Bicyclists rode to a downtown LA courthouse Wednesday to call on the Los Angeles County District Attorney to file criminal charges against a deputy who struck and killed an ex-Napster executive with his patrol car.
Milton Olin Jr. was bicycling in Calabasas when he was struck in December. Prosecutors said last week they would not be filing a case against the deputy.
"He killed my friend and the District Attorney found a way to write a memo to say that he’s not culpable is … it’s disgusting to me," Cristin Zeisler said.
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The LA County District Attorney's Office and sheriff's officials declined to comment.
Bicyclists met on Mulholland Highway, the street where Olin was fatally struck, before riding to the Los Angeles Zoo and then to the Criminal Courts Building. A candlelight vigil was also held that evening.
Some vigil attendees told NBC4 about their experiences with danger on the road.
"I was struck on the streets by an individual who never stopped and was dragged underneath the car," Damian Kivett said.
Kivett lost his leg after he was hit by a car near Griffith Park last year.
"If people simply work to get along together on the streets and pay attention to what they are doing, you wouldn't have the massive number of fatalities that we have on a regular basis," Kivett said.
Prosecutors last week said the deputy was not negligent when he crossed into a bike lane and fatally struck Olin.
Deputy Andrew Francis Wood entered the bike lane and hit Olin "as a result of inattention caused by typing" on his patrol car computer on Dec. 8, 2013, officials said.
"Wood briefly took his eyes away from the road precisely when the narrow roadway curved slightly to the left without prior warning, causing him to inadvertently travel straight into the bike lane," according to the prosecution's charge evaluation worksheet.
He immediately hit Olin, who was riding east in the bicycle lane just after 1 p.m. Dec. 8, 2013.
The deputy was acting lawfully and within the "course and scope of his duties when he began to type his response," on his car's computer, prosecutors said.
The deputy had been texting on his personal cellphone before the collision, but only when he was stopped, prosecutors said.
"There is no evidence that he was engaged in any other activities, such as using his personal cell phone, at the the time of the collision," prosecutors said in a charge evaluation worksheet.
"If a law enforcement officer is so clearly distracted and there’s no consequences, what does it say for the rest of us," said Eric Bruins, a planning and policy director for the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, one of the organizers of the event.
Olin's family sued the county July 16, alleging wrongful death.
Bruce Broillet, the family's attorney, did not immediately return a call for comment Wenesday. But when he announced the lawsuit in July, he said the deputy was negligent.
"This accident should have never happened," Broillet said. "We intend to seek justice for Milton Olin and his loved ones."
Those at Wednesday night's vigil echoed Broillet's thoughts.
"Killing a cyclist should be more than just a misdemeanor, it should be the big deal it is," one cyclist said.
Olin, 65, was a chief operating officer for Napster. His family released a statement Wednesday night that said, in part, that they "are deeply moved by the overwhelming sentiments by cyclists and the community."