Richard Vazquez, Critical Mass Biker Knocked Off His Bike by Cops in 2007, Gets City Settlement
Remember that guy who was pushed off his bike by a police sergeant in Times Square back in March, 2007, during a Critical Mass bike ride?
Well, the city has agreed this week to pay cyclist Richard Vazquez and four other plaintiffs $98,000 in a settlement over the NYPD's handling of the incident. The plaintiffs claimed they were wrongfully detained and arrested.
More interestingly, the Civilian Complaint Review Board -- an often toothless oversight body -- has ruled that the sergeant lied to CCRB investigators, records show. The board also found that he told other officers what to write in their reports, even though he denied doing it. But in three years, the NYPD hasn't brought the sergeant up on charges, and the statute of limitations has expired.
In a video of the incident, Sgt. Timothy Horohoe is seen rushing across the street and knocking Vazquez off of his bicycle. But in the CCRB interview, Horohoe claimed that Vazquez rode into him and got off of his bike voluntarily, and denied that any police officer struck him.
After doing something very similar in July, 2008, Officer Patrick Pogan was not only kicked off the force, but charged with two felonies. Pogan is still awaiting trial. Not so for Horohoe.
"While I'm pleased with the monetary victory for myself and the other plaintiffs, there will be no real justice until the higher-ups in the NYPD are held accountable for their actions, and it is not just the low ranking officers who are punished," Vazquez said in a statement.