Cop seen on video knocking over bicyclist has been indicted

No wonder police officers sometimes confiscate and destroy the cameras of people who videotape them committing illegal acts -- the officers occasionally end up having to pay for their crimes, just like civilian law breakers do.

Remember the video I posted of a Critical Mass bicyclist who got knocked over by NYPD officer Patrick Pogan? Fox News reports that Pogan's been indicted and must report to the Manhattan prosecutor's office next week.

Police said Long was obstructing traffic and deliberately steered his bicycle into an officer. Charges were dismissed.

A video of the body-check that knocked Long over was posted on YouTube and has been viewed more than 1.6 million times.

Pogan has been stripped of his badge and gun and been assigned to desk duty.

As Radley Balko says, "If not for the video, the guy on the bicycle would probably still be facing charges."


  1. This is a really good example of the power of the independent media, people based media, showing the abuses that occur and making sure that they do not go unchecked. With the ubiquity of media devices available to nearly anyone, and their small size, this shows there are positive aspects as well. Holding people (all people, cops and/or idiots) accountable for their actions is awesome!

  2. If my job involved slogging around downtown New York all day dealing with rude civilians and lost tourists when I could get paid the same to sit around pushing papers and shooting the shit with other cops instead, I’d push every cyclist I saw!

    Seriously though, I’m sure this guy would have preferred to keep his old position, but that can hardly be called punishment. Police departments have accomplished a huge thing by getting us to accept the idea that “taking an officer off the streets” is somehow cracking down on misbehavior.

    Now, if he actually get convicted of assault, then I’ll have to eat my words. But somehow I’m not worried about that.

  3. For every police brutality attack on an innocent person caught on video, there’s a dozen more that aren’t.

    Keep videotaping people, because the police will only continue to cover up their sub-human behavior.

    wld prsnlly lk t hrt ths cp.

  4. use video enough to embarrass the power-wielders and maybe they’ll lose their love for video surveillance of you.

  5. Huzzah!!! Huzzah!! Huzzah!!! maybe this loser can get a job with Blackwater and go to Baghdad where he can kill without impunity.

  6. wow, what a jerk.

    @2 zikzak.
    no kidding. “were still paying him but now hes inside for a couple of weeks”

  7. having had to deal with asshole cops like pogan my whole life, i am glad that this one will at least get a slap on his lil wristy. had noone been there filming, that cyclist would probably be languishing in some n.y. jailcell on some trumped-up felony charge. keep filming folks!

  8. I’ve known a lot of cops, pretty good ones, and most of them would rather be on TDY than on the streets. It is dehumanizing work and cripplingly stressful. Putting a street cop to administrative tasks is like throwing Br’er Rabbit in the briar patch.

  9. I cant believe he did that in front of that many people. There must be 50 witnesses and it doesnt deter him a bit! talk about arrogance…

  10. RampantIdiocy @ 7:

    This is an interesting difference between Americans and Europeans… my old roommate was from the Netherlands and we would discuss the massive difference in the way Americans and Europeans interact with their police forces… a cursory search of YouTube confirms this… when an American is getting beat by a cop, maybe MAYBE there are people nearby whining “stop hitting him” or filming… in many European countries what you will see is a cop getting his ass beat about 30 seconds after he starts hitting a civilian.

  11. This cop shouldn’t get paid, shouldn’t get desk duty, should not be a cop ever again. He was on the force for two months and he resorted to attacking a random person in front of hundreds of people.

    wld hv n trbl sng ths pc f sht cp gt strngld, btn nd lft fr dd.

  12. Instead of blindly heralding cops as heroes and beyond-reproach public servants, we as a society need to see cops for what they often are: high school toughs who entered a field where they get to carry guns and tell people what to do. Of course there are good, honest cops, but we need to view these people who have such immense power over others’ lives with suspicion at all times.

  13. @heruraha: To be fair, in many European countries cops aren’t all issued handguns, and even if they are they’re much better about not gunning down civilians.

    In the US we’re not yet at the stage where we can physically protect our communities against the cops and survive – there’s not enough of us. But if we keep up the surveillance and publicity, maybe someday soon enough people will be prepared to resist the cops that we can stand up for our rights and live to tell the tale.

    Bonus points if the people we organize to resist the cops can also fill most of the public safety roles we currently depend on the police for.

  14. I’ve always though there was something curious about this video…at about :35, a female cyclist swoops in and snags Long’s bike. She’s far enough behind him that I don’t think they were together… but why would the cops let her make off with the bike/evidence w/o challenging her? My own experiences on CM make me wonder if she’s an NYPD agent provocateur, who had in some way signaled that Long should be stopped.

    Good that he was indicted… why did it take so long?

  15. The main issue, regardless of your feelings about cops and how hard their jobs are, is whether or not this Bad Cop will receive the same charges and punishment as any civilian who did the same thing. Wearing a uniform should not be a “get out of jail free card.”

