A bike ride has been planned in response to an ugly incident that happened last week.
Cycling Against Hate, organized by Portlander (and BikePortland columnnist) Taz Loomans, will aim to show solidarity and “extend our love to those who were targeted.”
The incident that has stirred the community into action occurred on Tuesday night. According to the victims, a man on a bicycle rode by their car, sprayed bear repellent inside it, and yelled racist epithets as he pedaled away. The victims included two women ages 62 and 32 and three children ages 12, 11, and 7. The children were treated for exposure to the the toxic spray.
Police haven’t disclosed whether or not they have any solid leads or conclusions in the case, but say “due to the nature of the report” they have handed the case over to a bias crimes investigator. The alleged assailant is believed to be white or Hispanic and the victims are black.
Loomans, promoting her ride on a local email list, wrote that she is “really sad” about what she refers to as a “racially-motivated hate crime committed by a cyclist.” “I’d like to see an outcry from the cycling community towards this kind of behavior.”
Here’s more from Loomans:
I really don’t know what I’m asking for other than banding together and loudly condemning this behavior from cyclists. I know we don’t have control over the actions of individual cyclists. But this is a good opportunity for the cycling community to say what their values are and that this kind of racially-motivated hate crime is completely against them. We band together to defend individual cyclists. Let’s have a cohesive response to this as well. And maybe this is a good opportunity to increase efforts on inclusivity and diversity inside the cycling community as well.
The Cycling Against Hate ride will meet at the site of last week’s crime (NE Killingsworth and 9th) and will be short and slow. Learn more at the Facebook event page.
Meanwhile, a fundraising campaign has been set up for the family that was targeted. So far over $10,000 has been raised to help them pay for a new car and medical bills.
— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – firstname.lastname@example.org
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