Saturday, August 13, 2011

Alleged Hit and Run Killer captured. Father arrested as co-conspirator.




Alleged Killer: Dominique Marie Rush
On Tuesday, LAPD Valley Traffic Division Detectives announced that Dominique Marie Rush 23, and her father Steven Rush 44, were arrested in connection with the April 20th hit and run killing of Alex German Romero 17, a Chatsworth high school student who was run down while riding his bicycle.

LAPD credits email tipsters and online media with providing the information needed to complete their investigation. Dominique Rush, a resident of a gated community in Porter Ranch, was observed taking refuge at her grandmother's residence in Oxnard where she was ultimately arrested. Steven Rush is alleged to have aided in the conspiracy to conceal the crime. Police have reported that the vehicle was immediately driven from the scene of the crime to the Palmdale area where the father maintains a residence and then driven to a business address in San Pedro before it disappeared for a period of time and has since been recovered.

Media frames crime as "helpful."
What was particularly disturbing, was that during the press conference announcement that the killer and conspirator were caught, the media framed their questions as a father "helping" his child by concealing her crime (see video.) While I can sympathize with a father wanting to help his daughter, what kind of world do we live in where "help" is defined as avoiding responsibility for one's actions?

Alleged Co-Conspirator: Steven Rush
Quoting Sgt. Krumer, LAPD from the LA Times blog on the proper way to "help" one's child: "You hold their hand as they walk into the Police Station...claim there was a terrible lack of judgement at the time...and take responsibility for what occurred. If they had done that than all she would be looking at is a civil lawsuit and a slap on the wrist."

Indeed, a slap on the wrist is sadly the truth of the matter. People who kill others by vehicle, are surprisingly rarely even cited. A quick Google search for "Los Angeles killed in crosswalk" reveals hundreds of links rarely a case in which a person is charged with a traffic violation. Without significant repercussions, the killing will continue and people will remain hesitant to choose walking and cycling to their local destinations.

Dangerous street design encourages wreck-less driving.
Streetsblog LA points out that De Soto itself is partly culpable as a 7 lane residential street. If we want to reduce traffic, we need to make the streets safer for people to choose alternate forms of transportation. If we want the population to trend away from obesity, we need to provide safe accommodations for people to use people powered transportation options.
De Soto, a seven lane street, has residential character.




1 comment:

  1. Indeed. While you can feel a little sympathy for the father's situation, in the end, a crime has been done, and the daughter is old enough to take the responsibility of her actions. Ultimately, it is that lack of responsibility that increases the risk of accidents happening on the road.

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