Update: NYPD to Remind Officers of Media’s Rights at 10 Consecutive Roll Calls

November 23rd, 2011 by Alicia Calzada and tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

After meeting on Wednesday with several media attorneys, including NPPA general counsel Mickey Osterreicher, NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly ordered that a “Finest” message be disseminated reminding officers of their obligations to cooperate with the media. The message will be read at 10 consecutive roll calls citywide.

“I’m pleased to see such a swift response from the Commissioner, of course this is just the first step in ensuring that this doesn’t happen again,” said Osterreicher. “We expect more to be done in the near future to help improve police-press relations which have devolved so significantly.”

The Finest message highlights various guidelines that instruct police on how to deal with the media, including that “Members of the service will not interfere with the videotaping or the photographing of incidents in public places. Intentional interference such as blocking or obstructing cameras or harassing the photographer constitutes censorship. Working Press Cards clearly state the bearer ‘is entitled to cross police and fire lines.’ This right will be honored and access will not be denied.”

The message also states: that “Members of the service who unreasonably interfere with media access to incidents or who intentionally prevent or obstruct the photographing or videotaping of news in public places will be subject to disciplinary action.”

The meeting on Wednesday came after a letter was sent by media organizations on Monday complaining about the way police mishandled the media during last week’s “eviction” of Zuccotti Park, the home of months of Occupy Wall Street protests. Police officers arrested several journalists and also used force against several journalists during the raid.

Read the entire contents of the planned  NYPD Finest message, as it was provided to the NPPA.



Posted in Cameras, First Amendment, mass media, National Press Photographers Association, NPPA, NYPD, Photographers' Rights, photojournalism, Police, Public Photography, Recording Police, Street Photography, Uncategorized | 12 Comments »

12 Responses to “Update: NYPD to Remind Officers of Media’s Rights at 10 Consecutive Roll Calls”

  1.   Todd Maisel Says:

    One day after promising not to obstruct photographers, not to arrest we have already had our first incident in Park Slope Brooklyn in which photographer Joe Marine of the NY Daily News was obstructed, physically held and attempts made to block photos of the rescue of a baby from a fire.
    For his trouble, his NYPD issued credential was taken, was failed to have been turned into DCPI as required by guidelines and then he is told they considered arresting him for obstruction himself. Anyone every heard of an “illusory promise?”

    I would like to see Ray Kelly live up to his promise and take immediate action here or he words are nothing more than words.
    We in Region 2 and NYC want a meeting with the NYPD – not the just the attorneys over sandwiches. Hey, how about our sandwiches?
    No cricitism of the great job by our attorney Mickey Osterreicher or the others in that meeting, but it seems the NYPD is trying to pull a fast one.
    Todd Maisel
    Region 2 NPPA

  2.   Todd Maisel Says:

    We will see if this order has any teeth this week when Kelly must decide what to do about the intentional blocking and obstructing of photographers at a fire in Brooklyn. A press card was taken up from Daily News shooter Joe Marino.
    David Handschuh of the News was told by a Deputy Inspector he couldn’t be on the Thanksgiving Day Parade route and he belonged in a non existing press pen. David drew his own line in the sand and dared him to take action. The inspector backed off.
    I can only hope that the 10 readings will stop the madness. A meeting with cops is necessary.

    Todd Maisel R2

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