On Monday the New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan heard testimony concerning an ex police officer charged with assault and lying concerning a July 25, 2008 incident.
Two years ago cyclist Christopher Long was riding with a group of bicyclists called Critical Mass, and Officer Patrick Pogan was there in Times Square to monitor the group. In a violent collision a video was captured by a tourist showing Mr. Pogan performing a body-check (shoving) Mr. Long from his bicycle. Mr. Pogan then completed his report of the incident charging Mr. Long with a crime.
Mr. Pogan has resigned from the police force. Prosecutions’ opening statement on Monday showed Mr. Pogan aged 24 as a rogue officer who lied to cover up his actions. The opposing counsel attacked Mr. Log accusing him of being a reckless pot smoker who provoked the incident.
The prosecution played a rarely seen video of the episode to show who the real aggressor in the case was. The video was captured by a man riding behind Mr. Long, and shows Mr. Long’s actions just before he encountered the then Officer Pogan.
Mr. Long is shown rising behind other bikes between cars along Seventh Avenue. When he reached the intersection Mr. Long raised his hands in the air and let out a loud cheer. There were no cars to block the view of Mr. Long, because the traffic was stopped at the intersection.
Mr. Long did not appear to have been riding erratically or doing anything different from the other riders to incite Pogans interest. Yet on the video Mr. Pogan clearly shoves Mr. Long from his bicycle and says ”What? You thought you were going to ride past me.”
After the incident Mr. Pogan gave his report of the happenings by telephone to an assistant DA who charged Mr. Long with attempted assault due to what Mr. Pogan reported. Nearly a month and a half after the incident the prosecution dropped all charges against Mr. Long including disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
The charges that Mr. Pogan faces at this point include falsifying business records and assault. He faces up to 4 years in prison if convicted. Mr. Pogans defense attorney painted a picture of the former policeman as having only been on the force for 11 days, at the time, being naïve and following the orders of his superior officers. Defense attorney Mr. London claims that earlier that evening Mr. Pogans captain had told him and other young officers to issue summonses. When one officer asked how they were supposed to stop the bicyclists, the captain told them “Do what you have to do to get them off their bikes”, according to the defense counsel.
Mr. Long will have a chance to tell his side of the story as well.
Video of the Assault