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  1. #1
    Senior Member rydabent's Avatar
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    Just what is the difference

    There seem to be this vast difference in thinking by the police, and the justice system on the way a person is killed. If a drunk hits a cyclist or a runner on the shoulder with a car, the killers gets a pass, or maybe a slight slap on the wrist. But if the killer uses a knife or a ***, they squash him like a bug.

    My question what is the big difference in which weapon used? The person is just as dead no matter what weapon he or she uses. What is even more disturbing to me is that there are some people on this cycling forum that also excuses the killer, and calls these killings an accident. The real hard fact is that if someone is killed, someone did something wrong!!!! Are some of the people on this forum that side with drivers not cyclist?

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    I'm not JUSTIFYING, understand, but I get where their thinking is.

    1.)Cars are everywhere, cars are a part of our culture; just about everybody HAS one, and those that don't are usually down-and-out, less of a person than the "upstanding car owner". Cars are a necessary part of our society, they are not meant to be dangerous, therefore, they can't be a weapon, unless the person in it turns out to be deranged.

    2.)A knife or a *** is a WEAPON, a device MEANT to cause harm; a car is a convenience tool, no malicious intent attached to it. Only BAD people use a WEAPON on someone else outside of their own HOMES, where they'd be defending themselves or their loved ones. And if you're carrying a ***, you're a good person if it's in a nice holster. If it's in a pocket or the beltline, then you're automatically tainted.

    3.)People who are walking are PROBABLY OK folks, it depends on how they're dressed; if they look raggedy or they smell, then they're a lesser person. But a person on a bike is either an arrogant ass who thinks he's better then the rest of us NORMAL folks who drive, or they're borderline homeless, and once again less of a person.

    4.)Someone who uses a weapon on someone else -- a knife, ***, ball bat, etc. -- is automatically a scumbag, has a grudge or issue with the other person, and now has a target on their back. But someone who kills or injures with a car COULDN'T be malicious about it, after all, they didn't even KNOW the bike person/pedestrian!


    We get profiled daily, by others, all day and every day. Most of the "qualifiers" people use are negative -- skin color, manner of dress, apparent age, gender, etc. Some way or another, we are 'judged' less than the person doing the profiling. But a cop deals with people daily on a different level, and thus is convinced that they have an enhanced insight into people. Most of the time, though, they are as wrong as everyone else.

    It's a matter of conformity; cyclists are seen as anti-car, otherwise, we'd be driving. So we are less deserving of their best efforts.

  3. #3
    Cyclist storckm's Avatar
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    The legal system does often seem overly lenient to motorists, especially when cyclists are involved.

    But, while in either case the victim is dead, the law does distinguish between intentional murder and accidental killing, because in the first case, someone intends the others death, while in the other, someone is negligent, which is definitely a bad, but not as bad as the first. A big difference in intention.

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    Senior Member dynodonn's Avatar
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    The problem as I see it, is that the current US social majority thinking leans towards that streets and roadways are designed to driven on, not to be walked or ridden on. It doesn't take near the force to severely injure or kill a vulnerable road user as it does a motorist, and many in the general motoring public, law enforcement and court circuits are still having a hard time in realizing the difference, and end up defaulting to "fender bender" penalties in their rulings.

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    Senior Member gcottay's Avatar
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    Two guys known to be good friends are out hunting. A *** goes off and one of the guys is dead.

    Two guys are in a convenience store. One is behind the counter when the other enters *** in hand. The *** is fired and the guy behind the counter is dead.

    Two guys are out on the highway. One is riding his bike on the shoulder of the road. The other, driving home after a long ER shift, dozes off and drifts off the road, killing the cyclist.

    You be the judge.
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    Senior Member howsteepisit's Avatar
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    On the A&S there is no difference, in real life intent is the difference.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
    There seem to be this vast difference in thinking by the police, and the justice system on the way a person is killed. If a drunk hits a cyclist or a runner on the shoulder with a car, the killers gets a pass, or maybe a slight slap on the wrist. But if the killer uses a knife or a ***, they squash him like a bug.

