Tag Archive for L.A. Police Commission

Morning Links: 2nd officer faulted for beating of South LA bike rider, and a sad old song about careless drivers

According to the LA Times, another LAPD officer has been found at fault in the videotaped beating of a bike rider in South LA.

Clinton Alford fled from police when they ordered him to stop as he rode his bike on the sidewalk along Avalon Blvd last October; he claimed they failed to identify themselves as police officers, and only ran when someone grabbed the wheel of his bike.

Once they caught up to him, he reportedly laid down voluntarily and put his hands behind his back, making no attempt to resist as officers restrained him.

Despite that, an officer identified as Richard Garcia allegedly began kicking and beating him, reportedly lining up to kick his head like it was a football. Garcia faces an assault charge for the attack, which was captured on a nearby security camera.

Now the Police Commission has agreed with LAPD Chief Charlie Beck that a second unidentified officer also violated the department’s use of force policies by kicking Alford and standing on his feet.

It will be up to Beck to decide if either cop should face retraining, suspension or lose their jobs.

You can guess which one I’d vote for, although, as a personnel matter, we’ll probably never know what he decides.

Not surprisingly, charges against Alford for possession and resisting arrest were dropped once news of the beating surfaced.


Evidently, careless drivers have been a problem for a long time, as this song attests.

Maybe it’s time for a more modern remake.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.


New Zealander Linda Villumsen won Tuesday’s women’s elite time trial at the world championships; American great Kristin Armstrong just missed the podium finish that would have guaranteed her a spot on the US team for next year’s Rio Olympics.

Germany’s Tony Martin looks to regain his world time trial title in Wednesday’s race, while Russia’s Artem Ovechkin pulls out due to the death of his mother. Former pro Matt Crane is content to watch from the sidelines of an event he competed in 11 years ago as a U23 rider.

Allie Dragoo was bumped from the American women’s team at the last minute in favor of her pro teammate Lauren Komanski after an arbitrator’s ruling; the explanation for the decision will come long after the championships are over. Something tells me one of them will have to find a new team for next year.

Cycling’s governing body announces reforms for the coming years; whether it is enough to stabilize the sport is TBD.

What happens when pro cyclists — and everyday riders — take a wrong turn or two. And things five pro cyclists do every day to stay on top of their game.



You’re invited to attend a press conference to support Central Avenue bike lanes and safer streets in South LA today, starting at 5 pm at the intersection of Vernon and Central Aves. This comes after recent efforts by Councilmember Curren Price to remove planned Central Avenue bike lanes from the Mobility Plan, despite the obvious need for them.

Streetsblog looks at how LA can create a more walkable Downtown, which translates into better livability and bikeability, as well.

A member of the Burbank Transportation Commission says the planned Western Channel Bikeway Phase II pathway will improve active mobility access for people walking and on bikes. They could come up with a catchier name, though.



Streetsblog California looks at the newly signed bill allowing bicycle ticket diversion classes, and notes that the LACBC has expressed an interest in conducting classes here in LA. Curbed LA takes a look, as well.

Fullerton decides to install temporary bike lanes and traffic circles to test out how they work on a city street, with a goal of eventually establishing a bike boulevard. Testing things like that prior to permanent installation provides an opportunity to overcome the inevitable bikelash by showing the sky will not, in fact, fall.

It’s war over Complete Streets in Encinitas, as one member of the city’s Traffic and Public Safety Commission is essentially blackmailed to resign by a fellow commissioner for promoting a “bicyclist agenda.” He also describes Complete Streets as a “recreational religion” that’s too radical for the city. Even though Complete Streets is the official policy of the state, and contained in the current federal transportation bill.

The Coronado Inn encourages people to enjoy a tandem bike ride in the city where residents nearly revolted recently over plans for a bike path. I’ll pass, thank you.

The battle between equestrians and mountain bikers moves up to the East Bay, as cyclists campaign for the right to ride Lamorinda trails currently reserved for horses.

Sadly, a bicyclist lost his life in a Sacramento collision Tuesday morning; no details were available as of this posting.



A Portland cyclist meets the Good Samaritan who saved his life when he collapsed with a heart attack following a ride.

