09/24/2011

Video: Arrest of photojournalist justified, Chief says

Milwaukee Chief: Clint Fillinger could have avoided arrest if he followed instructions

By PoliceOne Staff

MILWAUKEE, Wis. — The arrest of a photojournalist could have been avoided if he had followed instructions from police, Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn said Wednesday.

Photojournalist Clint Fillinger was videotaping a house fire on Sunday when he was told to move away from police tape that surrounded the area, Fox 6 reported. His camera kept rolling and recorded his interaction with police, who are heard asking him to step back for safety reasons.

In response, Fillinger raises his voice at the sergeant who made the request and – using expletives – maintains that it is his right to be there. Shortly afterward, he is arrested on charges of resisting and obstructing police.

Representatives from Fox 6 say that other neighbors watching the fire were not instructed to move, and they have asked the Milwaukee Police Department to drop the citation.

Flynn, however, maintains that his officers did nothing wrong, and that Fillinger was interfering in a way that others were not.

"If people are standing on their porch watching a fire that's an entirely different situation than if someone is in the middle of the street where the fire apparatus is working the fire," Flynn said.

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