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Tue Aug 27, 2013, 06:35 PM

Memorial for cyclist marred by SFPD harassment

Last edited Tue Aug 27, 2013, 10:34 PM - Edit history (1)

http://www.sfbg.com/politics/2013/08/21/memorial-cyclist-marred-sfpd-harassment

A memorial and informational event this morning at the 6th and Folsom corner where a bicyclist was fatally run over by a truck last week was marred by a tense and unsettling confrontation with an SFPD sergeant who showed up to block the bike lane with his cruiser, lecture the cyclists, and blame the victim.

The event was organized by the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition to raise awareness of the incident and that dangerous intersection and to call for the city to make improvements. It included friends and co-workers of 24-year-old Amelie Le Moullac, who was riding in the Folsom Street bike lane on the morning of Aug. 14 when an unidentified delivery truck driver turned right onto 6th Street, across her path, and ran her over.....

...SFBC Executive Director Leah Shahum said that SFPD Sgt. Richard Ernst, who showed up at the event a little before 9am, had already drawn his own conclusions about the crash and showed up to make his apparent disdain for “you people,” bicyclists, disturbingly clear.

Shahum said that she tried to be diplomatic with Ernst and asked him to please move his patrol car out of the bike lane and into an available parking space that was right next to it, saying that it presented an unnecessary hazard to bicyclists riding past.

But she said Ernst refused to do so for almost 10 minutes, telling the group that he has “a right” to leave his car than and that he was “making the point that bicyclists need to move around” cars parked in bike lanes, according to Shahum’s written account, which she prepared to file a report about the incident with the Office of Citizens Complaints....


The SFPD has stated that Sgt. Ernst wasn't speaking on behalf of the department. At least part of the exchange between Ernst and Shahum was caught on camera by a local TV crew (KRON.) And speaking of cameras, the bike coalition folks discovered that one of the local businesses had the crash on its security footage and it would have been erased the next day. The PD investigators didn't ask them.

In other news CA may be on its way to adopting the three-foot distance rule.

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