Jim Dwyer, a two-time Pulitzer Prize winning columnist for The New York Times, penned a column about the recent arrest of MTA worker Robert Taylor for photographing trains in a Bronx subway station.
And he mentioned my blog in the process.
In handcuffs, Mr. Taylor was delivered to the Transit District 12 police station, and a warrant check was run. “They were citing 9/11,” said Mr. Taylor, whose encounter was described on a blog by the photographer Carlos Miller.
Dwyer had come across my blog and noticed I had interviewed Taylor, so he emailed me on Tuesday asking for his contact information, which I quickly provided.
He even got the NYPD to admit they had screwed up.
In the case of Mr. Taylor, the “officers misinterpreted the rules concerning photography,” said Paul J. Browne, the Police Department’s chief spokesman. “The Transit Adjudication Board is being notified that summons was issued in error, resulting in its dismissal.”
And he pointed out that Taylor has an extremely strong case against the NYPD for an unlawful arrest.
“The cop wanted my ID, and I showed it to him,” Mr. Taylor said. “He told me I couldn’t take the pictures. I told him that’s not true, that the rules permitted it. He said I was wrong. I said, ‘I’m willing to bet your paycheck.’ ”
Mr. Taylor was right. The officer was enforcing a nonexistent rule. And if recent experience is any guide, one paycheck won’t come close to covering what a wrongful arrest in this kind of case could cost the taxpayers.
Besides his two Pulitzers, Dwyer has published four books and has even “developed a 50 kW photovoltaic panel system for his cooperative apartment building in Manhattan, the first of its kind in New York City,” according to his Wikipedia page.
So it’s refreshing to see that he doesn’t take the usual mainstream media approach of not acknowledging the blogosphere.