A credentialed photojournalist contracted to work for the New York Times
was assaulted by officers with the NYPD and charged with two criminal counts over the weekend for covering the arrest of a 16-year-old girl in the Bronx.
Robert Stolarik, a 43-year-old photographer with more than a decade under his belt with The Times
, was arrested on Saturday night for allegedly obstructing government administration and violently resisting arrest. He was taking photographs of New York Police Department officers responding to a fight in the Councourse neighborhood of the Bronx when he was assaulted, handcuffed and hauled off to jail, he says.
The NYPD claims that after being told to leave the police scene, Stolarik "inadvertently" struck a police officer with his camera. From there, the photographer was forced to the ground and arrested, during which he says he suffered scrapes and bruises and had his own camera "slammed" into his face.
According to the police report, Stolarik "violently resisted being handcuffed." His own story, however, seems to largely contrast with the cops' accounts. The Times
has uncovered video footage of Stolarik's arrest and reports that the photographer was "face down on the sidewalk, beneath a huddle of about six officers" during the ordeal.
"A lot of officers took me down and dragged me; I don't have any internal injuries or broken bones, but it feels like I did," Stolarik - a former war correspondent - tells the Village Voice