Archive for August, 2013

Bicyclist’s Death Reveals San Francisco’s Real Criminals

August 26th, 2013

On August 14th, 24 year old Amelie Le Moullac was killed while riding her bicycle in a bike lane eastbound on Folsom at 6th St. She lost her life when the driver of a large truck made a right turn from Folsom onto 6th, crushing Amelie in his wheels in the process.

Meanwhile, sitting on a shelf somewhere in the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s building was a plan for a redesigned Folsom Street featuring two-way traffic and upgraded bike facilities that would have made it much more difficult for the tragic confluence of events that ended Amelie’s life to have occurred. That plan has been sitting on that shelf for years.

Amelie’s co-workers created this image in her remembrance

Shortly after the incident, the San Francisco Police Department showed up to the scene, drew some circles on the ground, and spoke to the driver of the truck who had pulled over after the collision, determining that he was not impaired by drugs or alcohol.

Soon, the media descended. When asked if the driver would be cited for any traffic violations (making a right turn from anywhere besides the right-most lane of a street, in this case the bike lane, is a violation of California Vehicle Code 21717) or charged with a crime, representatives from the SFPD indicated that while the investigation is ongoing, it was unlikely there would be any citations or charges - it was just an accident, they said. Just an accident, just like the other two times a bicyclist had been run over and killed by a truck driver on our city’s streets this year – just an accident.

Before making that determination, the SFPD of course did the most basic of police work by walking around to nearby businesses to check and see if perhaps the incident happened to be recorded by a security camera. Certainly such footage would be greatly helpful in determining exactly what happened at that fateful moment. Alas, none of the cameras were on or trained on the site at the moment of impact.

Or so they claimed. In fact, not a single member of the San Francisco Police Department engaged in this bare minimum of investigative work, this most basic effort to honor a young woman’s life by attempting to determine what actually happened that morning. They showed up, saw a big truck, a mangled bike and a dead body, and said “Eh, just an accident. Fuck this, let’s go get some coffee.”

The reason we know the SFPD lied about checking the nearby security camera footage is because San Francisco citizen Marc Caswell actually did walk around to the local businesses to see if perhaps there were any the police might have missed. When Mr. Caswell asked if the police had come around to check the tapes, every business owner said no. No – the San Francisco Police Department did not care enough to check the local security cameras even though they knew that was a valuable enough investigative technique that they actually lied and claimed to have done it. It turns out the incident was in fact recorded by a camera belonging to the Golden Auto repair shop located on the opposite corner of the intersection.

Appalling, I know. But there’s more. » Read more: Bicyclist’s Death Reveals San Francisco’s Real Criminals