Local Media Call NYPD Treatment of Journalists 'Hostile'
Wednesday, November 23, 2011 - 08:31 AM
New York Police Department Commissioner Ray Kelly has issued an internal messaged to officers ordering them not to unreasonably interfere with media access during news coverage.
He also warned that officers who do interfere will be subject to disciplinary action.
Local members of the media have called the actions of police officers during last week's Occupy Wall Street protests "more hostile to the press than any other event in recent memory."
The New York Times, the Associated Press, the New York Post, and ten other news organizations signed a letter to the NYPD listing examples of hostile treatment. They include an officer allegedly throwing a reporter to the ground and officers keeping reporters in pens, far away from Zuccotti Park.
Times attorney George Freeman wrote the letter.
"The notion that when there is police activity like that all the press are shunted aside and can't view at all what's going on is simply unacceptable," Freeman said.
An NYPD spokesman said the department is willing to work with media outlets to "iron out misunderstandings" but Freeman says he has not received a response.
With the Associated Press