Tag Archive for police violence

Bike League addresses South LA bike rider killed by deputies, Streetsie Awards announced, and don’t be a schmuck

I may have to start a new religion. 

Three days after my laptop died, it somehow miraculously resurrected itself yesterday morning. 

No assurances that it’s up and running for good, but at least it gives me a chance to catch up on this week’s news. And maybe buy a little time to come up with the money to replace it. 

Photo by Life Matters from Pexels.

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The Bike League offered a statement on the killing of Black bike rider Dijon Kizzee in South LA last week, seemingly shot in the back by sheriff’s deputies as he tried to run away from a traffic stop.

I’d planned on just posting an except from it, but the whole thing is worth reading.

Dijon Kizzee was a bicyclist. He was a person on a bike. He was a Black man in America on a bike.

According to police reports he was doing something illegal on a bike, violating a section of the traffic code. As most people who bike know, most of the traffic code was not created for them; is not known by many people, including law enforcement; and is enforced in a highly discretionary manner. Much of the traffic code that deals with bicycling is focused on protecting the rider from the drivers of motor vehicles that we share streets with. We as an organization are committed to doing whatever we can to make bicycling safe for everyone, including reducing interactions between bicyclists and the police that can escalate into violence.

A biking code violation should never lead to police violence and deadly force.

Dijon Kizzee died after being stopped while bicycling. A protected bike lane or statutory change would be unlikely to change that.

Racism is much larger than bicycling, but to make safe streets for everyone requires confronting racism. Confronting institutional racism in our justice systems, police practices, and cycles of investment is necessary to make safe streets for everyone.

To make sure that #BlackLivesMatter to us as a bicycling organization, bicycling while Black must be treated as a threat to the safety of bicycling in the same way that we treat lack of infrastructure, distracted driving, drunk driving, speeding, and the many other things that people think of when they think of bicycle safety.

Los Angles Sheriff Alex Villanueva says the department has almost concluded its investigation of the shooting, and is just waiting to interview one of the deputies, who still hasn’t spoken with investigators over ten days after the shooting.

Meanwhile, there’s this hard-hitting piece by a Black writer, who wonders when we’ll talk about the fear Black people experience as they walk their dogs, ride their bikes and work in their yards, as opposed to a fear of Blackness.

An Asian man in Garden Grove was the victim of a racist rant from a neighbor as he rode a stationary bike in his garage; the woman only left after he picked up a knife. Needless to say, the woman’s husband insisted she’s not racist and it was all a misunderstanding. Hint: If you don’t recognize your own neighbor, and describe him as having “slanted eyes,” you’re pretty damn racist.

And an Illinois woman faces hate crime charges for trying to run Black bike riders off the Winnetka Pier, falsely telling them they needed a permit to be there. Correction: I originally wrote that the incident took place on Chicago’s Navy Pier, rather than Winnetka. Thanks to Andy Stow for the correction.

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Congratulations to BikinginLA sponsors Jim Pocrass and Josh Cohen on being honored with this year’s Streetsblog LA Streetsie Awards.

Other honorees include LA County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, Culver City Councilmember and former Mayor Meghan Sahli-Wells, LA City Commissioner and CicLAvia Chief Strategist Tafarai Bayne, and climate advocacy group Climate Resolve.

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This one’s definitely worth the click. And maybe even a few copycats.

Thanks to W. Corylus for the heads-up.

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That feeling when you can’t decide whether to build a cycle track or a pump track.

bike lane in Körmend, Hungary from UrbanHell

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Leslie Jones is one of us now, too.

https://twitter.com/Lesdoggg/status/1302365492070379520

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It takes a major schmuck to tell a handicapped bicyclist who doesn’t have use of his legs that he can’t use his mobility device on public trail.

Whether or not it’s technically within the rules.

Seriously, don’t be this guy.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes just keeps on going.

An unlicensed driver faces charges for intentionally trying to run down a mother riding with her young daughter, after they complained he was blocking a San Francisco bike lane.

DC authorities are looking for a driver who intentionally ran down a man riding a bike; for a change, the police are treating it as a homicide.

An Ontario, Canada letter writer says bike lanes should be built on a “use it or lose it” basis, suggesting they should be removed if not enough people use them. Maybe we should put the same rule in place for motor vehicles.

No bias here. A British tabloid exposes the “secret” hand signs that bicyclists use to warn other riders about road hazards, which drivers apparently aren’t supposed to know about.

No bias here, either. A British motoring magazine says Covid-19 is being used as an excuse to rob drivers of their precious traffic lanes, and motorists need to keep fighting to claw them back.

Or here, as a British tabloid goes ballistic claiming a fire truck became stuck by a planter intended to block traffic on a Slow Street — even though the fire captain said in the same article that they didn’t get stuck, and supported the traffic restrictions as a safety measure.

But sometimes, it’s the people on two wheels behaving badly.

A group of New York firefighters chased down and detained a bike-riding man who swerved onto the sidewalk to punch a 60-year old woman, apparently at random.

A Saskatchewan woman suffered serious injures when she was struck by a bike rider who rang his bell before plowing into her; the crash may or may not have been his fault, but leaving the scene afterwards was.

Seriously, don’t be that person, part two. A woman on a bike rode off without an apology after being confronted by a child’s mother for hitting and dragging her one-year old daughter in a London Park.

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Local

Surprise! It’s Bike Month in LA County, such as it is this year. Instead of Bike to Work Day, we’ll have Ride a Bike Day on Tuesday the 22nd, aka World Car Free Day; you can celebrate virtually with Burbank and the LACBC.

This is how you change the world. South LA’s East Side Riders Bike Club has been serving a free breakfast to the community all summer; now they’re extending hours to feed children before school, and working on serving lunch.

Look, we get it. It’s great that the former Governator is one of us. But we really don’t need to see daily photos of his daily ebike rides through Santa Monica.

 

State

The bike boom is going full force in San Diego, where a new study shows bicycling rates shot up 40% over last year since the Covid-19 stay at home order was issued.

Highland police will conduct a bike and pedestrian safety enforcement crackdown today. Standard protocol applies — ride to the letter of the law until you cross the city limits, so you’re not the one who gets ticketed.

A Big Bear bike rider says it’s time to dust off the local bike plans, because there are too many drivers “who either don’t see cyclists or don’t like cyclists on the road.”

The family of a Vallejo bike rider will receive a $6 million settlement from the city, after he was fatally shot by a cop who wanted to warn him about riding on a busy street.

A Los Altos bike rider describes roads emptied by the fires in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties as a cycling Nirvana. Even if everyone was being asked to stay off them.

Santa Clara-based chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices is getting into the bike business with a pair of eponymous ebikes.

 

National

Nice read from a new bike rider, who comes to the realization that it’s okay to take up space on a bike. And that some drivers insist on getting in front, even when it’s not smart.

Cannondale is recalling defective front racks on some of its Treadwell bike models.

A bike rider documented the destruction from a wildfire that ravaged his southern Oregon town.

Now that’s more like it. A Nebraska man got 18 years behind bars for the hit-and-run death of a Colorado bike rider; that compares with just four years for a similar crime in Los Angeles.

A Texas man is riding 3,000 miles around the perimeter of the state, after previously riding 4,900 miles through every street in Austin.

