L.A. Cyclists Fed Up With Sentencing Disparities In Hit And Run Cases Form “Life Before License” Campaign
This photo is from a protest July 27th at the Beverly Hills Courthouse. Cyclists covered themselves with fake blood and met to protest the light sentencing of Celine Mahdavi, who hit a cyclist and fled the scene–she got 90 days community service and 3 years probation, the judge did not restrict her in any way from driving again. If that’s not bad enough, Celine was 18 at the time of the accident and, when pulled over later, tested positive for alcohol. The cyclist she hit, Jose Deliz Louis DelizÂ will be permanently disabled. Read the gory details here. Another protest is planned for this Friday. Details after the break.
Press Release: On Friday, July 30th, cyclists will gather at the Beverly Hills Courthouse to protest the tepid sentence handed down by Judge Elden S. Fox for Celine Mahdavi.Â Mahdavi hit cyclist Louis Deliz and left him to die in the street on December 1st, 2009; Deliz was hospitalized for 49 days.
Mahdavi pleaded â€œno contestâ€ to felony hit and run charges and threw herself on the mercy of the court, instead of accepting the plea deal offered by the DA.Â Â Judge Fox gave her 90 days of community service, and 3 years of probation. Mahdavi will spend less time in community service â€“ 720 hours â€“ than Deliz spent in the hospital â€“ 1176 hours.
Cyclists are calling it the last straw.Â Bikeside LA President Alex Thompson said â€œthis sentence is symbolic of the lack of respect cyclists get throughout the justice system.â€
Many expressed frustration that Fox made no effort to restrict Mahdaviâ€™s driving privileges, leaving decisions about the status of Mahdaviâ€™s license at the discretion of the DMV.
At both events Bikeside LA will announce a new campaign:Â Life before License.Â Life before License will specifically address hit and run, seeking state level legislation to change how hit and run is treated by courts.
The Friday protest may be joined by the hundreds of cyclists participating in LA Critical Mass â€“ the ride which recently drew headlines when it clashed with LAPD.Â LAPD and riders made peace in June when LAPD facillitated with a large police escort.
Friday, July 30th, 8:15 pm
Beverly Hills Courthouse
9355 Burton Way
interviews to follow press conference
open mic available to attendees after press conference