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Posts Tagged ‘LAW ENFORCEMENT’

KAMALA HARRIS: LOCAL COPS CAN IGNORE FEDERAL LAWS

In Bureaucracy, History, Law, Law Enforcement, Politics, Social commentary on March 12, 2018 at 12:10 am

Libby Schaaf has been the Democratic mayor of Oakland since 2015. But she also considers herself a mayor to illegal aliens—who, by their very presence, are violating American immigration laws. 

On February 24, she released the following statement: “Earlier today, I learned from multiple credible sources that the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is preparing to conduct an operation in the Bay Area, including Oakland, starting as soon as within the next 24 hours….

“My priority is for the well-being and safety of all residents—particularly the most vulnerable….” 

Acting ICE Director Tom Homan disagreed: “What she did is no better than a gang lookout yelling ‘police’ when a police cruiser comes in the neighborhood, except she did it to an entire community. This is beyond the pale.” 

And so did United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

On March 7, he appeared in Sacramento, California, to deliver a speech before some 200 law enforcement officers. His topic: An upcoming Federal lawsuit to block three new California immigration laws from taking effect.

Jeff Sessions, official portrait.jpg

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions

The purpose of these laws: To provide statewide protections for those who knowingly violate United States immigration laws.

“Here’s my message to Mayor Schaaf,” said Sessions. “How dare you, how dare you needlessly endanger the lives of our law enforcement officers to promote a radical open borders agenda.” 

Attacking “sanctuary cities”—which illegally shield violators of Federal immigration laws from arrest—Sessions said: “There is no nullification. There is no secession. Federal law is the supreme law of the land.” 

But California United States Senator Kamala Harris—a potential candidate for the Democratic Presidential nomination in 2020—sees matters differently.

“I think Mayor Schaaf is doing exactly what she believes is in the best interest of her community and I support that 100 percent,” she said on March 9.

But conspiring to violate United States immigration laws Harris is nothing new for Kamala Harris..

From 2004 to 2011, Harris had served as District Attorney for San Francisco. In total defiance of the law, she set up a secret unit to keep even convicted illegal aliens out of prison—and in the United States.

Click here: San Francisco D.A.’s program trained illegal immigrants for jobs they couldn’t legally hold – Los Angeles Times

U.S. Senator Kamala Harris

Her program, called Back on Track, trained them for jobs they could not legally hold.

This was a flagrant violation of Federal immigration law.

One such alumnus was Alexander Izaguirre, an illegal alien who had pled guilty to selling cocaine. Four months later, in July, 2008, he assaulted Amanda Kiefer, a legal San Francisco resident.

Snatching her purse, he jumped into an SUV, then tried to run Kiefer down. Terrified, she leaped onto the hood and saw Izaguirre and a driver laughing.

The driver slammed on the brakes, sending Kiefer flying onto the pavement and fracturing her skull.

The program, Back on Track, became a centerpiece of Harris’ campaign for state Attorney General.

Until she was questioned by the Los Angeles Times about the Izaguirre case, Harris had never publicly admitted that the program included illegal aliens.

Harris claimed she first learned that illegal aliens were training for jobs only after Izaguirre was arrested for the Kiefer assault. Apparently not one of her fellow prosecutors ever mentioned this to her.

Harris said it was a “flaw in the design” of the program to let illegal aliens into the program. “I believe we fixed it,” she told the Times.

Harris never released statistics on how many illegal aliens were included since the program started in 2005.

She said that after Izaguirre’s arrest she never asked—or learned—how many illegal aliens were in Back on Track. A strange lapse in curiosity for a prosecutor charged with enforcing the law.

When Harris learned that illegal aliens were enrolled, she allowed those who were following the rules to finish the program and have their criminal records expunged.

 

It is not the duty of local law enforcement, she said, to enforce Federal immigration laws.

So much for her oath to faithfully defend the Constitution of the United States and that of the state of California “against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”

From 2005 to 2009, 113 admitted drug dealers graduated from Back on Track. Another 99 were kicked off the program for failing to meet the requirements. They were sentenced under their guilty plea, the D.A.’s office claimed.

Harris told the Times that graduates of Back on Track were less likely than other offenders to commit crimes again.  But her spokeswoman refused to offer detailed statistics to back this up.

When Harris became San Francisco District Attorney, she vowed she would “never charge the death penalty.” 

Her opposition to capital punishment would be better-suited to a public defender.

