Valentine Khubeyeva was killed this weekend on the streets of Portland by a GMC Yukon driven by Charles McBride. The lethal act of traffic violence took place on a section of Powell boulevard that doesn’t even have sidewalks. Sgt. Pete Simpson of the Portland Police Bureau stated Valentine was crossing near 133rd ave where there is also no crosswalk. Sgt. Simpson then layed the blame on her dark clothes, and not on Charles McBride, who Simpson praised for his cooperation with authorities. Police claimed McBride was driving the speed limit, but also cited fog as a factor in the collision. However, nowhere in his statement did Sgt. Simpson make any mention of Oregon’s basic speed law, which states “a person commits a violation when driving on a highway faster than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard for weather and visibility.”
As outrageously common as it is to blame clothing for the violence inflicted upon women, it’s also typical for authorities to blame the victim when a motorist kills a person walking or cycling. The very institutions tasked with protecting us instead protect the status quo, and those we elect to build the city we need instead throw away our tax dollars on corporate welfare.