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Time’s Up demands end to police harassment.

Time’s Up, your local environmental education and bicycle activist group has created this press release about the recent indictment of officer Pogan. They demand the immediate end to NYPD harassment towards the cyclists of the monthly critical mass rides.

OFFICER CAUGHT ON VIDEO KNOCKING CRITICAL MASS CYCLIST OFF BICYCLE IS
INDICTED

Time’s Up! and civil rights activists demand an immediate end to NYPD’s
campaign of harassment toward cyclists
New York, NY (December 16, 2008) – NYPD Police Officer Patrick Pogan, who
was caught on video aggressively knocking cyclist Christopher Long off his
bicycle during the July 25, 2008 Critical Mass bicycle ride, has been
indicted on five charges, including Falsifying Business Records and
Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree, both Class E
felonies, and Assault in the Third Degree, a Class A misdemeanor. The
felony charges stem from the false arrest report and criminal court
complaint that Police Officer Hogan allegedly filed about the incident.
Officer Pogan’s aggressive behavior and subsequent falsification of
official documents are not isolated events in NYPD’s dealings with
cyclists.

“This indictment is an important first step in the process of achieving
accountability over some NYPD officers who continue to violate the civil
rights of Critical Mass bicyclists. Perhaps, the indictment will send a
strong message that it is no longer acceptable for police officers to take
the law into their own hands vis-a-vis Critical Mass bike riders,” states
Civil Rights Attorney Norman Siegel.

Since the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York City, civil
rights activists and cycling advocates have long seen a pattern of
excessive force and harassment against cyclists from even the highest
ranks of the NYPD. Just last year, Richard Vazquez was thrown off his
bike by NYPD Sergent Horohoe as Mr. Vazquez was riding through Times
Square on the March 2007 Critical Mass ride. The NYPD took no action
against Sergeant Horohoe even though the Civilian Complaint Review Board
(CCRB) substantiated the charge that Sgt Horohoe used excess force and
intentionally made false official statements to the CCRB.

The public outcry leading to this indictment was sparked by a bystander’s
videotape of the 7/25 incident, which was released on YouTube by the
Time’s Up! environmental group and Glassbead Video Collective. “We hope
that with this indictment, Mayor Bloomberg will now direct the higher-ups
at the NYPD to discontinue their pattern of excessive force and dangerous
tactics against cyclists and instead work with cyclists to make the ride
safe and encourage non-polluting transportation.” states Judy Ross,
spokesperson for Time’s Up!.
—————————–

There is also this statement form Christopher Long’s Lawyer, David Rankin:

This past July my client, Christopher Long, was riding his bicycle through Times Square during a Critical Mass ride when he was tackled by NYPD officer Patrick Pogan without any warning or provocation. Officer Pogan then swore out an affidavit claiming that my client assaulted him.

I am grateful that my client was not more seriously injured during the incident, and particularly grateful that a video emerged which depicted what actually occurred that evening. If it were not for that video my client, Christopher Long, would most likely still be facing charges for assaulting an officer. Unfortunately, this is only one in a long line of instances at public assemblies where video evidence shows the sworn testimony given by police officers is at odds with the facts.

My client, Mr. Long, is appreciative that the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office has taken the matter of Officer Pogan’s fraudulent statements seriously, resulting in today’s indictment of Officer Pogan for falsifying business records and filing a false instrument. My office will be working with Jonathan Moore, of Beldock, Levine, & Hoffman in bringing civil charges in this matter.

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