Arrested photographer: Police ‘were violent toward the media’

New York magazine
Robert Stolarik, the freelance photographer who was arrested in New York City on Saturday night, says he was falsely charged with obstructing government administration and resisting arrest.

Stolarik, who was reporting for The New York Times about the NYPD’s “stop and frisk” practice, started to photograph police arresting a teenager. New York magazine’s Joe Coscarelli relays his account of what happened:

According to Stolarik, he was first approached by a female officer, who put her hand on his camera and told him to stop shooting. After he pointed out his media credentials and continued, Stolarik said, a second officer approached and “handled the camera more aggressively, pushed it into me.” When he asked for the officers’ names and badge numbers, he was “surrounded and taken down — dragged, kicked, and stomped on.”

The police say Stolarik “inadvertently” struck an officer in the face with his camera and resisted arrest.

“My camera hitting anybody is an untruth,” Stolarik told Intel. “They just get to say whatever they feel like saying and then charging me with whatever they feel like charging me with to justify their actions. They were violent toward me, and they were violent toward the media.”

At an Occupy protest in December, a bystander captured a video in which police officers repeatedly pushed Stolarik back and blocked his shots. At one point, when a cop bobbed in front of his camera, Stolarik asked, “Are you really doing that right now?” He then pulled out his phone and recorded the officer denying what he had done.

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  • Anthony Allen Baatz

    The real problem is that the MSM’s are so complicit as to blatantly fail to report. Time to put up our own network and broadcast live over the inet. Does any one besides me think it rather coincidental that our ‘public’ airwaves for traditional broadcasting have been seized by the govt? No one can broadcast anything that isn’t controlled before it’s fed to the cable/satellite distributors. Our freedom of the press was killed when they turned off the switch!

  • John C. Osborn

    Police around the country are being more brazen in their attacks on media or their attempts to disrupt the documentation of events. As a journalist who covered Occupy Oakland and was detained briefly by police there, it disturbs me greatly that these abuses towards media continue with no real recourse.