That police officer who shoved a bicyclist to the ground in Times Square almost two years ago is trying his best to explain why his actions which were caught on video, luckily enough for the bicyclist, since the officer lied about the incident in his arrest report were the result of sound judgment. Here’s how the (former) officer, Patrick Pogan, described his thinking on the stand today, according to the Times:
Mr. Pogan, 24, said that at a briefing earlier that night, a captain outlined for him and other rookie officers a list of bicycle infractions including riding in the middle of the road and riding without hands on the steering device. The captain had told them to stop cyclists who were committing infractions and issue summonses, Mr. Pogan said.
“After telling him to stop — he was in the middle lane, I was in the middle — we locked eyes,” Mr. Pogan said. “I see him going toward the sidewalk. He’s going there to go around me or he’s going there to stop.”
As he walked toward the sidewalk, Mr. Pogan continued, he saw Mr. Long, “rise up on his bike and I see the feet start moving a little faster.”
Mr. Long then came back down on his bicycle and lowered his shoulders, Mr. Pogan explained.
“At that point, I know he’s going to try and use that shoulder against me,” Mr. Pogan said. “He’s going to try and come through me using the force of the bicycle” or try to scare him.
Mr. Pogan said he realized that a collision, widely seen on sites like YouTube, was inevitable. “He lowered his shoulder,” Mr. Pogan said. “I brace for impact. I lower my shoulder.” After the collision, Mr. Pogan said, “I used my arms to push him away from me.”
Let’s play “You Be the Jury!” Watch the video again. Does it look like Pogan was “brac[ing] for impact,” or does it look like he was “walking over to a no-good, bike-riding hippie and showing him the power of the law”? Is that a leading question?