Charges dismissed in YouTube shove
By Samuel Maull
NEW YORK — A judge dismissed charges Friday against the bicyclist who was body-checked and knocked to the pavement by a police officer in a widely viewed YouTube video.
At the prosecution's request, Criminal Court Judge James Burke dropped a charge of resisting arrest against Christopher Long, 29, of Hoboken, N.J.
Long was arrested July 25 during a Critical Mass bicycle ride through Times Square. The monthly bike rides are held around the world to draw attention to alternatives to motor vehicles.
Police said Long was arrested because he was obstructing traffic and deliberately steered his bicycle into an officer.
After the video emerged showing the policeman knocking Long to the ground, the officer, Patrick Pogan, was stripped of his badge and gun and assigned to desk duty. Police said Friday they were still investigating.
The video had been viewed some 1.5 million times since it was posted on YouTube soon after the incident. It shows Pogan shoving Long off his bike near Times Square as Long tried to steer out of the way.
As he left court, Long said he was happy not to be prosecuted and to have the case behind him. As for Pogan's account of events in the criminal complaint, he said, "The video speaks for itself."
Long's lawyer, David B. Rankin, said, "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."
"This 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."
In the same week the Long video surfaced, videotape emerged of two other incidents showing police officers beating up civilians. Those cases were being investigated by the police and the district attorney's office.
Rankin said Long is considering a lawsuit against the city but had not yet decided.
Alicia Maxey Greene, spokeswoman for the Manhattan district attorney, said no decision had been made about whether to prosecute Pogan.
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