It was a Youtube sensation: a video of a cop apparently shoving a cyclist to the street. The trial is now underway. John Noel reports.
A former police officer convicted of lying about a confrontation with a bike-riding demonstrator won't do any jail time, a judge ruled today.
The clash was later seen by millions of YouTube viewers.
Patrick Pogan received a conditional discharge at his sentencing today. He had faced up to 4 years in prison.
Jurors acquitted Pogan, 24, of assault and harassment in his 2008 encounter with pro-cycling activist Christopher Long. But Pogan was convicted of lying after a witness' video contradicted his account in a court document.
The case has highlighted the growing role of witness videos in law enforcement, and it spotlighted a history of conflict between the city's police and a group of pro-cycling demonstrators.
Pogan, then a rookie officer, was assigned to keep order and watch out for traffic violations as a loosely knit bike protest called Critical Mass passed through Times Square on July 25, 2008. Participants and police had had a rocky relationship since more than 260 cyclists were arrested during what authorities saw as a chaotic Critical Mass ride shortly before the Republican National Convention in 2004.
Pogan said he told Long to stop to get ticketed for such infractions as taking his hands off his handlebars. Long kept going, and he testified he never heard any instruction to stop.
Pogan initially reported that Long steered into him and knocked him down, but a tourist's video showed the officer striding over to Long and shoving him off his bike. The video has garnered more than 2 million YouTube views.
Pogan testified that he was trying to protect himself and never meant to misrepresent what happened.
Long, who wasn't seriously hurt, was charged with attempted assault and other offenses. The charges later were dropped, and the city paid Long $65,000 to settle a lawsuit he filed.
Pogan resigned last year from the New York Police Department. Defense lawyer Stuart London declined to say whether Pogan, whose father is a retired NYPD detective, planned to speak at his sentencing.