A freelance photographer for the New York Times who was beaten and arrested while on assignment in the Bronx has been given back his press credentials that were seized by the police. "My cameras were returned to me two weeks ago. Getting my gear back was the first step and now I have my credentials. The next part of this process will be getting the charges dropped," Stolarik told the NPPA Advocacy Committee in a release.

The NYPD's version of what happened on August 4 stated that Stolarik had been given "numerous lawful orders" but continued to push against officers who were attempting to make an arrest during a stop-and-frisk, and "inadvertently" struck an officer with his lens, then "violently resisted being handcuffed."

Stolarik was charged with obstructing governmental administration and resisting arrest, and has said those claims are false: "They just get to say whatever they feel like saying and then charging me with whatever they feel like charging me with to justify their actions."

The NPPA's general counsel, Mickey Osterreicher, negotiated the return of Stolarik's property and credentials with the help of the New York Times' attorney George Freeman. "We are very appreciative that the NYPD reconsidered their position with regard to the return of Robert’s credentials but still believe it is unfortunate that they were taken in the first place," Osterreicher said in the release. “We hope the department uses this incident as a teachable moment in improving police-press relations in NY."

Surely another tersely-worded letter with elegant signatures of lawyers and publishers will finally tip the scales and keep the NYPD from harassing journalists.