This is why you don’t chase down a bike thief. A Wisconsin teenager faces an attempted murder charge for repeatedly shooting a man who chased after him when the teen allegedly stole a bike from his property.

Chicago has seen a spike in bicycling fatalities, with seven deaths so far this year, including the first death on city’s e-bikeshare.

This is the cost of traffic violence. An assistant Brooklyn DA and experienced bicyclist was killed when she was struck by the driver of a charter bus while riding her bike; advocates point the finger at New York Mayor Bill de Blasio for failing to make the city safer. De Blasio responded by saying if you think riding a bike in the city sucks now, just imagine what it would be like without him.

New York’s spare mayor, who would take over if de Blasio stepped down for any reason, says he worries about his own safety while riding a bike, after getting hit by a driver while riding last week.

New York bike advocates call on the NYPD to stop prematurely blaming bike riders for their own deaths before even conducting an investigation.

No charges have been filed against a pro-Trump driver who plowed into a group of bike riders last week at a Black Lives Matter protest in New York’s Times Square.

Someone please tell “Northern Virginia’s leading news source” that robbing, assaulting and exposing yourself to people on a local bike trail is not the same as aggressive bicycling.

A group of North Carolina seniors were heroes after finding four grand in cash while on a bike ride, then tracking down the money’s owner who had literally lost his nest egg.

 

International

Once again, a bike rider is a hero, as a Canadian medical resident biking home from work came across someone passed out in the street, and was able to save their life with a dose of naxalone.

One of Canada’s best-know tech investors was paralyzed from the waist down when he was struck by the driver of jackknifed truck as he was riding his bike last week.

London bicyclists were twice as likely to be seriously injured or killed by speeding drivers during the city’s coronavirus lockdown.

Life is cheap in Wales, where a driver walked after playing the universal Get Out of Jail Free card, claiming he couldn’t see the bike-riding man he killed because the sun was in his eyes. A second driver played the same card in the same crash, but a jury didn’t buy it in her case.

Good for her. The wife of a fallen British bicyclist unleashed her fury on the court for the lenient sentence given her husband’s killer, who got just six months for hitting him head-on while speeding on the wrong side of the road.

Tragic news, as a well-known 86-year old UK bicyclist died while trying to ride the length of the country for a second time, after he was found in the roadway suffering from serious head injuries; he’d completed the 621-mile ride once before when he was 77.

A Berlin court ordered city officials to remove popup bike lanes that had been installed during the pandemic, after opponents accused them of using it to push through their traffic agenda.

Bollywood star Salmon Khan is one of us. Then again, he’s also an accused hit-and-run driver who was never held accountable.

An Indian man had a little time on his hands during the country’s coronavirus lockdown. So he used it to build an eco-friendly wooden bicycle.

Kenyans are taking advantage of the coronavirus crisis to fall in love with bicycling again.

Tokyo responds to the worldwide bike boom by doing exactly what Los Angeles has failed to do, building bike lanes on 62 miles of major roadways to accommodate the increase in bicycling.

 

Competitive Cycling

By now, it’s not a spoiler to report Britain’s Adam Yates put up a fight before losing the yellow jersey earlier this week, and said leading the Tour de France was fun while it lasted.

French favorite Julian Alaphilippe faltered when his legs gave out on a breakaway yesterday.

Italy’s Fabio Aru had to abandon the Tour due to physical issues that the Former Vuelta winner doesn’t understand himself.

Cycling Weekly catches up with everyone who’s gotten a financial slap on the wrist in this year’s Tour.

Bicycling offers 14 fun facts about the Tour de France you can use to impress your friends. Even though most American’s don’t care in the post-Lance fiasco age.

Seriously, if you’re going to get in the face of the competitors in the peloton, put your damn mask on.

And when people complain about the disparity between men’s and women’s cycling, this is exactly what they mean .

 

Finally…

Your next bike could be a Lamborghini. If you barely get out of the parking lot, you didn’t escape following a bank robbery, whether on a bike or anything else.

And apparently, victory does not always go to the sweaty guys in spandex.

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I continue to be amazed by the kindness and generosity of the people who read this site. Thanks to James L, Fred D, and Janice H for their very generous donations to help me get it up and running again.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask, already. 

Father seeks witness in Irvine bike crash, powerful look at race and bicycling, and more on the lack of UC accessibility

The father of Barbora Kabatova, the 26-year old woman killed riding her bike near the Jeffrey Road connection to the 405 Freeway is begging anyone with information to come forward to help find justice for her.

I am trying to find any witness of this tragic accident.
Any camera on the ground or on the car, anyone biking, driving, walking around when this has happen.
Are there any witnesses do you know someone who witnessed this?
This is big intersection there must have been many people around.
I am desperate. Please help.
Juraj Kabat
Barbora’s dad

Seriously, if you know anything, share it with the police.

Before they find a way to blame the victim for causing her own death.

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Biking While Black seems to be the ongoing theme of the week, as a familiar LA face took over Bicycling for a much-needed conversation about race.

And the magazine has lowered its new paywall on these important stories so everyone can read them.

The founder of Atlanta’s Civil Bikes says there’s a tremendous untold story of Black people on bikes.

A product development quality engineer at SRAM describes growing up surrounded by bias, which didn’t change when he started winning races, saying the more he won, the bigger barriers he faced.

The cofounder of Pedal 2 the People describes what it’s like, and what it means, to never see Black people like her riding bicycles.

A pro cyclist for B&B Hotels–Vital Concept argues that racism in pro cycling should be treated like doping violations, saying no one ever faced consequences for the slurs he encountered from competitors in the peloton.

The founder of Black Girls Do Bike says if you love bicycling, you need to have uncomfortable conversations about race.

The Director of Mobility for the Oakland Mayor’s Office dreams of a day when he can just stick to bicycling without having to worry about anything else, noting there are challenges Black people face riding through any space that others don’t. Seriously, anyone who poses for a national bike magazine holding a corgi is more than okay in my book.

The owner of LA’s Ride On! Bike Shop/Co-op describes being stopped by Beverly Hills cops because he “fit a description;” in other words, he was Black and on a bike.

According to the co-director of PGM ONE Summit, claiming bicycling is colorblind doesn’t help anyone because bikes may not discriminate, but the people on them do.

LA’s own Nelson Vails, the first African American to medal in Olympic cycling, tells a somewhat different story, saying he never felt discrimination in his racing career, but Black Lives Matter opened his eyes to the need to rase the bar on equality.

Ayesha McGowan, America’s first Black women’s pro cyclist, says it’s exhausting making people in white spaces comfortable with her blackness.

The founder of the Level Up Cycling Movement questions how something as innocent as riding a bicycle can make another human being feel discarded, saying she was treated like she didn’t exist when she started riding.

Former LACBC Executive Director Tamika Butler offers advice on how to become anti-racist, on or off your bike. And explains on her own site how this extraordinary edition came together, and why it was necessary.

At this point, it shouldn’t surprise anyone to know that Black bike riders are stopped by police far more often than white riders, and face a much higher risk when they are.

Meanwhile, PeopleForBikes shares their commitment to rooting out racism in the bicycling industryMaybe they can tackle the industry’s blatant sexism while they’re at it.

