2010-03-25 City Pays $98K to CM Cyclists

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contacts: Barbara Ross, 917-494-8164; Judy Ross 917-405-1544; press@times-up.org
                Wylie Stecklow, Esq, 212-566-8000

 CITY PAYS $98K TO CRITICAL MASS PARTICIPANTS WRONGFULLY ARRESTED ON MARCH 2007 BICYCLE RIDE

Newly released audio revealing NYPD Sergeant’s false testimony against a plainpng is directly contradicted by video evidence.

NEW YORK, NY (March 29, 2010) - - The City of New York has agreed to pay $97,751 to settle a lawsuit filed against the NYPD who wrongfully detained and arrested five cyclists during the March 2007 Critical Mass Ride.  Sergeant Timothy Horohoe, the supervising officer that evening was accused of using excessive force by knocking plainpng Richard Vazquez, 55, off his bicycle during the ride.  In newly released audio, Sgt. Horohoe can be heard making false statements about the incident in testimony in front of the Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB.)  In a similar incident, on July, 2008, Officer Patrick Pogan’s widely publicized use of excessive force against a cyclist in Times Square landed him off the force and indicted on five charges including two Class E felonies.  Sgt. Horohoe however, was never brought up on criminal charges or NYPD administrative charges, instead receiving an informal reprimand and instructions from his superior on the proper procedures for handling like situations in the future.

Video evidence showing Sgt. Horohoe pushing Mr. Vazquez off his bike and injuring him in the process is in direct contradiction to Sgt Horohoe’s statement in front of the CCRB that Mr. Vasquez rode into him.  Horohoe's statement that he did not tell junior officers what to state in arrest reports from that night was also contradicted by one of the junior officers.  These inconsistencies prompted the CCRB to bring its own charge against Sgt Horohoe for lying in an official investigation.  Three years later the Internal Affairs Bureau, assigned to investigate these charges against Sgt. Horohoe, has taken no action. In comparison, the District Attorney’s office started the investigation against Officer Pogan immediately following a similar incident occurring in July 2008.  Officer Pogan lost his job, was indicted and is currently awaiting trial.

“While I’m pleased with the monetary victory for myself and the other plainpngs, there will be no real justice until the higher-ups in the NYPD are held accountable for their actions, and it is not just the low ranking officers who are punished,” says plainpng Richard Vazquez.

RELEVANT LINKS:

/CCRB Synopsis Excerpts - Disputed Facts and Assessment of Evidence

Audio of CCRB testimony and CCRB Disposition Letter

Video of March 2007 Critical Mass with Audio from CCRB Testimony

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Critical Mass is a monthly celebration of non-polluting transportation, which takes place in hundreds of cities around the world. Critical Mass and other group rides have contributed to the increase in cycling and safer streets