Biking While Black has long been treated like a crime.
But it’s not supposed to carry the death penalty.
Yet that’s what appears to be what happened Monday afternoon when a pair of LA County Sheriff’s deputies spotted a Black man riding a bicycle on Budlong Avenue in the Westmont neighborhood of South LA.
They attempted to stop him for some unspecified traffic code violation, which could have been anything from riding the wrong way to riding a cruiser bike with raised handlebars.
Or it could have just been a pretext to stop and search, despite a lack of probable cause.
Twenty-nine-year old Dijon Kizzee attempted to flee on foot, and allegedly punched one of the deputies when they caught up to him a block later.
He dropped a bundle of clothing he was carrying; the deputies opened fire when they reportedly spotted a semi-automatic handgun in the bundle — making Kizzee just the latest in a long line of Black and brown men and women killed by police under questionable circumstances.
But LA Congresswoman Karen Bass asks the same questions I have. Especially why did the deputes shoot after Kizzee dropped his weapon?
What bike violation is so severe that they needed to stop Dijon Kizzee?
What bike violation is so severe that they needed to chase him?
What bike violation is so severe that they needed to shoot him as many times as they did?
If he dropped a weapon, why was he then shot? https://t.co/SlRGmGOux3
— Congressmember Bass (@RepKarenBass) September 1, 2020
A day later, the Sheriff’s Department attempted to clarify, saying Kizzee had made a motion towards the weapon.
Which, again, can mean absolutely anything, from lunging towards it to merely pointing in that direction.
But what’s painfully clear is that he was not holding it or threatening them with it when both deputies shot him multiple times.
One witness insists he never had a gun, and what the deputies saw was his cellphone; however, authorities say a gun was recovered from the scene.
Another indicated that Kizzee had his hands in the air at the time of the shooting.
Sadly, I have no confidence in the Sheriff’s Department to conduct a full, fair and honest investigation of the shooting. Especially under the leadership of a sheriff who seems more interested in getting fired deputies back on the force than in protecting the people of LA County.
And one who continually denies the existence of tattooed gangs within the department, including a clique called The Executioners operating out of South LA.
The mere name of which raises questions anytime they fire a gun.
We need to wait for more information before drawing any conclusions about what actually happened, because initial reports are often wrong.
And we may never know what really happened, since the LASD doesn’t require body cameras on its deputies, although thankfully, that may soon change.
Yes, there’s an argument to be made Kizzee shouldn’t have run, and shouldn’t have fought with the deputies. Let alone carried a concealed weapon.
Although some of that could have been caused, or exacerbated, by Kizzee’s ADHD.
But nothing he did appears to have called for a summary execution without trial on the streets of LA County.
One thing is clear, though.
It’s long past time to stop needlessly killing Black and brown people.
And no one should ever be executed merely for riding a bike with the wrong skin tone.
Somehow, this didn’t make the news here in Los Angeles.
A driver rammed through a crowd of bike riders, apparently part of a rolling Black Lives Matter protest, at Melrose and La Brea on Sunday afternoon.
And may have deliberately tried to run down a 14-year old boy.
Metro proposes taking a big step backward by removing bike lanes on Colorado Blvd in Eagle Rock, and replacing them with bus lanes that bike riders can use.
As long as they don’t mind having a speeding bus run up their ass.
It's official. @metrolosangeles is proposing to remove bike lanes in Eagle Rock so that they can prioritize convenience for drivers while planning a transit project in 2020 #BRTforEquity #ClimateChange pic.twitter.com/uplol7cnAk
— ᴘᴇʀꜱᴏɴ, ᴡᴏᴍᴀɴ, ᴍᴀɴ, ᴄᴀᴍᴇʀᴀ, ᴛᴠ (@topomodesto) September 2, 2020
The candidates for LA City Council in CD4 will hold a virtual debate tonight.
In what’s definitely the best story of the day, after discovering a boy riding his bike in his driveway, a man responded by taking some chalk and drawing a racetrack for the kid.
Today’s common theme is an incredible string of violent assaults involving a question of bicycles, and who owns them.
A 19-year old New Mexico man faces a murder charge for fatally shooting another man in a dispute over the victim’s bicycle.
A Wisconsin man was arrested for using a knife to fight with another man, armed only with a belt, in the middle of a street over who owned a bicycle.
Police in New Jersey arrested two men for attempting to steal a bicycle, and swinging a bottle at the victim’s head.
An English man was knocked off his bike and punched in the face by a group of teenage boys, who then made off with his bicycle.
The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes just keeps on going.
No bias here. A London paper blames a jump in rural bicycling injuries and deaths on weekend warriors chasing KOMs, without a single mention of the people in the big, dangerous machines.
But sometimes, it’s the people on two wheels behaving badly.
A pair of Fresno men were injured when they were shot by someone on a bicycle, several minutes after first coming in contact with him.
An Arcata CA bike rider is under arrest for throwing several large rocks in a road rage incident, shattering a store window at a local shopping center.
