Press photographer arrested in stranglehold while protesting death
NEW YORK (AP) — A working photojournalist was among about a dozen people arrested at a protest over the stranglehold death of New York City subway driver Jordan Neely last week.
Stepanie Keith said Tuesday she was charged with disorderly conduct following her arrest at the protest a day earlier outside a Manhattan subway station.
Video posted on Twitter shows Patrol Chief John Chell, one of the NYPD’s most senior members, yelling “Lock her up” while handing Keith over to two community affairs officers to handcuff him.
Asked about Keith’s arrest at a press conference Late Monday, Chell said that “the reporter intervened in at least two middle-of-the-road arrests” and later intervened a third time.
Videos posted on social media appear to show Keith stepping out into the street to get a good shot of something without interfering in arrests.
Keith said in a text that she could not discuss the arrest herself while the charges were pending.
Keith is a freelance photographer whose clients include Getty Images and The New York Times. Calling her “an unabashed photojournalist,” the New York Press Photographers Association said in a statement, “We support our colleague and believe that a review of the evidence and circumstances will compel the Manhattan Attorney’s Office to drop all charges against her.” “
Police officials said at the press conference that about 150 people attended Monday’s protests and there were 11 arrests, mostly for disorderly conduct.
Department chief Jeffrey Maddrey said a Molotov cocktail was found on the ground among the protesters.
“This is something dangerous,” Maddrey said. “It could hurt members of the department. It could hurt other protesters. It could hurt innocent bystanders.”
A Photo shown by officials shows a glass mineral water bottle with a rag inside. It was still unclear on Tuesday whether a flammable substance was found in the bottle. A police spokesman did not answer a question about the results of any tests.
Demonstrators were protesting the May Day death of Neely, a former Michael Jackson impersonator with a history of mental health problems, who was placed in a chokehold by US Navy veteran Daniel Penny.
Penny said through his lawyers on Friday that he acted to protect himself after Neely received treatment on the tube.
No criminal charges were filed for the fatal encounter. The prosecutor is investigating.