portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article reporting united states

police / legal

When cyclists are killed some cops and reporters make it worse

When cyclists are killed the cops and reporters sometimes do the exact opposite of their job duties.
Prime example: March 9th, 2008 California,
Police officer falls asleep while driving on duty, kills 2 cyclists

The day of the accident the San Jose Mercury news reported:
========================================
The group collided with the deputy's car Sgt. Don Morrissey .... riders in large groups will sometimes ride two-abreast. The practice is not illegal but can be extremely dangerous on narrow, winding roads with a large amount of traffic. It was unclear if the cyclists involved in this crash were doing so, Thibodeau said.

The reporter failed to mention in her "news story" that Todd Thibodeau is a PR spokesperson for the CA Highway Patrol. The reporter left out that the CHP should be independent because the local sheriff's office passed them the duty of the investigation. Both the reporter and Mr. Thibodeau have not returned my many calls and contacts over 3 months.

I called both the CA Attorney General's office and the local sheriff's office. Sgt. Morrissey stated the reporter misquoted him. They answered my basic questions. They were professional and called me back. I admitted my bias but I don't think they would admit any bias on their part of the agencies involved.

The questions they could not answer:
Why did it take 4 hours to collect a sample, why was the only sample on record collected at the cop's own office, why a breath or urine sample was not given, why the officer was allowed to refuse a request by the CHP for a sample, when was the investigation transferred from the local sheriff to the CHP, and when was a citation given to the officer? Once I get those answers I think I will be able to prove the officer was allowed to avoid the law and process held to members of the public.


330 Comments today from people in the SF Bay Area
 http://tinyurl.com/6k3c5u

2 other events where Portland Police failed dead cyclists
 http://tinyurl.com/39lr7k
 http://tinyurl.com/2khf4t


Also worth noting
==========================================

a) The day of the "accident" there were many witnesses who arrived within 60 seconds of the crash. The cop was overheard saying he fell asleep.

b) Many people feel the cop was given special treatment for many reasons. One of those reasons is that he was allowed 4 hours to submit a blood sample at his own office. The cop and lawyer refused a request by the CHP for a sample. There is only one sample under record. No urine or breath sample was ever taken. Driving off the road and drowsiness are adequate indicators to suggest samples be taken on the scene.

c) Most likely, the cops knew the truth from the start and did not tell the public. Most likely the officer told the other cops on the scene he had fallen asleep and this was never reported to the press. Only after witnesses spoke out on the internet did the "sleep" story come out.

d) The CHP turned on the PR machine and acted as if they did not know the story. The CHP distracted reporters that day with talk about "extremely dangerous" cyclists.

e) The local sheriff's office could have investigated their own officer. The CHP also has authority. I've been told that the Sheriff's office voluntarily transferred the investigation to the CHP.

The original story archived
 http://www.indybay.org/uploads/2008/03/10/bikes_collide_with_cop.pdf

June 9th Update
 http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_8906295?nclick_check=1

phone: phone: 503 282 seven six 93


MARIE VESCO RIP 21.Jun.2008 06:21

x

English activist killed by car


 http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2008/06/400604.html

A victim's family documents life after a car attack 21.Jun.2008 19:06

Joe Rowe

 http://aceanderic.wordpress.com/

On May 10, 2008 Eric Davidson was a cyclist critically injured by a drunk driver who had just tried to rob a Safeway Market in Portland. While his case was helped by the police and mostly ignored by the media, it shows how much trauma is felt by the friends and family of those fatally or seriously injured by cars.

Here is are some facts on the near murder of Eric
 link to bikeportland.org

Finally, here is where you can volunteer to bring a free meal to Eric's family
 http://www.lotsahelpinghands.com/c/604593/calendar/