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Another reminder that the UC system isn’t accessible until it’s accessible to all.

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Regardless of politics, some things just aren’t right. In Portland, New York, or anywhere else.

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We missed this one earlier in the week, as we lost the last living link to old Hollywood. Along with a truly iconic bike rider.

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Evidently, motorized scooters are nothing new.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for forwarding the tweet.

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Thanks to Adam Ginsberg for sending what instantly became my favorite email of the week.

I’ll look forward to trying the same thing with our new four-footed intern.

After all, if she’s going to work for a bike site, she needs to know what it’s like, right?

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes just keeps on going.

A Coachella man will face charges for jumping out of his car and shooting at a group of bike riders, for unknown reasons. Thankfully, his aim seems to suck. Thanks to Victor Bale and Phillip Young for the heads-up. 

A Utah man faces a murder charge for allegedly running over his roommate as the other man was riding his bicycle. Maybe next time, don’t leave your license plate behind at the crash scene. Just a suggestion.

Anti-bike vigilantes are accused of ripping out the plastic ballards protecting a British bike lane. Although a thin, bendable plastic post doesn’t offer much protection anyway.

Sometimes, it’s the people on two wheels behaving badly.

Riverside County deputies busted a cruiser bike-riding man for sexually assaulting a woman on a Temecula bike path.

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Local

LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds worries that LA traffic may be worse than ever post-pandemic. Or maybe not, because an economic collapse could mean fewer people can afford to drive. Although both of those problems could be helped with the sort of bikeways other cities are building, but LA isn’t.

Yelp maps out all things bicycle in the City of Angels. As long as your idea of Los Angeles doesn’t extend more than a few blocks south of I-10, or east of the LA River. Thanks to Brandi D’Amore for the tip. 

The Glendale City Council will discuss plans for the Verdugo Wash in an online meeting starting at 6 pm this Tuesday; if you live or ride in the city, let them know what you think.

Pasadena police are planning yet another bike and pedestrian safety operation next Friday, ticketing any violations that endanger bike riders or pedestrians, regardless of who does it. As always, plan to ride to the letter of the law until you cross the city limits, so you’re not the one who gets ticketed.

 

State

Seriously? San Diego business owners worry about plans for a socially distanced bicycle scavenger hunt that promises to bring more customers to their community, because they’re unsure about coronavirus protocols. But people coming in cars are perfectly fine, apparently.

The kindhearted members of an Oxnard hip hop organization raised $750 to replace a bike stolen from a 15-year old member of the group.

A pair of coastal bike paths north of Ventura will close for construction this weekend; one will close during the day, while the other will just see overnight closures.

San Francisco opens a new one-third mile, two-way protected cycle track across the Lefty O’Doul Bridge, improving connections with a nearby protected bikeway. Which is exactly what Los Angeles should be doing, but isn’t.

 

National

Essence explains why everyone on your timeline is riding a bike right now. Hint: It’s fun. And good for you. 

Business is thriving for the owner of a Denver coffee bike, after he lost his other job to the pandemic.

A Colorado mountain biker recommends criding — crying while riding a bike — to maintain your sanity in these trying times. Which may just be my new favorite word. Although indignorant is still pretty hard to top.

A Pittsburgh writer says slowing traffic and improving safety on city streets will actually make them more dangerous for kids. No, really.

Former New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin is one of us. Although he may wish he wasn’t right now, after another rider clipped his wheel, leaving him with four fractured ribs, a punctured lung and a bleeding head wound.

New York’s Westchester County considers mandating bike helmets for all bike riders. Apparently attempting to drive down bicycling rates while doing little to actually improve safety. Or at least that’s been the experience in other places that have done it.

 

International

A British Columbia woman is looking for two Good Samaritans and a cop who helped save her life following a crash just days into a cross-country bike tour.

Now there’s a first. London police are asking bike riders to wear helmet cams to help them catch and prosecute dangerous drivers.

The UK’s new focus on bicycling gives local residents the power to close streets to through traffic, as well as prohibiting local governments from building substandard bike lanes. Thanks to Ralph Durham for the link.

Nearly a hundred bike riders died on the streets of Great Britain last year, which represents an improvement of exactly one, as the fatality rate dropped from 99 to 98.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to drive drunk through a drive through, at least secure your bike and fix your flat tire — and maybe leave the machete at home. It may not the best idea to take a shortcut by riding through a shooting range.

And always practice good social distancing when dining.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask, already. 

Newport Beach driver plows through demonstrators and hits bicyclist, and LAPD abandons bike after arresting rider

Apparently, bike riders aren’t even safe from drivers during a protest march.

A Newport Beach driver was apparently surprised to discover the city’s Balboa Boulevard filled with protesters demanding justice for George Floyd.

But instead of hitting the brakes, or simply turning around, like any reasonable person would, he plowed through the assembled crowd, parting people like Moses parting the seas, until finally hitting someone.

Make that someone on a bike.

Naturally.

There’s no word on whether the victim was injured.

Remarkably, though, a Newport Beach Police spokeswoman insisted it doesn’t seem to have been intentional.

Because evidently, it’s just so damn easy to plow through a couple hundred people without even slowing down by mistake.

And if that’s not enough, the cops let him keep — and use — his phone while they investigated.

Because it couldn’t possibly be evidence or anything.

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Speaking of the protests, we have a lot to catch up on since, uh, yesterday.

An LAPD officer demonstrates that sometimes hit-and-run drivers are the ones tasked with stopping people who flee the scene after crashes.

Although his decision is a little easier to understand considering what happened just a day earlier.

Especially if any damage to the car comes out of his or her pay.

Meanwhile, nothing like responding to protists over police violence towards black people with still more police violence, this time directed towards people on bicycles.

New York officials credit pulling the plug on the city’s bikeshare and rental scooters after curfew with calming looting and violent demonstrations. On the other hand, it’s also blamed for stranding numerous peaceful demonstrators, leaving them at the mercy of violent cops (see above).

Police across the US are using their bicycles as weapons and defense shields.

And if you’re missing your bike after getting arrested on Tuesday, a kind neighbor could be holding it for you.

Even though the LAPD should be responsible for securing bicycles belonging to anyone who gets arrested, rather than just leaving them behind to be stolen or tossed out with the trash.

They’re someone’s property. And have real monetary value.

Or would they just leave someone’s car sitting unlocked with the key in the ignition?

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Then there’s this, from off the northern Scottish coast.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

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Brilliant idea.

Speaking of the Netherlands, the country’ queen doesn’t need a car to get around. Or police and tear gas to clear a path, for that matter.

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The war on cars is a myth, but the war on bikes goes on.

There’s a special place in hell for the jerks who found humor in filming a bike-riding woman in the UK as they sprayed her with some sort of orange condiment. Then again, the same is true for anyone who sprays or throws anything at someone on a bike. Let alone films it for their twisted entertainment.

But sometimes, it’s the people on two wheels behaving badly.

Police in Mobile, Alabama are looking for a gunman who shot a man and woman in an apparently random bike-by shooting.

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Local

No news is good news, right?

 

State

Congratulations to OC bike advocate and tandem aficionado Mike Wilkinson on the official unveiling of the new Tandem Classifieds website.

