Occupy Wall Street: News Organizations Complain About Police Treatment

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NEW YORK - About a dozen news organizations here have lodged complaints about the New York Police Department’s treatment of journalists covering the Occupy Wall Street movement, the New York Times reported.

Last week, in a surprise overnight move, police cleared out Zuccotti Park in downtown Manhattan where Occupy Wall Street protesters had been camped out for about two months. Journalists trying to cover the event were kept at a distance and some even arrested, according to reports.

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A letter sent Monday to the NYPD expressed concern and was signed by local stations WABC, WCBS and WNBC, Associated Press, The New York Post, Dow Jones & Co. and others, the Times said. The letter cited “numerous inappropriate, if not unconstitutional, actions and abuses” by the police against both “credentialed and non-credentialed journalists in the last few days,” according to the Times.

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“Over the past few months we have tried to work with [the department commissioner of public information] to improve police-press relations,” the letter added. “However, if anything, the police actions of last week have been more hostile to the press than any other event in recent memory.”

Separately, 10 press clubs, unions and other journalist groups, including the Deadline Club and the Newspaper Guild of New York, called for an investigation and announced the formation of a coalition to monitor police behavior, according to the Times.

“We are determined to use any means needed to fight such censorship in the future,” they said.
 

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com

Twitter: @georgszalai

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