WeAreChange talks to Police Captain Ray Lewis #occupywallstreet

Retired Philadelphia Police officer Ray Lewis talks to We Are Change about his arrest at Occupy Wall Street.

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WeAreChangeOklahoma – Arrested for Taking Video of Security Gaurds


By Andrew W. Griffin

Red Dirt Report, editor

Posted: April 29, 2010


OKLAHOMA CITY  — Five months after being charged with assault and battery following an unprovoked altercation with Penn Square Mall security guards, We Are Change Oklahoma activist James Lane said all charges against him have been dropped.

Lane, who was interviewed by this reporter about the case last November contacted Red Dirt Report this week to explain that  he had been facing as much as six months in jail over an incident last Thanksgiving weekend where he and other WAC-OK activists held an action at the popular Oklahoma City mall during the so-called “Black Friday” shopping day.

After “deception dollars” were dropped off a balcony and a bullhorn was used, Lane, activist Brent Southard and others were chased by mall security guards, including Richard Wisner, Daak Love and David Ray Hodges.

Armed with a  camera during the direct action, Lane was approached by the guards who ultimately detained him, injuring him in the process and confiscating his camera. Lane insists he did not resist arrest and that he was treated terribly by the guards and largely ignored by the Oklahoma City cop who arrested him.

As Lane told RDR in the original interview, “Even though I was the victim of the brutal, unprovoked assault, and never touched a single officer, I was charged with assault and battery.”

Lane said that he declined to make a plea deal, which included assault charges and ultimately a disorderly conduct charge.

Lane said the prosecuting attorney obstructed Lane’s attorney’s attempts to gain access to the camera and video that showed what he had done.

Eventually, Lane said, he obtained the video, which had not been deleted, and that would be used at the trial.

“There was some confusion as to why I wanted to go to trial,” Lane said. “The city attorney backed out from the case and put another attorney in.”

Attorney Laura Yates, noted Lane, “seemed shocked” that they were having to go through court. The attorney, added Lane, “had to get the book out and read what they were charging me on.”

The first trial ended with “continuance for discovery.” The second trial, the three security guards were there and were questioned, asked if lane had engaged in disorderly conduct or a physical altercation.

“They said, ‘No, no, no,’” Lane said.

Lane said Yates then asked, ‘When Mr. Lane put his hand up, did he intend to do you harm,’ and they said I did not. That’s when the prosecutor slumped at the podium.”

Lane said he believes Yates was “disappointed the witness told the truth” and that they would not go forward with these trumped-up charges.”

Red Dirt Report called Oklahoma City Municipal Court to speak with Yates. She was not available and has not yet returned the call.

Wisner, Love and Hodges were also served papers for a civil case Lane has filed.

“They were visibly shaken,” Lane said of the security guards after receiving the papers.

Lane said he knows that they are in a pickle.

“They filed a false police report or they perjured themselves in front of the court,” Lane said.

Asked if Yates decided to file charges against the men who Lane claims did not tell the truth about what happened, he said she did not.

Lane said his attorney, Elliot Everett, pointed out a few things where one of the testifying security guards contradicted himself, but he said it apparently wasn’t relevant to the judge.

Everett could not be reached for comment.

As for the civil case, the men have not yet responded to it.

“I am 36 years old,” Lane said. “Never been arrested and never sued anyone in my life.”

Curious about his thoughts regarding what happened, Lane said, “It seems to be a good old boy network. The police officers were complicit in a false arrest. Whenever I told them that the man (security guard) assaulted me, they said I was out of touch with reality.”

“I’m disappointed, more than anything. I thought judicial system sought to find the truth. I’ve discovered it’s just a good ol’ boy network,” Lane said. “A person can get caught up in the system.”

As noted earlier, Lane said he is seeking justice through the civil action he filed.

“If I find (justice) there, I won’t pursue it further,” he said. “But the reason I am pursuing this is I don’t want this to happen to anyone else. I don’t want anyone else to get hurt.”

