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Is Milwaukee, Wisconsin another community where the First Amendment is just an option? Officers cite safety & privacy as reason to remove TV cameraman from non-secure area at house fire. Watch raw video of the arrest.

 

Previous coverage of cameras at emergency scenes

Read entire opinion from U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit

Above is the raw video from the camera of WITI-TV photojournalist Clint Fillinger just prior to his arrest Sunday nigh accused of resisting a Milwaukee police officer and obstructing the officer in his duties at the scene of a house fire. On the video, the police sergeant can be heard saying that Fillinger was being moved back for "his safety". At the same time the safety of the members of the public, who like Fillinger, were standing outside the secure area, behind the police yellow tape, is apparently not so important.

The officer was so concerned about the safety of this one man with the camera that he knocked the 68-year-old cameraman to the ground as Fillinger was being shepherded to the end of the block. Fillinger told a reporter for his station that he touched the officer while putting up his hands in a defensive move as the officer came at him while the photographer was walking backwards. I will let you be the judge if the officer's reaction was appropriate. I say this knowing there will be plenty out there who will focus on the fact Fillinger touched the sergeant and that's all anyone needs to know.

The other police officer on the video, also identified as a sergeant, told Fillinger we need you to move back "for their privacy".

 

Now, let's bring in Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn who was asked by a reporter from WITI-TV to comment on this confrontation. The chief pointed out, since this was the same as a citizen complaint he was limited in what he could say to those facts that everyone has seen on TV. From apparently watching that video the chief made the point, "If the cameraman had simply complied with the instructions to back off from a working fire none of this hullabaloo would be taking place".

But Chief Flynn, couldn't it also be said at this point from just watching the video, if the police officer hadn't targeted an individual for removal from a non-secure area because the person was carrying a camera none of this hullabaloo would be taking place?

 

The chief did what many will think is an admirable thing by defending his people, taking the side of the sergeant over the cameraman based on the video that's in the public. But isn't Chief Flynn also sworn to defend the Constitution of the United States?

In the defense of the Constitution shouldn't the chief be bringing up some other points and questions that seem reasonable to bring up from just looking at and listening to this video? Things like was that a lawful order of the police officer based on the recent ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals? Why was it so important to aggressively remove this one person from the scene and not anyone else? Just what privacy expectation is there on a public street in Milwaukee? What safety concern was there that only the photographer needed to be sent to the end of the block?

Yes, it's great to support your people chief and to reserve judgment until the investigation is complete. But wouldn't it be nice if you or some other police chief got up there during one of these situations and said something like this?

"I want to make it clear that the job of the police department is to defend the Constitution of the United States. This includes the First Amendment. In reviewing this incident I want to make sure that the rights of this individual carrying a camera were not violated and at the same time try to determine if this order from my officer is consistent with our rules, regulations and procedures and the laws of this state and country. When this investigation is complete I hope to know these answers. In the meantime I can assure you that my officers are aware that it is their duty not to interfere with anyone who is lawfully shooting pictures."

So, tell me Chief Flynn, would it make you or your department look bad if you answered the questions about this incident in that manner? Is that not a more even handed way to reply to something as important as this? Is it considered a sign of weakness for the police to make a clear statement about supporting the First Amendment? Would you be considered any less of a police chief in front of the public or your officers if you answered this way?

 

Comments - Add Yours

  • mark

    Unbelievable, can't wait to hear how this one is defended here. Behind the line, backing up and obeying the commands. He could claim that he was losing his balance when he reached out and trying to regain it when he allegedly touched the cop.
     
    Hope he finds a lawyer from the ACLU and sues them.
     
    Cops need to get their excuses straight as well.

  • Crowbar

    As a photographer and a firefighter I have to say this is frightening.  No doubt it's been going on forever, but it's time now for it to stop,  We live in a free country protected by the Constitution.  If these police officers were violating the legal rights of some ciizen regarding firearms, the NRA would be in an uproar and it would be in the national news.  It makes me wonder what other areas of their jobs these so called peace officers are failing at.

