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Some of you may recall the story from this past summer when a New York City police officer violently body-slammed a bicyclist who was riding in a large cycling event. Normally, no one would have believed that a police officer would just tackle a bike rider for no reason. In fact, even as an avid cyclist I would have been very skeptical of the bicyclist’s version and I would have suspected that the bike rider did something wrong to provoke the cop. Thankfully for the cyclist (and to the chagrin of the officer) the whole incident was caught on a tourist’s video camera. The video clearly shows the cop bolting into the path of the bicyclist who was trying to avoid the cop and the cop brutally tackling the cyclist into the sidewalk. The video was posted to YouTube and has now been viewed more than 1.8 million times! You can see it here: Cop Body Slamming Bicyclist Video.

I have watched this video many times and each time it was absolutely obvious to me that the cop went out of his way to tackle this cyclist. Why? Who knows….maybe he’s just a mean guy……maybe he hates bicycle riders….maybe he had a fight with his wife….. All I know is that he slam-dunked this poor cyclist.

As a lawyer, I wondered what might happen. Would justice be served or would this be white-washed and swept under the carpet by the local police and prosecutors? Well, I was both relieved and proud to learn that the police officer was recently indicted on felony charges (filing a false report– the officer had the gall to claim that the cyclist swerved in to him) and misdemeanor charges (assault on the bicyclist).

Now let’s just hope that this officer gets exactly what he deserves…..

You can read the details here. Here are a few of the highlights:

  • Patrick Pogan, a cop for just three weeks before a videotape appeared on YouTube that showed him slamming a cyclist to the ground without providing any warning, is charged with misdemeanor assault and felony counts for allegedly falsifying his report.
  • In his report, Pogan said that he warned the bicyclist to stop and that the cyclist intentionally rammed the policeman. Pogan’s attorney told the AP that Pogan reacted to something Long did that was not visible on the tape. That’s not going to hold water, of course. What Pogan wrote in his report was that Long tried to steer his bike into Pogan and that he warned Long to stop. The video, taken by tourists, doesn’t support that.
  • The assault was bad enough, but Long [the bicyclist] had to spend the night and most of the next day in jail based on what Pogan wrote in his report.

Thanks for reading,

Jim Reed
New York Bicycle Accident Lawyer (and fanatical bike rider!)
jreed@zifflaw.com

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