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Videotaped clash jeopardizes LAPD relationship with cyclists

June 3, 2010 | 12:09 pm

The Los Angeles Police Department has made some major strides in recent months to build trust with L.A.'s cyclist community.

LAPD Chief Charlie Beck vowed to make the department more responsive to the rights of cyclists. The department has moved in recent months to revise policies on how it classifies and investigates hit and runs, and activists have praised a program that gives officers training in bike issues.

"In six months, more has been accomplished with Beck than with 10 years of LAPD," said Stephen Box, a cycling advocate who meets regularly with the newly formed LAPD bicycle task force.

But a videotaped incident in Hollywood last week between LAPD officers and cyclist has jeopardized that progress.

The LAPD launched an internal investigation into the altercation after a videotape that appears to show an officer kicking the wheel of a passing bicyclist circulated across the Web.

"I mean, we were doing some great work, and then this incident takes place and destroys all that," Box said.

Read the full story by Times staff writer Kate Linthicum here. In the video above, she discusses the issue. The video in question can be viewed here.

Can the relationship be saved? Share your thoughts below.

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