Politics

Bloomfield Cyclist Assaulted by NYPD Rookie

Posted on July 31, 2008. Filed under: Politics | Tags: , |

The cyclist in the middle of the latest NYPD controversy is Christopher Long of Bloomfield, NJ, who is a lot more Zen than I’d be considering the cop is clearly an outright liar and thug:

“I’m really sorry, but I’m not talking to the press,” Christopher Long, 29, said as he manned an organic fruits-and-vegetables stand at the Union Square farmers market.

“There are charges against me, and I don’t want anything to affect my case,” said Long, who had two large scabs on his knees from the body block.

Long, of New Jersey, was charged with assault and resisting arrest after the cop insisted the cyclist had tried to run him over in a Critical Mass rally Friday in Times Square.

A dramatic video starkly contradicted rookie Officer Patrick Pogan‘s statements. It shows the 22-year-old cop running toward Long and slamming him to the sidewalk.

Pogan, a former high school football lineman, has been stripped of his gun and badge while the incident is investigated.

Police sources have said the charges against Long would likely be dropped.

Long will “get over it and he’s not the type of guy to hold a grudge,” said Justin Ford, 25, a bike courier and a friend of Long’s, but Long’s lawyer said he may sue.

(more…)

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Cory Booker: Hero?

Posted on July 29, 2008. Filed under: Politics | Tags: |

Despite my previous reflexive defense of East Orange, I’ll admit to buying in to the some of the negative perceptions of Newark, and was originally going to post a link to a great article on Newark’s Mayor Cory Booker that I just got around to reading in last month’s Esquire (with the inane Mike Myers on the cover), but when I went to their site to get the link, I was suprised to come across a scathing letter from Booker, ripping the article’s author Scott Raab a new one.
While I thought the article was a well-written bit of hero worship, it does go a bit overboard in comparing Booker to Will Smith’s character in I Am Legend, effectively casting Newark as a blighted dead zone with little hope of recovery, pretty much what I believed it to be despite knowing better. In his letter, Booker takes Raab to task on a number of points, particularly his narrow focus on the ills plaguing the largest city in New Jersey while ignoring the strides made in the past couple of years — of which he cites numerous examples — but perhaps more impressively, I appreciated his lengthy rebuttal of the idea that he is some lone hero facing insurmountable odds:
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    A transplanted New Yorker navigating the perils of first-time homeownership in the sortaburbs of New Jersey.

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