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Police officer indicted over photojournalist's false arrest in U.S.

The following is a CPJ blog post by Frank Smyth, Senior Adviser for Journalist Security:

The flash or, more precisely, the lack of one, gave the policeman away.

Over a year ago, on a steamy Saturday night in the Bronx, New York City Police Officer Michael Ackermann claimed that a photojournalist had set off his flash repeatedly in the officer's face, blinding and distracting him, as he was arresting a teenage girl. So he arrested Robert Stolarik, a freelancer photographer for The New York Times, on charges of obstructing government administration and resisting arrest.

Last week Ackermann himself was indicted and charged with three felony counts and five misdemeanor counts, all involving the alleged falsification of statements or records to justify Stolarik's August 4, 2012, arrest. Investigators established Stolarik's camera did not have a flash at the time of his arrest. The policeman now faces up to seven years in jail if convicted of the most serious charge of tampering with public records.

Read the full story on CPJ's website.

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