Critical Mass, Parody, and the Responsibilities of the LAPD

Screen_shot_2010_06_24_at_8.21.40_AM.pngFor the full-sized original, click here.

Responding to the poster put out last week by the LAPD inviting themselves to Critical Mass, at least one rider wasn’t impressed.  Rider Plebis Power, roughly translated to Power of the People, posted a poster at Biking in L.A. that both lampooned the LAPD’s flyer and made the point that the bad relationship between the LAPD and the cycling community is hardly just the fault of cyclists.  Where the LAPD creates a list of infractions that will earn cyclists a ticket tomorrow; Power writes a list of "incidents" caused by the LAPD at "recent group rides."

Ted Rogers, the Biking in L.A. author, writes that even the LAPD officer who created the original flyer found it amusing.

  • Sgt David Krumer

    Well done Plebis Power. I did the original flyer. I hope to see you at Critical Mass so we can take a photo together…it appears we are addressing two sides of the same coin.

  • Whoever you are Plebis – great flier! Very clever, spot on, without resorting to being mean or hostile.

  • Ross Hirsch

    Yes, big props–it’s brilliant, honest, creative, and excellent use of media/message.

    Two sides of the same coin indeed–the idea was discussed about making spoke cards with LAPD’s flyer on side and this one on the other. But alas, the text turned out to be too small to be legible.

  • Eric

    I’m very skeptical of the LAPD’s motives for joining critical mass. It sounds more like intimidation not cooperation.I strongly agree that the cyclists should make sure to come to full stops at all red lights and stop signs. If the police think it is difficult to manage Critical Mass in its current form, watch what happens when a large group ride follows all the traffic laws.

    LAPD would be better of talking to the NYPD police precints in Brooklyn, NY that has a cooperative environment with the Brooklyn Critical Mass.

  • Kyle

    It’d be a more effective parody if there weren’t typos in it. Dur.

  • Ross Hirsch

    Brooklyn, Chicago, SF–all of which I’ve heard have positive PD support for CM rides–and they go very well (again, from the general consensus of what I’ve heard).

    We can, and should, have that in LA, too. After all, our weather is so much better then all of the above–makes for much happier riders (and those lucky LAPD officers that get to ride with with us) year-round.

  • Gina

    They need to pass that flyer out to all of the LAPD who are assigned to the ride. LOL

    That being said, the police on bikes who got assigned this are going to have a fun, cushy night if they just relax a bit and act like adults and ignore the inevitable tween boys yelling catting remarks like ADULTS SHOULD ignore brats…I would love to be paid to go on fun bike ride! :)

  • I really like this idea, I think I’ll make up my own poster for our city. Hopefully we can get the situation with the NYPD a bit more respectable.

  • KobeFan

    I’ve been reading the posts on many blogs on this issue. I have to say many of the posts seem negative against the bicyclists because of all the YouTube videos your bicyclists posted and make the entire group look lawless. Why would bicycylists video tape themselves breaking the law with many hijacking intersections and causing traffic jams and put on YouTube. Gangsters video tape themselves doing that I didn’t think bicyclists who care about the environment. One bicyclist not riding tomorrow posted the group has gotten too big and radical with trouble makers. I’m sure you’ve read the horrible postings all over the internet on this group.

  • Gina

    @ Kobe Fan,

    Yeah, you want to see intersections being hijacked? Come to L.A. and sit at any intersection and watch motorists run red lights one after another, after another, after another…it’s call “traffic”.

    And the entire point of CM is to demonstrate that while we are also “traffic” that we are better for the commute time (no waiting in smelly hot cars aka coffins on wheels) and the planet.

  • LAguy

    Dear City Bicycle Advisory Committee members and other interested persons:

    Yesterday I participated in the LAPD Bicycle Community Outreach meeting. A primary issue was the appropriate role of LAPD with tonight’s Critical Mass ride, the first since the May 28, 2010 Hollywood incidents which the BAC focused on at our June 1 meeting.

    It is LAPD’s stated role, in their own words, to “be a participant in the ride with the cyclist. Only if necessary, due to public safety issues that arise, we will assist in facilitating the ride. The goal is for the cyclist is for them to self-support and self-police themselves during the law-abiding ride.”

