LAPD: Cyclist “Ran Into the Side of Hummer” (From Behind)

Original Video via Ron Kaye LA. Current video via Ubrayj 02 via You Tube.  You can find more from the hearing on his You Tube page.

In a video that shows that no matter how illogical their finding, the LAPD will closed ranks when someone tries to point it out, Deputy Chief Kirk Albanese went to City Hall yesterday to tell the Council how when a cyclist is rear-ended, it’s the cyclists fault.

Albanese, who was not present at the scene of the assault a couple weeks back when a H3 rear-ended a cyclist in on Los Angeles Avenue after midnight, seems to not only have a problem with cyclists, but with the basic laws of physics.  When other cyclists in the group tried to stop him until the police could come, the hummer plowed through the cyclists in front of the vehicle, destroying their bikes and dragging one a couple of blocks.

After a group of angry cyclists visited the Police Commission, the LAPD Inspector General and swarmed a Van Nuys meeting of the City Council on May Day, the LAPD finally responded yesterday.  Albanese stood by the “official report” repeatedly using the “stature” of the LAPD to sweep aside Council Woman Janice Hahn’s questions about the crash and the incompetent report.  Honestly, the video speaks for itself.  The quality may not be very good, but take the time and watch it.

If I seem biased towards the cyclists and against the LAPD; consider that Andres Tena, the victim of the hummer driver’s attack, was thrown forward when the impact happened and could feel the hummer as it went past him.

If you believe the LAPD, that Tena “ran into the side of the hummer” then you have to believe that Tena, who was wearing light colored clothing and had a rear light on his bike, backed into the side of the hummer with such force as to throw him forward.  His bike is destroyed from the rear, his injuries were consistent with being thrown forward; so the laws of physics, laws which the LAPD has no jurisdiction, don’t back him sideswiping the H3.

Albanese also mentions repeatedly the three independent witnesses “who saw the whole thing” from a local apartment building who verified the story of the H3 drivers and passengers, that a cyclist rammed their hummer and then others threw their bikes at it.  That there are other witnesses who Officer Cho and the other responding officers refused to take statements from was not included anywhere in his testimony.  When Hahn asks why the LAPD believes three people who witnessed the incident from afar over fifteen people that witnessed it first hand; Albanese basically says the LAPD doesn’t believe them because they were riding bikes or “affiliated with the cyclist” as he put it.

The irony, is I had the opportunity to ride with Tena this morning in one of the unofficial “Bike to Work” rides.  When I asked him about the attack and the LAPD’s reaction, his reaction wasn’t one of anger or bitterness.  He just smiled and wished that the streets would be safe for everyone to ride in and expressed relief that his injuries weren’t more serious.  The picture of Tena, a happy and safe cyclist versus the maniac portrayed above by Albanese is striking.

If I had to decide between taking Tena’s word, backed by the laws of physics, or the LAPD’s, backed by a H3 driver who was dragging a bike under his hummer and three people that claimed to be staring out their window for no reason at two in the morning; I’ll take Tena’s anyday.

  • Cycle Me This

    The video is worthless if you can’t read lips.

    Test your materials, please.

  • I hear it fine. It’s sort of how I wrote the story.

  • Omri

    THis is not only corruption, this is police complicity in an attempted murder and should be spoken of as such.

  • I heard the audio fine as well. This doesn’t surprise me. LAPD doesn’t have a good track record with this kind of thing and telling the truth all the time.

  • Kryxtanicole

    The juxtaposition of Albanese and Tena speaks LOUDLY, indeed. Too bad truth doesn’t drown out fallacy so well.

  • Audio is fine. Hmmm… maybe try the volume on your speakers?

    This is pretty scary. I understand that the policemen are trying to be objective about this, but it seems unlikely that a bike would hit a hummer and then the entire group would get upset and perceive that incorrectly.

    I wish that the cyclists would have kept their cool during all of this. I think we’d have seen a different outcome from the police. It is important to remember that no matter the circumstance or situation, in all aspects of life, when you lose your cool and become loud or angry, your standing, opinions, and qualifications quickly come under question.

    Hopefully the councilmen will find something in the report to shed some more light on this!

  • Funny, when I was hit in a road rage incident about a decade ago, the police preferred to believe her story that I just fell down making a right turn while running a stop sign — making me the first cyclist in history to defy the laws of physics by falling left while leaning into a right hand turn. Evidently, Physics 101 still isn’t taught at the academy.

