NYT Sends Angry Letter to NYPD Over Treatment of Photographer

The New York Times has sent an angry letter to the New York Police Department after video emerged showing photojournalist Robert Stolarik being pushed around and then blocked while trying to photograph officers arresting Occupy Wall Street protestors. The memo itself hasn’t be published, but NYT VP and assistant general counsel George Freeman is quoted as saying,

It seemed pretty clear from the video that the Times freelance photographer was being intentionally blocked by the police officer who was kind of bobbing and weaving to keep him from taking photographs

The department has acknowledged receiving the note from the NYT, but has not issued a formal response yet. This incident comes just weeks after Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly ordered officers to avoid unreasonably interfering with media access during news coverage.

Here’s a short news clip that shows Stolarik being interfered with (52 seconds in):

(via The Huffington Post via The New York Observer)

Get the hottest photo stories delivered to your inbox.
Get a daily digest of the latest headlines:
  • Janez

    300+ millions of american dollar are apparently enough to to buy police departments to work for your agenda.

  • Heywood

    Soros agrees to appear in the film. President Goldman Sachs doesn’t. yeah, no agenda there.

  • John Hull

    A similar situation occurred here in London – the police really do need to watch their conduct 

  • Richard Ford

    Police a pricks.  So are the hippies in the occupy movement that is nothing more than an attempt to start a class war.  Both sides deserve each other.  None of them do anything to further society.  Then again neither does the finance industry.

  • Coyote Red

    The press is not doing themselves any favors by allowing folks to so the “evidence” and think for themselves.   To me, it looks more like the officer is protecting the officers who are arresting someone else and not bowing to some loud-mouth jerk complaining “you’re blocking my shot.”  What I’m hearing is “you won’t step aside and let me go however close I want to get my money shot.”  Does work that way, pal.

    I don’t get the “took his equipment away” either as it certainly doesn’t look like a cop who took the laptop.

    I have no idea what the red tent is about, though.

    Yeah, low level “journalism” fit for maybe “The National Inquire” not the NYT.

  • macewan

    @Coward:disqus  Red, It’s a good thing men fought for your right to hide your identity allowing you to rolling over & present your butt for the police plucking. When you hit the death bed will your family be able to look you in the eyes or just shake their heads?
    Support those of us doing the hard work. The work you will benefit from. Otherwise just change your diapers and head back to your crib.

  • Sldfx

    You have never been robbed before, have you?

  • Lars Blackmore

    “[...] The officer is protecting the officers who are arresting someone else” — what, exactly, is he protecting them from by preventing a credentialed photographer from exercising his constitutionally protected right to photograph law enforcement in action in a public place? 

    Last time I checked, we relied on the press to monitor the handiwork of our government, including law enforcement. Since they only seem to show any kind of restraint when someone is there watching them, it seems clear that scrutinizing their interpretation of “free speech” and “freedom of assembly” is more important than ever. (Of course, sometimes even that doesn’t help, but then they at least have to deal with the PR/political fallout later). You, on the other hand, seem awfully eager to help the NYPD operate freely while keeping the public completely in the dark by removing the witnesses — can you think of ways in which that might be less than desirable for the public

  • Coyote Red

    “what, exactly, is he protecting them from by preventing a credentialed
    photographer from exercising his constitutionally protected right to
    photograph law enforcement in action in a public place? ”

    The above video is conveniently cued at the critical moment. “…then when Robert (don’t know how to spell that last name) of the NYT tries to GET CLOSE (emphasis mine) to take photos of the take down…”  There’s your problem.  They didn’t prevent the taking of photos, they prevented them getting close.  They get all in a huff and decide THEY are the news story and not the take down.  The officer did not put up a hand to block the shot either while the iPhone was being used nor the dSLR.

    It certainly appears to me the action was a mere 12-15 feet behind the officer the photographer is confronting.

    You can take photos from anywhere you are legally allowed to be, but that doesn’t mean you are legally allowed to be anywhere you choose.  Some folks just don’t know the difference.