  • http://www.fireandrescuestore.com LARRY FOX

    The U.S. responses to the attacks on 9-11 started the erosion of our basic rights. We were warned that when some rights are taken away, others will follow.  When some peoples' rights are limited, it will eventually affect all of us. Why are we now complaining that it is happening to us?  As a long time fire photog who was allowed on hundreds of incident scenes over the years as a basic right of the press, I am now seeing that the American people are willing to give up basic rights because of manufactured fears (thousands of terrorists waiting in the shadows) and corporate influence (BP Oil).  It used to be that I was required to wear I.D. (press credentials). Now, nearly everyone must carry their "papers". Have you heard complaints? Why are we now surprised to see a bad situation getting worse?

  • Really

    OMG, your are right with this one. There has to be other issues out there.Come on man.

    Really

  • Dallas

    So, if I (my non-attorney self) was representing the camera man in the civil suit against the Milwaukee PD I would subpoena all of the police academy, field, and in-service training material and records associated with this officer’s career and that of his ‘supervisor’.  I would then put the Chief of Police, the Sergeant, and the officer in question on the stand and ask each of them to show where in the training material or in any law at the local, state, or federal level they have the authority to move someone, or otherwise interfere with any member of the public or the press who is in a public space witnessing a public event outside the designated incident perimeter.  I suspect that they would have a hard time identifying that training and the underlying legal justification for it.
     
    I really, really hope that the camera man sues the City of Milwaukee, the Chief of Police, the Sergeant, and the arresting officer and goes for big, big bucks.  Maybe as a bonus he can get the officer on assault charges for running him over while violating his Constitutional rights.
     
    The stupidity, ignorance, and authoritarian bullying must be confronted, and those responsible must be held accountable.  If I was the cameraman I would not be satisfied until I had a good hunk of the arresting officer's and Sergeant's paychecks in my bank account.

  • Michael Rinaldi

    You are right, no doubt about it.  I enjoy your website.  With that being said, we get it…. get off the topic now.  You're beating this horse to death.

    • dave statter

      Sorry. But it’s likely to continue.

      Satter

      • Legeros

        Mr. Statter, please tell the court and remember that you're under oath, how often did you beat your horse…
         
        I will continue reading.

        • dave statter

          Glad you said horse.

  • Sally

    A neo-conservative agenda (New World Order) is in place now. The Patriot Act was the beginning, and far from the end. Soon, areas of the nation will be under martial law, as the crime spirals out of control as the economy worsens for an extended period. London, Libya, Syria, and now Yemen are just the beginning. Under Martial Law, the Constitution is suspended. The media is owned/controlled by the neo-cons. Some examples of neo-con agendas are the failed reporting of continuous victories by Ron Paul in virtually every poll, pre and post debate. His policy is abolish the Federal Reserve, abolish the income tax, and remove the military policies of establishing a new world order in muslim nations….. something the neo-conservative agenda is strongly against. 

  • Paul Beardmore

    Hey Dave,
    It is clear that this problem is only growing worse.  I would guess that people involved in these disputes occasionally ask for your advice on how to handle this.  I would recommend three things;
    1. As part of any settlement with the offending public safety entity, all public safety employees would be required to attend mandatory training on the rights of all people operating camera's at emergency incidents, and public safety employees doing their jobs. 
    2. As part of any settlement with the offending public safety entity, all law enforcement, fire and EMS agencies in the jurisdiction would be required to develop and implement S.O.P.'s that are very specific on how to handle people operating camera's at emergency incidents, and public safety employees doing their jobs.
    3. If the public safety agency isn't willing to meet the first two criteria during the complaint process, camera operators who have had their rights violated should be encouraged to file suit to protect their rights, and in addition to any financial settlement awarded, the agencies should be required by a judge to meet the first two items listed above.
    Dave, I would also suggest that you obtain and post S.O.P.'s from public safety agencies who have developed a clear, comprehensive policy that outlines what public safety employees can, and cannot do regarding the violation of a persons right to videotape or photograph public safety personnel doing their jobs.  It would be educational for those agencies who do not have adequate policies in place.

