A New York Critical Mass cyclist was charged with assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest on last Friday evening before being held in custody for 26 hours.
The problem for the police officer, Patrick Pogan, who made the arrest and on whose evidence cyclist Christopher Long was charged, is that someone had videoed the incident in question.
Far from corroborating Pogan’s statement which alleged that Long had been “weaving” through traffic and “forcing multiple vehicles to stop abruptly or change their direction in order to avoid hitting” the rider, the video actually shows the rider moving in normal fashion down a street where there are no cars in his immediate vicinity. The footage shows Pogan first walking towards Long, forcing him to swerve, then knocking the cyclist to the ground with a move that looks like it came straight off an American football field.
Pogan had filed a criminal complaint against Long claiming the latter had deliberately attacked him with his bicycle. After the video was posted on You Tube, New York's Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said “I can’t explain why it happened, I have no understanding as to why that would happen.”
The 22 year old Pogan has now been stripped of his badge and gun and placed on desk duties while a police departmental investigation is carried out.