Police Intimidation Watch: Photogs Cleared of Charges in New York, Seattle

Posted by on Wednesday May 16, 2012 | Photojournalism

A student photographer has been cleared in court of disorderly conduct charges stemming from his arrest in New York City at the scene of an Occupy march in January, the Associated Press reports. Separately, prosecutors in Seattle decided to drop charges against a photographer arrested for allegedly assaulting a police officer there during May Day protest, The Seattle Times reports.

Video from the scene of the arrests helped clear the photographers in both cases.

In New York, police accused New York University photography student Alexander Arbuckle of blocking traffic at an Occupy protest march on January 1. He maintained that he was photographing from the sidewalk at the time of his arrest. At trial, the judge dismissed the charges after Arbuckle’s defense attorneys showed a video by another journalist showing police massing near people on the sidewalk, and then arresting them, according to AP.

In the Seattle incident, photographer Joshua Garland was accused of grabbing and twisting the arm of a police officer at a May Day protest in downtown Seattle. The Seattle Times reports that prosecutors decided they couldn’t prove the charges against Garland after his defense attorney showed a video of the incident. According to that same report, the attorney pieced the video together from “video segments posted on YouTube by witnesses and other footage shot by a local television station.”


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