  • Tramajala

    I think you should change the name of your website.  
    People are lured in thinking that they are getting news regarding the fire service, when in reality they're getting your opinion regarding cameras at emergency scenes…

    • dave statter

      STATter911.com is the name. It really could be about anything. Sorry to be so misleading.

      Statter

  • Ralphy Boy

    It is getting old. WHen will the camera men just say just once, that they have a constitutional right to be there. The 2nd time the Po PO says move along….just comply!!!!
    Settle it the next day thru proper channels….when you fight with the Po Po, you're gonna lose the fight….you may win the war tommorrow, but its a no win situation.
    OK Dave now get some incompetent fire fighters videos back on here.

    • dave statter

      Ralphy Boy,

      Looked to me that the guy continually moved back. But he also made it clear that their order was a bunch of BS. Read lawyer and firefighter Curt Varone’s take on this. Curt has said when police, fire or EMS stops lawful picture taking they are the ones breaking the law. Is it possible the wrong person was arrested here?

      Read the U.S. Court of Appeals ruling and tell me who is violating the law. The person in the non-secure area standing with the public or the cops claiming a privacy and a safety issue?

      I have been in that position and the one thing I always fought very hard was not being allowed in a public place where the general public was gathered. I never expected more rights because I was with the press, but I never settled for fewer rights either.

      Statter

      • Ralphy Boy

        Nowhere in my post do I say the photographer was wrong other than, if you state your case to the Po PO that you have a right to be there and he still says move…just do it and go to the Mayor's office in the morning and show your footage on the 11:00 news, the 6:00 news and every news broadcast in between. Make an ass outta the guy and the department….do an in depth news story about it—theres where you will educate the PO PO, Fire and EMS in your area when they all see it on the news.
        I do believe the problem I have with these videos is that if the copper still says move—don't argue, just do it…whether you're right or wrong…just move andthen make an ass outta the guy on TV or newspaper headline story.
        You know what the power of the press is…….and it isn't arguing with a cop. It's making an ass outta somebody on the evening news and subsequent followup story on how the department will correct or not correct the problem.
        See the reporter from Detroit—Charlie…that guy knows how to use the power of the press!!!!  And he's great at it……..don't you think the Detroit Govt cringes when they see him comin cause they know he will have the last laugh.  You bet cha.
        And the public loves it and the public is much more informed about stuff they never realized was happening. Thats good journalism!!

        • dave statter

          I don’t disagree that’s a way to do it. Depending on the situation probably not the way I would do it.

  • waah

    Ok What if this was your home? Valuables? What if one of your family members was injured or worse at a scene? Would you feel the same abourt the constitution Dave? I always admired this site but Dave this is sour to see every week. It shows a LACK of compassion for the media to hawk at a scene sometimes. They are there because someone is probably having the worst day of their life or worse someones dead. The public service members are reacting out of compassion for victims. I cant blame them. When they give a lawfull order DO IT! Why is this a question? The reporter was told to move. He decided to argue. Cant blame the cop. 

    • dave statter

      waah,

      What’s wrong with me is that I am a believer in our Constitution. Are you? Take the time read the U.S. Court of Appeals ruling I linked to that tells us how the First Amendment and Fourth Amendment applies in cases like this one.

      As I have written many, many times, if something unfortunate would happen to my family the very last thing I would be focusing on is cameras. I think my mind would be elsewhere. I also have faith that the local TV stations won’t be showing anything that I would be concerned about and if they did, I know it would be completely out of my hands.

      I have a great deal of compassion for victims. What makes you think otherwise?

      And why are you so certain that was a lawful order? If you read the laws of the country we live in there is no expectation of privacy in a public place. Our country is also founded on the idea (and upheld by many courts) that we don’t put editorial control in the hands of armed agents of our government.

      Sorry that this offends you. But you really should have more faith in the core beliefs upon which the United States was created.

      The first thing that will tell us who is right here is if these charges are prosecuted. My guess is the district attorney will look at this video, compare it to the recent court ruling and drop the charges. But you never know.

