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.

  • Steve Myers

    Steve Myers was the managing editor of until August 2012, when he became the deputy managing editor and senior staff writer for The Lens, a nonprofit investigative news site in New Orleans.


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