Reading through Niko Koppel’s New York Times piece on the conviction of New York City police officer Michael Ackermann is both discouraging and encouraging. Discouraging in that photographer Robert Stolarik was arrested and charged in 2012 for doing a legally permitted thing, encouraging that Ackermann may now spend time in jail for his unlawful actions and lying in court.

But what really stuns me is a comment, at the very end, lifted from an online discussion group made up of anonymous police officers:

Lock up everyone in or connected with the press that you can, every chance you get! Know your enemy!

That someone like this exists within the ranks of other law abiding and upholding officers is truly dismaying.

We are not the enemy. We never should be and we should never be thought of that way.

Mark E. Johnson

2 Responses

  1. Robert is a stand up guy and a great shooter. I shot a number of assignments with him while I lived in NYC and he was always quick to offer a young photographer advice or a better shooting position.

    Couple of things he did very right that young photographers can take away – identified himself as a member of the media, KEPT SHOOTING PICTURES (I have been in stressful shooting situations like this and shooting was the last thing on my mind), was a member of NPPA. NPPA has a team of lawyers and advisers who will often help photographers for free when something like this happens.

    • I agree completely – we need to be professional at all times and continue doing what we are legally allowed to do.

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