 

National

A new Democratic transportation bill would require Complete Streets in urban areas, and ban states from setting higher goals for traffic deaths.

Self-driving cars could just make traffic worse, not better.

Outside offers a video guide on how to change your caliper brake pads.

Gear Patrol has advice on how to buy a used bike on the internet — including to be careful on sites like Craigslist, where too many of the bike for sale don’t belong to the people selling them. Then again, it’s not the best place to look for a dog, either.

Gear Junkie rates the year’s best mountain bike helmets, while a European study rated the continent’s best bike helmets, not all of which you can find over here.

Nogales AZ border crossers are turning to bicycles to avoid the long lines waiting to cross into Mexico, and vice versa.

The New York Times says the benefits of ebikes far outweigh the disadvantages, especially during a pandemic.

 

International

An environmental website says bicycling is having a historic moment, so let’s not waste the opportunity to make it safer and more inclusive.

He gets it. The head of the UK’s equivalent of AAA says the country needs to radically rethink its approach to the street to encourage more people to walk and bike, including charging drivers for every mile over the first 3,000 — or 4,000 for people in rural areas.

British singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor is one of us. Although she might be regretting that right now after falling off her bike.

Scottish officials say speeding drivers are “deeply worrying” with more bike riders on the road, as the proportion of drivers exceeding the speed limit rises to one in three since the coronavirus lockdown began.

We already know Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov is one of us, as he marks World Bicycle Day with a bizarre parade featuring 7,500 green-clad bicyclists.

India’s Bicycle Mayors use World Bicycle Day to promote bikes as a viable green alternative to public transport during the pandemic. Even if the celebration had to be virtual this year.

Cambodian officials confiscated the bikes of environmental advocates intending to highlight concerns over a protected island, and demanded they sign an unspecified agreement, forcing them to walk back.

Manilla nixes pop-up bike lanes, telling inexperienced riders to just stick to the side of the road.

 

Competitive Cycling

French track sprinter Grégory Baugé says racism exists everywhere, including the highest levels of pro cycling. Which should be evident, if only from the light hue of the pro peloton.

He gets it. Writing for Bicycling, former editor Joe Lindsey says it’s time to just let Lance go and move on, already.

Or as a wise man once put it,

 

Finally…

At last, a bike riding app designed to avoid other people. Bikes aren’t the new toilet paper, they’re the new hand sanitizer.

And if you get a ticket for riding your bike 55 mph in a 40 mph zone, just frame the damn thing, already.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask, already. 

Morning Links: LAPD cop walks on bike rider beating, get paid to ride a bike, and how not to wash one

I’m not a fan of jailing cops.

As far as I’m concerned, police officers should be disciplined, retrained or fired. Except in the most egregious cases, where their actions go far beyond a mistake in judgment or failing to follow policy.

Like this one, for instance.

Because there’s something seriously wrong when an LAPD cop can kick a black bike rider in the head like he was lining up a field goal, and get away without spending a single day behind bars.

Despite a video recording of the beating Clinton Alford received after he fled from the cops, first on his bike, then on foot, Officer Richard Garcia got off with far less than a slap on the wrist.

Garcia pled no contest to felony assault in exchange for a sentence of 300 hours of community service and a paltry $500 fine to be paid an unnamed charity, along with two years probation. After which time he could have his conviction reduced to a misdemeanor.

Which is exactly what happened on Wednesday.

According to the LA Times, Garcia is on unpaid leave pending a disciplinary hearing that could result in a well-deserved firing.

However, that also means he could end up keeping his job. Which would just compound the incredible injustice in this case.

And disgrace all the officers who struggle to do the job right and win the trust of the people they serve.

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The free Biko app is now available in Los Angeles, as well as San Diego and San Francisco; the app allows riders to collect credits for each kilometer they ride, which can be redeemed at participating businesses and charities.

So where the hell was this when I was still riding a few hundred miles a week?

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A reminder to always pull over when you have five or more vehicles backed up behind you and unable to pass.

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Apparently, there’s a never-ending supply of sexist stupidity within the bike industry.

Never mind that women ride bikes, as well as fix them. And damn few dress like that to do it.

Thanks to Peter Flax for the image.

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Local

Nutcase Helmets features a ghost bike art display as part of LA’s Vision Zero Roscoe.

Eater looks at the newly re-opened Spoke Bicycle Café along the LA River bike path, offering an expanded menu including local craft beers and California wines.

USC’s popular Lil Bill’s bike repair shop has officially been given the boot despite a widespread student outcry to save it, thanks to a non-compete clause with a new bike shop opening in the soon-to-be-completed USC Village.

Pasadena wants developers to pay more to fund transportation improvements, including bike and pedestrian infrastructure.

Brea invites you to check out the new Tracks at Brea shared use path this Saturday, complete with bike rodeo courtesy of Walk ‘n Rollers.

 

State

Republican legislators are complaining that Governor Brown is diverting gas tax funds for non-transportation projects, which fails to recognize that bike paths and public transportation are transportation projects.

Caltrans has adopted the California’s first statewide active transportation plan, calling for people of all ages to be able to comfortably walk and bike safely and conveniently by 2040. Now the question is whether they’ll actually follow through, or if it will sit on the shelf like most bike/ped plans do.

Bay Area bike riders are pushing back after Caltrans proposes improving safety at a dangerous intersection by banning bikes from one of the primary bike routes connecting the Pacific Coast side of San Francisco with the peninsula. Maybe that’s what Caltrans means by being able to walk and bike safely and comfortably — somewhere else.

The annual AIDS/LifeCycle will depart from San Francisco a week from Sunday, arriving in Los Angeles the following Saturday to raise funds for the fight against HIV/AIDS.

An Oakland bike rider gets a surprise bill for rear-ending a cop car nine months later, even though he was not ticketed and there was no apparent damage to the bike or patrol car at the time.

Sacramento is beginning a $1.7 million project to fix a deadly intersection, including better bike lanes and bike boxes.

 

National

A Seattle bicyclist says he’s okay, but it’s all those other bike riders who piss drivers off; a pair of anti-bike talk radio jocks use his letter to try to stir up a little controversy.

Salt Lake City will move forward with more bike lanes, but no more curb-protected lanes after complaints from merchants.

A Colorado woman says she learned about business by riding her mountain bike. Evidently, she failed to gain any major insights. Or stock tips, for that matter.

Colorado will try out a trio of tech concepts submitted in response to a competition to come up with safety solutions for bicyclists and pedestrians, including lighted bike lanes and an LED light that follows as a rider approaches an intersection.

The founder of both Colorado’s Oskar Blues craft brewery and a handmade bike maker offers his tips on mountain biking.

Houston is just the latest city where police have set up safe bike passing stings using an ultrasound device that measures an exact three-foot passing distance. Now if only we could get the LAPD, LASD and CHP to give it a try.

This is the cost of traffic violence. Relatives of a San Antonio TX bike rider are struggling to find answers after he was left to die in the street by a pair of hit-and-run drivers, one of whom stopped just long enough to remove his bike from the car’s bumper. Thanks to Steve Katz for the heads-up.

