It seems not everyone took NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly's memo about respecting freedom of the press to heart: video shot at Zuccotti Park on New Year's Eve shows a heated confrontation between a journalist and police, after a cop threatens to confiscate the unidentified reporter's press credentials. There is speculation that the reporter in the video is Colin Moynihan from the Times, and he did file a report from the park that night:
In Moynihan's article (which shares a byline with Elizabeth A. Harris), it's reported that an "officer used two hands to repeatedly shove backwards a credentialed news photographer who was preparing to document an arrest." It's hard to tell from the video, but Jeff Smith, an Occupy Wall Street press rep, says the NYPD officer pointing at journalist is telling him "I can take your press pass. Watch yourself." Smith says the reporter handed him a business card that says Dave Sanders, who is a freelance photographer for the Times and other outlets. (But an "old friend" of Sanders insists that's not him.) Neither Moynihan nor Sanders have responded to requests for comment.
The video has surfaced less than a week before a planned demonstration outside Mayor Bloomberg's residence to protest the NYPD's treatment of reporters. The last time Occupy Wall Street protesters tried to assemble outside Bloomberg's house for a 24-hour drumming demonstration, police cordoned off the block, barricading them into a free speech zone along Central Park. Civil rights attorney Norman Siegel tells Capital New York, "The last time I read the First Amendment, it didn't say you have the right to protest except on the block where Mayor Bloomberg lives. It's important for New Yorkers to know that 79th Street between 5th and Madison is now a no-First Amendment zone."
John Penley, an activist and former freelance photojournalist who is organizing the demonstration, promises "a First Amendment three-ring circus," with comedians doing stand-up about cops arresting reporters. What is the deal with fascist pigs?