Meanwhile, Amanda Kiefer left California. Interviewed by the Times, she said she could not understand why San Francisco police and prosecutors would allow convicted illegal aliens back onto the streets.

“If they’re committing crimes,” she said, “I think there’s something wrong that they’re not being deported.”

It’s a sentiment that law-abiding Americans agree with. And it should go double for those who are charged with enforcing the law.

CALIFORNIA ATTORNEY GENERAL DEFIED IMMIGRATION LAWS AS D.A.

In Bureaucracy, History, Law, Law Enforcement, Politics, Social commentary on July 8, 2015 at 11:34 am

On July 2, Kathryn Steinle decided to go for an evening stroll with her father along the San Francisco waterfront.

It was the last stroll the 32-year-old medical technology worker would ever take.

Kathryn Steinle

They were walking near Pier 14–a favorite area of the city’s tourists–when a pistol shot rang out.

Steinle, hit in the aorta, collapsed, crying, “Dad, help me, help me.”

Her father immediately gave her CPR before paramedics rushed Steinle to a hospital, where she died.

Her accused killer: Juan Francisco Lopez Sanchez, 45, an illegal alien with a history of seven felony convictions. He had been deported to his native Mexico five times, most recently in 2009.

Francisco Sanchez

On March 26, agents of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) turned Sanchez over to San Francisco police on an outstanding warrant.

On March 27, a San Francisco Superior Court judge dismissed charges of possession and distribution of marijuana against Sanchez.

Sanchez was released on April 15.

ICE had issued a detainer for Sanchez in March, requesting to be notified if he would be released.  But the detainer was not honored.

The reason?  San Francisco has been a “sanctuary city” for illegal aliens since 1989.  Its civic officials–acting as though they govern a city-state instead of a small, tourism-dependent city–openly defy Federal immigration laws.

As a result, city and local money cannot be spent on cooperating with Federal immigration authorities.

San Francisco is just one of 31 “sanctuary cities”: Washington, D.C.; New York City; Los Angeles, Chicago; Santa Ana; San Diego; Salt Lake City; Phoenix; Dallas; Houston; Austin; Detroit; Jersey City; Minneapolis; Miami; Denver; Baltimore; Seattle; Portland, Oregon; New Haven, Connecticut; and Portland, Maine.

Kathryn Steinle died because San Francisco authorities chose to defy the legal authority of the Federal Government.

But this is not the first time San Francisco officials have defied Federal immigration authorities–with brutal consequences for American-born citizens.

One of those officials–Kamala Harris–is now California’s Attorney General.

Kamala Harris

From 2004 to 2011, Harris had served as District Attorney for San Francisco. In total defiance of Federal immigration law, she set up a secret unit to keep even convicted illegal aliens out of prison–and in the United States.

San Francisco D.A.’s program trained illegal immigrants for jobs they couldn’t legally hold – Los Angeles Times

Her program, called Back on Track, trained them for jobs they could not legally hold.

One such alumnus was Alexander Izaguirre, an illegal alien who had pled guilty to selling cocaine. Four months later, in July, 2008, he assaulted Amanda Kiefer, a legal San Francisco resident.

Snatching her purse, he jumped into an SUV, then tried to run Kiefer down. Terrified, she leaped onto the hood and saw Izaguirre and a driver laughing.

The driver slammed on the brakes, sending Kiefer flying onto the pavement and fracturing her skull.

The program, Back on Track, became a centerpiece of Harris’ campaign for state Attorney General in 2010.

Steve Cooley, Los Angeles County District Attorney (2000-2012) ran against Harris for the position.  He could have raised Harris’ defiance of Federal law against her: The Los Angeles Times had broken the story in 2009.

But Cooley didn’t have the courage to do it.

Until she was questioned by the Los Angeles Times about the Izaguirre case, Harris had never publicly admitted that the program included illegal aliens.

Harris claimed she first learned that illegal aliens were training for jobs only after Izaguirre was arrested for the Kiefer assault.

Harris said it was a “flaw in the design” of the program to let illegal aliens into the program. “I believe we fixed it,” she told the Times.

Harris never released statistics on how many illegal aliens were included since the program started in 2005.

She said that after Izaguirre’s arrest she never asked–or learned–how many illegal aliens were in Back on Track.

When Harris learned that illegal aliens were enrolled, she allowed those who were following the rules to finish the program and have their criminal records expunged.

It is not the duty of local law enforcement, she said, to enforce Federal immigration laws.

