The Cutline

New York Times photographer clashes with NYPD while covering Occupy arrests

Dylan Stableford, Yahoo News
The Cutline

A freelance photographer for the New York Times covering an Occupy Wall Street protest at the World Financial Center on Monday clashed with police officers there.

At least 17 protesters on the scene were arrested in the atrium of the building, according to the Times. A video uploaded to YouTube shows several NYPD officers repeatedly blocking Robert Stolarik--who has been covering the Occupy Wall Street protests for the paper--from taking clear pictures of the confrontation.

Stolarik, who was wearing a press credential, warned officers not to touch him, then took photos and video footage via his iPhone of one officer who refused to give him his badge number.

Eileen Murphy, a spokeswoman for the New York Times confirmed to Yahoo News that the photographer in the video is Stolarik.

As the Village Voice and Gothamist.com both noted, Stolarik was one of the few photographers who was allowed to remain in Zuccotti Park during the NYPD raid last month.

Murphy added: "We are disappointed that the directive commissioner [Ray] Kelly issued recently that reiterated that the police are not supposed to be interfering with the media's ability to do their job and cover newsworthy events seems not to have been followed or implemented in this instance."

The Times and more than a dozen news organizations demanded a meeting with the NYPD last month after as many as 10 journalists were arrested--and dozens of others harassed--while trying to cover the Zuccotti raid.

"Credentialed media were identified, segregated and kept away from viewing, reporting on and photographing vital matters of public concern," New York Times Company vice president and assistant general counsel George Freeman wrote in the letter. "A press pen was set up blocks away and those kept there were further prevented from seeing what was occurring by the strategic placement of police buses around the perimeter. Moreover, there have been numerous instances where police officers struck or otherwise intentionally impeded photographers as they were taking photos, keeping them from doing their job and from documenting instances of seeming police aggression."

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