(PHILLY) — IAN VAN KUYK, a Temple University junior studying photojournalism, emerged from class earlier this month with a straightforward assignment: Take pictures at night.
Van Kuyk's professor had armed him with a Nikon D40 digital camera and the knowledge that he had the legal right to snap photos anywhere within the public domain.
Van Kuyk, 24, ended up getting a crash course on what happens when police don't want to be photographed, he said.
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He and two of his Point Breeze neighbors say a police officer forced Van Kuyk to the ground, jamming his face into the sidewalk, and handcuffed and arrested him after he began photographing a March 14 traffic stop on his block.
"I was within my rights. I wasn't doing anything wrong. The officer began pushing and shoving me," Van Kuyk told the Daily News. "I told him, 'I'm just taking a photo. I'm a photojournalism student.' He got angry. And he just grabbed me and took me to the ground. He kept saying, 'Shut up. Stop resisting.' "