Charges dropped against first reporter arrested at Occupy Wall Street

A good sign came out of New York City’s criminal court yesterday for journalists who have been swept up in arrests at the Occupy Wall Street protests.

Disorderly conduct charges were dropped against WNET’s MetroFocus reporter John Farley, the first journalist to be arrested while covering Occupy Wall Street. Farley was arrested September 24 while interviewing two women who had been pepper-sprayed. His was the only case heard yesterday in which charges were dismissed outright.

While Farley was wearing WNET identification, he lacked the NYPD press credential that officials told him was required for his release. CJR reported on the arrest of Farley and other journalists lacking the NYPD’s credentials last month.

The other journalists covered in that story—New York Times freelancer Natasha Lennard and Alternet’s Kristen Gwynne—will have their cases processed in the coming months.

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Erika Fry is a former assistant editor at CJR.