Arrest of News Photographer While Filming Assignment Will Be 'Nullified,' Police Official Says

A police official said a news photographer who was arrested as he tried to film an assignment on New York's Long Island will be cleared of obstruction charges.

Freelancer Phil Datz was arrested Friday night by Suffolk County police at the scene of a police pursuit and arrest in Bohemia, N.Y.

Datz, a credentialed member of the press who works for Stringer News Service, got out his camera and started to film the scene before a police sergeant said he wasn't allowed to be there.

Datz moved away, only to resume shooting. He was then handcuffed and his video was taken "for evidence," reports. The photographer was then taken into custody and later released with an order to appear for arraignment on an obstruction of governmental administration charge, according to the station. The video of the arrest, which was returned to him, was later posted on YouTube.

On Monday, Suffolk County Police Commissioner Richard Dormer said the arrest would be "nullified."

"The department is conducting an internal review of the incident between a Suffolk County Police Department supervisor and a photographer that resulted in the photographer's arrest," Dormer said in a statement obtained by

"I am working with the Suffolk County District Attorney to have the arrest nullified," Dormer said. "The police department believes in keeping an open line of communication with the media and we will be reviewing the department's policy concerning involvement with the news media."

Dormer went on to say that all officers will receive "refresher training" on interaction with the news media.

Neither Phil Datz nor Stringer News Service was immediately available for comment when contacted Wednesday by

"We realize the national attention this arrest has gotten and as a very small company realize the responsibility we have to the journalism world to see this incident through to the end," the company said in a statement posted on its website. reports that the owner of Stringer News Service, Tony Ryan, said his company is considering a lawsuit.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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