Bay Guardian * February 21, 2001
Cycles of Violence
By Katherine Roberts
About 70 people
gathered in front of City Hall Feb. 12 to memorialize Christopher
Robinson, a bicyclist who was crushed under the wheels of a big-rig
truck last November. Robinson, 30, had been riding in a funeral
procession for a fellow cyclist who had been killed a week earlier.
driver, Rueben Espinoza, was arraigned on Feb. 6 in Superior Court
on three felony charges. Since he has prior convictions for two
violent felonies, including voluntary manslaughter, Espinoza is
eligible for 25 years to life under California's "Three Strikes,
You're Out" law. He has pleaded not guilty to all three charges.
prosecutor Murlene Randle, from the District Attorney's Office, told
the court that the reason it took almost three months to arraign
Espinoza is that the police department used officers inexperienced
with this type of crime. Randle testified that the D.A.'s Office had
to reconstruct the entire investigation from scratch because the
police report was so riddled with inaccuracies.
At the rally
Sup. Tom Ammiano and members of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition
decried the police and the general public's lack of awareness of
cyclists' rights. Ammiano called the failure to enforce existing
cyclist-protection laws "a type of police brutality against
cyclists." Last year alone 30 bicyclists and pedestrians were killed
by motorists on the streets of San Francisco.
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