Police Intimidation Watch: Cop Charged with Lying About a Photographer’s Arrest

Posted by on Tuesday August 27, 2013 | Photojournalism

A New York City police officer has been charged with felonies and misdemeanors for lying about why he arrested a freelance news photographer, according to a report in The New York Times.

The officer, Michael Ackermann, claimed that he had arrested Robert Stolarik, a freelancer for The New York Times, because Stolarik had repeatedly flashed a camera strobe in Ackermann’s face, thereby interfering with another arrest Ackermann was making at the time. On the basis of photographic evidence and eyewitness accounts of the incident, the Bronx district attorney concluded that Ackermann was lying, according to the Times story.

Stolarik was arrested in August, 2012 when police got angry with him for allegedly refusing to stop taking pictures of an arrest, according to an earlier Times report.

At the time, Stolarik was accompanying two reporters who were conducting street interviews when they came upon a street altercation. When police at the scene ordered Stolarik to cease taking pictures, he identified himself as a journalist for the New York Times, and continued to shoot. A police officer then “slammed” Stolarik’s camera into his face. Stolarik asked for their badge numbers, at which point they took his cameras, dragged him to the ground, and arrested him.

According to a police report, police said they had ordered the crowd and Stolarik to move back “numerous times,” and that Stolarik had resisted arrest “violently.”

Stolarik received minor injuries during the arrest. Police returned his gear about a week after the arrest. The charges against him were eventually dropped.

The Bronx district attorney investigating the case concluded that Stolarik didn’t use a flash during the incident, and didn’t have one on his camera, despite Officer Ackermann’s claims.

Ackermann was charged with filing false records and official misconduct. If convicted of the most serious charges, he could be sentenced to prison and lose his job, according to the Times report.

Police Intimidation Watch: NYPD Arrests Times Freelancer
Police Intimidation Watch: NYPD Returns Cameras to Times Freelancer


COMMENTS

MORE POSTS

Outside Mag Puts Photojournalist Erin Trieb on Women’s Issue Cover

Posted by on Thursday April 20, 2017 | Photojournalism

Outside magazine is celebrating its 40th anniversary in May with an issue devoted to “The New Icons” of adventure, a group of ten women that includes American photojournalist Erin Grace Trieb. Among the women featured alongside Trieb on the cover of Outside’s May issue are retired U.S. soccer player Abby Wambach, champion skier Lindsey Vonn, endurance... More

Sarah Blesener Wins the $20K Alexia Foundation Professional Grant

Posted by on Wednesday April 12, 2017 | Awards/Contests/Grants, Photojournalism

New York-based photographer Sarah Blesener has won the $20,000 Professional Grant from the Alexia Foundation for her series “Toy Soldiers,“ which documents youth patriotic clubs, education and summer camps in Russia. Blesener, a recent graduate of the International Center of Photography and recipient of the Alexia Student Award in 2016, will use the funds to photograph rising... More

Is Photojournalism Stuck in Its Past? Stephen Mayes Worries

Posted by on Wednesday April 5, 2017 | Photojournalism

In our recent interview with photography consultant and former VII Photo CEO Stephen Mayes, he shared his ideas about how photojournalists  can stay relevant in the 21st century. He had provocative things to say about current photojournalism practices that we didn’t have room to include in the print edition of PDN. Here are some excerpts.... More