Metropolitan Transit Authority police arrested a man for photographing them at Penn Station in New York City this afternoon – deleting his photo – before releasing him from a jail cell an hour later.
Clark Stoeckley was issued a summons charging him with “engaging in threatening behavior.”
“I was walking through Penn Station and I came across these MTA cops with semi-automatic weapons,” he said in a phone interview with Photography is Not a Crime.
“I stopped to take a photo and the cop came up to me and arrested me. I asked, ‘why am I being arrested?’
“’Because you’re a dick,’” the officer responded.
While in custody, Stoeckley asked the cop why he felt threatened by a cell phone when he was carrying a semi-automatic gun.
“‘Because it could have been a phone gun,'” the cop responded.
Having just been released from custody, Stoeckley was on his way home where he will attempt to recover the deleted image from his iPhone. I recommended PhotoRec, which helped me recover the footage that was deleted after Miami-Dade Police Major Nancy Perez arrested me during the Occupy Miami eviction.
Stoeckley, a 29-year-old artist, is notorious for driving the WikiLeaks Truck, a truck he painted to raise awareness for Bradley Manning, the U.S. soldier who is imprisoned for leaking classified documents to WikiLeaks.
Other than that, Stoeckley has no connection to Manning or WikiLeaks, the organization that has published or released to media all sorts of classified documents regarding the American wars overseas.
After Stoeckley was released this afternoon, he tweeted of his arrest, which prompted me to contact him for an interview. He sent me his number and when I called, the first thing I heard was a recorded message warning me that his phone was being monitored by the FBI.
The WikiLeaks Truck became a common fixture at Zuccotti Park during the Occupy Wall Street encampment.
At one point, police arrested him while distributing blankets to Occupy Wall Street activists when he refused to allow them to search the truck, an incident he caught on video.
When they impounded the truck, it ended up going missing.
Stoeckley had to get a judge to track it down. When he finally found it in an impound lot, a New York City police officer gave him a jump start because the battery had gone dead.
But when Stoeckley tried to video record the generous action, he was threatened with arrest for recording a public official on public property.
Check out that video here because it’s not embedding below as I attempted.
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CARLOS MILLER’S LEGAL DEFENSE FUND
I am immersed in a legal case where I not only want to clear my criminal charges stemming from my arrest in January, but I want to sue the Miami-Dade Police Department for deleting my footage, which I was able to recover.
My goal is to set some type of precedent to ensure this does not happen as often as it does today where cops simply get away with it.
So if you would like to contribute, please click on the “donate” button below and contribute whatever you can afford.
You can also contribute to my Legal Defense Fund by purchasing a photographer rights lens cloth and/or laminated card to wear around your neck like a press badge through Zap Rag.Please write “carlos3” in the comments section of the Paypal transaction to ensure I receive a portion of the sale.