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<nettime> NYT: When Official Truth Collides With Cheap Digital Technology

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Subject: Fwd: [MIMdiscussion] Fwd: You Tube - Critical Mass Bicyclist

Subject: You Tube - Critical Mass Bicyclist Assaulted by NYPD

A lawyer for Mr. Long, Mark Taylor, said the cyclist had been "assaulted by
the police."

You Tube - Critical Mass Bicyclist Assaulted by NYPD

democracynow.org - NYPD Officer Stripped of Badge After Tackling Cyclist

NYTimes.com: Officer Investigated in Toppling of Cyclist

NYTimes.com: When Official Truth Collides With Cheap Digital Technology

You Tube - Critical Mass Bicyclist Assaulted by NYPD


democracynow.org <http://demo%20%20cracynow.org>

NYPD Officer Stripped of Badge After Tackling Cyclist

And a New York City police officer has been stripped of his badge after he
was videotaped body-checking a bicyclist during last week's Critical Mass
ride. A video was posted on YouTube showing the officer, Patrick Pogan,
violently knocking a cyclist off his bike. The officer then arrested the
cyclist and charged him with attempted assault, disorderly conduct and
resisting arrest. The police have said the charges against the cyclist will
likely be dropped.





The New York Times

July 30, 2008

About New York

When Official Truth Collides With Cheap Digital Technology


Around 9:30 on Friday night, a bicyclist pedaling down Seventh Avenue veered
to the left, trying to avoid hitting a police officer who was in the m iddle
of the street.

But the officer, Patrick Pogan, took a few quick steps toward the biker,
Christopher Long, braced himself and drove his upper body into Mr. Long.

Officer Pogan, an all-star football player in high school, hit Mr. Long as
if he were a halfback running along the sidelines, and sent him flying.

As of Tuesday evening, a videotape of the encounter had been viewed about
400,000 times on YouTube. "I can't explain why it happened," Police
Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said on Tuesday. "I have no understanding as
to why that would happen."

But this episode was not just a powerful crash between one bicyclist and a
police officer. It may turn out to be yet another head-on collision between
false stories told by some police officers in criminal court cases and
documentary evidence that directly contradicts them. And while in many
instances the inaccurate stories have been tolerated by police superiors and
prosecutors, Officer Pogan's account is getting high-level scrutiny.

Later that night, Officer Pogan composed a story of his encounter with Mr.
Long . It bore no resemblance to the events seen on the videotape. Based on
the sworn complaint, Mr. Long was held for 26 hours on charges of attempted
assault and disorderly conduct.

Over the weekend, though, the videotape, made by a tourist in Times Square
with his family, fell into the hands of people involved with Critical Mass,
the monthly bicycle rally that Mr. Long had been riding in.

The availability of cheap digital technology ? video cameras, digital
cameras, cellphone cameras ? has ended a monopoly on the history of public
gatherings that was limited to the official narratives, like the sworn
documents created by police officers and prosecutors. The digital age has
brought in free-range history.

Hundreds of cases against people arrested during the 2004 Republican
National Convention collapsed under an avalanche of videotaped evidence that
either completely contradicted police accounts, or raised significant
questions about their reliability. The videotapes were made by people
involved in the protests, bystanders, tourists and police officers.

At the New York Public Library, a small group holding a banner against one
of the stone lions was arrested and charged with blocking traffic in the
middle of 42nd Street, although video showed they were on the steps, and
nowhere near the street.

In another case at the library, a police officer testified that he and three
other officers had to c arry one protester, Dennis Kyne, by his hands and
feet down the library steps. Videotape showed that Mr. Kyne walked down the
steps under his own power, and that the officer who testified against him
had no role in his arrest. The charges were dismissed; the Manhattan
district attorney's office declined to bring perjury charges against the
officer who gave the testimony.

Dozens of complaints were sworn by police officers who said they had
witnessed people violating the law on Fulton Street and near Union Square,
but later admitted under oath that their only involvement was to process the
arrests, and that they had not actually seen the disorderly conduct that was

An assistant to District Attorney Robert M. Morgenthau wrote to the Police
Department to stress the importance of officers' not swearing to things they
had not seen for themselves. The prosecutors said the confusion surrounding
mass arrests made it hard to bring perjury charges.

The case of Christopher Long and Officer Pogan is shaping up as another
example of an official narrative being directly challenged by videotape.

In a criminal court complaint, Officer Pogan wrote that Mr. Long
deliberately attacked him with the bike ? although the videotape shows Mr.
Long veering away from Officer Pogan, who pursues him toward the curb.

The officer said he was knocked to the ground by Mr. Long. Throughout the
tape, though, he remains on his feet, even after banging into Mr. Long.

The police officer wrote that Mr. Long had been "weaving" in and out of
traffic, "thereby forcing multiple vehicles to stop abruptly or change their
direction in order to avoid hitting" Mr. Long. However, in the videotape, it
appears that there are no cars on the street.

Mr. Long is due back in court in early September. By then, most of Mr.
Long's bruises are likely to have healed. The prognosis for the truth is not
so clear.


[please go to original to access the following resources]


Caught on Tape

Videotapes made at protests and mass bike rallies in recent years such as
the following three examples have shown major discrepancies in the police
accounts of events that were captured on camera.

