Robert Stolarik's cameras were confiscated when he was arrested on Aug. 4 while photographing police on a public street. He has them back now, but he still hasn't received his press credentials. Stolarik met with NYPD's Internal Affairs unit on Monday to discuss his complaint against the officers who beat and arrested him.
In an interview with the Times, NPPA lawyer Mickey Osterreicher says "the war on terrorism has somehow morphed into an assault on photography," both by the press and the general public.
"Literally every day, someone is being arrested for doing nothing more than taking a photograph in a public place. It makes no sense to me. Photography is an expression of free speech," Osterreicher says.
NYPD has issued guidelines telling officers not to interfere with the press, but Osterreicher said the problem persists.
I believe that the problem is it’s ingrained in the police culture. The idea of serve and protect has somehow changed, for some officers, to include protecting the public from being photographed. (more...)