      Sorry to dissapoint. But I am not likely to change how I cover this.,

      Statter

    • CHAOS

      As Dave pointed out, the cameraman was standing in the same area as the general public, who sure seemed to be left alone by the PD where they could view the same scene.   And, the question is, again, if this is a lawful order.  Just because a cop says it  doesn't make it a lawful order.

  • Paul Beardmore

    Waah -
    Based on the numerous videos Dave has posted here, I would guess that most of the confrontations were not made out of compassion for victims.  While there may be some instances where public safety workers violated the camera operator's rights with compassion for the victims being the motive – my guess is that most of them were driven on pure ego, and complete disregard for the laws that give them every right to record them doing their jobs.

  • waah

    Well
    I tried. Im for compassion and privacy for the victims. Not for law enforcement or the fire dept. What do you gain as a result from a story of someones death or misfortune? Why must you be there?

    • dave statter

      I am not sure what you tried waah, but you are always welcome to write.

      As much compassion you have for the victims and whatever concerns you or I might have about privacy are generally trumped by the First Amendment when it is occurring in a public place. The Constitution doesn’t rely on how you, the cop, the news guy or I feel about anything. That’s the whole point of the document.

      Why must I be there? I assume you mean the news media of which I am not a part. Part of it, as you will read on the U.S. Court of Appeals ruling is the oversight of our government. Do you believe the news media shouldn’t have covered the recent death of that little girl in Detroit where there were serious questions about the availablity of the proper equipment to fight the fire?

      Do you think we shouldn’t cover any fires? Or just not cover fires that upset you or someone else? Out of compassion for victims of fires should we just make a rule that no one can shoot video of the fire department in action? If not, are you completely comfortable with changing the Constitution to let police officers or firefighters tell us, the public and the press, when and if it is okay to shoot pictures? I’m not.

      Tell me how your version of the U.S. would work? What would be the rules? How would they be enforced? For now I am sticking and supporting the one we have.

      By the way, why are you assuming that photographer was not showing compassion? Do you even know what he shot or what would be aired?

      These are all questions that you should answer in getting to the truth of this situation.

      Thanks again.

      Statter

  • waah

    I just disagree with you Dave.

    • dave statter

      I have no problem with you disagreeing with me. I am all for that. In fact I thrive on lively discussions and appreciate when people challenge what I write.

      But how about talking facts here and not emotion. I answered the questions you posed in an honest manner. I explained my position and why I felt that way. As part of getting to where it is we disagree how about answering my questions and explain to me how your system, which the best I can tell, is not the one this country was founded on, would work?

      In the end this really isn’t about agreeing or disagreeing it is about the laws we live under. If you think my understanding of those laws (and I have no legal background) is flawed please tell me how and why (much as I did for you). If you think that it is our current laws that are flawed please provide some details on how you would change them.

      Thanks.

      Statter

  • Tree

    Here's a little different twist to the issue:
    http://watertown.ynn.com/content/128322/media-threatened-while-shooting-video-of-fire/
    It happened here several years ago. 
    It's back in the archives, so the video may take a moment or two to load.

    • dave statter

      I use that one in my presentations. Thanks. I had never seen the whole story.

  • waah

    I believe my public safety officers. If I were to give me an order to move I MOVE. I have an obligation as a human being to be conscious of a victims privacy and display a general compassion for whatever their situation is. As for my view on how it should work? You really wouldnt like my opinion. I feel this way because I have seen people take pictures of inappropriate scenes where there was no reason. These were the last images of these peoples existance on earth. This happens all the time and I dont like it. I know Im not bigger than the constitution.I still believe that right is right as far as keeping peoples dignity for them. They have no rights while dead.

    • dave statter

      Again, tell me how your system works. Do we just leave these decisions to armed agents of our government? Are you syaing you are comfortable with that?

      And describe to me what is not appropriate and who is to set that standard? Should we have you do it or have me do it?

      And how are you keeping their dignity? Where do you see all these pictures of dead bodies showing up? On TV? On the Internet?

      What exactly are you protecting? A feeling that you have.

      There are ways to deal with a TV station that shows things that offend you and I highly encourage using them. Turn the station off, write a letter of protest, start a boycott. But censorship by you or the cops is not part of how we are supposed to live here. That’s a way of life our soldiers have fought against all over the world.

