According to the Manchester Evening News, and as flagged by a BJP Facebook group member, the photographer, Sean Wilton, was covering "a court hearing into an alleged assault on Big Fat Gypsy Weddings star Paddy Doherty."
While he was taking pictures of a fight on Quay Street near the court, the photographer was "challenged by a police officer and defended his right to take photographs of the incident, which was in a public place," says the Manchester Evening News. "But he was bundled into the back of a police car and was told he was being arrested for a breach of the peace."
The photographer was released after "an apparent intervention by a senior officer," says the newspaper.
Manchester Police have issued a statement to BJP: "At 12.30pm on Monday 13 June 2011, officers at Manchester City Magistrates' Court became aware of a disturbance between two factions outside the court. A number of officers were involved in breaking up the fight and made six arrests for affray and violent disorder. A seventh was later arrested elsewhere. They remain in custody for questioning."
The statement continues: "A photographer was arrested to prevent a breach of the peace and on suspicion of obstructing a police officer. Officers brought the situation under control and the photographer was de-arrested and subsequently released."
Wilton denies breaching the peace, adding: "As professional photographers, we do try to conduct ourselves as professionally as possible."
While the Manchester Evening News praises the senior officer who intervened, it adds that "this unfortunate incident is evidence of a worrying phenomenon, that some rank and file police officers no longer seem to understand or respect the role of the press. When we reach the stage that constables decide where we can and cannot point a camera in bringing you the news, we will be living in a police state."
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