Photojournalist Alexander Arbuckle, arrested while covering Occupy Wall Street protests, was acquitted Tuesday after a short trial. Moreover, footage shown in court suggests that police lied about what happened.
Arbuckle was charged with disorderly conduct when police rounded up New Year's Day protestors near Sixth Avenue. The arresting officer claimed that he was blocking traffic in the street—a version of events repeated under oath.
Nick Pinto at The Village Voice:
There was a problem with the police account: it bore no resemblance to photographs and videos taken that night. Arbuckle's own photographs from the evening place him squarely on the sidewalk. All the video from the NYPD's Technical Research Assistance Unit, which follows the protesters with video-cameras (in almost certain violation of a federal consent decree), showed Arbuckle on the sidewalk. And in an indication of the way new media are transforming the dynamics of street protest, a clip from the live-stream of journalist Tim Pool showed that not only was Arbuckle on the sidewalk, so were all the other protesters. The only thing blocking traffic on 13th Street that night was the police themselves.
The arrests begin about 32 minutes into the clip embedded above.
BB reader Geoff Shively writes in:
This is the first win in a series of cases where the NYPD is accused of manufacturing false accounts to make arrests of journalists, activists and legal observers. I asked an NLG observer in Chicago yesterday if its likely the police officer could be charged for perjury and he replied "Unfortunately, police are rarely rarely rarely held accountable for false arrests". We hope Arbuckle can change that and bring a case to court against this officer so that police understand that this kind of behavior will not be tolerated.