Response: Law Enforcement’s Hit and Run Incident with Cyclist

Our hearts and prayers go out to the older adult cyclist who was mowed over in Carmichael by a negligent deputy with the Sacramento Sheriff’s office on the morning of Wednesday, July 21, 2021. We are deeply disturbed by the deputy’s decision to flee the scene without offering the cyclist aid and the failure of Sacramento County’s Sheriff’s Office press release to acknowledge that the deputy committed what could be charged as a felony hit and run.  

WALKSacramento stands behind the belief that all traffic collisions, especially between a vehicle and pedestrian and or cyclist, are preventable. We also believe in the power of language and its ability to shape perception and accountability—it’s why we intentionally use the word crash instead of accident and why we acknowledge that the deputy committed a crime. 

As an advocacy organization committed to improving quality of life and health equity in the built environment, we will continue to advocate for policies and proactive solutions that prevent crashes like this from happening. At WALKSacramento, we’re specifically working to provide access to safer routes to school across the Sacramento region, guiding policy language to embed health equity and mobility justice into local policy, and are committed to bringing Slow and Active and Complete Streets to our neighborhoods. 

It is no secret that distracted drivers, larger vehicles, and high speeds pose a significant threat to pedestrians and cyclists within our communities and at least two of the three were a factor in this horrific incident. As California continues to be one of the most dangerous states for pedestrians, we have to ask ourselves why we continue to prioritize vehicular movement—through poor roadway design, lack of active transportation infrastructure, and high speeds—often at the expense of human life. We also must ask ourselves why we continue to protect law enforcement who bring violence and brutality to our communities through negligence, racism, or otherwise. Unfortunately, this is a familiar story and it is a preventable one.  

We stand in solidarity with communities, cyclists, and pedestrians throughout the region and request that justice is served and the deputy responsible be held accountable.  

In community,  

Kiara Reed, 

Executive Director