According to the New York Times, the police officer who was caught on video knocking down a bicyclist during a Critical Mass event in Manhattan last summer has been fired.
Read the full story in the NYT →
Read the backstory and watch the video →
Posted 2.20.09 in The Kitchen Sink | Bookmark or Share
Good. The NYPD needs to start cleaning up their act again. Having this guy off the force is a start.
Good news, the first step towards justice.
Reading that this officer was just 23, and knowing that the BART officer under investigation in Oakland (for murder for those who are not from here) was the same age, makes me believe even more firmly that police officers should all be over 25. These guys are too young to be out with guns and power- they just do not have the life experience needed to keep calm in these situations. It is all just so sad, because this is what we all have to depend on for public safety which of course does nothing to make the average person feel safe.
Some good news. Now if we can get that psycho doctor locked up who intentionally caused the cyclist to run into him, then we’ll be getting somewhere. After seeing that video, I had no doubt that cop was way over the line. I think he was angry for some reason–crumby traffic duty?–so he snapped and pushed over the cyclist. Can’t have a dude like that on the force. Score one for cycists and public safety.
@Adrienne, it isn’t the age. In the NYPD case the officer was multi-generational. His father and his grandfather had both been on the force. He had a lifetime of indoctrination on the rules of the beat, who is the enemy and who is a friend, regardless of the law. Cops sticking together is natural and they need to. But we have to be aware of the danger when it becomes too ingrained as it was in this case.
Interesting to watch this video a couple of times. It almost appears as if the officer at first is scanning the bikers, and ‘perhaps’ watching for someone he knew — and didn’t like much. Maybe someone who tried to date the cop’s girlfriend; or someone who lives in his apartment building and brings his bike inside to keep it from being stolen; or maybe someone who had a prior ‘beef’ with this cop — and the cop knew this guy would be riding in this demonstration(??). It looks to me as if the cop ‘recognized’ this biker out of the crowd and deliberately singled him out for abusive treatment. That would be an interesting thread to follow in any post-investigation (or maybe it was revealed in the grand jury probe?). Also very interesting to me that the cameraman ‘just happened’ to pan his camera as this rider went by, and ‘just happened’ to get this incident on tape. Is it possible, perhaps, that the cameraman and the biker knew each other, and both knew that this cop was an ‘antagonist’ likely to take some physical action against this particular biker (??). Thus the tape was made when an ‘entrapment’ trap was sprung to purposely get the young cop committing an unprovoked assault, to purposely bring action and get him fired (??) Very interesting premises. As long as ‘truth’ prevailed and justice was appropriately done, then this seems okay. But the premises are interesting to ponder.
Critical Mass rides often run into problems. They encourage particpants to carry cameras to catch stuff like this. I don’t think the “you caught it on camera, which is so unlikely, therefor it must be entrapment or have been provoked” works. There are a lot of cameras, a lot of incidents and sometimes someone will get caught right when they are doing illegal actions in the name of law.