NEW YORK POLICE forcibly prevented a credited photojournalist from taking pictures of arrests at an Occupy Wall Street protest yesterday.
Photographer Robert Stolarik, working for the New York Times, was at the World Financial Centre to document the protest there. However, as Stolarik attempted to take picture of the arrests occurring in the lobby, he was repeatedly blocked by a member of the NYPD.
Video of the incident shows Stolarik attempting to move away from the officer, but being followed. Frustrated, Stolarik then makes a note of the officer’s badge number and draws attention to his own press pass, hanging from his neck. Despite this, as he again tried to take photographs of the scene, the officer once again moved to block the shot.
“Are you really doing that right now?” Stolarik is heard saying – to which the officer nods in agreement. The photographer is then shown pulling out his phone and beginning to film, asking him: “Were you blocking my shot, sir?” to which the officer says “No”.
Motioning to the camera beside him, Stolarik says: “You know that camera has video too, right? So now you’re lying”.
Soon after another officer pushes Stolarik out of the lobby.
The incident follows a statement issued by the NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly, who warned police not to intentionally block journalists from photographing scenes in public places.
(video via kstr3I)