Critical Mass Cop Indicted

Tuesday, December 16th, 2008

Chalk this one up to the power of YouTube.

If not for the video, the guy on the bicycle would probably still be facing charges.

Yet another reason it should always be permissible to videotape the police.

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31 Responses to “Critical Mass Cop Indicted”

  1. #1 |  pegr | 

    Assigned to desk duty? He should be in jail pending bail! Crooked cops should be charged with “violation of the public trust” as well. Make it a felony.

  2. #2 |  z | 

    Prediction: acquittal, reinstatement, awards, promotion.

  3. #3 |  dave smith | 

    I am a college professor. If I were to do this to one of my students riding a bike on campus, could I get a cushy desk job and reassigned from my teaching duties?

  4. #4 |  nobahdi | 

    Another article said the indictment was for “falsifying records”, which is valid, but where is the assault charge?

  5. #5 |  Bob | 

    Not just him. What about the other cop, who clearly saw the whole thing? At the very least, I expect he falsified reports and lied to protect the other officer.

    There are no good cops. The ‘Police Culture’ has seen to that.

    If that had beem me, or any of you instead of the cop? Just body checked some guy on a bike like that… the cop, who was RIGHT THERE, would have arrested us on the spot. There would have been no ‘assigned to desk duty’, there would have been no ‘ordered to report to the prosecutor’. We would have been hauled off to jail and charged with assault right there.

    There are no good cops. there are bad cops, and there are those who are expected to cover up for them.

  6. #6 |  SJE | 

    Radley: you are completely right about You Tube. If this was on a security camera, it would have “malfunctioned” or the tape would have been “lost.” With YouTube, its on the web and everyone can see it.

    Two more questions:
    1. What about the people arrested while filming? The charges against them not only should have been dropped, but the bogus arrests should have been investigated.
    2. What about fellow officers, superiors who did little to stop this craziness, or actively participated?

  7. #7 |  Ron | 

    This blog is sure a lot better when it is about ideas, as opposed to when it is in angry-mob mode, cheering on such things as throwing shoes at people. After all, I always thought “reason” was about ideas. Anyway…

    Radley and others did a great service exposing this criminal officer, but alas it is probable he will avoid penalty on the likely misdeameanor assault charge, and will likely get the felony charge plea-bargained down.

  8. #8 |  Miles Davis | 

    I agree – desk duty? Come on, that *** deserves 2 years at Rikers. He tried to say “that cyclist rode straight into me!” Come on, are you serious?

    I’m a little upset, I’d never heard the Lester Eugene Siler recordings or read the transcript of the beating and torture he endured. I’m sure his wife would have gotten the electrodes, too, if those cops had known she was recording their actions! And then they both get prison sentences? I guess he was a “dope-dealer,” but that doesn’t excuse torture by the very people the public is supposed to trust! There really is NO justice anymore in the “Land of the Free.”

    These incidents should be a mandatory lesson for all children in the US. It will be for mine, when they are old enough to understand. I can’t believe that the Siler torture wasn’t front page news around the US. Just when I start feeling hopeful, another police brutality episode surfaces. We are nearing a police state, and I’m convinced the s**t is gonna hit the fan in my lifetime. Absolutely sickening…

  9. #9 |  Les | 

    This blog is sure a lot better when it is about ideas, as opposed to when it is in angry-mob mode, cheering on such things as throwing shoes at people.

    I was merely cheering on the idea of throwing shoes at people (the ones who needlessly bring about the deaths of thousands, that is).

  10. #10 |  seeker6079 | 

    Ron, things are definitely better when they are about ideas. But when a given organization makes itself impervious to ideas then it rather guarantees that people who want change move into “angry-mob mode”. That has, for the organization, two benefits: first, it permits it to continue to ignore ideas as it did before; second, it allows it to deride ALL of its opponents, pretending as if it hadn’t been utterly impervious to ideas in the first place. Most American urban police forces have been in this position for decades.

  11. #11 |  David | 

    Yet another reason it should always be permissible to videotape the police.

    And the biggest reason that police unions will continue to lobby to make taping officers illegal.

  12. #12 |  Ron | 

    Les, I rest my case.

    seeker, I question your premise that the gov’t is totally impervious to policy challenges. After all, there were plenty of government officials who just got voted out of office en masse. But, you all can be an angry mob if you want to, I just don’t think it will persuade many uninformed people or garner much sympathy for libertarian ideas, a fair number of which I agree with.

  13. #13 |  seeker6079 | 

    I was referring specifically to police forces, Ron, which have insulated themselves from rationality from both “below” (the public) and “above” (their nominal political superiors). One only has to scroll back a very short bit on this blog to find the example of the Atlanta PD doing its damnedest to gut the new civilian review which was put in place to specifically deal with corruption and malfeasance.

    This sort of nonsense is one of the reason that I have very close to zero sympathy for cops using the “bad apple” whine. For every bad apple there are dozens of other apples covering for him, and dozens more leaning on the few that don’t want to do so.

    The notion of the police force as an integrated, functional, responsible, and equal-not-superior part of the community has almost wholly disappeared from the emotional, psychological, administrative, command and oversight components of American urban police forces. They only respond to force now, in the widest sense of the term: this officer has been charged because NYPD and the DA realize that the video forced their hand.

  14. #14 |  Les | 

    Ron, if you think an “angry mob” is when a bunch of folks type their support of throwing their shoes at dishonest and deadly incompetent politicians, then I think you’ve never seen a real angry mob.