As for his We Are Change Oklahoma activist colleague Brent Southard, he was found guilty of disorderly conduct and received six months probation. Southard told Red Dirt Report he was disappointed with how things turned out.

Lane said the judge said Southard had failed to follow the security guard’s instructions. Lane said they were not cops and joked, “So, I guess anytime someone in a costume tells you to stop, you better stop.”

Added Lane bitterly: “What a mockery of our judicial system.”

Copyright 2010 West Marie Media


Ex-Officer Convicted of Lying About Confrontation With Cyclist


A former police officer was convicted on Thursday of lying about a collision with a bicyclist who was taking part in a Critical Mass ride in Times Square in 2008 — an altercation that was videotaped and became a viral presence on the Internet.

The jury found the officer, Patrick Pogan, 24, guilty of filing a criminal complaint that contained false statements concerning the cyclist, Christopher Long, including an assertion that Mr. Long knocked Mr. Pogan down by intentionally steering his bicycle into him. (The video showed that Mr. Pogan remained on his feet, while Mr. Long flew to the pavement.)

Mr. Pogan’s conviction carries a maximum sentence of four years in prison.

Mr. Pogan, who resigned from the Police Department after the episode, was also convicted of a misdemeanor for attesting to the complaint’s truthfulness, even though it contained a warning against making false statements.

But Mr. Pogan, who was in his 11th day on the force when the collision happened, was acquitted of a misdemeanor charge of reckless assault.

Prosecutors had contended that Mr. Pogan should have known that the force he used on Mr. Long presented a substantial risk of injury. None of the jurors, who reached their verdict in the third day of deliberations, were available for comment.

But Mr. Long said in an interview he was pleased with the verdict, in part because it would prevent Mr. Pogan from becoming a police officer again.

“The worst of it is he lied, and fortunately the jury saw it that way and convicted him on those charges,” Mr. Long said. “I don’t think he ever really intended to assault me.”

Mr. Pogan, who is scheduled to be sentenced on June 23, wore a blank stare as the verdict was read. He left the courthouse without commenting.

Outside the courthouse, Stuart London, Mr. Pogan’s lawyer, said he was pleased that his client was exonerated of assault, but was disappointed in the convictions.

“The important part to remember is, regardless of what’s on these documents, if at the time you filled them out you believe you’re being truthful, then that’s really all that should matter,” Mr. London said.

The collision between Mr. Long and Mr. Pogan occurred during Critical Mass, a monthly group ride that is viewed by the Police Department as a way for agitators to rile up the police.

Bill DiPaola, the director of Time’s Up, a cycling and environmental advocacy group, said he hoped the trial, which lasted about a week, would force the police to change the way they treat riders.

Mr. Long took the witness stand, and the bulk of the cross-examination focused on his background, which he admitted included frequent marijuana use and causing the death of a man in a traffic accident.

During Mr. Pogan’s testimony, he acknowledged that he told both his sergeant and an assistant district attorney that Mr. Long knocked him down with his bicycle, but characterized that as an honest mistake. He said he had confused the initial collision with two later instances in which he went to the ground while trying to handcuff Mr. Long.

The jury also acquitted Mr. Pogan on charges that he falsified the initial arrest report filed after the collision. (Mr. Long initially faced charges of attempted assault, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct, but they were all dropped.)

The jurors apparently placed significance on Mr. Pogan’s testimony that his sergeant filled out and filed the arrest report, which Mr. Pogan did not have to sign.

The acquittal on the assault charge was perhaps indicative of the public’s belief that police officers should be given latitude to use force when they perceive a threat, said Philip Karasyk, a defense lawyer who regularly defends police officers.

“When an officer puts on that badge and uniform, he’s not feeling a heightened sense of security — he’s feeling a heightened sense of insecurity and a sense of being on guard,” he said.

Colin Moynihan contributed reporting.

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