    My question what is the big difference in which weapon used? The person is just as dead no matter what weapon he or she uses. What is even more disturbing to me is that there are some people on this cycling forum that also excuses the killer, and calls these killings an accident. The real hard fact is that if someone is killed, someone did something wrong!!!! Are some of the people on this forum that side with drivers not cyclist?
    Your statement is not factually correct as stated. A drunk(proven to be so) who kills another under the same surrounding circumstances as a person who uses another weapon gets the same penalty. It is certainly not an everyday occurrence but police shoot drivers who use their cars as weapons to threaten them. In short; under current law in the US it makes little difference what weapon is used. What makes a huge difference are the surrounding circumstances of the event. If you spent some time researching the topic before you posted you would know these facts.

    What does being a cyclist or not have to do with whether or not a person posts in this forum? I welcome any who can make a positive contribution to the safety and efficiency of cycling. Everyone has a stake in safe, efficient, effective transportation. Also, making room for bicycles as a respected form of recreation right along side of other sports is something everyone can benefit from. The only way all this will happen is if everyone talks together and works together. Posts such as yours do nothing to forward that discussion. In fact, a person could reasonably conclude from your posts that you do not have any interest in cooperation and problem solving.

  8. #8
    Senior Member walrus1's Avatar
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    I've been telling people since I've started cycling that there is no difference to me if I'm shot or run over. Either way I'm just as dead. Take these two scenarios for example.

    1. I'm walking home from my night class I pass a group of guys getting into a heated argument. One guy pulls out a *** so another guy pulls out a *** and they open fire. I get hit, I go down and I die. All those involve run. A group of witnesses all call 911 and stick around.

    2. I'm cycling home from class. A guy swerves into the bike lane. I have to swerve out into the road lane to avoid hitting the car in the bike lane. A car in the road takes exception to having to slow down. He pulls along side me and begins to pull over to scare me but misjudges the distance and hits me. I go down, his wheels go over me and I die. Guy who hits me runs and the guy in the bike lanes leaves too. A bystander finds me, calls 911 and sticks around.

    In scenario 1 the NYPD shows up rapidly and in force. Witness statements are taken. A news crew shows up and a NYPD spokesman begs the public to call the tip line. A anti-violence community shows up and passes out "end the violence and take back our street" pamphlets. The TV crew interviews one of my neighbors who say what a great guy I was and how this was such a tragedy. The guy who fired the shot that killed me is found, arrested, charged and convicted. But I'm still dead.

    In scenario 2, a couple cruisers and eventually two detectives from the collision squad show up. A very brief statement from the person who found me is taken. The news crew doesn't show up and no appeal is made for people to call the tip line. I get a brief line on StreetsBlog's "The Weekly Carnage" section. There are no calls to reclaim our streets from vehicular violence. The NYPD decide that "no criminality is suspected" thus the guy who hit me is never found. So no arrests are made, no charges are filed and no one is convicted. But I'm still dead.

    In both cases I was minding my own business and an outside party made a conscious criminal decision that results in my death. The guy who pulled the *** and fried didn't intend to kill me but did. The guy in the car didn't intend to kill me he just wanted to scare me but he ran me over. He then broke the law again and fled. However the NYPD and society has decided that despite the fact that both cars and guns kill with ease only *** violence is taken seriously. Why? Because cars are everywhere and hence most deaths are simply accidents. Both parties in our imaginary scenarios accidentally killed me. Granted the *** was designed to take human lives while this is only an unintended consequence of cars. However both allow people to kill with ease. Until we all demand that car violence is treated the same as *** violence people will fail to see the difference. So what is actually a difference? To me there is none I'm just as dead either way.
    Last edited by walrus1; 10-15-13 at 11:21 AM.

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    Senior Member howsteepisit's Avatar
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    I suppose, since we are talking hypotheticals, its is equally accurate to say that a witness to the attack in incident 2 remans and reports to the police that the driver deliberately pulled into you to teach you a lesson. The driver is arrested and goes into a tirade about how the F****ing cyclists don't belong in the road and he was simply trying to teach you a lesson. He is charged and convicted of second degree murder. You are dead but your relatives blood lust for street justice is not satisfied with 20 year prison term and so they contract an in jail hit on the culprit, and you dead butt is happy.