      Basically you are saying it is okay to arrest or censor someone because someone is offended. Everyone’s decision on when that point of being offended occurs is different. How do you account for that in a nation based on laws that are supposed fair and just?

      I can tell you as a news person I have been at almost identifical situations where one day it isn’t a problem but the next a cop was offended and chased me off. Is that how it is supposed to work? Go back and look at the Connecticut State Trooper video a few months ago. I have been in that identical situation where police acted like professionals and let me do my job. But on that day because a trooper was offended the Constitution gets trampled on.

      Having a free society isn’t always pretty and people do get offended. Sorry. I will choose protecting our basic rights over worrying about offending people.

      Statter

    • Tree

      The "rule" I've always heard is that if the public is allowed to be at a given location, so is the media. 
      If you want to keep the media far, far away, invest in lots of scene tape and start stretching it early, and well away from the scene.  And be prepared to chase the public out, too.

  • waah

    OK the law is there. Report at will. Good luck.

  • Legeros

    In discussions like these, I am reminded of a quote from a local newspaper in 1912:  “Once there was a big fire here [at which] chairs were brought out and placed on the lawn of another home near.” As the fire was extinguished, “one lady remarked ‘I declare it has been a real treat.’”
    Then as now, people are compelled to experience other people's experiences.

  • backseat firechief

    If you don’t like the topics of this site then don’t keep coming to it. If all you want is fire videos so you can post about how much better you are than every other fd known mankind, feel free to visit sites that promise that. Statter presents topics that are of interest to him- and usually they are relevant to issues we all face, except for that ridiculous thing about who the fire critic is.

    • dave statter

      Yes, that fire critic thing is weird and self indulgent. But it gives me great joy. And believe it or not the videos have done better than most fire videos (a surprise to me). Thanks for the support.

      Statter

      • backseat firechief

        No cameras at the scene = lost opportunity for education / training. Or of greater importance to some people- nothing to criticize in this forum

  • clay

      I don't understand what the "powers" to be at an emergency scene have problems with the media.  All the coments posted here are very sensible but my two cents are WHAT IS THE PROBLEM with the media?  Everyone has a job to do whatever it may be, putting a fire out, rescues, arresting someone, or reporting on the events happening in a day.  The media at our scenes are treated just like bystanders, if you wanna watch it's fine as long as they aren't interfering with what needs to be done by us.  If something is happening that we don't want the public to see (removing a body from a mangled car) we move the public back and even put up tarps.  If you don't want something to be seen is it privacy or do you have something to hide?  Use a PIO and use it to your advantage.  Bad things happen to people and they will always happen,  tornadoes in the south, flooding in the east, wildfires in Texas, and you expect the media not to report on these horrible things happening to people, OF COURSE NOT.  Again use the PIO to your advantage and report what you want the public to know, I've learned through the my years of service that if I don't talk to the media and just let them try to figure it out themselves 9 times out of 10 they don't get it right so I'll make sure they know what happened.  Everyone just needs to relax and do your job, if you do it correctly it shouldn't matter what gets reported.  Thanks Dave for posting these incidents, I use them for my fire officers to show them how not to react to the media and by the way the incidents with incompentent firefighting are used also, my firefighters will tell you if I catch them doing something wrong at a scene I'll correct them and remind them I don't want to ever see our dept. on the internet doing something stupid.  Keep up the good work.    

  • We’re Screwed

    Dave,
    I liked your blog better when it was about firefighting. 

  • RTP

    Statter
    Thanks for posting these videos of people against photographers. I have seen an incident in my area of a supposedly officer of the law threaten to arrest a photographer. Yes THREATEN. As far as I know the officer was off duty, plus he was not in uniform and never showed a badge. Another 30 seconds sooner I would have been the photographers in question.
    Keep posting these videoes and please follow up with the outcomes. What action was taken.
     
    Thanks!

  • Robert Kramer

    Gotta give it to the Police.  From the top brass to the lowest patrolman, they stick together – even when they are all wrong.

