On Friday, charges were officially dismissed against Christopher Long, the Critical Mass cyclist who was slammed to the ground by NYPD Officer Patrick Pogan in July. After he was knocked off his bike, Long was charged with attempted assault, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
The official account of the incident, which was witnessed by dozens of people, would almost certainly have gone unchallenged if not for a video that surfaced on YouTube, drawing over a million views and making news across the country. Said Long’s attorney, David B. Rankin:
"We’re just very lucky this videotape surfaced, and we’re very
thankful the DA’s office did the right thing in dropping these charges."
was a case where the officer’s sworn testimony was contradicted by the
videotape," Rankin said. "It raises serious questions about other cases
that don’t have the luxury of a videotape."
Times Up! noted the disparity between police treatment of mass rides in Manhattan and Brooklyn, and called for an end to the city’s schizoid behavior toward cycling in general:
"Time’s Up! is thrilled by this victory in court and we remain positive that this decision will convince the Mayor and the NYPD to treat the Manhattan Critical Mass ride in non-violent and sensible matter similar to how they currently treat the monthly Critical Mass Ride in Brooklyn," said Judy Ross, Time’s Up! spokesperson. "Time’s Up! also demands that Mayor Bloomberg immediately instruct the NYPD that bicyclists are part of every day traffic and that the increase of bicycling is a positive trend that the city recognizes and is accommodating."
Rankin said Long has not decided whether he will sue the city. Meanwhile, the Daily News says the PD is "still investigating" the incident. Pogan was placed on desk duty.