    Do you like this scenario better?
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  10. #10
    Transportation Cyclist turbo1889's Avatar
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    @ rydabent (OP)

    One thing I think you fail to realize (as do some other people on this forum) is that there is a significant difference both legally and morally between a homicide (I'm using the baseline definition, the killing of a human by another human regardless of how or why it happens) that results from malice intent on the part of the killer and a homicide that results from negligence or recklessness without intent to do harm. Even then in both of those two basic divisions there are degrees of malice intent and degrees of negligence or recklessness some worse then others.



    @ DX-MAN

    I'm taking your post as what you think other people are thinking and not what you personally are thinking. I would agree for the most part with two exceptions:

    #1 ~ A knife is not by necessarily by its nature a weapon, a kitchen knife was never intended from the get-go to be a weapon but can certainly be used as one in a pinch and some kitchen knives would make better weapons then knives intended from the get-go to be a weapon. Same goes for pocket knives, swiss-army or leather-man multi-function tools that have among a great many other things a knife blade or too are not intended be be weapons from the get-go where as some other pocket knives are very much weapon orientated.

    #2 ~ As to openly holstered firearms being "OK" and socially accepted, in some areas that may be true but most certainly not in many, many others and getting a CWP from the local authorities that lets you legally carry concealed and doing so can be a far better option and get you in far less trouble. (At least for the carrying part, all bets are off if you actually have to use it.)



    @ storckm

    +1 with the additional note that the law also recognizes both varying degrees of malice (1st vs. 2nd degree murder, etc. . .) and varying degrees of negligence as well. My main complaint is that there is bias as to how the act was carried out, whether that be giving people extra jail time because they committed intentional murder with a *** rather then poison or some other means or letting people off easy because they used another weapon such as a car also with intentional murder. Also, the bias towards who is the victim whether it being "okay" to kill cyclists because motorists hate them and think they shouldn't be on the road in the first place or a black getting less time for killing a white in a race riot compared to if the races had been reversed in that killing in that race riot. The scales of justice should be impartial, anything less is a perversion.



    @ dynodonn

    +1, but I do think that it does go beyond just innocent social bias and goes to deliberate malicious acts of deliberately tipping the scales of justice in many situations.



    @ gcottay

    Well, if ask me to be the judge I would say that the first and third of the three scenarios you suggest are equivalent and the scales of justice should not be tipped to either side and both perps. in both cases should be dealt with equivalently for equal acts of criminal negligence in the operation of dangerous machines resulting in the death of another innocent individual.

    As to your second of the three scenarios, let me provide and equivalent bicycle vs. car: "Two guys both legally using a public roadway with road legal vehicles in low-speed, stop and go, in-town traffic. One is driving a car and the other is riding a bicycle. There is no shoulder edge or bicycle lane and the cyclist is keeping up with traffic and riding in the main traffic lanes. The car is behind the cyclist and the driver starts honking his horn and revving his engine at the bicyclist in front of him. The cyclist does not "get out of the way" of the irate motorists and the car lurches forward and slams into the cyclist sandwiching him against the back of another car in front of cyclist. The guy on the bicycle is now dead."

    That wasn't one of scenarios you gave since you only gave three and I equated two of them which left an odd one out so I came up with what I believe would be a moral equivalent situation. In your situation the guy behind the counter didn't "get out of the way" of the robber and the robber killed him. In my situation the guy on the bicycle didn't "get out of the way" of the irate motorist and the motorist killed him. Same-Oh, Same-Oh as far as I'm concerned.

  11. #11
    Senior Member dynodonn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by turbo1889 View Post
    @ dynodonn

    +1, but I do think that it does go beyond just innocent social bias and goes to deliberate malicious acts of deliberately tipping the scales of justice in many situations.
    I wouldn't consider social bias as either innocent or malicious, it's that a greater number of people in the US garner more miles via motorized transportation than they do by walking or riding, jading many judicial decision outcomes, and penalties, and affecting the types of laws being passed.

