New York Times Photographer Was Arrested While Working Last Year

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A New York City police officer was arrested and charged Monday, reportedly on allegations that he falsified documents about his own arrest of a freelance New York Times photographer.

Officer Michael Ackermann, 30, was charged with tampering with public records, offer file false instrument, falsifying business records, official misconduct, and making a false written statement, police said.

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Police did not provide additional details. But a DNAInfo report said the charges stemmed from Ackermann’s arrest of photographer Robert Stolarik in August 2012.

Stolarik, 44, was charged with obstructing government administration and resisting arrest when he was on assignment with two New York Times reporters at McClellan Street and Sheridan Avenue in the Concourse section of the Bronx, the Times reported at the time.

Stolarik was photographing the arrest of a teenage girl when an officer told him to stop, the newspaper reported. Stolarik said he was a journalist for the New York Times and went on taking photos, at which point he claimed an officer grabbed his camera and slammed it into his face, the paper reported.

Stolarik claimed he asked for the officers’ badge numbers, but he said the officers instead confiscated his cameras, dragged him to the ground, and kicked him in the back, the newspaper reported.

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Police at the time said Stolarik “violently” resisted being handcuffed, and that he had earlier pushed forward and inadvertently struck an officer with a camera when being told to move back, the newspaper reported.

Ackermann allegedly wrote in his report about the incident that Stolarik had fired a camera flash in his face repeatedly while Ackermann made an unrelated arrest, the Bronx District Attorney’s Office told DNAInfo. But investigators determined that Stolarik was not using a flash at the time, the publication reported.

Ackermann was arraigned Monday and released on a personal recognizance bond, the publication reported. The charges against Stolarik were later dropped, according to the publication.

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