Judge says student photographer arrested at OWS protest not guilty

OWS protest

OWS protest (Credit: Alex Arbuckle took this photo of a protester being arrested before he was cuffed (Alex Arbuckle))

A student journalist arrested during an Occupy Wall Street protest was found not guilty Tuesday of disorderly conduct.

NYU student Alex Arbuckle went to court to fight the charges, stemming from a New Year’s Eve protest he was photographing, after the Manhattan district attorney's office decided to pursue charges against him. He was offered a plea deal, which Arbuckle said he considered “a tacit admission of guilt."

"I knew I wasn't guilty,” Arbuckle, 21, said Tuesday. He was represented by lawyers from the National Lawyers Guild, which has worked with hundreds of arrested OWS protesters.

Arbuckle said he was arrested during a march from Zuccotti Park that came to a confrontational end near Union Square. Cops on scooters formed a barricade along a sidewalk and rounded up protesters and press, according to Arbuckle, though they released reporters with NYPD credentials.

The DA’s office declined to comment.

Arbuckle had photographed several protests during the fall semester for a class at NYU. He said the focus of his work was to document cops “as human beings doing a high-pressure job,” since he believed they were being depicted in a negative light in press accounts of protests.

When asked if his impression of NYPD officers had changed since being arrested, he said, “It's certainly been challenged."
"My opinion is that for the most part that they're doing their best.” he said.

Tags: News , OWS , marc beja

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