Once again, the SFPD blames a cyclist for his own death without any investigation


#1

[Read the post]


#2

“Insufficient investigation” is not the same thing as “without any investigation.” Heryer was passing an articulated bus when he fell under the rear wheels, possibly after getting into the streetcar track. It’s not like the bus plowed into him headlong.

I don’t know why they won’t release video, since they’ll be forced to by the lawsuit eventually. If it doesn’t support their conclusion then witholding it now would be worse than losing face.


#3

Well-he was obviously at fault. He was riding a bike, the silly man.


#4

They can’t release that video, it will compromise national security! Do you want the terrorists to win?


#5

Also, probably cop cars parked in the bike lane…


#6

“The city will not release the footage from the bus’s camera – not even to Heryer’s lawyer.”

Oh, now that’s a video that’s worth seeing.


#7

Death by institution.

Bus, cop, drone, execution, whatever.


#8

Isn’t the whole idea of carma the ancient moral wisdom that those who transgress against the just rulers of the roads will get theirs in the end?


#9

Bike lanes in my experience are worse than useless. In cities, I simply keep up with traffic and use the same rules as people bin cars do. Since I can go 30+ MPH, it would be a huge obstruction for me to be stuck behind novice cyclists.

Also, people tend to leave their cars parked or standing in bike lanes. These are often, ironically enough, municipal vehicles.


#10

If you want to murder someone with impunity, get them to ride a bike, then run them down with your car. Choose a standard defence from “I didn’t see them”; “They swerved into my path”; “My accelerator got stuck”; “They weren’t in a bike lane”…then add…“and besides, they weren’t even wearing a helmet and don’t pay road tax so they deserved to die”. The cops will pause just long enough to slap a summons on the corpse and write up the investigation with “no criminality suspected”.


#11

Here in the UK, I’ve always assumed they’re usually designed down to a minimal box-ticking standard by people who don’t cycle. For years now, there’s been a site devoted to fine examples.


#12

There is a context here of cyclists getting killed in SF and, even when it is obviously not their fault, the cops saying it is and not even citing the drivers that kill them. This has been happening a long time and folks are pissed.


#13

In my neighbourhood (Sydney), the standard “bike lane” consists of a series of bicycle sillhouettes painted on the side of the road…underneath the legally-parked cars. They’re purely cosmetic.

There are some better examples appearing, but even then many of those consist of just adding some paint to what was previously the breakdown lane/verge of a major road.


#14

My wife has been hit three times on her 6-mile commute and is giving it up. I’m putting up signs that read, “Please stop running over my wife.”


#15

A SF Muni bus driver tried to run me over on my bike on Market St. about three years ago. It was on a stretch where the bike lane shared the lane with the buses (poor planning right there).

There was a bus stop ahead on the block and a bus was behind me. I was bicycling at about 15-20 mph and the bus would have been delayed a second or two at most. But the bus driver decided to pass me anyway. It was a double-length bus. It pulled halfway past me and then started pulling over right into me, not even at the stop yet. I looked up at the side view mirror on the bus and the driver was looking right at me as he pulled the bus into me. I couldn’t speed up enough to get away and I couldn’t break fast enough. I managed to hop off my bike and pull it onto the sidewalk before I was crushed.

I got the bus number and details and made a report. Nothing ever came of it, but I stopped riding my bike on Market.


#16

Egg-fucking-zactly. The guys in uniform can imagine someone who looks and acts like them, being a real person, with reasons for doing what they do, and a life worth defending. But if the vic in question isnt white, or isnt driving, or isnt a cop, or isnt heterosexual, or or or (insert weirdness here), then why bother scrarching the surface? It’s clearly a waste of (their) time.


#17

This stinks. When Amelie Le Moullac was run over by a truck that cut her off, a couple of years ago, the police that blamed her were waging a campaign to get cyclists to get out of the bike lane and pass vehicles on the left. Officers were disciplined for parking a patrol car in the bike lane in front of her memorial service and berating cyclists who didn’t pass on the left. Now they are claiming this was the cyclists fault because he passed on the left like they said. Facepalm.


#18
  1. And what difference would that make?

  2. There’s no indication of any investigation in the article:
    Police have determined that Heryer was riding westbound on Market Street when, allegedly attempting to pass a bus, he lost control of his bicycle after his wheel got caught in a Muni track. Heryer then is said to have fallen under the passing 38-Geary bus to the right. He died at the scene.

Determined how? No info. “alleged” by whom? The bus driver? Sure seems from the article that they just asked the bus driver what happened. I’ve had a number of bus drivers deliberately behave dangerously near me. I had one a half dozen months ago deliberately threaten me with his bus. When confronted, he essentially blamed me because … well, because I was riding my bike on the road.

Bikes are permitted to ride in the bike lane, actually normally required to do so. But are permitted to leave the bike lane for multiple reasons. In particular, to pass a vehicle in the same lane. Vehicle code, article 4, 21208:

the person may move out of the lane under any of the following situations:
(1) When overtaking and passing another bicycle, vehicle, or pedestrian within the lane or about to enter the lane if the overtaking and passing cannot be done safely within the lane.
(2) When preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway.
(3) When reasonably necessary to leave the bicycle lane to avoid debris or other hazardous conditions.
(4) When approaching a place where a right turn is authorized.

So, passing the bus, whether on the right or left, is in fact permissible.

So, all indication from the article is, there cops jumped to a conclusion, and blamed the cyclist, with no/insufficient investigation.


#19

Lackadaisical as they may be, I’m pretty sure the cops did more than just ask the driver what happened and then go home. If for no other reason than to cover their asses for the inevitable lawsuit. There are passengers on the bus and other witnesses on the street. Since when do newspaper articles print complete case files?

Why are you citing the vehicle code? Nobody is saying Heryer was doing anything illegal. Of course he was allowed to pass the bus (especially since there is no bike lane there.)

For all the criticism of the SFPD’s jumping to conclusions, there an awful lot of people here are jumping to their own.


#20

The system works!

/s