A New York City cop has been stripped of his gun and badge after a video camera caught him on tape lowering his shoulder and slamming a bicyclist to the ground.
Officer Patrick Pogan, a 23-year-old policeman working his first month on the job in the city’s Midtown South Precinct, was standing in the middle of the street near Times Square, monitoring traffic as a parade of bicycle riders passed by as part last week’s Critical Mass ride, a monthly protest of urban reliance on motorized vehicles.
As the video shows, Pogan began walking toward the curb, then took a hard step toward an oncoming cyclist identified as Hoboken, N.J., native, Christopher Long. Pogan then delivered a massive shoulder check into the bicyclist, sending Long sprawling to the ground.
The video of the assault has since been posted on YouTube.
Craig Radhuber was riding his bike behind Long and witnessed the event.
“He was body-slammed,” Radhuber told Newsday. “I was so angry. I was ready to jump on the police officer. … This was totally uncalled-for.”
“It was unprovoked,” Radhuber told the Associated Press. “It was like the cop was waiting for him and then just checked him as he got closer. I couldn’t believe it.”
Officer Pogan then arrested Long on charges of attempted assault, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, according to papers filed in Manhattan Criminal Court. Pogan reported that Long was weaving in traffic, “forcing multiple vehicles to stop abruptly or change their direction” to avoid a collision.
Pogan also cited Long for physically struggling during the arrest, refusing to put his hands behind his back, “thereby making handcuffing difficult.”
Radhuber disagreed with the police report.
“There was no traffic behind us – there was no traffic to weave in and out of,” he told the New York Times. “The police officer looked to see who he was going to pick off.”
Police spokesman Paul Browne told the Associated Press that Pogan has since been placed on desk duty pending the outcome of a police department investigation.
Christopher Long was released from custody without bail but faces a Sept. 5 court hearing on the charges filed against him. Long’s attorney, Mark Taylor, told the New York Times he hoped the charges would be dropped against Long, saying, “We believe the video speaks for itself.”