A New York woman is out of work for eight weeks and facing $25,000 in medical expenses after she was run down by a cyclist who blew through a red light, claiming he couldn’t stop in time. She says law-breaking cyclists should be treated like drivers; unfortunately, that’s exactly how the NYPD usually treats drivers who kill or injure bike riders and pedestrians.

 

International

Cycling Weekly explains how to deal with wrist pain when you ride.

London’s Independent considers the tragic irony in the bicycling death of pro cyclist Nicky Hayden.

An English county’s chief constable plans to tour the county on two wheels after his retirement, stopping at every police station along the way.

About damn time. Sydney, Australia is backing a plan that would require student drivers to learn how to ride a bike safely before qualifying for a driver’s license. Now if we can only convince the rest of the world to go along.

A user white paper from China’s Mobike bikeshare company offers insights to the country’s emerging cycling demographic; the company says it’s taken the emissions equivalent of 170,000 cars off the roads and out of the air.

 

Finally…

How to do #2 when you’re trying to stay #1. If you’re going to promote Bike Month, try to do it before the events are over.

And David Wolfberg forwards video of how not to wash your bike.

View post on imgur.com

………

On a personal note, the Corgi was once again a hit at Amoeba Music.

Morning Links: Teenage bike crash victim pepper sprayed by police, and help make Westwood bike friendly

The good news is, we’ve figured out what caused the problem with email notifications for new posts. Now the problem is figuring out how to fix it. Hopefully we’ll have it working again soon.

………

Evidently, you don’t want to get hit by a car when riding while mixed-race in Hagerstown, Maryland.

A 15-year old girl was handcuffed, pepper sprayed and arrested for the crime of refusing transport to a hospital after she was struck by a car while riding her bike.

Even though there’s no law requiring collision victims to accept medical treatment against their will.

And instead of being transported to the hospital, she was taken to the police station, where she was charged with disorderly conduct, two counts of second degree assault, possession of marijuana and failure to obey a traffic device.

Although her attorney describes the amount of marijuana found in her backpack as “a flake.”

Then to cap matters, police later said she wasn’t booked for refusing treatment, but because she failed to provide proof of insurance.

For a 15-year old. On a bicycle.

Police officials claim they used “appropriate force” in pepper spraying the five-foot tall, 105 pound girl, saying it was the minimal amount needed to gain her cooperation; meanwhile, the town’s mayor crashed a press conference with the girl, turning it into a shouting match with her lawyer.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

………

UCLA’s Daily Bruin writes about the city council’s vote to remove the bike lanes planned for Westwood Blvd from the Mobility Plan, and move them to Gayley instead.

Meanwhile, Westwood Village is looking for community members to help revise the area’s specific plan. Which would be a perfect opportunity to suggest making the village more bike and pedestrian friendly.

And moving the bike lanes back to Westwood Blvd.

………

Weshigh had an unpleasant encounter of the cop kind on his ride home last night, as an officer yells at him to get to the right on a non-sharable lane before passing other traffic on the right.

………

Today is the last day to apply for the LACBC’s Policy and Outreach Coordinator position.

And Multicultural Communities for Mobility says several positions are available to help make LA’s nascent bikeshare system equitable for all constituents of the city.

……….

Local

Streetsblog strongly endorses Measure M to impose a half-cent sales tax to fund a wide rage of road, transit and active transportation projects. Just for the record, it has my support, as well.

CiclaValley endorses bike lanes on Lankershim Blvd, and asks you to stand up for people spaces on the North Hollywood corridor.

Fourth District Councilmember David Ryu calls on the city to eliminate human-operated vehicles from LA streets by 2035.

There will be a free bike valet at Sunday’s Abbott Kinney Festival, where $25 in purchases will enter you in a drawing for a Linus Roadster Classic bike. Biking there makes a lot of sense, given the large crowds, heavy traffic and extreme parking shortage at the annual event.

Deputies with the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station are looking for the owners of several bicycles they recovered from a homeless encampment, some of which have been partially dismounted and repainted.

Congratulations to the West Hollywood Bicycle Coalition’s Kevin Burton, who will be honored on Sunday for Outstanding Contribution to Public Safety for his work with the group.

Santa Monica police are conducting yet another of their bicycle and pedestrian safety enforcement operations today.

 

State

Australian BMX silver medalist Sam Willoughby suffered a severe spinal injury while riding at the Olympic training center in Chula Vista two weeks ago; following surgery, he’s regained use of his arms, but is still unable to move from the chest down.

The Camarillo Rotary Club will host a Biking, Brews and BBQ Ride this Saturday to raise funds for local causes.

Uber is teaming with the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition to provide bicycle safety training for their drivers; the SFBC prepared four videos instructing them how to drive around bicyclists.

Benicia police pitch in to buy a new bicycle for a 19-year old man who had to walk two hours each way to work after his car broke down.

 

National

Oregon is less than nine miles, though several years, from completing what will eventually be a 73-mile bikeway along the Columbia River Gorge.

Colorado authorities are looking for a hit-and-run bicyclist who injured an 86-year old man on a walking trail where bikes are banned; the rider stopped to ask if the man was okay, then took off when he answered no. Bike collisions are no different from car crashes; you are legally required to stay at the scene and exchange information, on or offroad.

An Ohio woman accuses the local police of failing to properly investigate the collision that killed her husband as he rode his bicycle with a friend; even though the driver had two prior convictions for driving under the influence and had admitted to drinking the night before, police claimed they had no probable cause to test for drugs or alcohol. If killing someone isn’t probable cause, what the hell is?

The co-defensive coordinator for the Ohio State University football team hit a bike rider as he was driving near the campus Thursday morning.

More on the wealthy opponents of New York’s Prospect Park West bike lanes finally giving up their lawsuit after five years, after claiming they had been vindicated; Streetsblog says they did irreparable harm to the city.

Challenging piece from a DC cyclist, who is giving up on America after being unable to find a safe city to ride, and considering a move to the Netherlands.

A writer for Forbes explains why she put her life on hold to ride across the country from Georgia to California.

 

International

Caught on video: A British bike rider is harassed and threatened by a road raging FedEx driver who lurched just inches from his rear wheel.

When a Brit cyclist wrote the head of a company complaining about repeated harassment by one of its drivers, he was stunned to receive a response blaming him for his own stupidity and suggesting that he use the non-existent bike lanes.

An Aussie study concludes requiring helmets for motor vehicle occupants could save 17 times as many people as a bike helmet mandate.

A Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce official says a proposed rail to trail conversion could open the Australian state up to an avalanche of tourism.

 

Finally…

Apparently, not everyone is a fan of bicycles. Your bike could be why you have trouble having an orgasm.

And now you can make tax deductible donation to a pro cycling team.

 

Morning Links: LAPD cop charged in beating of bike rider, Biking While Black in FL, and Facebook bike drama

An LAPD officer has been charged with assault in the October beating of a South LA bike rider.

Twenty-two-year old Clinton Alford, Jr. fled from officers when they tried to stop him because he allegedly matched the description of a robbery suspect.

According to Alford, he ran when someone grabbed the back of his bike because the officers failed to identify themselves, and he only became aware of who they were when he was being held down and handcuffed with his hands behind his back.

After all, why would anyone look back to see who was chasing him as he fled for his life?

