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Cop Lies, The spirit of Critical Mass Dies.

Cops Lie? What? I know its hard to believe that our fine men and woman in blue would do such a despicable thing…but its true…come on, we all watch SVU, the wire, CSI New York. Its part of police work, part of getting the “bad guy.”

We’ve speculated on what motivated 22 year old officer Patrick Pogan to pull out a defensive move from his high school football play book that sent cyclist Christopher Long crashing to the sidewalk. All kidding aside, this third generation cop did what he did because he didn’t think anyone would catch it on video tape, and even if they did, he could always lie about it.

How do we know this? Besides, my own experiences at dozens of protests across the country and tireless hours of scrambling to get video footage to the press to prove the point, its happened again on this current case from a youtube video which now has over 1 million views.

Back in 2005, Jim Dwyer of the New York Times did a story on how police lied about RNC demonstrator Dennis Kayne, being so erratic that it took 4 officers to haul him away. Video footage turned up a different story, showing Dennis, agitated but clearly walking away on his own.

Its a common story, and again Times Reporter Jim Dwyer had an article in yesterday’s times about how low cost video cameras are telling a different story than the police.

Without this video footage, taken by a random tourist in Time’s Sqaure and without 1 million views of it on youtube…the assumption is the police would be sticking to their story that Christopher Long was weaving in and out of traffic, endangering pedestrians and eventually knocked into the officer, sending him to the ground. The video shows a different story.

I witness video, an organization set up to monitor police and capture video footage of their behavior has been following this story on their blog.

Also

Here is a link to the NYTimes blog explaining how the video tape of the Time’s Square incident was acquired. From cityroom

The bigger picture here are the lies the police continue to spin about the critical mass ride itself.

1) that is is violent with the sole purpose of blocking traffic.
2) that it was fine for 10 years, to the point of the RNC (2004) when it was taken over by anarchists.
3) it has a leader, and Critical Mass is a group of people.

Like the recent tale from the police on last Friday’s ride. All Lies.

Time’s Up, also wanted me to include this press release about this recent affair:

New York, NY (July 29, 2008) – The body slam of cyclist Christopher Long by an NYPD police officer while Mr. Long was riding his bicycle through Times Square on July 28, 2008 was not an isolated incident. Civil rights activists and cycling advocates have long seen a pattern of excessive force and harassment against cyclists from the highest ranks of the NYPD. The event on July 28, 2008 was the third such example captured on video in Times Square alone.

On March 30, 2007, Richard Vazquez was riding in a Shared Use Lane on Broadway and 43rd Street in the Critical Mass ride. Without clear or reasonable direction, Sgt. Horohoe, violently pushed him off his bicycle to the ground in a dangerous and harmful manner. Among his other injuries, the fall to the ground resulted in a deep gash on Mr. Vazquez’s hand. The Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB) investigation resulted in a finding of ‘substantiation’ against Sgt. Horohoe for excessive force being used against Richard Vazquez. Mr. Vazquez is represented by Wylie Stecklow, (212) 566-8000.

On February 24, 2006, Adrienne Wheeler, was riding on the Critical Mass as a legal observer for the National Lawyers’ Guild. Ms. Wheeler was riding on 43rd Street between Broadway and Seventh Avenue when she was grabbed by the bicycle chain around her waist and pushed to the ground by the then-NYPD-Assistant-Chief Bruce Smolka. Ms. Wheeler’s civil rights case against The City of New York, Asst. Chief Bruce Smolka and Lt. Caneco arising out of the incident was settled earlier this year for $37,000. She was represented by Jonathan Moore of Beldock Levine & Hoffman LLP, (212 ) 277-5850. Assistant Chief Smolka announced his retirement from the NYPD in January, 2007.

“Unfortunately the July 25, 2008 incident is part of a pattern of targeting Critical Mass bike riders. This hostility and selective enforcement of the laws needs to stop immediately. Mayor Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Kelly need to provide the necessary leadership to confront and resolve this issue.” states Civil Rights attorney, Norman Siegel.

more links, video and pictures here.

The European Cycle Messenger Championships

That’s right, Europe has messengers too which means they have their own championships.

This year they were held in Eindhoven, Holland on July 25th through the 27th.

The official website: www.ecmc2008.com

Congratulations to:

Michael Brinkmann from Bremen (Germany) (male)

&

Astrid Narud from Berlin (Germany)(female)

the fastest bike messengers in Europe.

Just one of many flickr sites available for pictures like this one from:

Real Fragments

For some reporting on the event, the place to go is non-other than Bill Chidley’s messenger blog: Movingtargetzine.com

Not an isolated incedent.

What happened to Christopher Long in last Friday’s critical mass is by no mean an isolated incident.

Here is a video showing two other assaults of critical mass participants in Time’s Square.

Animal on Animals.

