Edmonton cyclist says he's received 'outpouring of support' after racial slur
Rob Drinkwater, The Canadian Press
Published Sunday, July 31, 2016 10:53PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, August 1, 2016 12:45AM EDT
EDMONTON -- An Edmonton cyclist says he has been getting support, but also some hate messages, after posting a video to YouTube of a confrontation with motorists he says he began recording after one of them used a racial slur.
Bashir Mohamed says he was cycling up to an intersection past the construction site for the city's new arena on Friday evening when a horn honked from the truck behind him.
The light turned red and Mohamed says he stopped, and that's when he says a woman in the vehicle rolled down her window, swore at him and told him to get off the road.
Mohamed, who is black, says a man in the truck then got out and used a racial slur.
Mohamed says he put his bike down and took out his camera and shot video of the rest of the confrontation, which included another person getting out of the truck and shouting at him.
He says he filed a report with police and was told he could pass the incident on to the department's hate crimes unit. Mohamed says he has not been contacted by them, and the Edmonton Police Service corporate communications department could not be reached for comment on Sunday.
"Within Edmonton, there's not many black cyclists, but I've had one reach out to me and he shared the exact same experience. He actually went to the police and I think they ended up giving that guy a $500 fine," Mohamed said Sunday about the response he's received since posting the video.
"I just got a racist message, but there's been an outpouring of support and there's been a huge reaction."
Mohamed admits he was using a controversial practice among cyclists called "take the lane" where a rider uses the middle of a lane instead of riding closer to the curb.
He said he did it because he was riding through a construction zone. When he got to the red light, he said he shifted his bike to the left of the lane, something he said he does as a courtesy to drivers behind him who may want to turn right.
Mohamed said that after he started recording, the man quietly apologized. Then a woman got out of the truck and tried pushing the camera from his hand.
He added that two reporters witnessed the incident.
Mohamed said there are not many places for him to ride in Edmonton other than the road. He said he's contacted the city and hopes to hear from the mayor about his concerns about the lack of cycling infrastructure.
But the people he really wants to hear from are the occupants of the truck.
"My ideal outcome is to meet with them and to get an apology, but also have some reconciliation from this. And if they're willing to that, then I'm open to it."