Press Group Condemns Arrest of Times Photog
Reporters Without Borders saw a continuation of this trend on Saturday, when the NYPD arrested Robert Stolarik, 43, a decade-long Times freelancer who regularly chronicled the Occupy movement.
The morning after his arrest, the Times reported that police beat him, handcuffed him and seized the camera had used to cover a teenage girl’s street arrest in the Bronx.
“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 Times reported.
Although the NYPD released a statement claiming Stolarik violently resisted arrest, another reporter’s video showed him to be face down beneath a pile of six officers, the Times reported.
Stolarik faces criminal charges of obstructing government administration and resisting arrest.
Reporters Without Borders urged the court to dismiss the resisting and obstruction charges on Thursday. The group also said that the NYPD should return Stolarik’s press credentials and equipment.
Stolarik has said he would not be able to cover the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., at the end of the month in “light of the attack,” according to Reporters Without Borders.
“It’s hard to go out and feel comfortable doing my job with pending charges,” Stolarik said, as quoted in the group’s statement.