Monday, 6 August 2012

Freelance photographer arrested on assignment.

A Freelance photographer, who was doing an assignment at the time for The New York Times has been arrested while he was on an assignment with two reporters, who at the time were in the progress of doing street interviews.
          The photographer, a Mr Robert Stolarik, who has worked in photojournalism for 15 years now was taking photos of a teenage girl who was being placed under arrest, at arround 10:30pm, until a police officer asked him to stop. The photographer identified himself as a photographer for The Times and continued to take photos. Then a second officer appeared, grabbed his camera and "Slammed" it into his face, Stolarik said. Stolarik then said he asked for the officer's badge numbers, then the officers took his cameras, and dragged him to the ground. He then stated he was kicked in the back, and stated he received bruises and scrapes to his arms, legs, and face.
            The statement issued by the police department said that the officers were trying to disperse the crowd, after giving “numerous lawful orders” to everyone in the crowd, including Stolarik. Then Stolarik apparently tried to push forward "inadvertently" striking an officer in the face with his camera. After this, the statement said Stolarik "violently resisted being handcuffed" and because of this, an officer was cut on the hand. As this was happening, one of the reporters with Stolarik got a video of him face down on the ground with 6 officers around him.
           After the incident, Stolarik was taken to the 44th Precinct station and was released at 4:40am. He then checked himself into New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center for X-rays., where he was let out with no broken bones, or any internal bleeding. 
          “It’s the most uncomfortable I've ever been as a journalist and I’ve had a gun to my head" “All of your rights can be take away instantly.” said the 35 year old photographer.
           Keith Bedford, a reporter for The New York Times was one of the reporters near Stolarik at the time of the incident. He said that even before Stolarik was arrested, police pushed him and shoved him to the ground“They forced us off the sidewalk, hit us with nightsticks—shoving them into our chests,” the freelancer said.

 “This is an incident where it seemed the photographer was doing his job taking photographs, and the police overacted and attempted to intimidate him and block him, leading to his arrest,” Mr. Freeman said. Stolarik is scheduled to appear in court this November.

              Now, is this a case of an arrogant photographer pushing his luck trying to get a good shot, or is this a case of big headed policemen trying to intimidate Stolarik? I'm unsure. I'll try and keep you updated when this goes to court!


Sometimes photographers can go too far and this is the result of that, it's still probably being grossly over exaggerated though, I can't wait to hear what the results are from you man, this is interesting stuff to say the very least.

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