So much for her oath to faithfully defend the Constitution of the United States and that of the state of California “against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”

From 2005 to 2009, 113 admitted drug dealers graduated from Back on Track.  Another 99 were kicked off the program for failing to meet the requirements.  They were sentenced under their guilty plea, the D.A.’s office claimed.

Harris told the Times that graduates of Back on Track were less likely than other offenders to commit crimes again.  But her spokeswoman refused to offer detailed statistics to back this up.

When Harris became San Francisco District Attorney, she vowed she would “never charge the death penalty.” Her opposition to capital punishment would be better-suited to a public defender.

Meanwhile, Amanda Kiefer left California.  Interviewed by the Times, she said she could not understand why San Francisco police and prosecutors would allow convicted illegal aliens back onto the streets.

“If they’re committing crimes,” she said, “I think there’s something wrong that they’re not being deported.”

It’s a sentiment that law-abiding Americans agree with.  And it should go double for those who are charged with enforcing the law.

RIDE ON AND KILL ON

In Bureaucracy, History, Law, Law Enforcement, Politics, Social commentary on November 3, 2014 at 1:32 am

San Bruno resident Sutchi Hui, 71, was visiting San Francisco when Death found him-–just before 8 a.m. on March 29, 2012.

No doubt he felt safe before he died.  After all, he was walking through a crosswalk in the affluent Castro District, one of the city’s safest areas.

And it was there that bicyclist Chris Bucchere plowed into him.

Bucchere, a software engineer, was also hospitalized for injuries in the crash. Later that day, he posted his thoughts about the accident to the Mission Cycling AM Riders Google group.

“I was already way too committed to stop.  The light turned red as I was cruising through the middle of the intersection and then, almost instantly, the southern crosswalk on Market and Castro filled up with people coming from both directions….so, in a nutshell, blammo.

“I couldn’t see a line through the crowd and I couldn’t stop, so I laid it down and just plowed through the crowded crosswalk in the least-populated place I could find.”

Bucchere said he lost consciousness and awoke five minutes later.  Someone told him that a 71-year-old injured pedestrian had been taken to the hospital.

“I remember seeing a RIVER of blood on the asphalt, but it wasn’t mine,” Bucchere wrote. “I really hope he ends up OK.”

Bucchere dedicated the post to his helmet, which “died in heroic fashion today as my head slammed into the tarmac…. May she die knowing that because she committed the ultimate sacrifice, her rider can live on and ride on. Can I get an amen? Amen.”

An “amen” would also be in order for the cause of justice.

Although prosecuted by the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office, what Bucchere got was the following sentence: Three years of probation and 1,000 hours of community service.  He would not serve any jail time.

He might as well have posted that because his helmet made “the ultimate sacrifice, her rider can live on and ride on–and kill on.”

The District Attorney’s office–which has one of the worst conviction records in the country–lost no time in congratulating itself.

“Our goal is to send a message to cyclists about safety,” D.A. George Gascon said. “Just because you are riding a bicycle doesn’t mean all bets are off.  All of the rules of the road that apply to everyone else apply to you, too.”

Gascon said Hui’s family did not want to see Bucchere imprisoned.  Since prosecutors didn’t expect a judge to  sentence him to jail, they offered probation and community service in the plea deal.

That’s what the life of a pedestrian is worth in San Francisco.

In July, 2011, bicyclist Randolph Ang, 23, ran a red light on the Embarcadero–and slammed into 68-year-old Dionette Cherney. She later died of her injuries.

In March, 2012, Ang pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor charge of vehicular manslaughter, as part of an agreement with prosecutors.

Ang faced up to a year in county jail, but a judge sentenced him to three years’ probation and 500 hours of community service, and ordered him to pay $15,375 in restitution to the Cherney family.

According to the website of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition:

“Pedestrians Always Have the Right of Way. In the crosswalk or not, bike riders and drivers are required to yield to pedestrians.”

“Stay on the Streets.  It’s illegal and unsafe to ride on the sidewalk if you are over the age of 13.”

So much for the official version.

In reality, pedestrians risk their lives whenever they use the sidewalk–especially on tourist-crowded Market Street.

And what role do police play in enforcing the bike laws?  None.

At best, a San Francisco cop might stop an law-breaking bicyclist and give him a citation. This amounts to a bicycle traffic ticket. The bike isn’t confiscated.

