By Carlos Miller
Life is filled with improbable moments that can change the course of your intended destiny in a split second.
Take the case of Christopher Long who was participating in a Critical Mass bicycle ride through Times Square last summer. The then-29-year-old New Jersey native doesn’t appear to have ever have stepped into a weight room or a courtroom.
In fact, he is probably more comfortable farming organic vegetables than he is framing a legal argument.
It is safe to say that the last thing on his mind that day was that he would be body slammed by a New York City Police Officer, then thrown in jail for 26 hours on charges of assault, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.
Then there is Patrick Pogan, the NYPD officer in question. He was 22 years old at the time and had been on the force all of three weeks. As a third-generation NYPD cop, Pogan knew he had a lot of power with that badge. And the former high school football player wasn’t going to waste any time to use it.
It is safe to say that the last thing he expected was for someone to be filming the exact spot where he chose to body-slam Long for no apparent reason before conjuring false charges against him.
And as for the videographer, it appears that he was just filming the Critical Mass for his own documenation. It doesn’t appear that he is a member of any activist copwatch group who were out to document abuses by cops against cyclists, as other videographers have done in the past. It doesn’t appear that he is one to rock the boat because he has not even publicly acknowledged documenting the incident.
But it is safe to say that knows right from wrong. Good from bad. Truth from lies. Which is why he chose to upload the video.
Thanks to his video, the charges against Long were dropped. Thanks to his video, Pogan is now the one facing criminal charges. Even prison time.
And thanks to his video, Long is now suing the City of New York for $1.5 million instead of drowning in debt trying to prove his innocence.
It is safe to say that neither one of them pictured this scenario when they woke up that fateful morning.