  12. #12
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by howsteepisit View Post
    I suppose, since we are talking hypotheticals, its is equally accurate to say that a witness to the attack in incident 2 remans and reports to the police that the driver deliberately pulled into you to teach you a lesson. The driver is arrested and goes into a tirade about how the F****ing cyclists don't belong in the road and he was simply trying to teach you a lesson. He is charged and convicted of second degree murder. You are dead but your relatives blood lust for street justice is not satisfied with 20 year prison term and so they contract an in jail hit on the culprit, and you dead butt is happy.

    Do you like this scenario better?

    Not likely to happen unless it can be shown that the driver was intoxicated at the time. If the police do pursue this, due to a hit and run situation, the driver is still not likely to be prosecuted for 20 year sentence.

    Also equally unlikely that the cyclists family has "connections" in prison. (tends to be a TV scenario, not real life...)

  13. #13
    Senior Member howsteepisit's Avatar
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    Do you have a better scenario for Walrus genec? Its all the make believe world of A&S anyway.
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    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by howsteepisit View Post
    Do you have a better scenario for Walrus genec? Its all the make believe world of A&S anyway.
    Sadly no... the picture painted in that post is fairly accurate... with the exception of the bystander calling 911... more likely (depending on the neighborhood) the bystander would rob the downed cyclist. Even if that didn't happen, the odds are pretty low that the police would take a report from the bystander... thus the death of the cyclist would just be considered "a typical accident."

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    Senior Member howsteepisit's Avatar
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    And you know it is accurate how?
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    Senior Member walrus1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by howsteepisit View Post
    And you know it is accurate how?
    Because, other than the robbery, it happens multiple times every single day! We can only give thanks that we don't loose a cyclist every single day. Do you not pay attention to the A&S forums? Or is Eugene really that different then NYC? Do the cops actually care there?

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    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by howsteepisit View Post
    And you know it is accurate how?
    by reading reports in the news and seeing what gets coverage and how much...

    But hey, I can be wrong... go ahead and forward me the story about the cyclist killed in NYC and how the bystander was able to ID the hit and run driver... and how the police followed that lead. I might have missed that story.

    I'll send you the shooting stories (multiple) about the bystanders shot in NYC by police. (it was national news, so easy to find)

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    Senior Member walrus1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    by reading reports in the news and seeing what gets coverage and how much...

    But hey, I can be wrong... go ahead and forward me the story about the cyclist killed in NYC and how the bystander was able to ID the hit and run driver... and how the police followed that lead. I might have missed that story.

    I'll send you the shooting stories (multiple) about the bystanders shot in NYC by police. (it was national news, so easy to find)
    I think I missed that story too. ALso one can find multiple reports of bystanders getting hit by gunfire from gang members, drug dealers, robbers etc.

  19. #19
    Senior Member howsteepisit's Avatar
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    I do not believe that cyclists are clipped by malicious cyclists multiple times daily. Your scenario included the death of the cyclist, not just an injury. Once again, A&S hyperbole. I do not claim that these kind of events occur, but the incidence is way lower than stated. Since your scenario involved a death, there would be daily news stories about cyclist deaths. We lose almost 2 cyclists per day BTW, but most are alcohol related, either by the cyclist or the driver.

    If you take what you read in internet forums as fact you are indeed a fool.
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    Senior Member walrus1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by howsteepisit View Post
    I do not believe that cyclists are clipped by malicious cyclists multiple times daily. Your scenario included the death of the cyclist, not just an injury. Once again, A&S hyperbole. I do not claim that these kind of events occur, but the incidence is way lower than stated. Since your scenario involved a death, there would be daily news stories about cyclist deaths. We lose almost 2 cyclists per day BTW, but most are alcohol related, either by the cyclist or the driver.

    If you take what you read in internet forums as fact you are indeed a fool.
    Ok let me make this plain and simple for you. Over the land far far away so far you can't see it from your house is this place called New York City. It is full of many many Eugene, ORs with many many cyclists and many many cars. Many many cars driven by many many angry people in hurry. Many many people in cars don't like manny many people on bicycles. Sometimes they get angry and try to scare or hurt many many people on bicycles. So many many many people in New York that this happens daily.

    I doubt you have ever seen NYC or know of it all. Otherwise you would coincide that there is enough people for there to be lots of acts of road rage a day. That sadly do sometimes result in deaths. Now multiply all the cyclists and cars across the U.S. and you can see this isn't a leap for this to happen multiple times a day.
    Last edited by walrus1; 10-15-13 at 02:05 PM.

