You’re the next victim of the Critical Mass Takedown; mass bike assault in San Francisco

Not surprisingly, the first lawsuit over last week’s LAPD Critical Mass Takedown is about to be filed.

I received an email last night indicating that a press conference will be held Downtown this afternoon to announce the filing on behalf of Manny Gallegos. You may know him as the cyclist who recorded the now infamous YouTube video showing an officer apparently kicking a passing bike, only to be taken down himself by officers who seemed to understand the first amendment about as well s they did rights of cyclists.

Which is to say, not at all. Then again, that seems to be an ongoing problem for them.

And that makes it your problem, too.

Even though you’ve never assaulted a cyclist or denied a photographer his rights, you’re going to end up picking up the tab, once the financially strapped city eventually reaches a settlement with the victims.

A settlement that will come out of your taxes, just as it did when the police clashed with May Day protesters in MacArthur Park in 2007.

It’s not that the victims in these cases don’t deserve something. From what I’ve seen, the city might as well open its checkbook right now.

But we’d all be better off if the LAPD learned to avoid incidents like this in the first place. Because we’re all about to pay for their misguided actions.

………

If you ever wondered if drivers were out to get you, the answer may be yes.

In a horrific attack on apparently random riders, four San Francisco cyclists were struck — apparently intentionally — by a hit-and-run driver in four separate assaults over a six minute period. The driver then fled the scene after crashing his car, leaving broken bikes and bodies strewn in his wake.

Fortunately, no one was killed. Yet the injuries ran the gamut, with three riders hospitalized — one in critical condition, one serious and one fair — with the fourth treated and released at the scene. Injuries included two broken legs and a head injury that left the victim floating in and out of consciousness; fortunately, all are expected to survive.

Police Lt. Lyn Tomioka said all the victims “do appear to be targeted. We don’t know if they were known victims, or if it’s because they were on bicycles or what the issue was.”

The SUV involved, a blue Nissan Rogue, was left at the scene of the final assault after colliding with two other vehicles, then hitting a pole. The car does not appear to be stolen, and as of Friday morning, the police were still looking for the suspect.

………

LAist reminds readers that the 10th Annual River Ride takes place this Sunday, starting at Griffith Park. The LACBC meets with representatives of several regional bike groups. If you’re going to look cool pooping your pants, you definitely need a bike in the background. A look at some of the less tangible benefits of biking. A San Francisco cyclist says church goers who park in the bike lane are worshipping the wrong God. A report from yet another Tweed ride. It only takes one jerk to ruin a ride. Now you can charge your Nokia cell phone while you ride. The misguided bill requiring Florida cyclists to stay in the damn bike lane now awaits the governor’s signature; does he sign it and piss off cyclists, or veto it and risk his chances in the upcoming Senatorial race? DC area park police urge drivers to share the road, which might not be necessary if they weren’t blocking the bike lane. A road-raging senior citizen cyclist smashes a car that infringed on the crosswalk. Greg “Everyone Dopes But Me” LeMond says he feels vindicated by Floyd Landis’ unsubstantiated charges. Bike lawyer Bob Mionske offers his take on the inexplicable dropping of charges against Toronto cyclist killer Michael Bryant. Cyclists get no respect in British Columbia. Pro cyclist Fabian Cancellara laughs off charges that he cheated with an electric boost; Copenhagenize says real bikes don’t have motors. A UK motorist apologizes for carelessly killing a bike riding father, which evidently makes it okay as the driver walks away with a suspended sentence and community service. After a London cyclist is hit by a taxi, he’s strangled to unconsciousness with his own scarf by the angry driver; he goes on trial next week — the cyclist that is, not the driver.

Finally, France’s new Street Code offers common-sense solutions to sharing the road in the truest sense. If anyone at LADOT or the Department of Planning is listening, there’s your new blueprint to really revitalize Downtown.

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