Saturday, April 24, 2010

Critical Mass Assault and Battery--You Be the Judge


The defense of former NYPD rookie, Patrick Pogan is torn from the pages of every bad rape defense--the victim, had it coming because the victim is a bad person.  Oh, and even though the video shows Pogan clearly attacking the victim Christopher Long--Pogan and his lawyer are claiming that the jurors can't believe their "lying eyes (you know, the eyes that look at a video of a cop walking across the street to shove a cyclist off his bike onto the pavement.)"  This is because, according to Pogan's attorney Stuart London, Christopher Long is a dirtbag, pot-smoking, anit-government piece of shit.  In other words, he had it coming.  This is from the New York Post coverage of the story: 

" The cyclist came at me -- and I had to stop him from hurting me,' ex-NYPD rookie officer Patrick Pogan insisted to a Manhattan jury today, giving his own, eyebrow-raising account of a notorious, 2008 cop-on-biker take down for the first time publicly. 'I thought he ran through a red light. He had his hands in the air...He had up what I perceived to be a middle finger. I told him to stop,' the baby-faced Pogan remembered to jurors.  But Christopher Long -- a kooky Critical Mass activist who told jurors earlier this week that he gets stoned every day, believes bikes have more right to the roads than cars, and finds the NYPD 'beyond reform' -- did not stop, Pogan testified.

The collision of bodies and egos that came next would be caught on a snippet of video that became an instant YouTube classic -- and some of the prime evidence against Pogan in his ongoing trial on charges of misdemeanor assault and felony false filing of a police report against Long. Today on the stand, the 24-year-old former altar boy sat on the witness stand as the video played on a screen to his side, giving the footage his own novel -- bike activists called it "dumbfounding" -- personal narration.  'I saw him going toward the sidewalk,' Pogan remembered of Long.

'He's either going there to go around me or he's going there to stop. Iok a walk to the side,' Pogan remembered. 'I see him rise up on his bike. I see him crouch down his shoulder as he's coming toward me... at this point I know he's going to try to use that shoulder against me.' Long, in his own testimony, had told jurors that he'd turned his shoulder toward Pogan at the last minute, to brace himself and put something 'not steel' between him and the cop so as to minimize the inevitable impact for both of them.

But to Pogan, Long raised his shoulder, 'maybe to scare me or use that shoulder to come through me,' the ex-cop testified.  Pogan insisted that in the split second between seeing Long's shoulder come up and the moment of impact, he performed in his head a complicated, by-the-book computation of his "force' options...'I could have used my mace but that would have cost the city more than $65,000,' the cost of settling Long's federal lawsuit, Pogan told jurors. 'Maybe I'll use my baton,' Pogan said he then wondered. 'But the baton was useless at that point. There was no way I could have used any of the tools at my disposal.'

Finally, 'I prepared myself for a hit. He was coming toward me. I braced for impact. I lowered my shoulder. There was a collision. I used my arms to get that bicycle away from me.'

Pogan conceded to the defense lawyer examining him, Stuart London, that the account in Long's arrest report and criminal complaint -- in which Pogan claimed Long had knocked him to the ground in the impact -- was less than spot on.  'It's not true -- I did not go down at that moment. I went down two later times in that incident,' Pogan averred.  The ex-cop's testimony continues this afternoon.

'I was dumbfounded,' Barbara Ross, a spokeswoman for Times Up, the environmental group that promotes the Critical Mass ride, said at the lunch break of watching Pogan testify. 'It's clear on the video that Christopher Long is avoiding [Pogan], not coming toward him. He's flipping reality upside down.'"
It's amazing how Pogan can perjure himself from the witness stand in the face of this video. 

In another forum, I offered the opinion that the defense on this case is built on the old--good offense=good defense theory as demonstrated recently by the acquittal in february of this year of a group of NYPD cops who were alleged to have shoved a flashlight into the backside of suspect.  Despite testimony of at least one other NYPD officer who witnessed the assault the defense attorneys in that case aggressively went after the victim for being a punk and these officers "walked."  There was no video evidence.

Let's hope the jurors in this case can keep their "lying" eyes open.


  1. Tim Misny would make him pay!

  2. Can't Pogan be indicted for the perjury he's now committing on the witness stand? The video tapes make it clear as light that he's lying. Probably hoping at least 1 juror likes cops & hates jerks like Long. It might be an understandable desperation strategy. But isn't it also textbook classic perjury? If the Pogan/London strategy works--& it might--I hope the US Attorney indicts the muhfuh. I used to work in the criminal justice system so I don't want to use my name

  3. Anon 11:54--

    You would think that there is a basis for a perjury indictment, but I think it probably depends on how the jury disposes of the underlying charges. I think the testimony of Pogan is disgraceful, but it's impossible to exaggerate how common it is for the police to have a very unique view of facts. Look at this morning's post from Kokomo, Indiana.


  4. The acquittal in the Mineo case (about the sodomy in the brooklyn subway station) was legit, Mineo was a lying cheating dirtbag. In Pogan's case, although his actions are not defendable, he never once lied on the stand, or claimed Long made the encounter up. Bad Lawyer-I'd do a little more research before jumping into the big bad pond of legal ease.

  5. Anon 9:26--

    Thanks for your post, and your perspective on the Mineo case. But it's "legalese" which is the specialized language of the legal profession, amazingly, I never really had a problem with "legalese," my problem has alswys been with operating a business--faithfully and honestly--while being pretty much disinterested and paralyzed by depression.

    But thanks for the recommendation, I'll take it under advisement.


    P.S. Being a lying cheating dirtbag has never entitled the cops to try to shove a flashlight up your ass.

  6. T Bone Burnett...

    I'm impressed (rightly or wrongly), and so bookmarked.

  7. PMSummer--

    I'm grateful for you comment and "bookmark" If you are T Bone Burnett, I'm deeply honored, as your metaphor inspired not only the conception of this, my avatar, but helped enable writing this "blawg" in lieu of killing myself when everything seemed very dark. Thank you.