Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn says the arrest of a FOX6 photojournalist could have been avoided if the photojournalist had simply followed officer instructions.
FOX6 Photojournalist Clint Fillinger went to the neighborhood near 27th and Townsend in Milwaukee late Sunday. While there, a Milwaukee police sergeant directed Fillinger to move away from the police tape. The officer did not enforce the same rules for neighborhood residents who were standing in the same space.
Fillinger left his camera rolling during the incident in which the officer directed him back from the house fire. The video shows the discussion between Fillinger and the officer. Eventually, Fillinger is handcuffed and guided to a police squad.
Fillinger was cited for resisting and obstructing police. He also suffered a bruised and sore knee.
FOX6 management, the Radio Television Digital News Association and the National Press Photographers Association have each written to Chief Flynn asking the citation be dropped. All organizations also expressed concern about a first amendment violation by the Milwaukee Police Department."I tried to explain my rights to them, that I had a right to be there so long as the public was there. and the public was there," Fillinger said, "There were people standing by a tavern across the street there was people probably 20 feet away standing on the lawn."
Flynn promises to look into the situation, and insists his officer may have done nothing wrong. He says, "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."
During his interview Chief Flynn did not comment on the employment status of the two sergeants.
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