Statement on Killing of Dijon Kizzee
Dijon Kizzee was a bicyclist. He was a person on a bike. He was a Black man in America on a bike.
According to police reports he was doing something illegal on a bike, violating a section of the traffic code. As most people who bike know, most of the traffic code was not created for them; is not known by many people, including law enforcement; and is enforced in a highly discretionary manner. Much of the traffic code that deals with bicycling is focused on protecting the rider from the drivers of motor vehicles that we share streets with. We as an organization are committed to doing whatever we can to make bicycling safe for everyone, including reducing interactions between bicyclists and the police that can escalate into violence.
A biking code violation should never lead to police violence and deadly force.
Dijon Kizzee died after being stopped while bicycling. A protected bike lane or statutory change would be unlikely to change that.
Racism is much larger than bicycling, but to make safe streets for everyone requires confronting racism. Confronting institutional racism in our justice systems, police practices, and cycles of investment is necessary to make safe streets for everyone.
To make sure that #BlackLivesMatter to us as a bicycling organization, bicycling while Black must be treated as a threat to the safety of bicycling in the same way that we treat lack of infrastructure, distracted driving, drunk driving, speeding, and the many other things that people think of when they think of bicycle safety.