  16. Hey…
    The era in which cops or anyone else can confiscate your photos or videos is almost at an end:
    We already have cameras coming on the market that will automatically uploading photos to the web.
    Soon (a year?) we’ll have video cameras that can do the same, so confiscating the device itself won’t do anything.

  17. It’s a damn shame that the cop on the video is still a police officer.
    He doesn’t represent the other men and women who keep the peace, and manage to do so without losing their humanity.
    Keep that film rolling!

  18. This is great news, but the cop should be in jail. He’s a dangerous person while under the influence of authority.

  19. @keeper of the lantern: There’s actually that capability already, I watched a good amount of coverage of the RNC protests on video streaming from an iPhone. It was from these folks: using this service:

    What we need is open source cross-platform software developed to make this kind of technology available on as many phones as possible (to make it widespread), and hostable by any geek with a server (to prevent censorship or control on the server end).

  20. pstd ths n Trhggr pst bt th sm thng, bt hr gs…

    Thr’s prbbly mr t ths thn th vd shws. Y cn s bth cps mvng twrds th gy s h pprchs nd thn th n cp shvng hm ff th bk. t lmst lks s thgh thy wr wtng fr ths gy. hv flng thr ws rsn fr t. ‘m nt n t blndly blm th cps fr jst shvng sm rndm dd n bk. ftr ll, thr wr bt 30 thr cyclsts wh rd pst th cps bfr th n wh gt shvd.

    1. Jim Rizzo,

      We have a rule about not making up imaginary scenarios in order to blame the victim. Link to some evidence if you have it. Otherwise, you’re out of line.

  21. It’s for reasons like this that I think it would be cool to see the public have access to surveillance camera feeds. If the goverments (both state and federal) of this country want to put up more and more surveillance cameras, we should be lobbying to make those feeds made public. Pump them out to the internet on live feeds. Archive them for a period of time…say a month…so that when something like this happens, advocate groups can pull the video and say “here, check out this footage”. Sure I know there’s probably ways to petition for footage from surveillance feeds after the fact, but the red tape involved (and the possiblity of footage disappearing) probably makes that a moot point.
    It’ll never happen that way, but one can dream.

  22. Well, Jim Rizzo, I also tend to give cops the benefit of the doubt. But damn, that’s a tremendous leap of faith you’re taking here, to assume that Pogan is doing the right thing, when every indication is that he’s being a thug. Especially when you consider that the official story from the cops is that the biker steered his bike into an officer, which is clearly a lie.

    I assume that if and when Pogan is convicted of whatever he’s being charged with, you’ll stop taking his side.

  23. Ahhh, this video. As Gary Larson once lamented about his infamous Farside panel “tethercat”, the problem is that the Dogs never stop playing tethercat. You can pick up the comic weeks later and yep, they are still playing tethercat. As much as it comforts some people to continually call out for vigilante justice against Pogan, I somehow doubt it is fair to define his entire life by this 10 second clip of video. Sure he was out of line by shoulder checking that kid, and sure it looked bad.. but do you really want to string him up for it?

    I’ve been on the receiving end of a Critical Mass display and it was like 11:45pm and all I wanted to do was get home so I could get some sleep. I can understand how someone’s nerves might be frayed by having to deal with, lets be honest, a rather annoying mob of cyclists who use their strength in numbers as a kind of free pass for dickery, and mob mentality. I’m quite sure Office Pogan was subject to not a few unkind words directed his way as he tried to keep the peace that night, and maybe he saw this kid do something we can’t see off camera. Maybe he had tried to stop other cyclists that had done shitty things, and they had just ignored him and sped on by? Either way, yes, his reaction was harsh.. but do we keep watching this video and keep crying out for blood?

  24. From Wikipedia: “Critical Mass rides have been perceived as protest activities. A 2006 New Yorker magazine article described Critical Mass’ activity in New York City as “monthly political-protest rides”, and characterized Critical Mass as a part of a social movement;[3] and the UK e-zine Urban75, which advertises as well as publishes photographs of the Critical Mass event in London, describes this as “the monthly protest by cyclists reclaiming the streets of London.”[4] However, Critical Mass participants have insisted that these events should be viewed as “celebrations” and spontaneous gatherings, and not as protests or organized demonstrations.[5][6] This stance allows Critical Mass to argue a legal position that its events can occur without advance notification of local police”

    After researching these Critical Mass bicycle rides, I can see why the police officer was angry at the bicycle mobs takeover of the street. However his act of bullying the cyclist is unforgivable. Police officers that are unable to deal with their anger shouldn’t be working with the public. I’d be willing to bet that he has a lot of uncalled for violent actions on his record – thank goodness this incident was captured on video.

