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Noah Hurowitz protest-arrest charges dropped, sealed

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DA erases charges against reporter arrested covering Garner protest

Back it up: An officer and a protester face off after cops cleared Seventh Avenue at 42nd Street in Manhattan during the Eric Garner protests on Dec. 4.
The Brooklyn Paper
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Prosecutors have dropped the disorderly-conduct charges against The Brooklyn Courier’s reporter Noah Hurowitz, stemming from his arrest while covering a police-brutality protest in Manhattan in December.

Our scribe pleaded not guilty on Feb. 2, and the decision to drop and seal the two charges, for supposedly obstructing traffic and disobeying a dispersal order, came over the weekend, after an editor sent a letter to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office certifying that Hurowitz was working for us at the time of his arrest. Officers didn’t bother looking into the matter before they cuffed him and jailed him for the night, despite Hurowitz clearly identifying himself as a reporter to any cop within earshot.

Hurowitz said he is glad the legal ordeal is done with.

“I’m glad I don’t have to face legal consequences for doing my job,” he said. “I think that what I was doing was within the parameters of what a journalist does.”

The bogus criminal case dates back to the evening of Dec. 4, the second night of demonstrations following a grand jury’s decision not to indict Officer Daniel Pantaleo for killing Gowanus native Eric Garner in Staten Island while attempting to arrest him. Hurowitz had traveled to the distant island of Manhattan to live-tweet the night’s events. The protests had spilled over into Brooklyn several times during the thousands-strong marches that had happened nearly nightly starting on Nov. 24, when a Missouri grand jury chose not to indict the officer who shot and killed Michael Brown in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson.

The contingent Hurowitz was shadowing zigzagged around Manhattan and ended up just downtown of Times Square at Seventh Avenue and 42nd Street. There a phalanx of police met the 600-or-so marchers, barring the way down Seventh Avenue.

As the crowd crushed in, with Hurowitz at the front, the cops pushed back. They whacked and grabbed people as they went, and one eventually issued a dispersal order over a megaphone, but there was nowhere for our reporter to go.

Photos and video of the chaos show Hurowitz tapping out tweets and shooting photos on his phone alongside several other journalists.

His last tweet before being cuffed reads, “Arrests seem random.”

Protesters did end up crossing the Brooklyn Bridge that night, but Hurowitz, in a holding cell at One Police Plaza, was unable to cover it. The NYPD and the New York County District Attorney’s Office did not return calls.

Nathan Tempey is a Deputy Editor at the Community Newspaper Group. Reach him at ntempey@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–4504. Follow him at twitter.com/nathantempey.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

da editah says:
"...an editor sent a letter to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office certifying that Hurowitz was working for us at the time of his arrest." Seems to be further evidence of what I have asserted from the beginning: Hurowitz was not wearing any press credentials.
Feb. 10, 2015, 7:48 am
Rufus Leaking from BH says:
". . . despite Hurowitz clearly identifying himself as a reporter to any cop within earshot."

Take my word for it, stop what you are doing! Look me up! Don't you know who I am? I'm special! Momma says so!
Feb. 10, 2015, 7:53 am
ty from pps says:
You guys are being d*cks. No arrests should have been made in this situation -- period. Regardless of whether Mr. Hurowitz was dressed up like an old timey reporter with a press pass in his fedora (I'm assuming that's what Rufus expects).
Feb. 10, 2015, 10:37 am
Rufus Leaking from BH says:
Laminated NYPD issued press pass visible, just like it says in the rules.

Pass belongs to NYPD, and is given to you as a privilege.
Feb. 10, 2015, 11:10 am
Nathan Tempey (Brooklyn Paper) says:
Noah was not wearing press credentials and we do not indicate anywhere that he was. That doesn't change a) that the arresting officers did not attempt to verify what he was telling them and b) that the Manhattan district attorney threw out the charges. The two of you seem to be saying that Noah had it coming, but there is not room in our legal system for putting someone through the system to teach him a lesson.
Feb. 10, 2015, 11:31 am
Arrest the officer who make the false arrest from The offer should pay for this from the paychecks they get says:
Was the offer arrested for false arrest?
Also, what ever settlement this person gets, should come out from the officer's pay check.
Time for the officer to pay for his or her mistake
Feb. 10, 2015, 12:21 pm
Rufus Leaking from BH says:
" a) that the arresting officers did not attempt to verify what he was telling them and"

Yeah, that's an efficient use of his time.
Feb. 10, 2015, 2:12 pm
Tim from Prospect Heights says:
Rufus, your comments are pointless.
Feb. 10, 2015, 8:16 pm
John from Sunset Park says:
The idiots above seem to think if you arent displaying the right "credentials" than you shouldnt be on the street.

Arresting someone is serious.

Try watching an old movie "do you have your papers" the Nazi's would ask.

Stick that in your pipe and smoke it !!
Feb. 11, 2015, 12:15 am
Scott from Park Slope says:
Demanding that police officers should know who a person is is an ego trip. Requiring that as a prerequisite to exercise your human rights is an affront. Every police officer must respect the right of every human to exercise his or her human rights without discrimination. "Journalists" who expect and demand special treatment should be spanked. Every police officer who denies equal treatment to every journalist and regular citizen must be spanked. But in the end, we citizens grant police special powers we do not reserve for ourselves, with the expectation that they exercise restraint and discernment above that asked of the regular citizen. If those so trained and charged (aka, "The Police") don't, then they should and must be pursued without mercy. Justice above all.
Feb. 11, 2015, 10:45 am
Charles from Bklyn says:
If the reporter did not have identification, that's a problem. Regardless of the merit to challenge the arrests for disorderly conduct, police have a right to arrest for disorderly conduct. This law insures the government, through the police, can control the streets for safety and order. Fortunately, we do not allow people to do whatever they want on the street, as there must be some limitations. This will not change. As the press should generally be exempt from arrest, bring your ID!!! And police, leave the press alone! Most times, the news reported is beneficial to the police.
Feb. 11, 2015, 11:09 am
Nathan Tempey (Brooklyn Paper) says:
Charles, Noah had his ID on him, along with business cards. The issue early commentators were raising was whether he had NYPD-issued press credentials with him. He did not.

As for the suggestion that verifying Noah's identity would have been a waste of time: Depriving people of their freedom is a drastic move, with the potential to cost them jobs, apartments, and custody of their children, and to hinder future employment opportunities. In this case, Noah got out in the morning and his bosses were understanding, but the charges ultimately proved to be baseless.

I don't think that applying a basic level of scrutiny to a given situation is too much to expect of police before they haul someone off in cuffs.
Feb. 11, 2015, 2:49 pm
Rufus Leaking from BH says:
Noah got out in the morning?

I hope he liked his bologna sandwich!
Feb. 11, 2015, 5:13 pm

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