Officer who body-slammed cyclist indicted

YouTube played big role in exposing officer who was filmed attacking cyclist and allegedly lied about the incident in his arrest report.

Greg Sandoval Former Staff writer
Greg Sandoval covers media and digital entertainment for CNET News. Based in New York, Sandoval is a former reporter for The Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times. E-mail Greg, or follow him on Twitter at @sandoCNET.
Greg Sandoval
2 min read

The New York City police officer who was seen on YouTube last summer tackling a bicyclist in what appeared to be an unprovoked attack, has been indicted.

Patrick Pogan, a cop for just three weeks before a videotape appeared on YouTube that showed him slamming a cyclist to the ground without providing any warning, is charged with misdemeanor assault and felony counts for allegedly falsifying his report.

Pogan, 23, pleaded not guilty on Tuesday. He was released without bail and ordered to return to court on February 4, according to the Associated Press.

On June 25, Pogan was watching hundreds of bicyclists ride past him during a monthly protest known as "Critical Mass" when he is seen on the video running toward something off camera. Then, without any warning, he crashes into bicyclist, Christopher Long, who appears to be trying to avoid Pogan.

In his report, Pogan said that he warned the bicyclist to stop and that the cyclist intentionally rammed the policeman. Pogan's attorney told the AP that Pogan reacted to something Long did that was not visible on the tape.

That's not going to hold water, of course. What Pogan wrote in his report was that Long tried to steer his bike into Pogan and that he warned Long to stop. The video, taken by tourists, doesn't support that.

I've watched that video more than two dozen times and it still irritates me. The assault was bad enough, but Long had to spend the night and most of the next day in jail based on what Pogan wrote in his report.

Of the many contributions that YouTube has made to communication among the masses, is that it arms witnesses to wrongdoing with an unprecedented way to expose misdeeds. The video of the incident has been watched 1.8 million times.