    Officers that work in the heavy crime areas of a city often have to become a thug themselves. I’ve seen hundreds of incidences in the city I work in, where police officers were required to behave just as mean and ugly as the thugs they are dealing with. They’re constantly on the edge and are often seconds away from dealing with a violent situation. I think these officers should be required to go through some sort of de-stressing classes before they are allowed to work among the normal populace – and if they are unable to switch between their thug mode and a more peaceful mode, they need to go find work elsewhere.

  25. I don’t want his blood. Just a suspension and a conviction if his actions were unwarranted, which they appear to be. His force was excessive.

    If this kid was trying to resist arrest and the officer caught him downstream, why didn’t they file the report as such? I’ll tell you why, because it didn’t happen that way and they needed to paper this case in a way that protected them from a criminal act. This is what cops do when the facts are inconvenient.

  26. @ Palindromic:

    If Long did do something off camera, it was apparently trying to steer into Pogan, since that’s all he was accused of.

    It’s not as if this is some decades-old crime people are dredging up. People are still upset with Pogan because he still hasn’t faced appropriate consequences for an inexcusable action.

  27. i’m glad this moron is getting his comeuppance, but seriously, are any of you new yorkers who DON’T ride bikes through manhattan?

    if you are, then you’ve definitely thought about doing what that cop did. manhattan bicyclers are the rudest, most arrogant, most irritating pedestrians on the entire planet. as a matter of fact, i’m gonna buy a cop costume right now…

  28. @31

    “Either way, yes, his reaction was harsh.. but do we keep watching this video and keep crying out for blood?”

    Yes, we do. People who cannot handle this stress should not be allowed on the force. Certainly it is unrealistic to expect police officers to be super-human but they should be selected to be able to withstand a great deal of “abuse” without ever approaching this level of reaction. As a mere civilian I too have been pushed way too far by criticial mass and similar cyclist events / behaviour but I have yet to shove one down even if they did seem to deserve it. If I can hold back my temper then a cop damn sure better be able to as well.

  29. @ #31 PALINDROMIC

    You are so correct. There are two sides to everything.

    I am a cyclist in San Francisco. I do not participate in critical mass. I feel that even though it raises awareness, it also does a lot of harm to the scene. I can easily see how a police officer would be pushed over the brink of their boundaries because of a bunch of bikers who want to pretend they are above the law.

    To the people whining about cops: Imagine what it would be like without them. There are a ton of corrupt police who KILL people to worry about, why spend so much time and effort on a newbie cop who shoved a biker who probably breaks dozens of laws a day? Because you are a biker, too?

    @ Zikzak – spare me the ridiculously polarized “cop watch” BS. See above paragraph.

    @ The people saying the cop should be sent to Iraq/beaten/killed/etc…. You’ve only proved you are far far far below that officer’s level, and his level is low enough to push someone off a bike.

  30. Police officers are taught in their academy how to deal with mobs and know exactly what they are and aren’t allowed to do. IMO, when an officer takes an action that goes against their SOPs, they should be prosecuted exactly the way a civilian would have been. And, in this case it was at minimum assault and battery.

  31. Palindromic #31- Some people may be calling out for vigilante justice, but I just want justice. Being given a desk job for committing assault is not justice.

    “maybe he saw this kid do something we can’t see off camera.” sounds a lot like blaming the victim; did you read Antinous’s comment? And did you miss the bit about charges against the cyclist being dropped?

    “Maybe he had tried to stop other cyclists that had done shitty things, and they had just ignored him and sped on by?”

    So it’s ok to assault someone based on the actions of others?

    Clueless #3, #13:

    “I would personally like to hurt this cop.”
    “I would have no trouble seeing this piece of shit cop get strangled, beaten and left for dead.”

    You have a problem.

    And I don’t understand why you have vowels.

  32. #40, I wasn’t using those as reasons why he was justified, just as potential triggers for an admittedly unjust and angry outburst. What do you have in mind when you say justice, exactly? I think an apology is in order.. Do you think he should go to prison for a while? Have his salary garnished to pay a huge fine? Be sued for an astronomical sum of money? What exactly is justice in this situation?

    Clueless would like to beat or strangle him, and you say he has problems, but you, presumably, want to end the career of an officer, based solely on this 10 second clip. I think Officer Pogan would *rather* be beaten or strangled than be fired from his job. What do you think?

  33. #18….you are right! That lady cop fingered Long for some reason. This is not a case of cop having a bad day…..what did he do to deserve that?

  34. Tom,

    While I do not work with any police officers, I am friends with a bunch, as well as 9/11 dispatchers.

    I guess the way I see it, from what they’ve told me, and this goes for many professions, is that being on the streets and actually doing the job is very different from what you’re taught.

    I’d like to see some of the posters here in a cop uniform, trying to direct bikers that are part of the NYC critical mass, while getting yelled at, spit on, and having things thrown at them.