Most cops patrol in patrol cars. If they see a bicyclist whizzing down a sidewalk, they aren’t going to cut him off and slap handcuffs on him.

If police show no interest in protecting pedestrians, it’s largely because the Mayor and Board of Supervisors clearly favor the rights of law-breaking bicyclists over those of law-abiding pedestrians and drivers.

The greatest proof of this comes on the last Friday of every month. It’s called Critical Mass.

In this event, hundreds of bicyclists deliberately–at the height of evening rush hour–overwhelm the streets of downtown San Francisco, bringing vehicular and pedestrian traffic to a halt.

Founded in 1992 in San Francisco, the purpose of Critical Mass is not formally stated but nevertheless clear: To protest against those who use cars and public transit–and intimidate their riders and pedestrians alike.

Critical Mass riders often use a tactic known as “corking” to maintain the cohesion of the group: A few riders block traffic from side roads so that the mass can race through red lights without interruption.

Cars, buses and pedestrians are expected to wait patiently for however long these self-indulgent thugs-on-bikes flood the streets.

In March, 2010, reports in local media claimed that then-Police Chief George Gascon was considering shutting down Critical Mass.

Four years later, the bike-thuggies continue to tie up traffic and threaten the safety of any pedestrians stupid enough to think they have a legal right to stroll sidewalks and cross streets.

THUGS ON BIKES

In Bureaucracy, Politics, Social commentary on July 24, 2013 at 12:00 am

San Bruno resident Sutchi Hui, 71, was visiting San Francisco when Death found him-–just before 8 a.m. on March 29, 2012.

No doubt he felt safe before he died.  After all, he was walking through a crosswalk in the affluent Castro District, one of the city’s safest areas.

And it was there that bicyclist Chris Bucchere plowed into him.

Bucchere, a software engineer, was also hospitalized for injuries in the crash. Later that day, he posted his thoughts about the accident to the Mission Cycling AM Riders Google group.

“I was already way too committed to stop.  The light turned red as I was cruising through the middle of the intersection and then, almost instantly, the southern crosswalk on Market and Castro filled up with people coming from both directions….so, in a nutshell, blammo.

“I couldn’t see a line through the crowd and I couldn’t stop, so I laid it down and just plowed through the crowded crosswalk in the least-populated place I could find.”

Bucchere said he lost consciousness and awoke five minutes later.  Someone told him that a 71-year-old injured pedestrian had been taken to the hospital.

“I remember seeing a RIVER of blood on the asphalt, but it wasn’t mine,” Bucchere wrote. “I really hope he ends up OK.”

Bucchere dedicated the post to his helmet, which “died in heroic fashion today as my head slammed into the tarmac…. May she die knowing that because she committed the ultimate sacrifice, her rider can live on and ride on. Can I get an amen? Amen.”

An “amen” would also be in order for the cause of justice.

Although prosecuted by the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office, what Bucchere got was the following sentence: Three years of probation and 1,000 hours of community service.  He would not serve any jail time.

He might as well have posted that because his helmet made “the ultimate sacrifice, her rider can live on and ride on–and kill on.”

The District Attorney’s office–which has one of the worst conviction records in the country–lost no time in congratulating itself.

“Our goal is to send a message to cyclists about safety,” D.A. George Gascon said. “Just because you are riding a bicycle doesn’t mean all bets are off.  All of the rules of the road that apply to everyone else apply to you, too.”

Gascon said Hui’s family did not want to see Bucchere imprisoned.  Since prosecutors didn’t expect a judge to  sentence him to jail, they offered probation and community service in the plea deal.

That’s what the life of a pedestrian is worth in San Francisco.

In July, 2011, bicyclist Randolph Ang, 23, ran a red light on the Embarcadero–and slammed into 68-year-old Dionette Cherney. She later died of her injuries.

In March, 2012, Ang pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor charge of vehicular manslaughter, as part of an agreement with prosecutors.

Ang faced up to a year in county jail, but a judge sentenced him to three years’ probation and 500 hours of community service, and ordered him to pay $15,375 in restitution to the Cherney family.

According to the website of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition:

“Pedestrians Always Have the Right of Way. In the crosswalk or not, bike riders and drivers are required to yield to pedestrians.”

“Stay on the Streets.  It’s illegal and unsafe to ride on the sidewalk if you are over the age of 13.”

So much for the official version.

In reality, pedestrians risk their lives whenever they use the sidewalk–especially on tourist-crowded Market Street.

And what role do police play in enforcing the bike laws?  None.

