31 July 2008

Critical Mass

The cyclist violently knocked off his bike by a rookie cop was back at work on Wednesday - and friends said he's not the type to "hold a grudge."

"I'm really sorry, but I'm not talking to the press," Christopher Long, 29, said as he manned an organic fruits-and-vegetables stand at the Union Square farmers market.

"There are charges against me, and I don't want anything to affect my case," said Long, who had two large scabs on his knees from the body block.

Long, of New Jersey, was charged with assault and resisting arrest after the cop insisted the cyclist had tried to run him over in a Critical Mass rally Friday in Times Square.

A dramatic video starkly contradicted rookie Officer Patrick Pogan's statements. It shows the 22-year-old cop running toward Long and slamming him to the sidewalk.

Pogan, a former high school football lineman, has been stripped of his gun and badge while the incident is investigated.

Police sources have said the charges against Long would likely be dropped.

Long will "get over it and he's not the type of guy to hold a grudge," said Justin Ford, 25, a bike courier and a friend of Long's, but Long's lawyer said he may sue.

Ford said he was glad for the videotape record.

"It's really good and important that people are there to film stuff like this and show what really happens," said Ford, echoing statements made by Critical Mass riders alleging police brutality.

"Unfortunately, the . . . incident is part of a pattern of targeting Critical Mass bike riders," said civil rights attorney Norman Siegel, citing three prior occasions when cops were taped manhandling cyclists.


1 comment:

David Litt said...

Well, I don't want to make any excuse for the rookie cop, who definitely accelerated his pace and then lowered his shoulder ... but whenever you cycle by a pedestrian crossing the street, I strongly recommend you swerve to go BEHIND him or her instead of IN FRONT. This is much less threatening, and does not lead to the kind of "fight or flight" response seen here. And the pedestrian needs to actually reverse course, off balance, to try the kind of stunt shown here.