It was while he was face down trying to surrender that LAPD officer Richard Garcia allegedly kicked him in the head, repeatedly, in an attack that was captured on a nearby security camera. Police say they have no intention of releasing the video, despite the demands of Alford’s lawyer for it to be made public.

According to KTLA-5, he was kicked so hard he lost a filling from his teeth; other officers at the scene called the attack horrific, describing it as like someone kicking a field goal, with Alford’s head as the ball.

Garcia has entered a not guilty plea. He faces up to three years in jail if he’s convicted.

The LA Times reports three other officers and a sergeant have been relieved of duty and assigned to their homes while the investigation continues.

All charges against Alford, for possession and resisting arrest, have been dropped.

………

Shameful.

Fifty years after Selma, people are still ticketed for Bicycling While Black, as eight out of ten of the 2,504 bike tickets written in Tampa FL in the last three years — more than Jacksonville, Miami, St. Petersburg and Orlando combined — went to African American residents.

Seriously, it’s long past time this country put this kind of crap behind us. No one should face fear for riding a bike, especially not from police.

………

KCBS-2 offers a good report on Sunday’s Finish the Ride; for a change, someone in the media actually seems to get it.

Meanwhile, Streetsblog’s Damien Newton offers an update on the current status of hit-and-run, saying we’ve made progress, but there’s still a lot of work to do.

………

Major Facebook drama, as an apparent cyclist fires back after Burbank racer Troy Templin posted a photo of a BMW that he says nearly ran him over because, as he claims the driver said, “you were in my way.”

Someone identifying himself as Peter Richardson professed to tell his version of what really happened, claiming Templin “committed multiple acts of violence” simply because the woman honked to let him know she was there, and he had to be run off by a security guard when he wouldn’t let her exit the car. He even includes stills from a security camera to support his claims.

However, the view in the photos is so distant it could show anyone, and it’s impossible to tell from them what may or may not be happening.

And as a commenter to Richardson’s post points out, the photos on his Facebook page were lifted from other websites, raising questions as to whether he actually exists, or if the persona was created simply to go after Templin in retaliation for the photo.

It is curious that his timeline only goes back to April 15th, two weeks after the original photo was posted online.

Thanks to Danny Gamboa for the heads-up.

………

Local

The Times belatedly catches up with the news that the proposed California helmet law has been converted to a study of helmet use by the CHP and the state Office of Traffic Safety; BikinginLA sponsor Michael Rubinstein offers his take on it.

The Daily News lists bicycling as one of the top five eco-friendly ways to get around in LA, while Slate asks if LA can sell the myth of a green, sustainable city.

Alhambra police bust a thief who tried to escape with one of their own bikes on Sunday; the apparently remorseful man wrote of letter of apology from his jail cell.

 

State

A 24-year old San Jose woman is under arrest for slamming into a Miltipas bike rider who was standing on the sidewalk, then crashing into a mini-golf course before fleeing in another car.

An elderly Palo Alto woman was seriously injured in a collision with a cyclist; the rider was coming around a blind curve at speed when he ran into the woman as she crossed the street.

A San Francisco cyclist was seriously injured when he was deliberately rammed by an Uber driver following a violent road rage dispute in which he reportedly pounded on the driver’s car and pushed its mirror in. Seriously, I’m as hot tempered as anyone, but resorting to violence only makes things worse.

Marin County’s new bicycling museum will open this June; maybe they’ll include one of those rental bikes that Sausalito councilmember wants to get rid of.

 

National

A new study shows drivers are more likely to ignore crosswalks at speeds over 30 mph. I wonder what a similar study would have to say about bike lanes and sharrows.

An Anchorage cyclist says ride defensively, because your life may depend on it; good advice anywhere.

If cops in my hometown are reluctant to ticket cyclists because they feel bad about writing tickets that can reach $170 including fees, imagine how the riders feel about getting them.

Minnesota researchers determine that bike lane density — the measure of bike lanes within a given area — matters more than connectivity when it comes to encouraging ridership.

A Knoxville TN bicyclist suffers multiple non-life-threatening injuries when he’s hit by an SUV, but the only thing a local TV station seems to care about is his lack of a helmet.

Mashable looks at a decade of ghost bikes, while New Yorkers conduct the 10th Annual Ghost Bike Memorial Ride, visiting some of the 150 memorials to people who have lost their lives riding in the city.

Just like countless bicyclists everywhere, Shreveport bike riders says motorists need to be more aware of cyclists and the laws governing bikes. Especially the requirement to ride in the street where sidewalk riding is illegal — and the right to do so everywhere else.

 

International

Vancouver’s Van City Buzz gets it right, saying the media’s focus on shiny new safety gadgets is no substitute for proven safety measures like traffic calming and an effective bicycle infrastructure network.

Guardian readers relate their heart-stopping near-misses on the road; unfortunately, that’s something we can all relate to. Meanwhile, hundreds of people turn out for a vigil demanding a stop to killing cyclists; even so, Britain’s Labour Party may be backpedalling in its support for bicycling.

A soccer player is killed when a train smashes into on of those pedal-powered multi-passenger beer bikes in The Netherlands.

Turkey’s president rides through Istanbul to kick off the country’s 51st Presidential Tour of Turkey; he promised to make the city more bike friendly, while saying they “couldn’t manage to make people love the bicycle.”

A road raging Aussie driver hits a woman participating in a charity ride, then drives off with the mangled bike still trapped under her car.

Taking ciclovía to the next level, as one neighborhood in a Korean city bans cars from the streets for a full month.

 

Finally…

Now you can wear matching outfits when you ride with your dog. A word of advice: don’t try to use a mountain bike as a getaway vehicle if you can’t manage to ride it.

And a Portland BMX rider could be facing an expensive bill after riding over a parked $350,000 Lamborghini; the owner says he’s getting estimates to repair damage to the windshield.

Unless it’s all a publicity stunt, of course.

 

Weekend Links: LAPD officers accused of beating South LA bike rider, SDSU police blame the victims in bike wrecks

An LAPD officer is accused of beating and kicking a bike rider in South LA.

According to the LA Times, 22-year old Clinton Alford was riding on the sidewalk on Avalon Blvd near 55th Street — something that’s perfectly legal in Los Angeles — on October 16th when a police car pulled up behind him and he was ordered to stop.

However, Alford kept riding, since he says the person failed to identify himself as a cop. After a brief pursuit, he voluntarily laid down on the street and put his hands behind his back, making no attempt to resist as officers restrained him.

That is, until another very large officer arrived on the scene. And immediately stomped Alford as the other officers held him down.

The officer then dropped to the ground and delivered a series of strikes with his elbows to the back of Alford’s head and upper body, sources said. Alford’s head can be seen on the video hitting the pavement from the force of the strikes, two sources recounted. Afterward, the officer leaned his knee into the small of Alford’s back and, for a prolonged period, rocked or bounced with his body weight on Alford’s back, the sources said. At one point, the officer put his other knee on Alford’s neck, a source said.

It gets worse.

The paper describes the officer kicking Alford’s head like a football, before several officers carried his limp body into a patrol car.

Alford was booked for drug possession and resisting arrest, and released on his own recognizance after pleading not guilty — likely to be tossed for a lack of probable cause in making the initial stop.

Meanwhile, the officers involved have been relieved of duty — with pay — pending an internal investigation.

