protecting and serving

NYPD Has Very Good Reason For Beating Up New York Times Photog: [...]

NYPD protecting and servingSo! What has New York’s Finest been up to lately? Turns out—quite a lot! We learned a few days ago that the NYPD will be rolling out an all-seeing “Domain Awareness System” sometime this week, which sounds like it would sure keep them busy. But the NYPD is apparently masterful at multitasking, because they have still managed to find time to  arrest and possibly beat up a New York Times photographer while he was on assignment in the Bronx.

A freelance photographer for The New York Times was arrested on Saturday night while on assignment with two reporters who were conducting street interviews in the Bronx.

The photographer, Robert 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.

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Don’t worry though, we’re sure that there’s a perfectly reasonable explanation for all of this, and that none of it is the NYPD’s fault. Perhaps he accidentally smashed his camera into his OWN face, handed it to the police officers, and then fell on the ground?

The Police Department said in a statement that officers had been trying to disperse the crowd and had given “numerous lawful orders” for both the crowd and Mr. Stolarik to move back, but that he tried to push forward, “inadvertently” striking an officer in the face with his camera.

See? The first part went down sort of like we thought, except he accidentally smashed the camera into someone else’s face instead of his own.

The police said that Mr. Stolarik then “violently resisted being handcuffed” and that, in the process, a second officer was cut on the hand. A video of the episode taken by one of the reporters who was with Mr. Stolarik shows Mr. Stolarik face down on the sidewalk, beneath a huddle of about six officers. [...]

George Freeman, a lawyer for The Times, said the episode was “especially distressing” because the newspaper had been working with the Police Department since the Occupy Wall Street protests last fall, in which some journalists were denied access to certain areas or were arrested, to find ways to prevent the police from interfering with journalists in the course of their work.

What is so “distressing,” exactly? It sounds totally reasonable that a 43-year-old career photographer ran his own face into his camera, or possibly ran someone else’s face into his camera (this part is fuzzy) and then “violently resisted being handcuffed” to the point that he required six officers to take him down. Not sure what the problem is there. Also, why would you even NEED a photographer from the New York Times when the NYPD has cameras everywhere anyway?

[The New York Times]

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About the author

Kris E. Benson writes about politics for Wonkette and is pursuing a doctorate in philosophy. This will come in handy for when they finally open that philosophy factory in the next town over. @Kris_E_Benson

View all articles by Kris E. Benson

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107 comments

  1. One_who_wanders

    Cause ramming a cop in the face with a camera sounds like something an experienced photographer would do. . . .

    1. sullivanst

      Yeah, nothing improves a photo like a massive smudge of sweaty cop face-grease on the lens.

  2. Callyson

    That's twice in one week for NYPD to get coverage in Wonkette for some crap. LAPD must be very jealous…

    1. GeorgiaBurning

      That was also back when the average cop weighed less than 250 lbs, in the era before Krispy Kremes

    2. AncienReggie

      Funny story: The only time i ever actually got seriously beat on by a cop was when i said to him, "And cops wonder why people call them pigs." This, while Officer Muskie was kneeling on my back for handcuffing goodness. He did roll me over for the festivities, though, I'll say that for him. He was too good a man to punch me repeatedly in the face while my back was to him.

      On the other hand, I did learn my lesson. Never sassed another cop.

      1. MittBorg

        Could you possibly be a person of pale hue? Because I wasn't sayin' nothin' when that mo'fucker called out a fucking Black Maria on me and threw me in the hoosegow after putting on a set of manacles that were WAY too tight. The fact that they subsequently dropped all charges did kind of tend to vindicate me, but them white cops sure do not like Teh Brownz.

    3. CommieLibunatic

      I've heard it said that those gallant knights of the medieval times we've so romanticized shared more in common with Tony Soprano than anyone else. Makes me wonder how the scum that calls itself the NYPD will be remembered.

  3. Jus_Wonderin

    Olivia Benson wouldn't have done this. And damn that fact because I want her to woman handle me.

      1. Jus_Wonderin

        If only she had that sixth sense of Counselor Troi…………..but I am mixing up franchises……..now.

  4. veence69

    Sooner than later, 6 asshole cops are going to find out that 40 angry citizens have had enough and no longer give a shit about their "badges". Until then, I guess keep poking the sleeping, rapid wolverine, little piggies..

      1. GhostBuggy

        It's what a freedom-loving patriot would do, as we have been constantly reminded of late.

    1. Butch_Wagstaff

      Bloomberg sure didn't help when he let it slip that he thinks the NYPD is his personal army.

  5. coolhandnuke

    New York's finest was just politely trying to inform the photojournalist he was using the wrong f-stop and shutter speed. Then the arrogant photographer went all pappanazi on them.

  6. Mahousu

    Stolarik just has to invite the officers over for a beer and a little chat, and then everything will be all right.

    1. Negropolis

      I still get burned up about the "beer summit." On a personal level, it was one of the times I was most disappointed with the president.

      1. Negropolis

        Well, Tony V is pretty tiny, so there is always chance for one to develop. Are you going to take this sitting down, LA, or in the case of a little mayor, standing up?

  7. Beowoof

    Nothing cheers up the cops like being photographed handing out those beatings that they used to be able to claim didn't happen and any bruises were just the result of a fall by the clumsy perp.

