The former New York cop accused of knocking down a cycling advocate and then lying about it, has been convicted of lying.
According to an Associated Press report, the jury today delivered a guilty verdict against Patrick Pogan, 31, who was just 11 days out of the police academy when he was tasked with crowd control at a Critical Mass event in New York in July 2008.
Pogan alleged that Critical Mass member Christopher Long had steered into him and knocked him down. But video taken by a tourist showed Pogan going toward Long and knocking him off his bike.
Long was arrested, but when the video hit the YouTube circuit, the charges against Long were dropped and Pogan found himself charged with lying, assault and harassment.
The jury deliberated for two days before finding him guilty of lying, but clearing him of the other charges. He faces up to four years in prison at his sentencing hearing on June 23. He resigned from the police force last year, so he is no longer a cop, although that is a distinction his potential fellow inmates may not make.
It may sound like justice has been served, but there are still plenty of tensions in New York between cyclists and police. Most recently, a federal judge ruled in February that the city of New York could force groups of more than 50 cyclists to get parade permits. Critical Mass events, without an organization or organizer, are unlikely to seek such permits. One might suspect more incidents in the future.
Ironic that New York is also home to transportation guru Janette Sadik-Khan, who is a keynote speaker at Velo-city Global 2010 in Copenhagen in June, where, according to the Velo-city website, she looks "forward to sharing New York City's cycling success story with a global audience, and the common work U.S. cities have begun to implement bike-friendly streets."
New York, a city of contradictions/