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    Senior Member howsteepisit's Avatar
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    Oh yes, genec, NY state had a total of 57 bicycle fatalities in 2011, so daily killing of cyclists in NYC is not possible, unless you think that there are some 300 unreported bicycle fatalities annually. Hyperbole!
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    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by howsteepisit View Post
    Oh yes, genec, NY state had a total of 57 bicycle fatalities in 2011, so daily killing of cyclists in NYC is not possible, unless you think that there are some 300 unreported bicycle fatalities annually. Hyperbole!
    Don't believe any of the scenarios presented mentioned daily killing of cyclists... Hyperbole back to you!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by gcottay View Post
    Two guys known to be good friends are out hunting. A *** goes off and one of the guys is dead.

    Two guys are in a convenience store. One is behind the counter when the other enters *** in hand. The *** is fired and the guy behind the counter is dead.

    Two guys are out on the highway. One is riding his bike on the shoulder of the road. The other, driving home after a long ER shift, dozes off and drifts off the road, killing the cyclist.

    You be the judge.
    #1 : Accidental death, but because a firearm is involved, there will be some action. Nobody wins there.

    #2 : Murder -- obvious intent to commit a felony (robbery), and a person is killed during the crime.

    #3 : Negligent homicide, at least; long ER shift or not, you don't (or SHOULDN'T) get a pass because you're TIRED. Someone DIED because you didn't exercise due and reasonable care.

    So, do I get the job on the bench? Didn't think so. Oh well, another great idea shot to hell.......

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    Quote Originally Posted by turbo1889 View Post
    #1 ~ A knife is not by necessarily by its nature a weapon, a kitchen knife was never intended from the get-go to be a weapon but can certainly be used as one in a pinch and some kitchen knives would make better weapons then knives intended from the get-go to be a weapon. Same goes for pocket knives, swiss-army or leather-man multi-function tools that have among a great many other things a knife blade or too are not intended be be weapons from the get-go where as some other pocket knives are very much weapon orientated.
    A kitchen knife outside of a kitchen... A baseball bat outside of a baseball game... Etc... Weapons in many situations.

    (A pocket knife is often different.)

    Quote Originally Posted by turbo1889 View Post
    #2 ~ As to openly holstered firearms being "OK" and socially accepted, in some areas that may be true but most certainly not in many, many others and getting a CWP from the local authorities that lets you legally carry concealed and doing so can be a far better option and get you in far less trouble. (At least for the carrying part, all bets are off if you actually have to use
    Why aren't "openly carried" firearms considered more of a crime deterrant?
    Last edited by njkayaker; 10-15-13 at 02:57 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by turbo1889 View Post
    @ DX-MAN

    I'm taking your post as what you think other people are thinking and not what you personally are thinking. I would agree for the most part with two exceptions:

    #1 ~ A knife is not by necessarily by its nature a weapon, a kitchen knife was never intended from the get-go to be a weapon but can certainly be used as one in a pinch and some kitchen knives would make better weapons then knives intended from the get-go to be a weapon. Same goes for pocket knives, swiss-army or leather-man multi-function tools that have among a great many other things a knife blade or too are not intended be be weapons from the get-go where as some other pocket knives are very much weapon orientated.

    #2 ~ As to openly holstered firearms being "OK" and socially accepted, in some areas that may be true but most certainly not in many, many others and getting a CWP from the local authorities that lets you legally carry concealed and doing so can be a far better option and get you in far less trouble. (At least for the carrying part, all bets are off if you actually have to use it.)
    You would be taking that correctly; I don't think that way.

    Your knife exception, while technically correct, is a bit of a nitpick (just sayin'); the same could be said for a PEN -- a fountain pen is more dangerous than a clicker ballpoint. I carry a small lockback that is PRIMARILY a tool, but will serve well if I need it to. (The REAL weapons, the serious knives and the swords, stay home...!)

    The number of places where carrying a ****** is a bit more extensive than I'm getting the impression you're thinking. The NRA has made SURE of that! Texas, Arizona, and Florida are notable examples of freer ownership/carry/possession.

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