Letters to the Editor: Police shoot too many cyclists. Perhaps they should stop trying to ticket them

·2 min read
SOUTH LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 12: Protesters raise their fists as they march down Vermont Ave. during a protest calling for justice and in honor of Dijon Kizzee on Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020 in South Los Angeles, CA. Kizzee was killed by LA Sheriff's Deputies on Aug. 31 in the Westmont area and protests calling for the accountability of LASD have continued for the past week. (Josie Norris / Los Angeles Times)
Protesters march in south Los Angeles over the death of Dijon Kizzee, who was shot 16 times after sheriff's deputies tried to stop him while he was riding his bike. (Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: I have been a bicycle advocate and electric-bike dealer for more than a decade, and until I read your article on the 16 times cyclists stopped by police have been shot in Los Angeles County since 2005, I thought I had heard every reason a person could give for not riding a bike.

Never though, had I heard that one of the greatest fears of some is running into a law enforcement officer. Sixteen bicyclists in L.A. shot since 2005, 11 of them fatally, is a bad record.

If the New York attorney general is calling to remove minor bike and pedestrian offenses from routine police enforcement, it's time to give that recommendation a chance. People on bikes have enough to contend with while they try to get around without adding threat of overly aggressive law enforcement to the list.

Diane Swann, Davis, Calif.

The writer is a board member of the cyclist advocacy group Bike Davis.

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To the editor: In every case you cite, police allege that the bicyclist was doing something illegal according to the law. Why do our legislators pass these laws if some people do not want them enforced?

If the police didn't enforce the laws they would be criticized for not doing their job, and if they do and a confrontation occurs, often they are put in an untenable situation.

Why can't an alleged offender just cooperate with the police rather than escalating what should be a routine stop?

George Gawlik, Van Nuys

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.