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Cyclists to host vigil for ex-Napster exec struck, killed by deputy

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Cycling advocates call on DA to reconsider prosecuting deputy that struck and killed Milton Olin in Calabasas
Bicycle ride and vigil is scheduled in #DTLA for Milton Olin, who was fatally struck by deputy's patrol car

Bicyclists plan to ride from Calabasas to downtown Los Angeles Wednesday afternoon in memory of Milton Olin Jr., who was struck and killed by a sheriff's deputy in a patrol car. 

The memorial ride was organized by the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, Yield to Life and Ghost Bike Foundation.

Cycling advocates are calling for Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Jackie Lacey to reconsider filing criminal charges against Deputy Andrew Francis Wood, 38.

On Dec. 8, 2013, Wood was responding to another deputy's question on his patrol car's computer terminal after leaving a call about a fire at Calabasas High School when he struck Olin, a former Napster executive and well-known entertainment attorney.

Olin, 65, died at the scene.

The Los Angeles County district attorney's office announced in a statement last week that it was not going to prosecute the deputy.

In declining to bring criminal charges against Wood, prosecutors noted that a state law banning drivers from using wireless electronic devices while driving exempts police officers and other emergency professionals. 

Prosecutors said Wood was acting lawfully because he was acting within the course and scope of his duties when he was typing.

In a letter to the district attorney, Jennifer Klausner, the executive director for the bicycle coalition, argued that while Wood was allowed to type on his computer, he was negligent because he was responding to a non-emergency message and not following department protocol.  

"Deputy Wood was specifically advised, and trained, in advance, that the use of his mobile computer while driving could result in just this type of incident," Klausner wrote.

A district attorney's spokeswoman said in an emailed statement on Wednesday that prosecutors had "reviewed all existing evidence before arriving at a decision. However, if new information were to surface, it would be reviewed objectively."

Attorney Bruce Broillet said Olin's family is moving forward with a wrongful death lawsuit against the Sheriff's Department. 

A spokesperson for the Sheriff's Department could not be reached for comment.

Since the crash, the department has apologized to Olin’s family in a public statement and Wood was transferred from patrol to an assignment in the court services division.

Wednesday's memorial bike ride is scheduled to begin around 4 p.m. near the crash site at 22532 Mulholland Highway in Calabasas.

Bicyclists will hold a moment of silence and then make their way to downtown Los Angeles, where they will stop at Grand Park for a candlelight vigil about 8 p.m.

The bicycle memorial ride and vigil is open to the public.  

For more Southern California news follow @LATVives 

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times

UPDATE

3:44 p.m.: This post was updated to include a comment from a district attorney's spokeswoman.

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