Arrest of NYT photographer must be investigated

New York, August 6, 2012–The Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned by the arrest and alleged beating of a New York Times photographer while he was on assignment Saturday evening in New York City.

“The report by The New York Times on the arrest of its photographer, Robert Stolarik, raises questions about police tactics of blocking reporters covering street unrest and protests,” said CPJ Deputy Director Robert Mahoney. “The New York City Police Department must investigate this disturbing incident and ensure that officers allow all journalists to do their job freely.”

According to the Times, Stolarik was photographing the arrest of a teenage girl in the Bronx when a police officer instructed him to stop. The exchange escalated when police used physical force to restrain Stolarik, who refused to stop reporting. The police claimed the journalist “inadvertently” struck a police officer and “violently resisted arrest,” the Times reported.