If you thought last month’s video of a New York City police officer randomly selecting a cyclist and body slamming him off his bike during a Critical Mass ride in Times Square was infuriating, wait until you see a video of last year’s Critical Mass ride.
In the 12 minute video produced by Glass Bead Collective, NYPD officers can be seen jerking people off their bicycles and arresting them before turning on videographers and photographers who are attempting to document the abuse.
The video contains close-up shots of each suspect’s arrest report, revealing a shocking discrepancy between what took place and what police said took place that night.
One of the more aggressive officers in the video, Sgt. Timothy Horohoe, is being investigated by internal affairs, according to a press release from Time’s Up, the New York City activist group that organizes the monthly Critical Mass rides.
The Internal Affairs Bureau is currently investigating Sergeant Timothy Horohoe for false official statements intentionally made to the Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB) during an investigation of the arrests of cyclist and videographer Christian Guttierez, and photographer Jordan Groh while documenting police harassment of cyclists in Time’s Square during the March 2007 Critical Mass ride.
The CCRB report also substantiated the charge that Sgt. Timothy Horohoe used physical force when Sgt. Horohoe pushed Richard Vazquez off his bike when Mr. Vazquez rode through Times Square on the March 2007 Critical Mass. The charges of physical force used by Sgt Horohoe are being investigated by the Department Advocate Office. The statute of limitations on penalizing Horohoe for the acts of March 30, 2007 is September 30, 2008.
Last week, 12 members of the New York City Council asked Manhattan District Attorney Robert M Morgenthau to drop the case against Christopher Long, the 26-year-old army veteran who was body slammed by a rookie police officer in an incident that was caught on video during last month’s Critical Mass ride.
In that incident, NYPD officer Patrick Pogan lied in the arrest report, claiming that Long tried to mow him down with his bicycle. Long ended up spending 26 hours in jail.
Pogan, who has been stripped of his badge and gun, is also under investigation by internal affairs.
The incident, as well as the incidents in last year’s video, prompted city council members to ask Morgenthau to open an investigation against the NYPD and its policies toward cyclists, specifically during Critical Mass rides, according to Gothamist.
There has been a history of police harassment of cyclists, especially during the monthly Manhattan Critical Mass group bicycle ride. Most often, these attacks are unprovoked and aggressive, and the behavior of police towards cyclists is anything but the courtesy, professionalism, and respect on which NYPD prides itself. The recent incident involving Mr. Long is a particularly disturbing example of the NYPD’s attitude towards cyclists, one that happened to be caught on video tape.
Therefore we urge you to drop charges against Long and to investigate the NYPD’s policies towards cyclists, specifically during Critical Mass rides.
New York City has tried to ban the Critical Mass rides in the past, but in 2006, a New York Supreme Court judge ruled that such a ban would be unconstitutional.