to stay the hell out of Gardena for the foreseeable future.

And whatever you do, don’t report a crime there.

Correction: An earlier draft said police had killed the victim of the bike theft, which had been my understanding. However, this story from the Daily Breeze makes it clear that the man who was killed, Ricardo Diaz-Zeferino, was the brother of the man who had his bike stolen, and was assisting in the search for the stolen bike. Thanks to Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman for the correction.


Meanwhile, in yet another black mark on the city’s police department — which still hasn’t been able to catch the killer of hit-and-run victim Benjamin Torres — Streetsblog’s Damien Newton writes that you shouldn’t expect justice in the case of the LAPD Sargent whose daughter is charged with killing bike-riding postal worker Jesse Dotson in a hit-and-run.

That’s because Gardena police aren’t even investigating the father, even though she was driving his car, which was later reported stolen. And oddly, discovered just blocks away from their home.

As Damien put it,

He either believes his daughter’s ridiculous story and is one of the worst investigative officers ever, or he is complicit in the scheme to report the car stolen.

Yeah, no point in investigating that.


Bike racer Emma Pooley says it’s long past time that women bike racers were allowed to compete equally with the men — in fact, they used to just a few decades back, both in the Tour de France and America’s late, great Red Zinger/Coors Classic.

If you agree women belong in a parallel Le Tour — let alone the Amgen Tour of California and the upcoming USA Pro Challenge — sign the petition here.

I did.


A new bike and pedestrian bridge over the LA River on its way to approval by the LA City Council may make a planned Glendale bridge superfluous. The county breaks ground on a new segment of LA River pathway in Studio City and Sherman Oaks. The Source is enthusiastic about bike trains. Participants in Friday’s Zócalo Public Square/Grand Park forum call for a cease fire between bicyclists and drivers. Tell that to the papers of the Los Angeles News Group, who continue to troll for bike hate, this time questioning if LA commuters will ever bike to work, in a negatively worded poll. A Pasadena bike rider suffers life threatening injuries in a head-on collision with a salmon cyclist. Boyonabike looks at cars and the environment. Ride with the mayor of Montebello next Sunday. Over 500 riders turn out for the first ever Long Beach women’s only Beach Babe Classic. A Santa Clarita cyclist suffers a broken back in a hit-and-run; the driver turned himself in four hours later, apparently at the urging of family members. The San Diego Union-Tribune endorses efforts to promote bicycling in the county. Evidently, you don’t have to be sane to have a drivers license in California, with predictable results.

Scion thinks you’re an obstacle, but they’re really, really sorry about it. Elly Blue says our roads are depreciating, too. Do bike shops just market to white males? Cycle chic is already a thing; you can’t co-opt it by adding “ing,” even if helmets really are becoming more fashionable. Five innovative ways to park a bike. Using a bike as a weapon is no different from using a car as a weapon, except for the results. Famed researcher John Pucher says it’s time for a bike renaissance in Seattle. The Boulder CO sheriff says the road rage brake check that left a leading triathlete seriously injured wasn’t. An aggressive road-raging, horn-blaring, multi-car passing Colorado driver films his own apoplectic outrage at a group of bicyclists. Turns out you can’t use your car as a weapon to run down a bike riding, cigarette-stealing Wisconsin thief, after all. Even a protected bike lane isn’t enough to protect a Chicago bike rider. Michigan police arrest a 12-year old bike riding bank robber. Thanks to our veto-wielding governor, California can’t even get a three-foot passing law; a Maine writer says three-feet isn’t enough. Lesson #1: Try not to share the same stretch of asphalt as your boyfriend’s crazed, motor-maniacal ex. Upstate New York triathlete killed when he rides into the back of a parked car; another is seriously injured while exchanging water bottles. A pair of bike-riding Pennsylvania teenagers rescue a kidnapped five-year old girl; thanks to D.D. Syrdal for the heads-up. The next broken down bike rider you see could be Dave Matthews on his way to his own show, and you could get front row tickets if you stop. Seriously, no matter how pissed off you are about the 70-something driver who nearly hit you, don’t try to punch him out. A nice piece from Bike Delaware explains why you may be invisible to some drivers.

A British pub owner is really, really sorry he threatened to run down “weak-kneed” cyclists at 60 mph. Half of all Brits admit to road rage; maybe that’s why someone is pushing people off bikes in Leicester. With a week left, the Tour de France may already be over, as Froome looks unbeatable. Cadel Evans tweets advice on how to watch a bike race safely. A year after she quit racing, American Mara Abbott is a two-time winner of Italy’s prestigious Giro Rosa. Lexus rolls out a one million-yen limited edition bike; yawn.

Finally, what do you do after leaving City Council? Former Councilmember Ed Reyes rides a bike. And it looks like Westfield Century City will soon open LA’s first bike station; more on that later.

Westfield Bike Station

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