DA Expected To Drop Charges Against Cyclists In Video
September 5, 2008
By John Signore
A lawyer for the cyclist who was shown on video being violently shoved off his bike by a rookie cop during a July Critical Mass ride says that prosecutors will drop the charges today. Officer Patrick Pogan wrote in his report that cyclist Christopher Long had been weaving in and out of traffic and deliberately tried to hit him with his bike on the night of July 25th. The video, as you’ll recall, told a very different story, but Long was still charged with attempted assault, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.
UPDATE: As expected, the Manhattan District Attorney has dropped all charges against Christopher Long, per this press release from Times Up.
Former NYCLU director Norman Siegel tells the Times, “I think they should give serious consideration to bringing perjury and assault charges against the cop. This is the way to get accountability over the police and reduce police misconduct. If you make this officer an example, then the message is: This kind of conduct is unacceptable and there will be legal consequences for it.” Particularly if your conduct gets caught on video!
Last Friday night was the first Critical Mass ride since the infamous cop bodyslam video surfaced; it was also the fourth anniversary of the protest ride during the New York RNC that resulted in a staggering 264 cyclists arrests. Downtown Express noted “a larger-than-usual police presence,” and reported that more than a dozen cyclists received tickets during the evening, most for not having a light or riding in the center of the street. Hundreds of cyclists stopped in Times Square to lift their bikes near the spot where Christopher Long allegedly assaulted Officer Pogan, and cyclist Barbara Ross seemed to sum up the mood with her large sign reading, “NYPD Keep 500 Feet Back.”