4/5 A New York Times reporter is accused of threatening to release a photo of himself posing with a police officer if the Times does not apologize for its photojournalism of the death of Eric Garner.
A New York Post reporter has also been accused of being a “bully” after he released a photo he says shows him confronting a group of black men after they allegedly threw rocks at police officers at a rally in support of Black Lives Matter.
In an interview published Friday in The New York Observer, journalist Paul Johnson alleged that after the photo was released, he was threatened with a subpoena by the Times for the alleged “bias” he alleged in the photo.
The Times apologized to Johnson and posted a video of him explaining the photo’s purpose.
The New York Police Department has not released a statement about Johnson’s allegations.
Johnson has also said that he has received death threats.
In a video published Saturday, Johnson said he would file a lawsuit against the Times and the New York Attorney General, and added that he was “ready to fight for my rights.”
Johnson’s story was picked up by the Daily Beast, which published it.
The story was also published by a CNN affiliate in New York, but it is unclear if CNN was also picked up in the Times’ reporting.CNN did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Johnson, a veteran photojournalist with a 30-year career, has said that the photo shows him in the middle of a crowd of men who are shouting “hands up, don’t shoot.”
He also claimed in a story published Thursday that he took the photo as part of a protest against police brutality and that the Times had no right to publish it.
Johnson is a member of a national group of photographers known as “Black Lives Matter” that was founded in the wake of the Michael Brown and Eric Garner protests.
The group’s website describes itself as “a voice for people of color who believe in freedom of speech and expression, and that justice is always served by speaking out against injustice and injustice at all levels.”
In a statement released Friday, Johnson’s group said the photo, which it called a “selfie,” was taken in the park at Park Slope’s Prospect Park on the East Side of Manhattan.
“This is a photograph that we took in the heart of the park with other Black people,” the statement read.
“We have been asked to apologize by the New Yorkers for the photo and to publicly denounce the police brutality of our community.”
Johnson has also faced backlash on social media after posting a photo on Twitter that showed him with a Black Lives Matters protester who had a sign reading “The death of Black lives matter” scrawled on his forehead.
In that tweet, he captioned the photo with the hashtag #NoF**kNoShoot.
In addition to the Times, the group also included a photo taken on Thursday that showed Johnson holding up a sign that read “The New Black Panthers” and “I’m here to show the world how to be the greatest.”
The group posted the photo on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Johnson told The New Yorker that the protester was “not one of us.”
“I’m going to stand with all the protesters that are out here in the streets right now,” he said.
“I think the reason this photo got out is because he was not one of our group.
I’m one of the leaders of the group.
He’s a Black man.
We’re the leaders.
We stand with him.”
He said that while the group does not believe the protester to be one of its leaders, it was not his intention to create an image that might cause a conflict of interest between the group and the Times.
Johnson said the Times should apologize to him and that he plans to sue the newspaper.
“I think this is a horrible way to conduct business and I want to speak out against it,” he told the newspaper, adding that he would like to sue.