James E. Ballidis
LA Cyclists Protest Unfair Treatment By the LAPD
Bicycle commuters and activists held a bike ride Wednesday, February 24 to protest the unfair treatment by authorities of bicyclists injured in hit-and-run accidents. Organized by the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, the rally ride began in Hollywood and ended at City Hall, where riders then attended the transportation committee meeting. During the rally, riders followed the route of L.A. city employee Ed Magos, who was injured January 6 near the intersection of Figueroa and 2nd Streets in downtown Los Angeles.
Magos had been hit from behind by a Porsche Cayenne, according to news reports, and the driver got out of the car, noticed the bicyclist on the street unable to move, and left the scene of the crime, despite Magos’ pleas for help. The bicyclist was taken by the L.A. Fire Department to Good Samaritan Hospital. Though Magos was able to get the vehicle’s license plate and the driver later went to a police station, police failed to make an arrest in the hit-and-run, according to news reports.
The victim, reported as the chair of East Hollywood Neighborhood Council’s Public Safety Committee, was unable to attend the protest ride because he was still recovering from the accident.
It is inconceivable that the police would not arrest a driver that flees the scene of an accident. What is worse, to flee when someone is pleading for help. The protest was warranted, and police need to crack down on hit and run drivers. If they turn themselves in, they should be shown leniency, but not treated as if they simply ran a stop sign.
Read about another hit and run in Brentwood, that underscores the need to take hit and run accidents more seriously.
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