A city cyclist says he’s sick of rude, and now racist, harassment from Edmonton drivers. And now the Mayor is taking notice.
A video being circulated on social media shows part of a confrontation that Bashir Mohamed had with a man and woman in a pickup truck behind him.
Bashir says it happened at an intersection near Rogers Place. It started with a honk, but quickly degenerated when the man emerged from the truck called him the N-word.
“I’m shocked that the guy used the word, so I stand my ground and I ask him to apologize.” says Mohamed. “You can see from the video that he says I’m sorry, but he whispers that. And in the second video, you can see after he whispers that, he gets right back to yelling.”
The scene continued to escalate, and involved the woman as well, with both exiting the vehicle, and at one point, physically moving Mohamed’s bike off the street.
Mohamed says he went to police afterward about the incident, and spoke to an officer over the phone.
“He said it’s not a hate crime because no one hit me.” says Mohamed. “But I know in the video, you can see that lady clearly being very belligerent and trying to hit me, hit the camera out of the way. They said it’s a ‘hate incident’, whatever that means.”
He says EPS told him if they were to charge the couple, it would be for blocking traffic, and Mohamed would also be charged.
Mohamed thinks even after years of cycling, Edmontonians still aren’t clear on the rules for bikes, and that needs to be remedied; Mohamed says even the officer he spoke with asked him why he was taking up a whole lane and not riding on the shoulder, something Mohamed says cyclists aren’t supposed to do in construction zones.
In the time since Mohamed started circulating his video, Mayor Don Iveson has reached out on Twitter.
— Don Iveson (@doniveson) August 1, 2016
Iveson says he’ll be meeting with Mohamed once he returns to Edmonton. (ms,kb)