Our Reporting Priorities Are Perhaps A Bit Skewed

Background Reading


Woods used his SUV to blockade Liu, then handcuffed him. Photo: Ben Raines

Woods used his SUV to blockade Liu, then handcuffed him. Photo: Ben Raines


In the past month or so we have had several shootings here in Chicago where the people wielding the guns were on bicycles. None of these stories was ever covered (to my knowledge) by anyone from StreetsBlog. But why this story about a knucklehead lawyer who cannot keep his hands to himself warrants at least two perhaps three stories is a mystery to me.

Evidently we value life here in the city a bit less if the victim was killed by a gun-wielding bicyclist than if hit by an SUV.

What chafes even more is the fact that the so-called leadership of the Bicycle Advocacy groups here in the Chicagoland area likewise said nothing about the murders of pedestrians on city streets at the hands of bicyclists wielding guns. Yet they find the time to comment on whether the judge in a hearing believes the bicyclist who bangs on windows versus the cop who has to take time off from his normal duties to attend that hearing.

Now to cap off his logic regarding this non-event one of these over-paid figureheads had this to say:

Active Transportation Alliance director Ron Burke had a similar response to Berbas’ ruling. “How often have you seen a person on a bike or a pedestrian randomly pounding on a car?” he said. “It sounds like this was a case where Liu was at risk and needed to get the driver’s attention. The officer should have realized he made a mistake by driving in the bike lane and moved on, and it seems that the judge should have thrown out the case.”

Well sir if you think back just a bit, bicyclists routinely bang on cars and shout ‘Happy Friday‘ without provocation during that glorious waste of time called the Chicago Critical Mass Ride. Admittedly this is tame when compared with the utter brutality of having an unprovoked cyclist approach a lone woman in a rental car and use his U-Lock to smash her driver’s side mirror to smithereens during a recent San Francisco version of the Critical Mass Ride.

You would have to have been living under a rock to not know about this altercation. And in the context of this CMR the actions of James Liu seem all to ordinary. Cyclists quite often are aggressive though unprovoked. At it takes very little courage to  ride up alongside a car waiting at the traffic light, bang on its door or window and then ‘flip off‘ the driver. But I have seen this before and will probably see it quite a few times in the future.

Cyclists only think to whip out their cameras when the driver jumps out of his automobile following that kind of abuse/aggressive treatment and begins to pummel them. Then of course the entire Urban Cycling Movement is treated to reruns of the ‘bad behavior‘ of the motorist which is shown ‘out of context‘.

I think it is unconscionable for the so-called journalists who report on events in cycling to ignore the deaths of black-and-brown people at the hands of cyclists firing guns and spend an inordinate amount of time with an ‘elite‘ who is acting like a juvenile delinquent and gets the $250+ ticket he so richly deserves.

Kudos to the policeman who took the time to stand up to these bicycling bullies. Trust me this incident would never have gone done as it did had the dumbass lawyer realized he picked on the wrong ‘nigger‘.