    Again, I’m not condoning what the cop did, not by a long shot, but everyone is ready to throw him under the bus (some literally) for a reaction he had under immense pressure.

    I’d rather see the cop and the biker he shoved work it out. Give the biker some damages, GIVE THE COP COUNSELING. Let them converse. Stripping him of his badge and gun and sending him to court is going to accomplish absolutely nothing. The most corrupt police, who kill, extort, rape, etc., will still be on the prowl.

    Back to the point:

    Police may be trained to handle situations a certain way, but all situations are different and all people are different. Do we expect students in the same classes to get identical scores? Nope. There’s a big big big difference between theory and reality.

  35. @Rizzo
    I overlook your comments, if you cant take the time to type, Im not going to take the time to read it.

    @ video
    This happens on a daily basis. A man was assaulted and charged with a felony that could take away many of his rights and cause him trouble his whole life. For what? Riding his bike? he clearly tried to avoid the cop and the cop clearly attempted to tackle the bike guy. Its almost as hard to believe as trying to believe that some people blindly think the police are good people.

  36. shorter ohhhsnap:
    Cops are people too with feelings.
    We need cops.
    We don’t know “the whole story”.
    Protesters are annoying.

    You may notice these talking points come up again and again…and again. That’s because they’re universally applicable to almost any story about police repression of political dissent. They may be couched in different language, but ultimately they boil down to the same generic arguments. Being able to spot these can save you a lot of effort and frustration trying to follow the twisted thread of logic that people use to justify obviously unacceptable police behavior.

    Know the signs of kneejerk cop apologism: the next flamewar it stops could be yours.

  37. palindromic@43: If the video had shown a civilian running over to knock down a police officer on a bike, would an apology from the civilian be good enough for you?

  38. Wow. So let me get this right: The cop is a thug for knocking this biker over. (Okay, I can easily agree he was way out of line.) But if we go beat the crap out him, then… we’re better how? How does this work, exactly? Honestly, some of these posts are making me feel sorry for what the police have to put up with. And given the nasty evidence of the video, that’s a sad thing.

  39. There’s a big big big difference between theory and reality.

    There is indeed a big difference between typing comments on BoingBoing and being assaulted and arrested by a rogue cop. That was your point, right?

  40. Hmm. I would have expected that he’d at least be put on suspension after being indicted on what must be assault and something to the effect of lying on his report, purgery, etc.

  41. #46 @ Zikzak

    You and I are having a misunderstanding, here’s what I’ve said:

    Police are a necessary force.

    Some police suck, but not all.

    The whole story doesn’t matter, just that the cop was probably under an immense amount of pressure. It’s just as safe to assume the cop was under said pressure as it is to assume the biker was innocent of any crime.


    Cyclists participate in critical mass to raise awareness.

    Some of those cyclists suck, but not all.

    My arguments aren’t generic, they are my own, based on my feelings and intuition, the same as yours. To call what I said generic is to admit you, too, are generic.


    Y r scpgtng th plc ffcr n th vd fr th crms f mny thrs. Y wnt t mk n xmpl f hm. Y’v md mny ssmptns bt hm s n ndvdl, dspt th fct y d nt knw hm. Y hv ls md ssmptns f th bkr.

    Stp mkng ssmptns, bcs ntl nw, tht’s ll y’v dn.

  42. “The cop is a thug for knocking this biker over. “

    …No. The cop is a thug for unnecessarily and illegally knocking the rider down without just cause. I hope they throw the book at him for this one, because this sort of abuse does AbZero to make us feel protected and secure. Especially in a nation where 50% less of our children respect and trust the cops than they did ten years ago.

  43. Ohhhsnap – You seem to be missing the part where if a cop snaps under an immense amount of pressure and attacks someone then he isn’t fit to be doing his job. Your ‘wouldn’t expect everyone in a class to get the same grade’ example is probably more fitting than you think. Because no – of course we wouldn’t. We’d expect some of them to fail. This particular cop just failed.

    His behaviour is inexcusable and he should be spending some time in a prison cell. Just as you or I would be if we’d done what he had done. There should be no exceptionalism for the police. In fact, exceptionalism for the police actually encourages bad behaviour such as this, because that gives the impression that there are no serious consequences to their actions.

  44. #47, assuming the cop was uninjured, and had been part of a huge protest against Critical Mass and they happened to be outside this guys house, and he was assigned by the city to keep an orderly flow to Police Bicycle Traffic. Then yes. Actually even if it was an unprovoked assault, what punishment would you suggest? Nothing short of a paddling?

  45. I’d like to see some of the posters here in a cop uniform, trying to direct bikers that are part of the NYC critical mass, while getting yelled at, spit on, and having things thrown at them.

