NEW YORK (AP) — A policeman has been convicted of lying about the arrest of a New York Times photographer he said took flash photos of him.
Prosecutors said journalist Robert Stolarik was photographing police Officer Michael Ackermann handcuff a teenager in 2012. They said he was using a camera not equipped with a flash and was several feet away.
But they said Ackermann arrested him for obstructing governmental administration, claiming in court papers he repeatedly got in the officer’s face firing a flash. The charge later was dismissed.
Ackermann was convicted Thursday of offering a false instrument for filing. He faces up to four years in prison. He said he made an honest mistake.
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The Times said it was pleased with the verdict.
“No journalist or citizen should have to put up with police misconduct,” Times spokeswoman Eileen Murphy said.
The New York Press Club acknowledged a police officer’s job is difficult and important but said “so is being a journalist.”
“It’s imperative journalists be allowed to do their work without the threat of police intimidation or false arrest,” New York Press Club president Steve Scott said.
This story has been corrected to show the charge was obstructing governmental administration, not governmental administration.