……..

Oh please.

The campus police at San Diego State University say bike collisions are up in the area surrounding campus — and that it’s usually the cyclist’s fault. Oh, and those scofflaw cyclists cause psychological trauma to the poor drivers by getting blood on their bumpers.

No victim blaming there.

……..

Local

The LAFD is now the first fire department in the nation to post response times online; and yes, this matters, since your life could depend on how fast help arrives if you’re injured in a fall or collision.

LADOT is testing traffic signals that give pedestrians a head start before cars are allowed to cross the street; hopefully, they’ll try giving bikes the same four-second safety margin.

Calla Weimer — who made a detailed argument here for bike lanes on Westwood Blvd, which Councilmember Paul Koretz blithely ignored to placate wealthy homeowners — calls for more bike lanes and bike racks instead of increased parking at Metro stations (second letter).

Figueroa For All says Koretz’ fellow councilmember Gil Cedillo is putting politics over people by diverting two hundred grand from housing funds to pay for a new traffic signal at a dangerous intersection — when the same amount could pay for the entire already-funded road diet he killed for the same street.

Santa Monica will host a Halloween-themes Kidical Mass ride today, while the Santa Monica Spoke hosts next Sunday’s edition of the LACBC’s Sunday Funday ride.

Wounded vets will ride in Redondo Beach on Sunday, November 9th, the weekend before Veteran’s Day.

A local couple create what the Long Beach Post calls the ultimate guide to urban cycling.

 

State

Ford works with California-based Pedego to market an e-bike beach cruiser under their own moniker.

Calbike’s coming 241-mile bike tour will avoid parts of Newport Beach and Laguna Beach due to the dangerous conditions on the cities’ streets.

San Diego considers a one-mile bike path through congested Mission Valley.

The San Luis Obispo sheriff’s department is asking for donations of unwanted children’s bikes to be repaired and given to kids this Christmas.

San Francisco thinks cargo bikes have a role to play in improving disaster response.

 

National

USA Cycling has three job openings at their Colorado Springs CO headquarters.

VeloNews talks to a recovering Taylor Phinney.

Seattle’s mandatory helmet law could hinder the city’s new bike share program.

In another case of cops gone wild, Idaho police detain five BMX riders for the crime of being in a skate park 12 minutes after closing time — then illegally tell them they don’t have any legal rights when one tries to record the confrontation.

A road raging Kansas driver intentionally veers into a cyclist, knocking him into a ditch, then turns around and rams him again before fleeing the scene. All in front of a sheriff’s deputy and two witnesses who saw the whole thing.

A Minneapolis cyclist says a new protected bike lane could make things more dangerous for bike riders, and says there’s little research on the subject — ignoring studies that show protected bike lanes reduce injuries up to 90%.

 

International

An 85-year old Vancouver man regains his mobility with an e-bike.

A UK cyclist is threatened with a knife after a man demands to “borrow” his bike, then refuses to give it back.

A road raging Brit driver is convicted of intentionally running into a cyclist.

Three men are convicted for stealing over 500 bikes from British railway stations.

Graeme Obree and son plan to go after the pedal-powered land speed record once again next year.

A Vienna, Austria industrial design student has invented a self-filling bike water bottle that literally sucks moisture from the air.

 

Finally…

Lance can’t even ride in a non-competitive Gran Fondo run by his fellow ex-doper friend. A London website takes the city’s bike bashing Baroness to task for her vigilante violence. And over 91% of UK residents insist that cyclists aren’t a menace on the roads.

 

Allegedly intoxicated, lightless bike rider fatally shot by Sheriff’s deputies in South L.A.

Yes, it’s against the law to ride a bike under the influence.

And yes, bike riders are legally required to have both a headlight, and at the very least, a rear reflector.

But the first is just a misdemeanor with a maximum $250 fine. And the second is usually just a fix-it ticket, often dismissed if the rider can prove he or she has put lights on the bike in question.

Neither usually punishable by the death penalty.

Yet that’s what happened over the weekend as a 50-year old bike rider was shot and killed in South L.A.

The L.A. Sheriff’s Department reports that the man, identified by KACB-7 as Terry Laffitte, was riding without lights and appeared to be drunk when he was spotted by Sheriff’s deputies at 9:12 pm Saturday on Miramonte Blvd in unincorporated L.A. County.

When the deputies tried to stop him, he continued riding to his home in the 6100 block of Miramonte. The officers followed him to the back of his home, where he reportedly punched one of them in the face, leading to a scuffle that eventually included members of his family who tried to pull the officers off Laffitte.

During the fight, he allegedly pulled out a gun, leading both deputies to fire a single shot each; Laffitte died at the scene.

The L.A. Times reports that two guns were found on the man, one of which was a replica.

According to the Sheriff’s Department, both Laffitte and members of his family who lived at the house are known gang members.

However, according to the report from KABC-7, family members say the shooting was unjustified.

“My brother was on the ground. They had his hands behind his back,” said Laffitte’s sister, Sandra Cotton. “He didn’t have a gun. Why would you shoot him if he was already on the ground and you guys had possession of him?”

Laffitte’s sister said the altercation was recorded on a cellphone, but she claims the device was confiscated by the sheriff’s department. Detectives said no cellphones were confiscated.

Family members said Laffitte had turned his life around and did not carry guns.

Of course, claims like that are easy to make.

But sometimes, they turn out to be true. Kern County Sheriff’s deputies are accused of illegally confiscating cell phones from people who witnessed a fatal police beating in the Bakersfield area — and allegedly deleting a video of the incident.

So let’s be clear about one thing.

You have a 1st Amendment right to record anything that occurs in public, whether or not it involves the police. And without a subpoena, they have no more right to take your phone or camera, or confiscate any photos or video on it, than anyone else on the street.

Less in fact, since police are required to protect the rights of the public and adhere to legal standards that the general public isn’t.

And while it happens far less often than some would suggest, it is also not unheard of for officers to plant a gun following an illegal shooting. I once knew a cop in another city who made a point of carrying a cheap handgun to drop at the scene in case he ever shot an unarmed person — and according to him, had used it in at least one case.

Of course, there’s nothing to suggest that’s what happened here, other than the statements of family members whose credibility has already been challenged by the gang accusations.

But even gang members have rights. And clearly, the LASD has some questions to answer.

Like how a simple misdemeanor traffic stop was allowed to escalate into fatal altercation.

And it’s not the first time it’s happened.

Riverside police assault May Day cyclists; accused DUI hit-and-run driver Juli Ann Brown goes to court

Police in Riverside apparently make up the law as they go along during that city’s May Day protest, ordering bikes out of the street and onto the sidewalk — despite a local ban on sidewalk riding.

And despite the fact that the riders were just a block from their destination.

Then they forcibly stopped the riders by pulling a police car across their path, jumping out of a patrol car with Taser drawn, and tackling a rider off his/her bike.

Regardless of whether the riders may or may not have committed a traffic infraction, using a Taser on a cyclist or knocking a rider off his or her bike is a serious use of force, with a high potential to result in injuries to the rider — and potentially serious, if not deadly, consequences.

Any officer who resorts to such physical violence against department policy to enforce a perceived traffic violation is in serious need of training. If not dismissal from the force.

