Idiot cop gets no jail time for assault

Patrick Pogan did this to Christopher Long in 2008.

It’s hard to see how this isn’t a clear case of assault. This rookie schlub (it was his 11th day on the job) went out of his way to elbow a random cyclist to the ground. But that didn’t matter to the jury.

A former New York City police officer convicted of lying about a confrontation with a bicyclist in Times Square was given a conditional discharge on Wednesday in State Supreme Court in Manhattan.

The former officer, Patrick Pogan, had faced up to four years in prison, but will avoid any time behind bars. He also will not be placed on probation.

This is one reason it is never a good idea to talk to the cops: juries will favor the police over random citizens almost every time. Pogan is obviously guilty of assault and deserves time in jail, but that barely matters since he once wore a police uniform. The only bright side is that he no longer can suit up.

Mr. Pogan, who was on the job for less than two weeks when the collision occurred, resigned from the police force. Because he was convicted of a felony, he would not be allowed to attempt to rejoin the Police Department.

This punk should have been convicted of assault and sent to jail. This slap on his wrist will not correct his sort of behavior in his future endeavors.

Thought of the day

The phrase “science and religion are compatible” is impressively dishonest. Not only is it blatantly false, but virtually no religious adherent would agree that all religions are correct. If it is recognized that not all religions can be correct, then the utterance of the compatibility phrase is inherently misleading – “religion” is not what the person espousing the view means at all. Instead he means science and his religion are compatible. Otherwise he’s claiming all religions are compatible, undermining the ultimate goal people have by using the phrase: to promote their own particular religion, hiding its obvious conflict with science.

It’s also worth noting that religion isn’t simply in conflict with the results of science; religion is also in conflict with the spirit of science. Whereas science offers methodology and a way to discover what is true, religion only offers faith – science’s biggest antagonist.

A slice of humble pie

Cameron Ward is a civil rights lawyer in Canada. (He is also a pretty good goalie from Canada, playing for the Hurricanes. But that’s another guy.) In 2002 he was arrested on suspicion of plotting to throw a pie at the Prime Minister.

[P]olice – acting on an anonymous tip that someone was preparing to pie then-Prime Minister Jean Chretien at a nearby event – arrested Cameron Ward as he walked to work.

Ward, who did not have pie with him, was jailed for several hours, subjected to a partial strip search and had his car impounded.

He was released after Chretien’s event was over, and the prime minister — who had been pied at an East Coast event in 2000 — never did suffer a pie attack.

Ward then sued the Vancouver police for wrongful arrest. A court ruled in his favor, awarding him approximately $10,000. Vancouver then appealed the ruling, resulting in this a ruling from Canada’s Supreme Court:

The justices unanimously sided with Ward, however, although they struck down the C$100 he got for having his car impounded.

“He had a constitutional right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure, which was violated in an egregious fashion,” wrote the court, ruling that the rights violation was great enough to warrant damages being paid.

This has taken 8 years to conclude. It has cost the city far more than the awarded 10 grand when the legal fees, time and energy, and embarrassment are all factored. But what could have solved the problem much, much, much more quickly? What could have saved everyone from this whole show? It turns out the answer is pretty simple. The courts and police just needed to fess up to their obvious error in judgement.

“All of this has cost hundreds of thousands of dollars needlessly because all I ever wanted was an apology,” Ward insisted.

The audacity.