At best, a San Francisco cop might stop an law-breaking bicyclist and give him a citation. This amounts to a bicycle traffic ticket. The bike isn’t confiscated.

Most cops patrol in patrol cars. If they see a bicyclist whizzing down a sidewalk, they aren’t going to cut him off and slap handcuffs on him.

If police show no interest in protecting pedestrians, it’s largely because the Mayor and Board of Supervisors clearly favor the rights of law-breaking bicyclists over those of law-abiding pedestrians and drivers.

The greatest proof of this comes on the last Friday of every month. It’s called Critical Mass.

In this event, hundreds of bicyclists deliberately–at the height of evening rush hour–overwhelm the streets of downtown San Francisco, bringing vehicular and pedestrian traffic to a halt.

Founded in 1992 in San Francisco, the purpose of Critical Mass is not formally stated but nevertheless clear: To protest against those who use cars and public transit–and intimidate their riders and pedestrians alike.

Critical Mass riders often use a tactic known as “corking” to maintain the cohesion of the group: A few riders block traffic from side roads so that the mass can race through red lights without interruption.

Cars, buses and pedestrians are expected to wait patiently for however long these self-indulgent thugs-on-bikes flood the streets.

In March, 2010, reports in local media claimed that then-Police Chief George Gascon was considering shutting down Critical Mass.

Three years later, the bike-thuggies continue to tie up traffic and threaten the safety of any pedestrians stupid enough to think they have a legal right to stroll sidewalks and cross streets.

“BEST-LOOKING” ATTORNEY GENERAL IS BIGGEST LAWBREAKER

In Bureaucracy, Law, Law Enforcement, Politics on April 9, 2013 at 12:03 am

On April 4, President Barack Obama unintentionally created a stir during a Democratic National Committee fundraising lunch in Atherton, California.

Referring to California Attorney General Kamala Harris, he said:

“You have to be careful to, first of all, say she is brilliant and she is dedicated and she is tough, and she is exactly what you’d want in anybody who is administering the law and making sure that everybody is getting a fair shake.  She also happens to be by far the best-looking attorney general in the country.”

Kamala Harris

It was a compliment that was immediately interpreted–by some–as a sexist insult.

According to the Politically Correct crowd, even complimentary comments about a female politician’s physical appearance can diminish her accomplishments.

“It’s even more so when the person–like Kamala Harris–is holding a traditionally-male position like attorney general, the top law enforcement officer in the state,” said Debbie Walsh, director of the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University.

“That’s just what Obama did by including a comment about her appearance,” Walsh said. “I doubt if he’d say that about a male attorney general.”

According to White House press secretary Jay Carney, Obama called Harris that same evening evening to apologize for his comments.

“He fully recognizes the challenges women continue to face in the workplace and that they should not be judged based on appearance,” Carney said the next day. “They’re old friends. He certainly regretted that [his comments] caused a distraction.”

And Harris reportedly accepted Obama’s apology.

“The Attorney General and the President have been friends for many years,” Harris spokesman Gil Duran said in an April 5 statement. “They had a great conversation yesterday and she strongly supports him.”

If, in fact, Harris was offended by Obama’s compliment, she has a very thin skin indeed.

She could have been far more offended had her Republican opponent for Attorney General dared to tell the truth about her.

Steve Cooley, running against Harris in 2010, had a serious issue to raise against her.  But he didn’t have the guts to do it.

From 2004 to 2011, Harris had served as District Attorney for San Francisco.  In total defiance of the law, she set up a secret unit to keep even convicted illegal aliens out of prison.

Click here: San Francisco D.A.’s program trained illegal immigrants for jobs they couldn’t legally hold – Los Angeles Times

Her program, called Back on Track, trained them for jobs they could not legally hold.

This was a flagrant violation of Federal immigration law.

One such alumnus was Alexander Izaguirre, an illegal alien who had pled guilty to selling cocaine.  Four months later, in July, 2008, he assaulted Amanda Kiefer, a legal San Francisco resident.

Snatching her purse, he jumped into an SUV, then tried to run Kiefer down.  Terrified, she leaped onto the hood and saw Izaguirre and a driver laughing.

The driver slammed on the brakes, sending Kiefer flying onto the pavement and fracturing her skull.

The program, Back on Track, became a centerpiece of Harris’ campaign for state Attorney General.

Until she was questioned by the Los Angeles Times about the Izaguirre case, Harris had never publicly admitted that the program included illegal aliens.

