Who Acted Worse? The Hummer Driver or the LAPD?

4_27_09_bike_hummer.jpgCyclists are known for throwing their bikes under moving hummers.  Photo: Matt Stilline
For anyone that doesn't think there's a bias against cyclists from the Los Angeles Police Department, they should check out this first hand report from Dr. Alex Thompson at Westside BikeSIDE of a hummer running through a group of cyclists from behind multiple times, putting some of them in the hospital, dragging a bike several blocks and then having the LAPD officers on the scene bizarrely blame the cyclists.

The incident occurred at 2:00 A.M. Friday morning, and perhaps more horrific than the crash itself is the reaction of Officer Cho, who seemingly believed that the people surrounded by 2,000 pounds of steel were threatened by a dozen unarmed people on bicycles.  That the hummer's inhabitants actually threatened to return "60 crips deep" didn't seem to register to Officer Cho as a threat.

So, you have an SUV filled with gang-bangers, running through a group of cyclists and this is the best the LAPD can offer as a response:

After a large group of police officers interviewed the witnesses and the suspects they released the driver, who drove off without a ticket.  Officer Cho, the officer in charge at the scene then approached the cyclists.  He first told the group:

Get everyone together because I don’t want to say this twice.   If anyone says anything I’m gonna walk away and I’m not going to talk to you guys.  Based on the evidence right now it looks like the cyclist hit the car, not that the car hit the cyclist.

Cyclist then argued with him, pointing out that the driver of the Hummer was dislodging a bicycle from underneath his vehicle when the police pulled him over.  Officer Cho then responded, saying “if it had been me with my family in that car, I’d have done the same thing, and I carry a gun in my car.”

Wait, was that quote not offensive enough to tickle your outrage bone?  Well, how about this one?  While it's reported at Westside BikeSIDE! this is from an eyewitness that is not Alex Thompson:

Sometime between when the police stopped him and they ran over the bikes, the black man in the white long t shirt got out of the car and started to walk back towards 7th and Los Angeles. I urged the police officer that this man was guilty of a crime and claimed to have had a gun, but the police officer told me ”Did you see a gun?” I told him that I believed the man and that I didn't need visual verification to be terrified. The officer then told me quote ”I have a lightsaber, do you believe me?” and walked away.

First it was ticketing pedestrians for crossing against a flashing red hand to improve pedestrian safety at lights where cars run reds habitually, then it was bike licenses, and now this.  Maybe they should amend their slogan to "To protect and to serve, as long as you own and are driving a car."