And any police department that condones it should be reined in by city officials.

If not a lawsuit.

………

Our anonymous South Bay correspondent sat in on Monday’s preliminary hearing for Juli Ann Brown, the woman accused of running down three cyclists in a drunken hit-and-run.

Juli Ann Brown had her preliminary hearing Monday in Judge Margaret A. Anderson’s courtroom. Starting the proceeding was an arraignment for an amended complaint. One of the enhancements was upgraded from 12022.7(a) to 12022.7(c), which suggests that one of her victims was over 70 years old. Naturally the plea is still not guilty.

Officer Michael Ezroj of the Seal Beach Police Department, first on the scene at the Taco Surf parking lot where the cyclists had gathered after the assault, conducted recorded witness interviews and collected physical evidence (pieces of the suspect’s vehicle). All witnesses stated that after hitting the cyclists in the bike lane, the vehicle had stopped a very short way up the road, straddling the lane marker, and had then fled. When notified by Huntington Beach PD that they had pulled the suspect over, Ezroj left the scene to identify and question the suspect.

Just minutes after receiving the description of the suspect’s vehicle, HBPD Officer Johnathan Deliema observed a vehicle matching that description travelling southbound on PCH. He made a U-turn and followed her in the #1 lane. While behind Brown’s vehicle, he observed the vehicle drift partially into the #2 lane not once but twice. Brown, the driver, then engaged her right-turn signal and attempted to merge into the occupied #2 lane, causing another vehicle to take evasive action. At this point, Officer Deliema hit the lights and sirens. Incidentally, this all took place at approximately 40 miles per hour, within a distance of less than a third of a mile.

Officer Deliema observed Brown’s slurred speech and unsteady gait, and asked about the damage to the right front side of her vehicle, Brown claimed she had been shopping at Von’s in Long Beach earlier that morning and discovered the damage when she returned to the parking lot, but had not notified the police because she was late to a doctor’s appointment in Huntington Beach. Asked for her driver’s license, she immediately confessed it was suspended. Officer Deliema initiated a Romberg test, to which Brown complied, and which she failed miserably.

When Officer Ezroj arrived, he noted the damaged vehicle matching the suspect vehicle’s description and also observed in the interior a small baggie filled with an unknown white powder and two short plastic straws. He asked Brown if she knew why she had been pulled over and she stated, “I was told that I hit a motorcycle or something.”

HBPD Officer Nick Nicholas arrived on the scene. In his two years with Huntington Beach, he’s administered an estimated 130 field sobriety tests, and he proceeded to test Ms. Brown, who claimed physical limitations with her lower extremities (which she had not divulged to Office Deliema) and was therefore excused from the walk-a-straight-line and stand-and-turn bits. Officer Nicholas also allowed her to fudge a bit on the Romberg, and she still failed it.

Then it was time to recess for lunch, and I had to split. Kinda disappointing to miss half the witnesses, but the exciting news is that Brown’s next scheduled court appearance is an arraignment- a very good indication that she has already simply agreed to whatever plea deal the prosecution has offered. Looking forward to that.

………

Could someone give these kids their darn bike lanes already?

Seriously, I think they’ve earned them.

………

In an interesting experiment, Malibu shifts street cleaning on PCH from Mondays to Fridays, in hopes of having safer streets for weekend cyclists.

It’s a small step, but could make a big difference — especially if they extend cleaning to the shoulders where cyclists usually ride. And it’s a huge shift in attitude from the formerly bike-unfriendly city.

Thanks to the ‘Bu master bike advocate Eric Bruins for the heads-up.

………

Bike lanes almost magically appear on a short, uncontested section of Sepulveda Blvd. Writing for Flying Pigeon, Richard Risemberg calls for a different sort of road diet on York Blvd; if you can find a copy of Momentum magazine, you can read Rick’s bicycle visitor’s guide to the city. Is CicLAvia headed to points east anytime soon? Bikerowave is conducting a series of bike repair and purchasing classes this month. Why the Amgen Tour of California cyclists won’t be riding Santa Monica Blvd through the biking black hole of Beverly Hills later this month. Celebrate bike month with Better Bike, who says the city’s bike route pilot project leaves a lot on the table. Culver City needs volunteers for bike counts on May 19th and 23rd. The Pasadena Star-News says it’s time to make bikeways the new freeways; I couldn’t agree more. The Claremont Cyclist offers his typically great observations on last weekend’s Chuck Pontius Memorial Crit. Join new LACBC affiliate chapter Pomona Valley Bike Coalition for a casual, 24-mile Art Ride this Saturday; can’t speak for you, but I’m loving the way these affiliate chapters spread bike advocacy to the far reaches of the county.

The San Diego woman who traded her car for a bike at last year’s Tour de Fat is still riding. The San Diego Reader says in a world where everyone dopes, it’s wickedly unfair for Floyd Landis; if he had just accepted his suspension instead of lying to everyone about it, it might have been a different outcome. Head to Paso Robles for a full four days of biking on Memorial Day weekend. The Mercury News explains the meaning of sharrows and gets it mostly right if you exchange “must” for “should” here and there. No, seriously — if you’re carrying rock cocaine, put a damn light on your bike. A San Francisco reporter documents his own harassment of cyclists, along with getting the whole concept of bike safety wrong. A disabled Sonoma cyclist is beaten and stabbed in an early morning assault. Right now, you can conduct your own personal ciclovia on the carless roads of Yosemite.

The Bike League and Sierra Club team up to ask Congress to stop giving cyclists the shaft. The surprising aerodynamics of bicycling; link courtesy of cyclist and CD13 City Council candidate Josh Post, who I never heard of before Tuesday, but I’m liking already. Bike lawyer Bob Mionske says we all need to stand up to biased anti-bike policing. The media doesn’t exactly look favorably on the car-free among us; link courtesy of Streetsblog. Gotta like this one, as U.S. Air Force cyclists take 2nd and 3rd in the Wounded Warrior Games; just the fact that they’re still competing says volumes. Even Houston is getting a bike share program. A fallen Austin TX cyclist did nothing wrong, but that still doesn’t stop some from blaming scofflaw cyclists; seriously, don’t these people have any shame? A Boston Whole Foods bike parking fail. Evidently, road rage fisticuffs directed at cyclists isn’t just an L.A. problem, as a New York driver beats the crap out of a bike rider who tapped on his car to warn him he was too close; note to motorists — if someone on a bike can touch your vehicle, you’re too damn close.

A UK police official says drivers who kill should face life in prison. A Scot cyclist barely avoids death just days after attending the Ride on Parliament. Great anti-drunk driving campaign from Fiat. Three Korean pro cyclists are killed when their team is rammed by a truck on a training ride. China’s Red Cross is accused of running a bike scam. Who needs a bike lock when you’ve got a bike riding guard dog?

Finally, drunken Florida grandparents face charges after towing their granddaughter behind their SUV in a toy car secured by dog leashes.

………

Let Wednesday’s suicide of future Hall of Fame and former USC football player Junior Seau serve as a reminder that you never know what’s going on in someone’s life unless you ask. Take a moment to reach out to those you love, and don’t take a casual “everything’s okay” as an answer.

There are far too many Richard Corys in this world.

And sometimes, hope can seem to be in very short supply.

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