    But Will is right. The so-called witnesses clearly didn’t see the accident; all they saw was a bunch of rude, scary cyclists harassing a driver. The same sort of thing bystanders saw when they saw me yelling at the woman that hit me; they just saw me being an a**hole, without knowing I was angry because she’d just purposely hit me with her car.

    I learned the hard way that no matter what the other party does or says, you say “yes sir” and “no ma’am.” You have to be the most polite, sympathetic victim in human history if you want a fair shake from the witnesses — let alone the LAPD.

    Or better yet, you take a picture or write down the license number and let them flee the scene. Police take hit-and-run a lot more seriously than they do a “bike accident.”

  • The primary problem with the supremacy of motorists over cyclists, pedestrians, disabled, little old ladies, etc., is that the police and people ‘in power’ prefer the person in the ‘stronger’ physical position (in a 4,000 pound automobile) to that person in the more compromised position (i.e., on a 20 pound bicycle).

    As long as our society places power in those who drive these deadly vehicles, they will be perpetuating this bias and this violence.

    “You take a stand (on an issue) from where you sit (in the hierarchy).” If cops only walked and rode bicycles, you can bet the house that every auto v. bicycle case would be considered as a potential assault with a deadly weapon, and that justice would swing toward the cyclist as the default rather than the current demonizing of the marginalized cyclist.

    Ultimately, it will be entirely useless to attempt justice when those presiding come from a place of privilege, safety, and security predicated on the domination, threat, and violence of the less well positioned. wtf.

  • Cycle Me This, your wish is our command.

  • BothCoasts

    I was the shrill biker in the back who got carted off half way through. I had shown up for a transportation meeting which turns out was canceled. I didnt know until I walked into chambers that motion 32 had been created. It is a good example of how the city preferrs to push certain issues through when no one is looking. We have to stay on top of the city, or else nothing gets done.

  • Dave Sherrill

    Not judging but curious of why both cases involve cycling so early in the AM. Is it common to have group rides in the middle of the night in LA? I live in VA and we do our cycling during the day–when visibility is better. Again, not judging. Clearly, cycling is permitted 24/7 as long as the cyclists obey the rules (lights, reflectors, etc.).

    On the issue at hand, wonder why the Dep. Chief doesn’t talk about educating DRIVERS of their responsibilities towards cyclists (and others on the road). Only talks about cyclists obeying the rules. Both parties need to play nice. Bikes always lose in a wreck though–no matter whose fault it is. Sounds like he’d rather not have cyclists on the road. Luckily, not his call….

  • There needs to be a way that the LAPD can reduce its snottiness with this issue. The bias in this LAPD fella’s commentary speaks a lot to the standard mindset of the department – “Slower traffic moves to the right”; “Bikes taking up the public road” etc etc.

    When cars take up the public road (every evening from 3 pm to 6 pm), or recklessly speed (in the a.m. commute) where is the LAPD to cuff these lawless maniacs? Somehow when we get on bikes on a Saturday night, we’re a problem? If we did it in cars, it would all be okay I guess.

    When traffic is backed up, and bikes are the faster means of transportation on the road, do the cops show up with their horns blaring, revving their engines and demanding the all the cars “MOVE TO THE RIGHT!! NOW!!” to let one bicyclist through in the left-hand lane? This regularly occurs during rides with 300+ people. When you’ve got 300 people in the streets – does it really matter whether they are in cars or on bikes? They have the right to be there! They are setting the speed limit, que no?

  • juan Alderete

    this has a little to do with this story but a lot to do with the frustration. i was riding in south pasadena up to the rosebowl on arroyo parkway (a popular street with us bike riders) when i see in my rear view mirror, a car heading my way. so i move from in the middle of the empty street (its early in the morning approx 8am) to about were the left side of the cars parked on the street are. I hear this motorist speed up and then he just misses my rear view mirror and i yell and flip him off. he slams his brakes and heads in reverse right towards me as if to run me over. he starts yelling at me saying i need to be up on the curb! there are signs up and down this street that have a pic of a cyclist and it reads “share the road.” i yell “i have a right to the road” but this infuriates him and he puts his car in park and moves to get out of it to fight me! i am sick of this. i wish l.a. could posse up like they do in sf and fight for cyclists’ rights and educate these fools behind wheels.

  • David Huntsman

    What is this “affiliation of bicyclists” compared to, say, an “affiliation of neighbors”?


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