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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Coolness has its limits

Watch the warm welcome Critical Mass receives from the New York City police.

Comments (21)

Wow. The Smoking Gun has the sworn statement the officer made against the cyclist, which seems to be slightly at odds with the video.

A person intent on provoking a response while particpating in a civil disobedience event suceeds. Yawn.... Why is this a story at all?

"Yawn.... Why is this a story at all?"

this is a story because the video appears to contradict the complaint of the officer.
It appears that he deliberately stepped into the cyclist - who was certainly wrong to be moving so close to a pedestrian.

A citizen may act like a jackass but any public employee needs to exercise a bit more restraint than using a football block in response.

NYPD seems to think that the statement and the video don't match enough to take the cop's badge and gun.

What else makes this a story is that some folks seem to have enough hubris to believe they can get away with this kind of stuff in a time where 90% of the population has a video camera on them at all times (cel phone) and everyone's first reaction is to post it up to YouTube. Seriously, you could have "gotten away with it" 10 years ago, but now, you should KNOW you are on tape.

Especially when that video has other people riding their bikes with hand-held cameras. PS: Those folks are idiots, get a helmet-cam and put your hands on the handlebars.

Pictures also lie. There are cars and bikes sitting at the intersection. Can we assume that all of those moving bikes are running a red light? Without sound we don't know what those on bikes were saying to the officers. We also don't know if the officers asked the bicyclist to stop. What we can see is the arrested bicyclist did attempt to speed up and shoot around the officer. The problem with cameras everywhere is that they give us the illusion of thinking we know what was happening.

The cop blatantly assaulted the cyclist. I cringed as I saw the cyclist's head careening towards the concrete curb after the cop shoved him off the bike. Hopefully the guy sues the pants off the "officer" and the City of New York.

Of course, even if Pogan's pushed out of the force, this is hardly news for the NYPD.

The New York Times' Jim Dwyer ran a series of articles a couple of years back documenting the tactics the NYPD used to insert agents provocateurs into bike protest events in the months before the 2004 RNC convention in New York.

The NYPD was also using their helicopters to spy on people having sex in penthouse apartments while supposedly surveilling bike protests.

And, of course, they sent undercover operatives to Oregon to scope out anti-Bush activists before the convention, as well.

In this case, I think the Portland Police policy of "shoot first, throw body blocks later" should have been implemented.

Yet another reason for mandatory helmet laws.

Wow. I can't support this. The officer should lose his job and be criminally prosecuted for this.

On the other hand, I feel no sympathy for the bicyclist. People have had enough with Critical Mass foolishness and criminal behavior. He's lucky it wasn't some pissed off SUV driver that decided to teach him a lesson.

How long until this happens in Portland?

This is really outrageous. I can't believe the "the cyclist deserved it" comments that are showing up here. I fail to see a justification for a totally unprovoked attack on a citizen. It's clear to me in the video that the police officer was not making an attempt to get the cyclist to stop; he just threw him to the ground.

Y'all think it's just cyclists that this sort of crap is reserved for? What makes you think that this thug with a badge would look at you any differently? Oh, you're special? Think again. It's becoming increasingly clear to me that the police hold citizens in contempt, and have an "us vs. them" view of our streets and cities.

While I agree with the poster that said that Critical Mass is totally out of control and needs to be checked, random violence against those participating in CM events is NOT the answer. Fine, arrest people who are breaking the law. But let's put this in perspective, here: this bike rider could have been killed by this apparently vengeful takedown, and he didn't appear to be endangering anyone. So we're going to make death the punishment for riding in a manner that provokes a response? /shaking head

Without seeing what the cyclist was doing off-camera before the police officer assaulted him or her, and without hearing what the officer or other officers said to the cyclist and vice versa, it's not possible to make a completely informed judgment about what happened. It would be difficult to make a case that what the cop did was justified -- but it is not impossible.

"... this is hardly news for the NYPD."

What would be new news is Media Notice that this is Standard Operating Procedure for the Police Dept. of __insert_name_of_town___. Indeed, the 'modern' misbegotten concept of police as a 'power' -- instead of police as a 'service', (as in motto Serve and Protect) -- is proving for all to see, the human corruption swelled in power, and absolutely corrupted in absolute power.

"How long until this happens in Portland?"

Any minute as long as Chief Sizer and the others remain mute and do not denounce dangerous criminal cops.

I grew up in Queens and I knew 15-20 guys who joined New York City's finest and virtually all of them were motivated by the desire for power. Back then, in the '60s, they wanted to bust the n****** heads. (Their words, not mine.)

There's an awful lot of lawlessness among the police all over America. Like other "professions", such as doctors, the police refuse to get rid of their bad elements...

The video plainly shows that the cop went out of his way to assault that cyclist. It's sickening to read the comments of people here justifying such brutality. No doubt, it's very similar to what "good Germans" said about the Gestapo in the 1930s.

I only see one comment on here that could be interpreted as saying "the cyclist deserved it." The fact that many people see this as the foreseeable result of deliberately trying to piss people off does not mean that they think the cop's behavior was justified.

I guess while we're inferring facts, I'll have a go...

The biker obviously could see that the cop was walking to the curb. The biker made the decision not to slow or stop to allow the cop to do that. The biker probably thought it would be "cool" to zip by and narrowly miss the cop in front of his fellow idiots. Probably thought it'd make great video.

He was half right - it's great video.

If the cop ordered the bicyclist to stop (and you know he did) and the bicyclist refused to comply, the cop probably would have been legally justified in shooting the jerk.

He should thank his lucky stars he survived the encounter and will be able to sue.

There's an awful lot of lawlessness among the police all over America. Like other "professions", such as doctors, the police refuse to get rid of their bad elements...


Wait, you left out bicyclists

...but then they're not "professionals", are they?

15 posts for Godwin's Law to kick in.

Cop shoves biker during protest = gestapo tactics.


Good. The cop is in the right here. The cop is the pedestrian! The biker should have stopped or slowed down to avoid a collison. Instead, his arrogance got him in hot water. The biker should go to jail for assault with a moving vehicle.

I wish the Portland Police would do this to the Portland "Critical Mass" riders. The PPB should take some lessons from the NYPD!

MikeC: "The cop is in the right here."

Uhh... no. Regardless of what happened behind the camera or before the video, the officer clearly misrepresented the confrontation in his sworn statement. He claims the cyclist "[...] drove defendant's bicycle directly into [officer]'s body, causing [the officer] to fall [...]"

That's not what I saw on that video; assuming the video is not a complete fiction (and NYPD apparently thinks it is not) then it's very clear that the officer is misrepresenting the facts in this part of the report. Given that, why should the officer continue to get any benefit of the doubt about the truthfulness of the rest of his report?

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