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Video: California reserve police officer suspended for posting “I hate cyclists” YouTube clip

Former actress Laura Weintraub apologises for post – but her police department chief isn’t impressed

A volunteer reserve police officer in Southern California has been placed on administrative leave and may face disciplinary action after posting a video to YouTube that starts with her saying, “I hate bicyclists, every single one of them.”

The officer, Laura Weintraub, subsequently deleted the video, posted to her Cupholder Commentary channel, but not before it had been mirrored by other YouTube users, while the Santa Paula Police Department came under criticism for her video on its Facebook page, reports NBC Los Angeles.

Weintraub, a former actress who starred in the films Identity Theft and Vice Squad Vixens: Busted!, also asks a man driving the car in which she is travelling how much she would have to pay for him to run over a cyclist, to which he replies, “How much do you have in your wallet right now?”

The video concludes with a still photo of a driver ploughing into a bike race, with the text, "Like you've never thought about it...;" the picture itself is of an incident in Mexico in 2008 in which a drunk-driver from the United States killed one rider and injured at least 10 more.

On Friday, Santa Paula Police Chief Steven McLean wrote on its Facebook page:  “I had a very active day to day. Think I just might have a beer.”

Some users of the social network took that as a cue to criticise the video posted by Weintraub, who does not mention in it that she is a volunteer reserve officer for the police department.

One, Michael Broadbent, wrote: “Along with that beer you deserve to be chastised and publicly shamed for condoning such horrible behavior from anyone associated with a police uniform. Hopefully she gets a taste of karma for her form of satire,” wrote Michael Broadbent.

The police department replied to one poster that Weintraub “does some great satire videos in her personal spare time,” adding: “Stay safe out there riding your bike and remember to obey all the rules of the road, a lot of your fellow bikers seem oblivious to the laws!” they added.

But on Saturday morning, there came confirmation that she had been suspended from duties, with a message saying:  “The purpose of this post is to notify the community that the volunteer who made the video about cyclist has been placed on Administrative Leave pending an investigation.”

Another volunteer officer who made a comment on the video has also been placed on administrative leave.

In a statement, Chief McLean said: "I am extremely embarrassed and angry at everything that she said in the video...Her statements on the video do not reflect the views of the Santa Paula Police Department."

Weintraub, who said that the video was meant to be humorous, has apologised on Facebook.

She said:  "I would like to apologize to all those who have been offended by what was intended to be a satirical video on cyclists. It was never meant to be hurtful or harmful in anyway, I am a human being, I made a mistake, I have learned from this and ask for your forgiveness.

"The responses have shown me overwhelmingly just how hurtful my comments were to some and that is not at all what I intended. As soon as I knew, I removed the video immediately.

“The response from the cycling community has made me aware of the sport and its safety issues and challenges with drivers on the road of which I was completely unaware. My heartfelt apologies to those that have been offended and to those who face these very real challenges," she added.

One local resident, Terry Hylton, told ABC7: "I think it's awful. I think it's scary to know that we have a police officer out there that has those kind of thoughts."

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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Argos74 | 9 years ago
robert posts child replied to Argos74 | 9 years ago

Aside from the idiocy with the cycling rant...who in their right mind let her near a uniform, albeit as a reserve?  20

SteppenHerring | 9 years ago

But it's just a joke - like on Top Gear.

(Speaking as a frustrated, bitter, politically correct liberal)


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