I am following several developing stories in the Pacific Northwest concerning the priority that law enforcement and the justice system assigns to protecting bicyclists:
In both of these cases, a cyclist was hit by a young motorist, who then left the cyclist for dead and sped away. What I found especially alarming was that in the Portland, Oregon case, where both the victim and the perpetrator were of lower socioeconomic or political status (the victim is gay and the suspect is a young black man), the police ignored the case during a period when crucial evidence should have been gathered. In Fircrest, the victim was a 66-year-old white female, a retired nurse who cycled 30 miles every day, while the suspect is alleged to be an 18-year-old girl who was driving her parent's Mercedes.
Fortunately, both of the victims in these cases, Jessica Osborne of Portland and Sandy Johnston of Fircrest, Washington (near Tacoma) are expected to make a full recovery. My heart goes to them and I wish them a full and speedy recovery.
I hope others here will join me in following these cases until justice is served. The treatment you get from justice and law enforcement often depends on your status, and oddly enough, the status of the suspect as well. A high status suspect is the prosecutor's dream.
What is shocking to me is that, the moment you get on a bicycle, your legal status is lowered. A motorist can legally kill you and claim that they just didn't see you.
It seems to me that the police acted properly in both of these cases. The only reason they found out who did the second hit and run was because the driver's parents turned her in. They will probably need a similar break to solve the second case.