080508critmass.jpgTwelve city council members are calling on Manhattan District Attorney Robert M Morgenthau to drop the charges against Christopher Long, the cyclist who was seen being bodyslammed to the curb by a rookie cop in a videotape of a Critical Mass ride on July 25th. The council members – who include Rosie Mendez, Letitia James, and Alan Gerson but not mayoral hopeful Christine Quinn – are also demanding that Morgenthau open a wider investigation into NYPD policies toward cyclists, specifically during Critical Mass rides. (Full letter after the jump.)

According to the press release, Internal Affairs is currently investigating Sergeant Timothy Horohoe for false official statements intentionally made to the Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB) during an investigation of the arrests of cyclist and videographer Christian Guttierez, and photographer Jordan Groh while documenting police harassment of cyclists in Time's Square during the March 2007 Critical Mass ride.

In a statement, Wylie Stecklow, a lawyer the cyclists, says, “Critical Mass participants have been assaulted by a Lieutenant, a Sergeant and recently by a Rookie officer. And each assault has been documented on video. When officers lie with impunity to cover up their bad conduct, the CCRB says that filing of false information in official documents is not within their jurisdiction." Patrick Pogan, the officer who was videotaped tossing Long off his bike, claimed in his police report that Long ran into him and knocked him down, which contradicts the video.

Photo courtesy Irene Roxanne.

August 1, 2008

Robert M Morgenthau
New York County District Attorney
1 Hogan Place
New York, NY 10013

Dear District Attorney Morgenthau,

We write to respectfully request that you drop the charges against Christopher Long, which include attempted assault, resisting arrest, and disorderly conduct. We strongly believe these charges are unwarranted, based on video evidence and first person accounts of the incident on the night of July 25, 2008 between Mr. Long and the officer named in the case.

There has been a history of police harassment of cyclists, especially during the monthly Manhattan Critical Mass group bicycle ride. Most often, these attacks are unprovoked and aggressive, and the behavior of police towards cyclists is anything but the courtesy, professionalism, and respect on which NYPD prides itself. The recent incident involving Mr. Long is a particularly disturbing example of the NYPD’s attitude towards cyclists, one that happened to be caught on video tape.

Therefore we urge you to drop charges against Long and to investigate the NYPD’s policies towards cyclists, specifically during Critical Mass rides.


Rosie Mendez
G. Oliver Koppell
Melissa Mark-Viverito
Letitia James
Gale Brewer
Thomas White
Diana Reyna
Charles Barron
Sara M. Gonzalez
Alan J. Gerson
James Sanders, Jr.
Inez Dickens