    They do that at NYC critical mass? I’ve never seen that here in Chicago. I work the door at a bar once a week and have to deal with some pretty rude and beligerent and sometimes physical behavior from time to time. It’s never driven me to initiate an assault on somebody though. Like being a cop, my job is also voluntary. I like the cop can always quit if I don’t feel like I can deal with the job description….

  46. @ohhhsnap:
    You’re right, I forgot one. Add “The critics just hate all cops” to the list.

    I think the rest falls under “We don’t know ‘the whole story'” and “Cops are people too” though, sorry.

  47. I’ve worked in corrections a long time, and with psychiatric inmates as well as maximum security inmates, and I’ve never had to put my hands on an inmate (who act worse than the general public) to handle my interactions with them. I’ve had to help with the mess others created, but that is another story. The cop was just being a facsist bully. This is New York, and the rider was lucky, because we know how cops there love to sodomize innocent folks once they get them to the station. Hell, sometimes they can’t even wait to get out of the subway station first.

  48. #54 @ CRGSVG

    ‘m nt mssng th pnt, ssr y. ndrstnd wht y r syng. Hwvr, th bggst pc f ths crm s mssng: ntnt. Wht th ffcr’s ntnt ws wll dtrmn th svrty f hs pnshmnt, t’s tht smpl. Dd th ffcr cmmt sslt? ggrvtd sslt? ggrvtd sslt wth ntnt t cs srs bdly njry? D y s wht ‘m gttng t? Lt’s lt mr fcts cm t lght bfr w g syng “lck hm p nd thrw wy th ky.”

    Hr’s wht s n ths brd:

    Ppl r syng t wld b dffrnt f bkr hd ssltd cp, yt ppl wnt t mk n xmpl f th cp fr ssltng bkr.

    Th hypcrsy cvrng ths pg s sffctng.

    ls @ Crg, fw yrs g ws sbjctd t fnnc mdtrm. wsn’t prprd fr t. fld t, 47%. prprd fr th nxt n, wth th hlp f th prfssr, nd hpply gt B+ nd vntlly ndd p wth n n th crs. m sr gld wsn’t rmvd frm th clss fr rcvng n F n th frst mdtrm.

  49. I often wonder what happens next, I saw this video when it was posted last July. Like many other articles I see, I wonder if I’ll ever see a follow up. Lo! (I finally get to use Lo in a sentence) just before I came to Boing Boing I’m reading some local news (Star Telegram in Fort Worth, Tx.) I read two articles concerning what happened next. One cop arrested for drunk driving was acquitted and Just got hired back by the FW cops(seems the arresting officer forgot to administer a drunk test). Next I read about another local FW cop arrested for molesting a 9 year old got the severe sentence of deferred adjudication (that way it’s off his record completely if he isn’t caught molesting any more kids in the next two years). but yano, These guys had to look ashamed for a while, and so will officer Pogan of the NYPD. I can see the Judge pointing his mighty finger of shame on youse and telling officer Pogan to try to look ashamed for a minute or two.

  50. @57, Zikzak “I think the rest falls under “We don’t know ‘the whole story'” and “Cops are people too” though, sorry.”

    What is your point, exactly? That cops aren’t people and aren’t allowed to make mistakes at their jobs? He didn’t exactly whip out his pistol and plug the dude in the chest 5 times, did he?

    You act as if being apologetic is a worthless human attribute and certainly not applicable to “pig cops” or whatever.. if anything you’re the one being disgusting.

    I hope you’re never the victim of a crime, or anything where you might rely on the horrible men and women in uniform. Would you feel embarrassed if Officer Pogan caught and arrested the criminal that did X to you? I bet you wouldn’t be so quick to judge him then, would you?

  51. At #38, OHHHSNAP

    “…a biker who probably breaks dozens of laws a day”

    “..ridiculously polarized “cop watch” BS”

    You’re committing the most elementary flaw in justice, which is to allow your personal feelings to create different standards of enforcement (see Jim Crow). Your hostility towards critical mass and police skeptics is irrelevant, as are your circumstantial apologetics of state power (how much ethereal “pressure” does it take to excuse a murder? Maybe you should ask people about Dan White, given that you are from SF). The officer broke the law, did he not? While not necessarily the intention of the officer, the cyclist could have been seriously injured. I believe it’s called assault. Or do you think that some people should not be treated equally under the eyes of the law? Or that we should just lighten up, because a little assault by someone with legal authority over you isn’t that big of a deal right? In other words, abuse doesn’t matter if it’s happening to people I don’t like.

    Copwatch is all about creating citizen documentation of police action to be used in circumstances such as this. The police claimed, on record, something completely different than video evidence clearly shows. Without evidence, there is usually not a way for a citizen to contradict the claims of a police officer and it carry any weight in a court of law, even in cases with multiple corroborating witnesses. This kind of thing happens all the time, especially to people of color (ever heard of Rodney King? The LAPD?). Had this video not surfaced, it is unlikely that the cyclist would have gotten away without some Orwellian charges, and it is nearly certain that nothing would have ever happened to the perpetrator. How such a concept, i.e. citizen justice, is “polarized BS” is beyond me.

