No Morning Links today due to today’s breaking news.
I’ll try to catch up tomorrow with a rare Saturday edition; if not, we’ll see you on Monday.
We finally know a little more about the arrest in the hit-and-run death of Frederick Frazier.
Frazier, known as Woon to his friends, was killed on April 10th as he rode near the intersection of Manchester and Normandie in the Manchester Square neighborhood of South LA.
Twenty-three-year old Mariah Kandise Banks was initially arrested after turning herself in on May 11th.
However, KTLA-5 reports the LA District Attorney’s office referred the case back to the police for further investigation.
Banks was taken into custody again on Wednesday; Streetsblog LA reports she will likely be charged with vehicular manslaughter and felony hit-and-run.
LAPD officers said she traveling at a high rate of speed at the time of the crash.
Here’s how Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman described it.
From the surveillance footage, it appears abundantly clear that Banks was speeding.
She was also flying through a gutter lane peppered with parked cars along the length of Manchester, meaning that, at the very least, her intent was a self-centered one: to get around other vehicles she saw as moving too slowly. To do so, she was likely weaving in and out of the gutter lane as quickly as possible – there was even a car parked in the lane thirty or forty yards up from where Frazier’s body lay.
She deliberately put herself in a position where her only options were to slow as she approached parked cars until there was an opening in the adjacent lane that she could move into or to intermittently accelerate and weave recklessly at high speed.
According to the police, Banks admitted she was driving the SUV, and told investigators she simply panicked and fled.
Which does not explain why police found her formerly white Porsche Cayenne painted black in an obvious attempt to disguise it, apparently with a brush, when they served a search warrant in Moreno Valley.
Banks called police a few hours after that to turn herself in.
The LA Times reports police are still investigating, and other arrests are possible.
Which seems appropriate, since initial reports indicated there were two passengers in the car, who both failed to come forward after the crash. And there may be others who aided in the cover-up.
Remarkably, Frazier’s mother has forgiven Banks, according to the Times.
“I have compassion for the lady,” Owens said “I can’t imagine what it’s like for her, I can’t imagine what it feels like living with this.
“There’s no good ending to it,” she added.
KTLA reports she had previously said Frazier had Type 1 diabetes, and rode a bike to manage his weight.
“He worked full time and he has a car but he wanted to get his miles in, so he rode his bike,” she said at the time. “He didn’t deserve to die because he rode his bike.”
No one does.
There’s an effort led by some of Frazier’s friends to get protected bike lanes on Manchester — as called for in both the city’s mobility and Vision Zero plans — in response to his death.
But as usual, it only comes after it’s already too late.
Especially for Frederick Frazier’s mother and his pregnant girlfriend.
Thanks to Erik Griswold for video of the press conference. Top photo from Facebook via Streetsblog.
Police also made an arrest in the intentional hit-and-run that followed the next day.
The LAPD took 19-year old Alana Ealy into custody on May 30th on suspicion of attempted murder following a nearly two-month manhunt.
Ealy had been caught on video arguing with bicyclists who had blocked the intersection of Manchester and Normandie on April 11th to protest Frazier’s death.
She was then filmed plowing directly into Quatrell Stallings as he blocked the intersection with his bike, and nearly hit a woman as she was crossing the street with her dogs.
Police found her car the next day, but were unable to locate Ealy.
According to Streetsblog’s Sulaiman,
They were able to identify her from images that had been captured of her altercation with cyclists and forensic evidence gathered from the car. But they speculated that she could be hiding in one of several different locations. Ealy was finally located by the Fugitive Task Force on the evening of May 30. According to LASD records, however, despite being charged with attempted murder, she was released on $50,000 bail in the early hours of June 1. No court date has yet been set in that case.
Meanwhile Stallings is still recovering from injuries that include head trauma, a broken leg and ankle, head injuries and surgery to repair his knee.
Sadly, the crowdfunding page to help pay his medical expenses has raised less than $500 of the $20,000 goal.