Harris claimed she first learned that illegal aliens were training for jobs only after Izaguirre was arrested for the Kiefer assault.

Harris said it was a “flaw in the design” of the program to let illegal aliens into the program.  “I believe we fixed it,” she told the Times.

Harris never released statistics on how many illegal aliens were included since the program started in 2005.

She said that after Izaguirre’s arrest she never asked–or learned–how many illegal aliens were in Back on Track.

When Harris learned that illegal aliens were enrolled, she allowed those who were following the rules to finish the program and have their criminal records expunged.

It is not the duty of local law enforcement, she said, to enforce Federal immigration laws.

So much for her oath to faithfully defend the Constitution of the United States and that of the state of California “against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”

From 2005 to 2009, 113 admitted drug dealers graduated from Back on Track.  Another 99 were kicked off the program for failing to meet the requirements.  They were sentenced under their guilty plea, the D.A.’s office claimed.

Harris told the Times that graduates of Back on Track were less likely than other offenders to commit crimes again.  But her spokeswoman refused to offer detailed statistics to back this up.

When Harris became San Francisco District Attorney, she vowed she would “never charge the death penalty.”  Her opposition to capital punishment would be better-suited to a public defender.

Meanwhile, Amanda Kiefer left California.  Interviewed by the Times, she said she could not understand why San Francisco police and prosecutors would allow convicted illegal aliens back onto the streets.

“If they’re committing crimes,” she said, “I think there’s something wrong that they’re not being deported.”

It’s a sentiment that law-abiding Americans agree with. And it should go double for those who are charged with enforcing the law.

THUGS ON BIKES: Q & A

In Bureaucracy, Law, Social commentary on April 12, 2012 at 11:00 am

I built a bike piece by piece over the course of a year, I’ve read all the rules and regulations for my state, and one day I hope to participate in the community driven event called Critical Mass. Does that make me a thug?

You seem like you wrote this angry, why are you being so prejudice against people on bikes? Your article makes me think you like would rather bikes be outlawed.

Why are you so mad at an entire community based on specific actions of a few?

* * * * *

In response to my April 11 posting, “Thugs on Bikes,” a reader sent me the above email.  Since his sentiments may be shared by others, I will respond accordingly:

I once owned a bike and enjoyed riding it–on the street. It’s a great way to exercise and travel faster than you can on foot–without having to own or maintain an expensive car.

In addition, there are bike trails–in San Francisco and other cities–where people can pedal away without risk to themselves or others.

If the goal of Critical Mass is to propularize bicycling, then it has failed miserably.

Forcing untold numbers of people–in buses, in cars and on foot–to wait endlessly for a needless procession by hundreds of arrogant, self-indulgent bikers arouses only frustration and anger.

And why are these people waiting endlessly?

Because:

  1. pedestrians fear getting hurt by legions of oncoming bikes, and
  2. drivers fear causing injury or death to bikers and facing lawsuits as a result.

It would be one thing if one or more bicyclists had to carry out an emergency ride for, say, medical or police help.

No one could begrudge their taking shortcuts, especially at the risk of their own lives.

It would also be acceptable if even large numbers of bikers held a race within a designated area–such as happens at the Daytona 500.

But you don’t see racing car drivers turning the streets of major cities into Death Race 2000 marathons, where the lives of other drivers and pedestrians are placed at risk.

Of course, you don’t have to wait for a Critical Mass rally to have your life placed in danger by bikers.

You have only to step onto a sidewalk and have a bicycle whiz by, missing you by inches, to realize you just stared death in the face.

And you did it for no other reason than a biker decided it was better to risk pedestrian lives on a sidewalk than to risk his own riding on the street.

I take the view: “Your right to swing your fist ends where my nose begins.” And my right to swing my fist ends where your nose begins as well.

I don’t believe that all bikers break the law or act thuggishly. But I believe that far too many of them do.

And when this happens they should be held legally accountable–before they bring injury or death to one or more pedestrians or afterward if they do cause such harm.

Yes, I am angry at those bikers who take stupid risks with the lives of others–and their own.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve come close to serious injury or worse at the wheel of a biker racing along a sidewalk.

But I am just as angry at city officials who deliberately ignore what is happening daily on the sidewalks of this city and refuse to enforce the laws already on the books.

In short: It isn’t necessary–or even desirable–to outlaw bikes.

But it is essential to put a stop to the potentially lethal behavior of bike outlaws.