  15. #15 |  Rob Robertson | 

    In 1792 Jean-Baptiste-Joseph Delambre, an astronomer who led the northern portion of the expedition to map the meridian from Dunkerque to Barcelona, and to thereby derive a standard for the meter, was stopped by the militia to ascertain whether they were spies in league with the Prussians marching into France to restore the king to his throne.

    “Delambre tried to explain that he had been sent on a mission to measure the size of the world,… His mission was to travel up and down the meridian of France. The Academy of Sciences-”

    “There is no more ‘Cademy,” interrupted one of the militiamen, “the Cademy is no more. We’re all equal now. You’ll come with us.”


    “Any halt or failure would have to be justified to the National Assembly itself. But at the moment, further resistance seemed pointless. As Delambre wrote to a friend, “They were armed and we had only reason; the parties were not equal.”

    excerpt from _The Measure of All Things_ by Ken Alder

    From 1763 to 1775 there was much debate, and entreaties, and pleadings before the courts and legislatures regarding the colonials’ rights as Englishmen, yet that came to an abrupt end at the dawn of April 19th.

    Following the American Revolution, farmers losing their property due to the collapse of the Continental pleaded their cases before the courts, shut them down when they would not be heard, and finally took up arms in Shays’ Rebellion.

    In each instance there had been a “long train of abuses and usurpations” followed by reasoned pleadings, all to no avail. What we are witnessing in our own time is the failure of reason. That, to me, is the larger context at play here.

  16. #16 |  Michael Chaney | 

    I hope that officer ends up in jail as someone’s cute little ex-cop girlfriend.

    At the same time, and mod me down if you want, but I just *love* seeing a critical mass dick bicycler getting pwn’d.

  17. #17 |  TJ | 

    Dave, it depends. Do you have tenure?

  18. #18 |  Ryan | 

    In good news for the cop, though, the SEC said that they would hold a referee’s position open for him.

  19. #19 |  Les | 

    Wow, Michael, hoping for rape and cheering on unprovoked violence. You stay classy!

  20. #20 |  z | 

    I just read an account that said this guy was 3 weeks out of the academy. I wonder if this was some kind of sick initiation ritual, fuck some guy up for no reason and then arrest him.

  21. #21 |  Jason | 

    It looks like this might have been an accident. Putting the video in slomo distorts reality and makes it look more intentioal.

  22. #22 |  Jason | 


  23. #23 |  Rob Robertson | 

    Sometimes, when I see that Cynical in CA has been karma’d down to -20, I will *automatically* upkarma his input only because I believe that free market anarchism is the natural, moral progression of human interaction, and I will support its proponents, even when their arguments may be a bit,… (ahem) ‘inelegant’.

    You, Jason, get an automatic downkarma because you appear to be unthinking retard. If you must comment, then either make it thoughtful, or poignant, or informative, or funny. Pick one, any one.

  24. #24 |  Weird Stuff Online » Cop seen on video knocking over bicyclist has been indicted | 

    […] 1.6 million times. Pogan has been stripped of his badge and gun and been assigned to desk duty. As Radley Balko says, “If not for the video, the guy on the bicycle would probably still be facing […]

  25. #25 |  Michael Chaney | 


    1. Unfortunately, street justice is the absolute best you can reasonably hope for in this cop’s situation. Reality is he’ll probably get an award just to rub salt in the wound. If you think that award part is made up, you haven’t been here long (and I know you have).

    2. Unprovoked? Are you kidding? The *whole* point is the critical mass dick ride is to provoke people. The cop himself wasn’t provoked, but thousands of angry motorists who had to wait for these pricks to ride through the streets were provoked. If you don’t believe me, look at their own propaganda where they stress that it’s a “leisurely” ride during rush hour traffic. They’re trying to inconvenience people. He got what was coming. Doesn’t mean the cop is right (see #1), but this bicycler got what he – and all of the riders – deserved.

  26. #26 |  Tues., 16 Dec. - links « Our Politics | 

    […] Critical Mass Cop Indicted […]

  27. #27 |  edintally | 


    I challenge you to show where there has been change since the 2006 elections. I have not seen it.

  28. #28 |  the friendly grizzly | 

    edintally: I notice one change for the better. Congress has a lower approval rating than ever.

  29. #29 |  Les | 


    No, call me a “bleeding heart,” but I don’t think prison rape is “the absolute best you can reasonably hope for” in this case. It’s reasonable to hope he’ll be fired. It’s reasonable to hope he’ll be charged with assault. It’s not realistic, but it’s reasonable. Hoping that anyone is raped (with the possible exception of serial rapists) isn’t reasonable.

    Using violence against someone who isn’t being violent towards you or anyone else (like annoying bicyclists) is also unreasonable. Simply because you feel provoked, doesn’t mean someone is trying to provoke you. To suggest that everyone who was riding their bike that night (during an activity obviously approved by the city) deserves to be physically attacked is simply not reasonable.

    You could just as easily say that everyone in a gay rights parade (which is inconvenient to motorists and makes religious fundamentalist bigots feel provoked) deserves to be physically attacked. But that wouldn’t be reasonable.

  30. #30 |  Anton Sherwood | 

    Jason: the slo-mo isn’t necessary to the appearance that the cop saw the bicyclist coming, ran into his path and gave him a vigorous shove. I hope someone will suggest how that could happen by accident. (Points for imagination and panache.)

  31. #31 |  UcuzHosting Blog | Magazin,haber,oyun,video,oyun indir,dosya indir,dosya y√ľkle - Cop seen on video knocking over bicyclist has been indicted | 

    […] Radley Balko says, “If not for the video, the guy on the bicycle would probably still be facing […]