  52. And the other cop who was witness, what happens to him? I bet he doesn’t testify against his brother in blue, but he clearly saw what happened, so wouldn’t he be complicit if he didn’t testify?

    Criticizing a cop for an obvious crime doesn’t mean I am defending criminals; this isn’t “us vs. them” where “us” is The Forces of Good, and “them” is all criminals everywhere. The police exist to ensure public safety, and the bicyclists are part of the public. Peaceful protests are a protected form of public speech, and are part of the way in which we change laws in a democracy. Sure, Critical Mass inconvenienced commuters, but not without a valid point to make. And yes, police also stop theft and rape and murder, but that doesn’t give them a “get out of jail free” card for when they break the law.

  53. palindromic@57: I’m glad that you think the same punishment should be the same i the tables were turned.

    I would say 30 days in jail for an unprovoked act of violence like this would be fair punishment for the officer, and the same punishment for a civilian who did the same thing to an officer. I also think the officer needs to be taken off the street for a few years.

  54. The whole story doesn’t matter, just that the cop was probably under an immense amount of pressure. It’s just as safe to assume the cop was under said pressure as it is to assume the biker was innocent of any crime.

    Funny, because it looks like he casually selects one of the cyclists, calmy walks over and Boom!

    From our vantage point he displays no visible signs of pressure or agitation. It looks like a casual, reasoned move. In fact if the cyclist were a criminal, it would be a textbook, emotionally-indifferent takedown.

    Backstory or no, I see little evidence of pressure, let alone an immense amount.

  55. I don’t want to be a downer to everyone who is happy to see the man get busted doing something wrong, but isn’t this just evidence of the proliferation of surveillance. If this cop can be prosecuted using a youtube video, why can’t you?

  56. It’s idiotic how the apologists think that anyone who criticizes a bad cop’s behavior hates all cops. if you don’t have anything better than that get out of here.

  57. @palindromic: Another for the list. “We should only be upset when cops do [something worse than this]”

    The rest of your argument is essentially “The critics just hate all cops”.

    This is great, keep ’em coming! Maybe by the end of the day we’ll have a comprehensive taxonomy of police excuses. The best part is that when they’re stripped of loaded language and emotional appeals, they pretty much debunk themselves.

  58. Ohhhsnap only gets a day off? I’ve gotten a week off twice – with no warning – And I didn’t call any of the moderators names. Whining is OK – right?

  59. To serve and protect.

    He was shown himself to be opposed to the very maxim of the police.

    He should be fired and charged with assault and perverting the course of justice.

    I have never had any really major problems with the police, but I have always recognised that the central problem with the police force is that it attracts the sort of people who want to be police.

    And they are the last folks you want.

    In the UK police if you ask about the armed response unit you automatically bar yourself from the job.

    which I like.

  60. The law doesn’t care if you are provoked or if you are under stress (generally; there are exceptions). As the saying goes, “Intent’s not as bad as the action.” So let’s set emotions aside and look at the facts as the law would have us do.

    Man on bike collides with police officer during a public demonstration. Police officer and his partner claim the cyclist ran into the officer. Footage clearly shows that the cyclist tried to avoid the officer, who deliberately shoved the cyclist over.

    According to the law, the officer has committed assault and battery. By giving false statements, both have also obstructed justice. If they were given under oath, they have also committed perjury.

    What should the consequences be? The same as they would be for anybody else. Laws apply to us all equally, whether you are a cop or a crack addict.

    Assault and battery, given the circumstances, could likely result in the officer receiving probation and having to take an anger management course. Obstruction of justice (and, if applicable, perjury) is grounds for termination for both officers, and tied in with the assault and battery, would likely make the punishment harsher for the perpetrator.

    Yes, the officers were probably under a lot of stress. And sure, the biker may have provoked it, but the fact is that these officers broke the law and, like all other people, must be judged and punished all the same.

    At the same time, the law recognizes duty of care based on a person’s position and training. A police officer is held to a higher standard than your average citizen because of the power and responsibility he is given, and as such, is supposed to be judged much harsher for incidents like this.

    So, to those people who are being apologetic of the officers, keep in mind that they have clearly broken the law and that this is even more serious considering that they are law enforcement.

  61. ZikZak @ 17, one small note, AFAIK most European cops do have guns. And the Netherlands police (where Heruraha’s room mate is from) definitely have sidearms.

    I would have to look at the stats, but I suspect you are right about Eurocops being better about gunning down civilians, as the few times I am aware of it, it has erupted in to city wide riots. Of course without the riots, I’d probably know nothing about it – so it could be rampant (not really).