Animal Magazine has done some good investigation to find out more about the motivations of NYPD Patrick Pogan featured in the hot new youtube video of cyclist brutality, which now has 583,692 views.

“The video of rookie cop Patrick E. Pogan (shield #28957) violently body checking cyclist Christopher Long during a Critical Mass group ride has a lot of people wondering what motivated him to act with such a blatantly egregious manner. Contrary to the video evidence and universal common sense, the cop (deponent) claimed—in a sworn statement—that Long swerved and then ran into him, “causing deponent to fall to the ground and causing deponent to suffer lacerations on deponent’s forearms” (PDF doc here). However, as the clip demonstrates, that’s not the case and the attack was unprovoked. Why is Officer Perjurer Pogan so angry? ANIMAL takes a look into some of the potential, hostility-causing factors:

Check here for more from Animal.

Compilation of new reports of the assualted cyclist.

Compilation of news reports put together by Xris ( team spider):

Part 1


part 2

Riding their bikes from Alaska to Panama

Check out these guys:

Cowspokes.com

"Don’t body check me Bro" and other possible scenarios.

Fox news report on critical mass assault.

After reviewing the Youtube video another dozen times and seeing it again as the lead story on most local news, its still kind of baffling what motivated young officer Patrick Pogan, to react the way he did and send bike rider, Christopher Long, sailing into the sidewalk.

The 22 year old officer of the NYPD was caught on video tape, body-checking one of the 100 or so riders from last Friday’s monthly critical mass ride.

I can only speculate on what was going through the rookie cops head but here are a few possible scenarios:

Scenario 1: Christopher Long was seen by Patrick Pogan acting erratic and making loud gestures a good 20 blocks away. He was screaming some insane nonsense about…”who’s streets these were.” By the time he got to within 10 feet of officer Pogan, he said…”Don’t Body Check me Bro.” Naturally, the officer did the most logical thing to protect him from one of these crazed bike riders who would no doubt continue to speak freely.

Scenario 2: The rookie officer who hadn’t been on the force for more than a month and had originally asked to walk a beat in East New York, where he could solve some, “real crimes.” Instead he was sent to Time’s Square, an information, advertising purgatory with flashing lights and a naked cowboy. He had been asked so many times that night by foreign tourists where the H&M store was…he was going mad…why else would he be standing in the middle of the street during a bike ride of a hundred cyclists.

Scenario 3: Just doing his patriotic duty. Officer Pogan was convinced he had identified the guy who planted a bomb at the recruiting station, back in March, after all Christopher seemed, “comfortable on a bike.”

Scenario 4: His partner dared him to do it. He offered up a free drink coupon at the Hawaiian Tropic Zone, if he could knock the guy all the way to the sidewalk.

Scenario 5: He wanted to be the next Bruce Smolka. No easy shoes to fill, retired officer Smolka could take down one of these bike riders with one hand, and not even spill his coffee. Pogan, knew it would take a real man to handle one of these dangerous bike riders and prove to the force he had what it takes. I mean at 30,000 a year, you gotta do something to get noticed.

Scenario 6: Officer Pogan had heard their was a New York Rangers scout in town and wanted to show off his “body checking” ability that might land him a spot on the team. If not, there was sure to be a World Wrestling Federation close at hand.

Scenario 7: Cause the guy was on a bike

Scenario 8: Christopher Long, hates cops forearms and wanted to do his best to run directly into them.

Scenario 9: Pogan and Long were in on it together and hoping to win 10,000 bucks on America’s funniest home videos.

Scenario 10: Because Pogan was a member of the NYPD, who for 4 years now has been told that Critical Mass is a protest, that they hate cops and they hate freedom. There sole purpose is to run red lights, block traffic and create a disturbance the last Friday of every month. Pogan was just doing his job, the same type of thing that was going on since the Republican National Convention back in 04.

only this time it was caught on video tape and instantaneously put on Youtube.

News surfacing about the critical ass “whopping” assault video:

Looks like the officer involved has been stripped of his badge and gun.

NY1
Gothamist
NYPOST
NYC Indymedia
WNBC

video of the last critical mass in NYC. Proof.

There are things you can always count on in New York…like your rent forever being raised 30 percent a year to adjust to the “market value.” Like that guy playing a drum solo on the subway platform on plastic buckets…Or like the NYPD always acting like…well the NYPD.

Here they are in classic form at the last Critical Mass (July 25th, 2008) in NYC.


Details on this attack are still coming in like how one activist group acquired this video.

It was shot by a tourist who wasn’t expecting Time’s Square to be so blinding.

We do know that this video has really stirred the pot and asking a lot of people, once again: “What the heck were the NYPD thinking.”

In this bloggers opinion…its just another typical critical mass post the Republican National Convention.

Congratulations to Carlos Sastre

for winning this year’s Tour De France.


Carlos Sastre on the podium in Paris after winning the Tour de France Sunday.
photo by: Edward Wyatt

Article in NYTimes