A New York policeman seen in a video posted on YouTube shoving a cyclist from his bike has pleaded not guilty to various charges of assault.
The cyclist, Christopher Long, was knocked from his bike during a Critical Mass demonstration in June. He was originally charged by the policeman, Patrick Pogan, with resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and obstructing government administration. All those charges were dismissed when the video was produced in evidence by his lawyer (watch the video below).
Officer Pogan was immediately suspended and found himself charged with falsifying business records and filing a false instrument. Both are felonies punishable by sixteen months to four years in prison. He also faces misdemeanour charges of third-degree assault, second-degree harassment and making a punishable false written statement.
According to Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau “Pogan falsified details in the criminal complaint and other paperwork related to Long’s arrest, claiming Long steered his bike into the officer and injured him.”
However the video shot by a bystander showed “Pogan singling out Long and purposely body-checking Long off the bike.”Said Morgenthau.
Officer Pogan had only been on the force for three weeks and because he is a probationary officer he faces dismissal whatever the outcome of the court case which is scheduled to resume at the start of February.
Tony has been editing cycling magazines and websites since 1997 starting out as production editor and then deputy editor of Total Bike, acting editor of Total Mountain Bike and then seven years as editor of Cycling Plus. He launched his first cycling website - the Cycling Plus Forum at the turn of the century. In 2006 he left C+ to head up the launch team for Bike Radar which he edited until 2008, when he co-launched the multi-award winning road.cc - which he continues to edit today. His favourite ride is his ‘commute’ - which he does most days inc weekends and he’s been cycle-commuting since 1994. His favourite bikes are titanium and have disc brakes.