THUGS ON BIKES

In Bureaucracy, Law, Social commentary on April 11, 2012 at 12:00 am

San Bruno resident Sutchi Hui, 71, was visiting San Francisco when Death found him.

No doubt he felt safe before it snatched him away–just before 8 a.m. on March 29.

After all, he was walking through a crosswalk in the affluent Castro District, one of the city’s safest areas.

It was there that bicyclist Chris Bucchere plowed into him.

Bucchere was also hospitalized for injuries in the crash.  Later that day, he appears to have posted his thoughts about the accident to the Mission Cycling AM Riders Google group.

According to the post, Bucchere was about to cross Market Street when the traffic light ahead of him turned yellow.

“I was already way too committed to stop,” the post states.

“The light turned red as I was cruising through the middle of the intersection and then, almost instantly, the southern crosswalk on Market and Castro filled up with people coming from both directions….

“I couldn’t see a line through the crowd and I couldn’t stop, so I laid it down and just plowed through the crowded crosswalk in the least-populated place I could find.”

The author says he lost consciousness and awoke five minutes later.  Someone told him that a 71-year-old injured pedestrian had been taken to the  hospital.

“I remember seeing a RIVER of blood on the asphalt, but it wasn’t mine,” the  author writes. “I really hope he ends up OK.”

The author dedicates the post to his helmet, which “died in heroic fashion today as my head slammed into the tarmac…. May she die knowing that because she committed the ultimate sacrifice, her rider can live on and ride on. Can I  get an amen? Amen.”

Prosecutors for the San Francisco District Attorney’s office are treating the post as having been written by Bucchere, said Omid Talai, the agency’s spokesman.

Whether they indict Bucchere, prosecutors shouldn’t be surprised that Hui died as he did.  The wonder is that far more San Francisco pedestrians don’t meet the same fate.

In July, 2011, bicyclist Randolph Ang, 23, ran a red light on the Embarcadero–and slammed into 68-year-old Dionette Cherney.  She later died of her injuries.

In March, Ang pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor charge of vehicular manslaughter, as part of an agreement with prosecutors.

Although Ang faced up to a year in county jail, a judge sentenced him to three years’ probation and 500 hours of community service, and ordered him to pay $15,375 in restitution to the Cherney family.

That’s what the life of a pedestrian is worth in San Francisco.

According to the website of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition:

“Pedestrians Always Have the Right of Way.  In the crosswalk or not, bike riders and drivers are required to yield to pedestrians.”

“Stay on the Streets.  It’s illegal and unsafe to ride on the sidewalk if you are over the age of 13.”

So much for the official version.  In reality, pedestrians risk their lives whenever they use the sidewalk–especially on tourist-crowded Market Street.

And if you’re wondering what role the police have to play in enforcing the bike laws, the answer is: None.

At best, a San Francisco cop might stop a law-breaking bicyclist and give him a citation.  This amounts to a bicycle traffic ticket.  The bike isn’t confiscated.

Most cops patrol in patrol cars.  If they see a bicyclist whizzing down a sidewalk, they aren’t going to cut him off and slap handcuffs on him.

If police show no interest in protecting pedestrians, it’s due in large part because the mayor and Board of Supervisors clearly favor the rights of law-breaking bicyclists over those of law-abiding pedestrians and drivers.

The greatest proof of this comes on the last Friday of every month. It’s called Critical Mass.

In this event, hundreds of bicyclists deliberately–at the height of evening rush hour–overwhelm the streets of downtown San Francisco, bringing vehicular and pedestrian traffic to a halt.

Founded in 1992 in San Francisco, the purpose of Critical Mass is not formally stated.  But it is clear to anyone who isn’t an egotistical thug: To protest against those who use cars and public transit–and intimidate their riders and pedestrians alike.

Critical Mass riders often use a tactic known as “corking” to maintain the cohesion of the group: A few riders block traffic from side roads so that the mass can race through red lights without interruption.

Cars, buses and pedestrians are expected to wait patiently for however long these self-indulgent thugs-on-bikes flood the streets.

In March, 2010, reports in local media claimed that Police Chief George Gascon was considering shutting down Critical Mass.

Two years later, the bike-thuggies continue to tie up traffic and threaten the safety of any pedestrians stupid enough to think they have a legal right to stroll sidewalks and cross streets.

As former Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy once said: “Every society gets the kind of government it deserves–and the kind of law enforcement it insists on.”

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