An Indiana man is arrested for driving under the influence of a controlled substance after leaving a badly injured bike rider lying in a ditch. The schmuck driver first claimed he thought he hit a deer — even though deer seldom use a red blinkie and a reflective triangle — then changed his story to say the cyclist veered into his path while riding from the opposite direction; police determined the rider was actually run down from behind.

The rich get richer. New York hit 1,000 miles of bike lanes on Tuesday, though not everyone is happy about it.

Comcast turns to bikes to get around traffic problems caused by the pope’s visit to Philadelphia. Speaking of which, the formerly bike riding pontiff will get a new bike with angelic chain guard from Philly’s own Breezer Bikes.

North Carolina bike advocates beat down an attempt to ban road diets in the state legislature.



Now this I like. A British company has designed a bike parking system that allows members to secure their bikes with a specially treated one-inch steel bar.

London is creating three new bike and pedestrian friendly mini-Hollands it hopes will spread throughout the city. Maybe LA should try that approach; other districts might beg for road diets and walkable, bikeable streets once they see what a difference it can make for businesses and livability.

The Guardian looks at five of the best scenic bike rides in Wales. One day I hope to take the Corgi to visit to her ancestral homeland so she can watch the herds of wild Corgis roam the Welsh Serengeti.

Caught on video: A Brit bike rider captures a first-person perspective of flipping over an empty wheelchair that was pushed into his path without warning; you can see the speed gauge on his Garmin go from 24 to zero within seconds as he flops onto the street.



When you’re wearing body armor and carrying a concealed handgun and a broken-down shotgun on your bike, don’t stop to break into someone’s home as you travel on your way. If you’re getting low on your wife’s favorite coffee, it’s worth taking a ferry across the channel and biking along the coast of France to bring back 64 pounds of it.

And caught on video: Why carry your cross bike up the stairs when you can just bunny hop them in rapid succession?


In case you missed it, you can find yesterday’s late arriving and extremely lengthy Morning Links here.

Fighting back against hit-and-run in L.A., and a tree points the finger at the car that killed it

Not all victims of hit-and-run are human.

Hit-and-run is a serious problem in L.A.

And from what I’ve seen, pretty much everywhere else, too.

According to LAPD statistics, a driver flees the scene in a staggering one out of every three reported collisions in this megalopolis we call home.

Last year alone, the city saw 18,819 hit-and-run collisions. That includes 36 cases where someone — another motorist, a cyclist* or pedestrian — was left to die in the street. Along with another 134 people severely injured and 852 with less serious injuries.

I have my own thoughts on how to address it at a state level. Like automatically revoking the license of anyone who leaves the scene of a collision. And impounding the vehicle as evidence pending a trial — then seizing and selling it upon conviction, with any proceeds going to the victim.

After all, you don’t let a bank robber keep the gun he used.

State law already allows a car to be seized by the state if it’s used to solicit prostitution. And isn’t leaving a victim bleeding in the street a little serious than trolling for a blowjob?

Meanwhile, writing for KCET, L.A. bike advocate Don Ward — better known as Roadblock — has his own thoughts on how to address it on a local level.

  1. Elevate the status of hit-and-run against cyclists and pedestrians to that of assault, regardless of the severity of the injury.
  2. License numbers must be run immediately, and a patrol car deployed to the owner’s home to gather evidence.
  3. Saying “I didn’t see them” should be an admission of guilt, not an excuse — especially when it involves a pedestrian in a painted crosswalk.
  4. Speed limits must be enforced by all means possible.

He’s planning to take it up with the L.A. Police Commission at their next meeting at 9 am Tuesday at police headquarters, 1st and Main Street, across from Downtown City Hall. Ward is asking cyclists to meet him at the Starbucks one block east of police headquarters at 1st and Los Angeles Street before the meeting to discuss strategy.

You may think you have more important things to do that day.

But chances are, you don’t.

Especially if you don’t want to find yourself lying in the street one day, watching the car that hit you speed off into the distance.

*LAPD stats show four cyclists killed in hit-and-run collisions in 2011, while my records show three out of the city’s five cycling fatalities were hit-and-run.


The key to solving any hit-and-run is identifying the driver.

But sometimes, it’s a little easier than others. Especially when the victim grabs the license plate of the vehicle that killed it.

Photos courtesy of the LACBC's and CicLAvia's Bobby Gadda

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