  62. This article is a great example of why there should never be a law barring a person from videotaping police officers. The fact that police are “trusted” places them in a position of power over the average person. As a system of checks and balances, the police need oversight, and there is no better oversight than raw footage.

    You can say that police work is dirty and nobody will deny it, but that doesn’t preclude it from being recorded. There’s plenty of time upon review to interpret and apply relative measures of appropriateness to it.

    When a person is treated wrongfully by an officer, the responsibility is on them to prove it. Banning people from videotaping (something there is no law against; in fact, there is exception made for it) only makes it that much more difficult for them to prove.

  63. @arkizzle: Yeah, actually thinking more about it I think I didn’t give European civilians enough credit. A lot of those folks are simply really tough and willing to stand up against bad cops even when it’s dangerous.

    I guess we just don’t have a tradition of that kind of thing in the US. We have a tradition of the cops being crooked and brutal, for sure, and a tradition of being upset about it. But no tradition of serious popular resistance to it.

    Seeing what’s going on in Greece right now and how completely unfathomable that resistance would be in the US certainly puts it in perspective. The best we managed was the LA riots – they’ve got students, anarchists, union members and immigrants storming parliment, barricading downtown streets and taking over TV stations. Some might say it’s an overly extreme response, but I guarantee the cops will have learned a valuable lesson once it’s all over.

  64. ZZ

    On the other hand, in the UK – where regular beat cops have no guns, there was no violent uproar about Jean Charles de Menezes.

    I expected more- it isn’t over yet, I suppose.

  65. I usually give the police a lot of slack because I appreciate them and because there’s so much “cops suck” attitude on the web, but THAT was one chickensh*t move by the officer, speeding up so he could say the guy tried to hit him. He doesn’t belong in uniform.

  66. ZZ:

    “Some might say it’s an overly extreme response, but I guarantee the cops will have learned a valuable lesson once it’s all over.”

    Yes – “Kill them, kill them all.”

  67. I’m sure this is a massive logical fallacy, but…

    I think that the cop deserves more punishment based on the fact that – some how, I doubt he was a charming, easygoing neighborhood police officer before this. That he suddenly snapped and acted out of line for the first time in his career.

    We’re not talking about an action under duress. Or even a snap judgment.

    It was with malice.

    Dude was a dick in the video. He’s probably been a dick when cameras weren’t rolling.

  68. One thing I thought of earlier was how fast the cyclists were going, and how close they were getting to the officers without slowing down even a little bit.

    It could have been perceived as a game of intimidation by the cyclists, “I can come right up to you and swerve away at the last second” kind of thing, which to me is threatening. So this cop sees this guy who is weaving through people and he walks in front of him, which common courtesy of the road would dictate, you slow down. If I’m in my car and someone walks into the road, I slow down.. But this guy is on a bike and he just swerves hard away trying to avoid slowing down, which in turn pisses the cop off, so he gives him a shove.. and that’s what we have on video.

    Now, if you go by the general internet consensus, the cop should be disbadged and thrown in the slammer, never to serve and protect the people of New York city again.

    But I ask the question, is this whole thing being blown out of proportion, possibly by the fact that we have his indiscretion on video, to watch over and over? Yes, if you ask me.. no, if you ask most posters here.

    I’ve asked numerous times what punishment fits the crime, and the few who’ve bothered to answer have said “the same punishment that would be meted out for any such act.” Well, the fact is it’s not just anyone doing the pushing, it’s an officer of the law, seems relevant here. “Serve and protect” is the motto of the police in the US of A, and here we have a clear violation of that trust. For me, when the facts of the incident are taken into account, we have a young officer who made a very bad choice about how to deal with the threats he felt. Because of the nature of his job I suggest that his punishment should be exactly what it is.. A time-out from the beat and perhaps anger management classes, maybe a small fine. Anything else would be excessive imho.. after all, police are just people who have taken on a very dangerous and heroic career choice… upholding the law in the face of any danger. One that I think very few of us could argue, subjects its stewards to a very high standard of decision making.

    I’ve seen the video footage of cop-shootouts, where bullets have riddled the windows of cars involved in high speed pursuits, killing mentally ill individuals who in my opinion needed help not an end to their life.. but that is an aside in this case.

    This guy isn’t accused of that, and we should accordingly give him some slack.. he isn’t a murderer, or a Rodney King beater. He’s just a guy who let himself get caught up in a moment of time when patience, not anger, should have been exercised. Who among us can claim to have never made a similar mistake? I know I can’t, and that’s why I have some sympathy for this guy. He is doing a job that very few of us can even imagine doing, and that’s why I’m quick to point out that what he did is certainly not on the same scale of killing or beating someone at the drop of a hat. Some may accuse me of being apologetic for him and police in general.. and that’s fine, you can play that card. But I also can’t help but protest that I don’t see a travesty of injustice here.. but rather a case in which someone needs a reprimand and a stern reconfirmation of principle. He’s only human after all.

