A cyclist is suing the NYPD for $1.5 million after an officer body-slammed him off his bike during a Critical Mass rally and proceeded to file a police report which contradicted a YouTube video of the incident, the Daily News reports.
Cyclist and farmer Christopher Long was participating in the July 2008 rally when Patrick Pogan, a rookie police officer, tackled him to the ground. Though Mr. Pogan reported that Mr. Long was weaving in and out of traffic and refused to stop when ordered, a YouTube video of the event showed Mr. Long cycling peacefully when Mr. Pogan knocked him to the ground.
The NYPD has already fired Mr. Pogan for filing false police reports. Mr. Long and his New York personal injury lawyers are alleging the incident caused him psychological trauma that forced him to move to rural Wisconsin and become a farmer, giving up his life in New York.
While Critical Mass is an explicitly illegal movement (it is essentially a periodic mass meeting of cyclists devoted to breaking traffic laws to achieve a muddied set of goals) police must still exercise restraint in dealing with its members. Unless seriously provoked, the sort of force Mr. Pogan used on Mr. Long is simply not justified.
Top New York City personal injury lawyers know it is up to the courts to evaluate Mr. Long’s claim that this incident was so stressful that it forced his move to Wisconsin. They also know the NYPD did the right thing in firing Mr. Pogan. Falsifying a police report is a serious offense, and it is good to see the NYPD treating it as such.
[ Daily News]