New York Times Photographer Blocked by NYPD
A new video making the rounds on the Internet captured a police officer preventing New York Times freelance photographer Robert Stolarik from taking photographs of Occupy Wall Street (OWS) protestors getting arrested at the World Financial Center on December 12, 2011. In November, multiple media outlets signed a letter sent to Police Commissioner Ray Kelly complaining about the treatment of journalists covering the OWS movement. In response to the complaint, Commissioner Kelly ordered officers not to impede any journalists from reporting on the protests. The officer in the video appears to be violating that order.
The video, which was recently uploaded to YouTube, shows officers creating a “human wall” in order to purposefully block onlookers from taking photos and videos of the arrests. However, around the two-minute mark, it becomes apparent that one officer repeatedly prevents Stolarik, whose press badge is clearly visible, from photographing the arrest by placing his body in front of the camera’s lens. In response to the video, various Web sites are reporting that the assistant general counsel for The New York Times has sent another letter to Commissioner Kelly.