    LAPD recognizes and supports cyclists’ right to the road and First Amendment freedom of speech.

    LAPD will have a number of bicycle unit officers present as well as several motorcycle officers. Many of the meeting attendees yesterday urged LAPD to emphasize the use of bicycle officers and have the motorcycle officers at the end of the ride. LAPD stated they will be enforcing important public safety laws such as helmet use by riders under the age of 18, stopping at red lights and stop signs, and proper safety equipment i.e. brakes/ability to stop pursuant to the Vehicle Code.

    LAPD has requested this information be shared with others who may be riding tonight so I am asking for your assistance in forwarding this email on.

    Finally, I am making a personal request of all riders: if you see someone riding against traffic, endangering pedestrians, or otherwise acting inappropriately, please ask them to ride responsibly. Also if you have an extra helmet, consider bringing it along to share with teenage riders without one.

    Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

    Cordially,

    Glenn Bailey, Chair
    Bicycle Advisory Committee
    City of Los Angeles

    GlennBaileySFV@yahoo.com

  • Eric

    After reading LAGuy’s statement I have no doubt that LAPD is doing this to intimidate rather than particpate. I can’t think of an easier way to write tickets to cyclists than by riding with them. Since standing on the street and trying to jam batons into wheels didn’t work a few weeks ago.

    They really need to talk to NYPD in Brooklyn, they participate and do not intimdate as seen in this video.
    http://www.streetfilms.org/feel-the-love-brooklyn-critical-mass/

  • Sgt. David Krumer

    I can appreciate that many feel that actions speak louder than words. I will be in uniform at Critical Mass tonight riding with everyone else in part to demonstrate the LAPD’s committment to a mutually beneficial partnership.

  • Can’t we all just get along…

    It seems as if the Critical Mass gatherings have caused a variety of charges recently, and I would love for both parties to come together and collaborate on events.

  • That’s pretty interesting. I wonder if that biker is going to need a criminal defense lawyer because it sounds like he is not that popular.

  • Dudeonabike

    By looking at Comments #14 and 15 that are devoid of any relevant substance and actually appear idiotic, it looks like LAStreetsblog is getting hit by spamming criminal defense attorneys trolling for clients.

    Yeah, that’s sure to go over well. Nothing says “I’m going to hire these guys” like vapid spam comments.

  • It really is interesting the stuff that happens around here on the internet. I hope that things will change so that we can stop all of these flaming wars and all of that.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Newest Group of Ridazz: The LAPD

|
For a full size version of the flyer, click here. Traditionally, small groups of bike riders from around the city gather together on the fourth Friday of the month and head to the Wilshire/Western Red Line Station to gather for Los Angeles Critical Mass.  This month, following what Streetsblog is calling the "Critical Mass Attack," […]

Critical Mass: A Calm Ride Through the Streets of L.A.

|
Critical Mass avoided controversy on Friday night, rolling to the Westside to UCLA Medical Center (where the last hospitalized victim from the Culver City Crash a couple of weeks ago is still recovering) to the traditional stop at Western and Sunset.  Tickets were kept to a minimum, I could count on one hand the number […]

Fixing the System That Abandoned Susanna Schick

|
(Friends of Susana’s have set up a ChipIn account to collect funds to help with medical bills.  You can donate, here.) By now you’ve probably heard the story. Susanna Schick was bicycling down Spring Street in the green buffered bike lane on Friday night, when she was harassed by the driver of a white Lexus. […]

What to Expect at Friday’s Critical Mass

|
Believe it or not, this was done with the officer’s consent. Photo: Digable Soul/Flickr Critical Mass has gone mainstream.  Following last month’s "Critical Mass Attack," where an officer was caught on tape kicking at cyclists’ bikes before the cameraman was tackled to the ground, it seems you can’t go anywhere without reading or discussing Critical […]

Breaking News: LAPD Recommends Discontinuing Bike License Program

|
In a report to the City Council, Chief William Bratton of the LAPD recommends to the City Council the discontinuation of the wildly unpopular bicycle licensing programming and announces that the LAPD will no longer enforce bicycle licensing unless the Los Angeles City Council. That the Council would push for the implementation of this program […]