I. Arrests made during the 2004 RNC at the main public library. The people
were accused of blocking traffic in the middle of 42nd Street.

Watch the clip ?

Read the related article ?

II. Arrest of Dennis Kyne, who a police officer said had to be carried down
the stairs by four officers. (Contains strong language.)

Watch the clip ? [iwitnessvideo.info]

III. The arrest of Alexander Dunlop, a bicycle rider accused of flailing his
arms to resist arrest after he allegedly rammed his bicycle into a line of
police officers. Dunlop appears on the right-hand of the screen,=2 0calmly
walking his bike.

Watch the clip ? [iwitnessvideo.info]

Read the complaint filed against the cyclist Christopher Long by the police
officer [pdf] ?

TimesSelect  About New York: In Day of Mass Arrests, Divergent Versions of
Events (August 29, 2007)


E-mail: dwyer@nytimes.com

Copyright 2008 The New York Times Company





The New York Times

July 29, 2008

Officer Investigated in Toppling of Cyclist


A New York City police officer was stripped of his gun and badge on Monday
after an amateur video surfaced on the Internet showing him pushing a
bicyclist to the ground in Times Square during a group ride on Friday eveni

The cyclist, identified in court papers as Christopher Long, 29, was taking
part in a monthly ride, called Critical Mass, that often draws hundreds of
riders. In a criminal complaint against Mr. Long, the officer, identified in
the court documents as Patrick Pogan of the Midtown South precinct, says
that the cyclist rode straight into him. But the video, posted on YouTube
and on the blog Gothamist.com, shows the officer lunging toward Mr. Long.

The police said the officer had been assigned to desk duty pending a Police
Department investigation. The police did not give the officer's name or age
or say how long he had been with the department.

The monthly rides have been a source of tension for the police since shortly
before the Republican National Convention in 2004, when a large number of
officers arrested more than 250 riders on charges that included parading
without a permit.

In 20 06, a state judge turned down a request by the city to forbid an
environmental group that promotes the monthly rides from taking part in
them, from gathering at Union Square Park beforehand and from mentioning the
rides on its Web site.

According to members of the group, Time's Up, the video was taken by a
tourist standing on the sidewalk. It shows bicycles streaming down Seventh
Avenue at 46th Street, past two uniformed officers standing in the middle of
the avenue. After a few seconds, one of the two walks quickly toward the
east side of the avenue and into the original path of Mr. Long's bicycle.
Mr. Long appears to try to steer clear of the officer, but the officer then
shoves him. Mr. Long crashes onto the curb, and people gather around him and
the officer.

Officer Pog an arrested Mr. Long on charges of attempted assault, disorderly
conduct and resisting arrest, the court papers say. Mr. Long, who other
cyclists said works in the Greenmarket in Union Square, was released without
bail on Saturday.

In papers filed in Manhattan Criminal Court, Officer Pogan said Mr. Long was
weaving in traffic, "forcing multiple vehicles to stop abruptly or change
their direction" to avoid a collision. Officer Pogan also said he suffered
cuts on his forearms as he fell to the ground.

Officer Pogan said Mr. Long had flailed his arms, kicked his legs and
refused to put his hands behind his back. He also said Mr.=2 0Long had
"twisted away" from him, "thereby making handcuffing difficult."

He said Mr. Long told him: "You are pawns in the game. I'm going to have
your job."

The video clip ends soon after Mr. Long hit the ground. Witnesses challenged
Officer Pogan's account of the incident.

One cyclist, Craig Radhuber, 54, said he was a few feet behind Mr. Long,
whom he said he did not know. He said Officer Pogan "body-slammed this kid
off the bicycle so hard that he went from the lane to the curb."

"I went over to yell at the police when another officer came and asked me to
move back," Mr. Radhuber said.

Mr. Radhuber said Mr. Long had not been weaving in traffic, as Officer Pogan
alleged. There was no traffic behind us ? there was no traffic to weave in
and out of," Mr. Radhuber said. "The police officer looked to see who he was
going to pick off."

Bill DiPaola, a director of Time's Up, said he arrived just after Mr. Long
went down. "He got up and was dazed," he said, referring to Mr. Long. Then,
referring to Officer Pogan and the other officer in the video, he said,
"They put their knees on top of his head and were smashing him into a phone

A lawyer for Mr. Long, Mark Taylor, said the cyclist had been "assaulted by
the police." He said Mr. Long, who was bruised but not hospitalized, was not
ava ilable for interviews. "We believe the video speaks for itself," he
said, adding that he hoped the Manhattan district attorney's office would
drop the charges against Mr. Long.

Norman Siegel, a civil rights lawyer who represented Time's Up in 2006, said
he had been asked by its leaders to look at the video. He said it "shows
unacceptable illegal behavior by this particular police officer."

"Unfortunately, it's another example of how the N.Y.P.D. has targeted
without justification the Critical Mass bike riders," he said.

Cara Buckley contributed repo rting.


[please go to original to access the following resources]



Video From the Critical Mass Ride on July 25, 2008 (YouTube.com)

Comment Leave a Comment on City Room

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Copyright 2008 The New York Times Company


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