  • firefighthero

    They should issue the same type of trousers to all policmen that they do to motorcycle officers.  You know the ones with the reinforcing between the legs.  In this case it would have kept his large gonads from rubbing a hole in his. 

  • Steve

    Just another poorly educated self important cop whos appointed himself judge and jury. Only a matter of time before he guns a kid down because he wanted to. I hope the cameraman sues him personally for violating his constitutional rights and then the entire police dept. This BS needs to stop. The routine of using arrest powers to fix a temporary situation and then drop the charges has to stop too, nothing more than citizen harrassement. THIS is what happens when you forget who gives you the power to do your job….the CITIZENS. The law enforcement community needs to remember that this is the kind of actions that begun just before Hitlers rise to power….and we all know how that turned out.

  • Sally

    I think it's sad that people have started believing it's ok for the police to do whatever they want, because they'll always win. You know those countries we always hear about how corrupt the police are, and that you just have to pay them off? That's the consequences of starting to think that the police shouldn't have to follow the "rules" or "law" because it's a waste of time because you'll always lose. If this belief goes on or worsens, we will become one of those third world nations. Our economy is already headed that way, I don't think our values, beliefs and rights should follow, because less than 20 people got together and decided to crash a few planes into some of our soft targets. If we decide to go down that path, then the terrorists have won, HANDS DOWN!!

  • Former Chief

    As far as the Police Chief looking into this incident, that is probably a waste of time.  It appears by his interview his mind is already made up that the reporter was in the wrong.  I wonder if the private citizens on the front lawn would have been moved if they were taking pictures with their camera phones.  Someone made a point earlier about training and SOP's.  That hit's the nail on the head.  It should be very easy to determine whether the officers involved violated the departments SOP's regarding media relations at emergency scenes, if they have them.  And if they don't they need to develop them and include the media in the development process so you understand their position.  First responders need to realize the media is a vaulable resource if we work with them appropriately.  As I have said in other posts, who was assigned as the PIO for this incident?  The Incident Commander needs to make that part of his command structure.  If you're the IC at a significant incident, you need to expect to deal with the media.  There were two Sgt.s dealing with this reporter?  I hope there was another Sgt. or higher ranking PD officer at the command post with the IC responsible for PD operations.  There I go dreaming again.  I hope the news media continues to follow up on this.  Request a meeting with the Police and Fire Chiefs to discuss their media SOP's.  And, report the progress to the general public, good or bad.

  • Andrew

    Dave,
    Here's an idea…maybe we should contact apparatus manufacturers to develop a circus tent unit.  That way, when the first responders get there, we can put up a huge tent that covers the entire incident.  It's a win-win for everyone right?  The first responders get to keep the public and media out, and the former don't have to be near the clowns (or in some cases, the entire circus) that are inside.  Just a thought…
    Keep up the good work!  Maybe someday people will pull their heads of of their keisters…
    Andrew

  • Fight Science with Science

    I'm in agreement with the belief that this photojournalist had every right to film this fire scene.            
          But the people arguing that 9/11 was the transition or tipping point from an entirely free press to a censored one or that this will necessarily undermine the success of our country is horribly short-sighted or biased to the point of blindness.The police, by proxy of the government has since the formation of our nation(1776) had influence on and imposed it's will on the press.Some of the tightest and most restrictive press controls ever occurred during and after WWII and yet we won WWII, went on to enjoy the greatest growth and prosperity this country has ever seen AND become the dominate force in the world. Yet,all this occurred during a time of a tightly controlled and restricted free press.Yes, the press must keep a close eye on the government but the government must also keep a close eye on the press ,because either of these entities lacking oversight or having to answer to nobody can and will lead to them overstepping their bounds, negatively impacting both personal freedoms and ones which impact our entire nation.

    • Maybe

      So what you are saying is because we threw out the British in 1776, that by our Government standing by and being wishy washy and politcally correct, by 2026 we should be a Muslim Nation?  Think about it, or wait, by the time you liberals are done thinking about it, it will be too late and you'll be wearing a burka on the 1800 news,  working for the State run news–the only news.
      America isn't the lousy, oppressed nation some make it out  to be. Although not perfect, I'll take it just the way it is…even the imperfections.
       
