Media Groups Join NPPA to Protest Police Mistreatment of Press During NYC – OWS Protests

November 21st, 2011 by Alicia Calzada and tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

New York – The National Press Photographers Association was joined by several media organizations and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press in a letter to the NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Public Information, Paul J. Browne, to protest police mistreatment of the the media during the Occupy Wall Street protests last week. The strongly worded letter drafted by NPPA general Counsel Mickey H. Osterreicher along with New York Times vice president and assistant general counsel, George Freeman, pointed out that “credentialed media were identified, segregated and kept away from viewing, reporting on and photographing vital matters of public concern. A press pen was set up blocks away and those kept there were further prevented from seeing what was occurring by the strategic placement of police buses around the perimeter. Moreover, there have been numerous instances where police officers struck or otherwise intentionally impeded photographers as they were taking photos, keeping them from doing their job and from documenting instances of seeming police aggression.”

The letter outlines several specific incidents in which members of the media were physically assaulted by police. It also describes how members of the media were ordered to leave public areas, stripped of their credentials, threatened with arrest, detained and arrested.

During an August 2011 meeting Browne had promised to review previous media complaints regarding other incidents involving police interference with the media and his agreement to consider additional training to reinforce media guidelines, for newer officers on the force.  Browne had agreed at the time that additional training for officers would be beneficial. The media representatives who authored the letter expressed their belief  “that had such agreed upon training occurred, it may have helped avoid the numerous inappropriate, if not unconstitutional, actions and abuses the police heaped upon both credentialed and non-credentialed journalists in the last few days.”

A companion letter was sent by the New York Civil Liberties Union to New York City Mayor, Michael Bloomberg making similar complaints. Both groups have asked for a meeting with the police in order to address these issues.

Read the complete letter here:DCPI Letter – Signed 11-21-11


See articles by the New York Press Club. and the Associate Press.


Posted in broadcasting, First Amendment, First Amendment rights, law, Legal, mass media, multimedia, National Press Photographers Association, News Photography, NPPA, NYPD, photographers, Photographers' Rights, photojournalism, Police, Public Photography, Recording Police, video cameras | 2 Comments »

2 Responses to “Media Groups Join NPPA to Protest Police Mistreatment of Press During NYC – OWS Protests”

  1.   jen powers Says:

    police have raised the ire of the media???
    just what is the media protesting – the fact that they were prevented from covering a story, or this story?

  2.   Eric Richards Says:

    Upon LEAVING (!) Liberty Square on Thursday November 17, I was screened by a brutal individual, wearing absolutely no sign that could identify as a member of the NYPD. He asked me agressively where I was going, if I was from the Press, and askede to show my card. I pulled out my NPPA ID card. He forced me to remove my hat. I asked him to identify himself. He ignore my request, and finally let me go through..
    Is this the Soviet Union under Brejnev?? China under Mao? Argentina under the “Junta”??
    What’s going on here??? Civil liberties are being crushed like in the worse time of the worse dictatorships in the history of human kind…

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