Arrests in the Occupy movement nationally have surpassed 1,000, with 177 being charged by the NYPD [ a week ago Thursday] in only the first few hours.
Now New York is admitting that journalists that they credentialed are among those that were cuffed by cops. In a statement to the press released from Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Office on Thursday, November 17, spokesperson Stu Loeser addressed the media about reports relating to the growing number of journalists who have been arrested by the NYPD during Occupy Wall Street protests, a now-international movement which began in Lower Manhattan two months to the day of Loeser’s memo.
“Like all of you, I’ve heard and read many reports of reporters who supposedly were wearing valid NYPD press credentials, yet allegedly encountered problems on the streets of New York,” writes the spokesman. Loeser goes on to direct recipients of the memo to a roster of reporters published by independent outlet The Awl that has chronicled the names and affiliations of journalists that have been arrested across the country so far, which as of this writing totals 26.
“Not being familiar with many of the media outlets for which The Awl says these reporters work, I had the list of ‘26 arrested reporters’ checked against the roster of reporters who hold valid NYPD press passes,” Loeser adds. “You can imagine my surprise when we found that only five of the 26 arrested reporters actually have valid NYPD-issued press credentials.”
With that sentence alone, Loeser manages to shoot himself in the foot. Twice.
Given his statement, Bloomberg’s office has indeed confirmed that at least five members of the media that were accredited by the City’s own police force were arrested while doing their job, a job that the Police Department has acknowledged and authorized. Secondly, Loeser attempts to discredit the media while at the same time exposing that he didn’t do his homework himself.
Maybe the reason that only five of the 26 reporters had NYPD-issued credentials was because not all of those 26 arrests occurred in New York.
- Bloomberg’s office admits to arresting journalists for covering OWS (rt.com)
- Occupy Wall St, The NYPD And The Media: Reconsidering ‘Press Passes’ In A Digital Age (mediaite.com)
- Media Can Avoid NYPD Arrest By Getting Press Pass They Can’t Get (wired.com)
- Bloomberg’s Flack Attempts To Justify Crackdown On Journalists (pixiq.com)
- Reporters Meet the Fists of the Law (nytimes.com)