    1. sati_demise

      particularly when beating a teenage girl. now that is a fun time no cop would want interrupted by a photographer!

  8. mrpuma2u

    That stupid photog is taking away the police's gawd given right (and by gawd I mean Bloomersburgermeister) to kick the shit out of dirty hippies and socialist dregs of society, not to mention the brownz etc.. so no wonder they gave him what for. He should happy they didn't tase him.

  9. ph7

    "Resisting Arrest" – the favorite tool of cops and prosecutors. Cops use it to excuse any beat down, and prosecutors use it to add another crime on top of the arresting offense, so the defendant will admit guilt to the arresting offense in exchange for dropping the resisting arrest charge, which is a felony assault.

    1. Negropolis

      The other all-encompassing "crime" is disturbing the peace. They really love that one, and "interfering with an investigation" is another tool they love to abuse.

  10. Billmatic

    America is the freest country in the whole wide world! Totally unlike Russia omg you know they like kill journalists over there instead of intimidating them, assaulting them and criticizing their every move so that they're completely neutered and cowardly and thusly allow falsehoods in their reports and broadcasts as "a different point of view."

  11. SorosBot

    I liked the boys of the NYPD better when they were singing Galway Bay, as the bells were ringing out for Christmas day.

    1. sullivanst

      You scumbag, you maggot.

      BTW, wikipedia drolly notes:

      Twice MacGowan and MacColl sing, "The boys of the NYPD choir still singing "Galway Bay". The New York Police Department (NYPD) does not have a choir, but it does have a Pipes and Drums unit that is featured in the video for the song. The NYPD Pipes and Drums did not know "Galway Bay" and so played a different song for the music video, and the editor put it in slow motion to fit the beat.

  12. Joshua Norton

    Perhaps he accidentally smashed his camera into his OWN face, handed it to the police officers, and then fell on the ground?

    Yeah. I know I hate it when that happens to me. So embarassing.

  13. UnholyMoses

    I am sssoooooo glad we have thousands of service members fighting overseas to protect freedom of the press religion speech peaceably assemble redress of grievances defense contractors and oil companies to make huge profits.

    USA! USA! USA!

    1. YasserArraFeck

      Yup, the camera adds 10 pounds – that's a lot for a supermodel-svelte NY cop……

    1. emmelemm

      Yeah, that was truly shittastic.

      And then we'll keep you in jail for 3 DAYS because we don't have a sign language interpreter!

  14. SigDeFlyinMonky

    The hell with digital! Duct tape a diving weight to a Speed Grafic. Second photog in the crowd with a second Speed Grafic, third photog with a Rollei 35. When NYPD's finest makes his move, photog 1 cold cocks him with the "loaded" press camera and all is recorded by photogs 2&3. WeeGee lives, photo provocateur!

    1. Biel_ze_Bubba

      You need digital, because the cops are very skilled at the "accidentally-opening-the-back-of the-camera" move. (Part of police academy training, judging from the fact that they all know how to do it.)

      Note: Modern police forces have largely upgraded to the "SD-card-must-have-fallen-out" routine.

  15. CommieLibunatic

    Just what I'd expect from the police in the goddamn Bronx. Stop-and-frisks, beating photographers, stopping people for Walking While Black, and don't even get me started on Adrian Schoolcraft's revelations about quotas and what they do to their own.

    …uh, I think I had a point, but it got lost in the rage. So I'll just go with Fuck the Police. If they're supposed to be the Finest of the the best department in the country, I shudder at the thought of how the rest score.

    1. Negropolis

      I love the excuse of "well, it's working." I'm sure cutting of people's hands "works" to keep them from stealing, too. As if the only thing that should matter in a democratic nation is how effective something is.

  16. Goonemeritus

    If the NYPD is hell bent on “tuning up” employees of the New
    York Times I have a short list for them.

  17. HarryButtle

    I'm proud to be an American, where at least I know I'm free.*

    *America makes no gurantee of said freedom. Freedom subject to limitations and immediate revocation for any reason whatsoever. Offer not valid in NYC.

  18. mosjef

    Generally, NYC police will first try to quell the disturbance by firing a warning shot into your head.

  19. mocasdad

    One thing we know is that no one in the NYT power structure will stand up for their photographer.

  20. Negropolis

    See what you made him do Robert? He didn't want to hit you, but you just made him so mad. He just loves the city and his job of "protecting and serving" that much. But, he promises he'll never hit you again. It was just an isolated one-offer, because police almost never abuse their authority.

  21. Negropolis

    I love when Bloomberg bragged on 60 Minutes some months back about how his police force could shoot down a jet. Yeah, that is so much the spirit of this country, isn't it?

  22. thetimchannel

    Imagine if they made a good quality video camera that was compact enough to escape obvious detection in instances like these? Something you could mount directly onto a lightweight helmet and capture hi frame rate HD video and audio. It might end up looking something like this; http://gopro.com/

    Enjoy.

  23. Me_K_Cong

    The cops seem kind of naive. It's only a matter of time until a reporter uses a handheld camera to attract the beating, and a body camera to record it. Some vibration sensors to record shocks might be a nice addition.

Comments are closed.