      (And PS–I respect Muslims and Middle Eastern people….just not the terrorists)

    • dave statter

      Fight Science with Science,

      I can tell you from experience in the field that things changed dramatically after 9-11 for those carrying cameras in and around the District of Columbia. Suddenly law enforcement tried to tell the press and the public they couldn’t take pictures of security checkpoints and government buildings from a public area. Of course, depsite them believing that it was not true, no laws had been changed to back up their claims. I did a number of stories on that issue. I will leave it to others to argue the overall histoy lesson, but I can provide plenty of testimony about a significant and rather oppressive change following 9-11.

      Statter

      • Maybe

        Thats because the United States Press is the unofficial intelligence unit of the Al Queda. They don't need to do any recon…just watch the news, they'll show you everything.
        Remember Grenada, the press was on the beach waiting for the US Marine Landing party???  
        Would you be happy if you were away on vacation, watching the evening news, and they did a story on your house, gave your name, address, city etc and spent 3 minutes showing everyone how the back door was left unlocked, theres 3 windows open and a key under the milk box on the porch and the garage door code is written on the 2nd rock from the birdbath?  I wouldn't think so.
         

        • dave statter

          But there is a recourse when the press sets foot on private property.

          So, if you are willing to give up these freedoms and live in the kind of society where the police decide what is okay for you to shoot what the hell are we fighting for In Iraq and Afghanistan?

          And remember it isn’t the press. It is the rights of the public. That US Court of Appeals ruling clarified what is already known, that the public has the same rights as the press.

          Statter

  • Fight Science with Science

    Maybe says….MAYBE you should actually read what I wrote.The point I was making was that our success as a country was not exclusively reliant upon a completely free press.You can restrict press freedoms and still prosper as a country.The bar of acceptable practice is and forever will be sliding back and forth.Some people will always argue for more press freedom and others for less.After 9/11 the bar slid towards more restrictions on the press and the public (although not even close to the restrictions in place after pearl harbor) The grey area lies in the interpretations of current law, the constitution and the degree to which law enforcement is able to intervene and impose it's will.I'm sure Dave has a line he will not cross and I imagine ties that line very closely to the way he interprets the constitution and Supreme court decisions based on current laws.Personally I have no problem with law enforcement requesting  I.D from a person and asking what they are doing, especially if they are "acting suspicious" (what is acting suspicious? again open to interpretation but I believe it is entirely within the rights of law enforcement to use their professional opinion to determine this) -yes even in a public space.
    Let me just reiterate that I believe this photojournalist was acting and behaving in an acceptable manner and should not have been harassed.

  • Maybe

    Well all I can say id thank God that by giving the press free access to everything they want, we can rely on the press NOT to put any slant on a story…..I mean if you can't trust the press to just present the facts and let the viewer form their own opinion based on this unbiased factual presentation, then the only thing we can trust is the government and their officials. MMMMMMMMMMMMM……………………maybe their a little too alike for me. LOL

  • SFC

    Dave, can you please follow up on this story.  I would really like to know the out-come of this case. 

    • dave statter

      I will keep looking for the follow. But feel free to alert me if you see it before I do.

      Thanks.

  • Bill

    As a resident of Milwaukee I would like to add another facet to this discussion.  This police chief is notorious for his lack of transparency.  He is a numbers driven chief who manipulates data and does everything in his power to "control the message."  He goes to great lengths to give the illusion that he has magically reduced the crime in our city, when in fact, that is not the case.  While that isn't all that unusual, Flynn takes it to the extreme.  (Dave, you should be somewhat familiar with him – he was the police chief in Arlington on 9-11 and was IC at the Pentagon  [according to him]).    If there was ever a police chief/department that needs the sun shining on it this would be one.  
    I have not seen anything in the local papers and i don't always catch the local news broadcasts.  I do hope you are able to do follow up on this.

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  • RJ

    i wonder how long it will be before the photographers revolt against the agencys that do this sort of thing? i can see it comming now