Someone on a bicycle attacked a New York City judge, punching her in the jaw as she was walking to the courthouse Monday morning; it’s not clear whether she was the victim of a random attack, or if someone deliberately targeted her. Thanks to John Damman for the heads-up.
A New Jersey bike rider faces a sex charge for allegedly fondling a woman after circling back to assault her.
Apparently, it’s possible to have a drive-by shooting without a car, after a bike rider fired several shots at an Alabama home.
Apparently, LA bicycle advocates have gone “way beyond the pale of being pro-mobility” and are somehow tied to crooked developers. In that case, I want to know who’s getting my take, cause I’m sure as hell not getting it.
The Harvard Park intersection of Slauson and Western Aves ranks as the most dangerous in Los Angeles, in terms of the number of collisions.
LADOT wants your input on creating safe, stress-free connections on neighborhood streets. Thanks to Keith Johnson for the tip.
Metro is celebrating a long-delayed Bike Month in September. Uh, yay?
Pasadena police wrote 82 tickets during a seven-hour crackdown on traffic violations that endanger bike riders and pedestrians; 67 tickets went to drivers, while 11 pedestrians were ticketed, along with just four bike riders.
Santa Clarita sheriff’s deputies are holding their own bike and pedestrian safety crackdown today. As always, ride to the letter of the law until you get outside their jurisdiction.
The California legislature passed SB 288, which streamlines CEQA approval for environmentally friendly transportation projects such as bike lanes, light rail and bus lanes; now it goes to the governors desk for approval.
The rich get richer. Oakland has extended the parking protected bike lanes on iconic Telegraph Avenue.
Newly rebranded Jump dockless ebikes will return to the streets of Sacramento, after Lime bought the brand from Uber.
Yahoo names America’s most bike friendly cities, led by Portland and Minneapolis; California is represented by San Francisco and Oakland, ranking fifth and twelfth, respectively, as well as a surprising Irvine at 24th. Needless to say, Los Angeles is nowhere to be seen.
SGV Media talks with new PeopleforBikes CEO Jenn Dice.
An Oregon man will spend this month riding down the Left Coast from Canada to Mexico to call attention to suicide awareness.
Unbelievable. After a Reno bike rider gets left crossed by a driver, a local TV station blames the victim for hitting the car.
A Wisconsin family drove across the US to deliver 50 refurbished bicycles to a Lutheran mission in Texas, to donate to underprivileged children in El Paso and across the border in Juarez, Mexico.
New York responds to a jump in traffic deaths by lowering the speed limit on nine major streets. Which compares to Los Angeles, where speed limits only seem to go in one direction. And it ain’t down.
New York won’t be upgrading the bike network in the Bronx, despite four bicycling deaths in just three months; instead, the city will respond with heavier police enforcement, even though that didn’t help when they tried it earlier this summer.
New York Magazine offers advice on everything you need to start mountain biking, from the bike up.
A Christian radio host claims a bike rider harassed him as he was leaving the White House last week, while denying he tried to punch the other man, despite video appearing to show exactly that.
A North Carolina company is literally reinventing the wheel, creating a new bike wheel with carbon spokes half the weight of metal spokes.
A kindhearted Georgia cop bought a new bike for a Walmart employee, after a bike theif forced him to walk to work.
Kindhearted Florida sheriff’s deputies got a new bike for a 13-year old boy after his was destroyed by a hit-and-run driver.
Another reminder to slow down and ride carefully on bike paths — and always carry ID — after an unidentified Windsor, Ontario man suffered life threatening injuries in a collision with another bike rider.
Scotland will invest $100 million a year for the next five years to improve conditions for bicycling and walking, along with reallocating more road space from cars to bikes.
A new study shows that closing central Madrid boosted retail spending nearly 10%. Thanks to W. Corylus for the link.
Sad news from Australia, where 26-year old BMX legend Charlie Gumley apparently drowned while on a kayaking trip.
In today’s spoiler-free Tour de France update, that guy with the unpronounceable name won the race’s first mountaintop finish
Sunweb cyclist Tiesj Benoot escaped without any major injuries after crashing over a guard rail in Tuesday’s fourth stage of the Tour. But his bike wasn’t so lucky.
Bicycling looks ahead to today’s stage five.
The BBC talks with South LA’s Williams brothers about their efforts to diversify cycling and create bike racing superstars.
This is what is looks like when photographers don’t get the hell out of the way.
Dangerous finish in CoppieBartali – riders nearly ride straight in to the photgraphers after the line, Aplecin Fenix rider gets a bump on the line from Astana rider, almost goes straight in to the barriers to the right of the photographers, looks to have just stopped on time https://t.co/ujtGmgpsR1
— Ian (@cyclingbetting) September 1, 2020
This is what you get when bikemakers consider getting into the e-car business. Seriously, don’t touch the horses when you zoom by on your ebike.
And that feeling when you’ve got a big truck tire to move, and your cargo bike must be in the shop.
Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask, already.