  69. #44 OHHHSNAP:

    I whole heartedly agree with your assessment. There are bad people in every profession, but police officers like some in other professions are under an unrelenting and sometimes incredible amount of stress, working long hours usually at very low pay. Taking into account is absolutely the right thing to do, functionally as well as fairly.

    I hope that more people can learn to place themselves on the other side of their opinion and find a common ground that just simply works. Thanks for taking the time to add a little bit of reason and responsibility to the cess pool that is internet commentary. It is not unappreciated.

  70. “Thanks for taking the time to add a little bit of reason and responsibility to the cess pool that is internet commentary. It is not unappreciated.”

    backdoor or front, Matt, that’s not acceptable.

  71. palindromic, how do u know he’s not a murderer, rodney king-beater, or even worse? i would say that by the actions shown on the video, he could be capable of far worse. here he knew he was probably being filmed, and had hundreds of winesses, yet he acted with complete impugnity. he committed a crime ( several in fact) and he , like any other citizen, should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. because he is a cop is no reason for any prefferential treatment, actually, just the opposite. police need to be held to higher standards. this is just the shit that makes it to utube, you know jackshit about what this guy does off camera. heroic my ass.

  72. and matt, do you think you could behave just a tiny bit more dickishly? cuz i got a bet with my friend who says “no way.”

  73. I am curious: How many police have been killed in the line of duty in New York in the past ten years?
    Secondly, how many people have been killed by police in New York in past ten years? Anyone know?

  74. #88, Mintphresh.. I only know this because of what I have read so far.. Pogan is 23, and according to some sources had been on the job for the NYPD for only 3 weeks prior to this video.

    That is the information I have.. and that is all I have to go on. If you want to make the case that he has the personality of a Rodney king beater, or an itchy trigger finger shooter, then go ahead. Like I said, all we have to go on for him is this one video. And it doesn’t, in my eyes, necessitate a huge crackdown on law enforcement or justify a lengthy investigation.

    He made a mistake, he’s an idiot for shoulder checking that guy… we can all agree that he should be punished for his indiscretion, but how far do you take that punishment?

    For me, you can argue till the cows comes home about what he is like outside of this video, but right now we are talking about this video, and from my point of view, he should only be reprimanded accordingly. Like I said, time off the beat, and classes to reinforce the police motto of “serve and protect”. Calling for his badge is excessive and unfair. I’d like to believe he can learn from his mistakes, and be a better cop for it.

    Am I projecting? Maybe.. but so are others who view this single incident as an irrefutable verdict on Pogan’s personality. He might be a *damn* good cop who lost his shit for a moment.. lets not condemn him until his peers and the courts of NY have had a chance to argue his case. That’s all.

  75. Also, even if one is inclined to brush off the assault, the filing of a false report to cover up is a much more serious issue and certainly is enough to prove unfitness for the job.

  76. i can’t believe they didn’t charge him with intent to do bodily harm, another felony. also behaviour innapropriate for a police officer, misdemeanor. false arrest, another mis-d.

  77. “Pogan was charged with falsifying business records and filing a false instrument, which are felonies punishable by up to four years in prison.

    He also faces misdemeanor charges of making a punishable false written statement, second-degree harassment and third-degree assault.”

  78. I remember when this video made the rounds the first time. Funny thing is that when I showed it to people they almost always assumed there was some kind of reason behind the cops behavior.

    They figured that the bicyclist must have provoked the cop somehow, or that th cyclist must have been wanted for a crime committed earlier in the day, or some other thing that made the cop look rational.

    I see some of the commenters above doing the same thing. Going out their way to “make sense” of the cops actions.

    Seems to me that this is somehow human nature (or maybe because we’re taught from a young age to respect authority), creating a bias that we need to watch out for.

  79. Loggers, fishermen, small aircraft pilots, farmers, ranchers, trash collectors, truck drivers, and roofers are all engaged in a more dangerous profession than police work. I don’t think we’d see any apologetics if they knocked some skinny kid off of a bike and into a curb.

  80. @99 Adavies, it’s called the Just World Theory.

    It’s really scary to think that a cop would just come out and thwack someone off their bike. Hence the cyclist was “asking for it.” And as long as *we* don’t do any of the “asking for it” behavior–whatever we think it is, then we can tell ourselves that cops won’t assault us.

  81. @ RampantIdiocy

    Sounds to me like Europeans have the right idea. When cops beat on civilians the civilians should be dispensing immediate and severe justice. If they knew that’s what they’d get the cops you be much more reluctant to misbehave.

  82. @101 MsAnon – Cool to know there’s a name for it, and very cool to read the background research. Thanks!

Comments are closed.