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Posts Tagged ‘Robert Stolarik’

Cop Charged with Lying About NY Times Photographer’s Arrest

Michael Ackermann, a 30-year-old New York City cop who had arrested a New York Times photographer, has been charged with three felonies and five misdemeanors for fabricating reasons for the arrest. The Times reports that Ackermann arrested Robert Stolarik last year, claiming that Stolarik’s flash had interfered with another arrest of a teenage girl. The only problem? Stolarik’s camera wasn’t even equipped with a flash at the time.

Stolarik, who has shot assignments for the Times for over 10 years, was taking pictures of the arrest when a cop told him to stop. Stolarik identified himself as a member of the press and kept snapping away. Then things turned ugly. Stolarik said that one officer grabbed his camera and smashed it into his face. When Stolarik asked for their badge numbers, he was thrown to the ground and arrested.

An investigation into Stolarik’s arrest by Robert Johnson, the Bronx district attorney, revealed the truth behind the incident. If Ackermann is convicted, he could face up to seven years in jail and lose his job.

We applaud Johnson’s work, but something tells us that Ackermann will never see the inside of a cell.

[Image: Flickr/Dave Hosford]

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New York Times Photographer Says NYPD Assaulted Him

Robert Stolarik, a freelance photographer for The New York Times, is claiming that he was assaulted by NYPD last night while on assignment in the Bronx. While snapping pictures of an arrest of a teen girl, Stolarik claims that a cop asked him to stop, so Stolarik identified himself as a Times photographer. According to the Times, that’s when things went wrong:

A second officer appeared, grabbed his camera and ‘slammed’ it into his face, he said.

Mr. Stolarik said he asked for the officers’ badge numbers, and the officers then took his cameras and dragged him to the ground; he said that he was kicked in the back and that he received scrapes and bruises to his arms, legs and face.

The NYPD, of course, says this was all Stolarik’s fault. They claim that he moved forward when asked to move back and “violently resisted being handcuffed.”

Judging by the history between the NYPD and the city’s press, you can probably figure out who we believe.

NYPD Continues to Block Journalists from Covering Occupy Protests

The above video, taken by someone at the Occupy protests this morning, shows that despite Police Commissioner Ray Kelly telling the NYPD to let press cover the protests, the cops still aren’t listening.

At about the 2:05 mark, New York Times freelancer Robert Stolarik enters the frame, attempting to take pictures of an arrest in progress. As the event unfolds, the cops form a wall around the officers making the rest, and one cop even moves each way that Stolarik moves, prompting an exasperated Stolarik to say, “Are you really doing this right now?”

Stolarik told The Village Voice that he showed the police his press credentials, but to no avail. “It was clearly visible and he was very aware,” said Stolarik. “That guy clearly didn’t follow the departmental directive from Kelly.”

Sadly this moment is just more of the same from the NYPD. Kelly’s declaration was hollow then, we’re just seeing it on video now.