The Committee to Protect Journalists has called for an investigation into the arrest and alleged assault of New York Times photographer Robert Stolarik
On Sunday the paper reported that Stolarik was arrested while on assignment with two reporters who were conducting street interviews in the Bronx.
He was was charged with obstructing government administration and with resisting arrest while taking photographs of in the area following a street fight.
The paper said:
Mr Stolarik was taking photographs of the arrest of a teenage girl about 10:30 p.m., when a police officer instructed him to stop doing so. Mr. Stolarik said he identified himself as a journalist for The Times and continued taking pictures. 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 police claimed Stolarik had ‘violently resisted being handcuffed”.
CPJ deputy director Robert Mahoney commented:
The report by The New York Times on the arrest of its photographer, Robert Stolarik, raises questions about police tactic of blocking reporters covering street unrest and protests.
The New York City Police Department must investigate this disturbing incident and ensure that officers allow all journalists to do their job freely.
Stolarik is due to be appear in court in November.