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Milwaukee Police Arrest Videographer For Filming (Loitering)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012 14:20
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This post was submitted by Tim from Milwaukee

My charge was 106-31-1 LOITERING. Find the statute here:

Please consider the ratio of police to citizens. Their overwhelming presence causes a scene in and of itself.

The first part occurs in front of the bar TUTTO – I have verified they have 2 surveillance cameras which are in working condition. Still working on getting those.

There is also 1 camera at Usinger Meats location across the street from my arrest. Tim Lamers refuses to provide it without a court order. He said he won’t release it unless I’m a cop. I’m told it will be deleted after two weeks.

@ 4:57 while crossing the wide open street a Sgt. Walter Mccullough shoves me for no apparent reason.

@5:10 I ask the Sgt. who just pushed me where he wants me to stand with no response.

@5:25 the forward motorcycle cop may be my arresting officer and was also at the previous scene up the street.

@6:01 I say, “What’s up” to 2 men talking who are not apart of the incident. Please notice all of the other people passing through.

@6:08 I have my arm stretched into the air to be a better vantage point. I am further away than most passers by.

@6:21 the Sgt. yells at me to step back. I believe my arresting officer, Jason Kotarak, Is about 25 feet from where the order is yelled. From my current location to the location I was arrested is about 35 feet.

@7:15 i’m told to stop, “Loitering” by a bouncer from SUITE lounge. We had spent the past 2 hours inside. I left the bar 10 minutes prior on my own accord. No incidents of any kind occurred inside the bar. I was originally coming out to have a smoke and planned on going back in but decided to film police activity.

@7:39 Officer Kotarak tells me I’ve been asked to leave. He’s blocking the sidewalk and as I go around him I try for a shot of his name. He immediately grabs for my camera. He turns it off, then on again, then off again with the large red button on the back. He unlawfully seized it for most of my arrest but after repeated demands by my friends he gave it to my friend who is a CPS agent.

I sat on the curb in handcuffs while he issued the citation. There were 5-10 cops surrounding me with 3 or 4 mounted officers forming a semi-circle around me in the street. As I recall, I was sitting on my butt with my legs fully extended in front of me when, I believe officer Kotarak, came behind me without me knowing he’s there and tries to jerk me to my feet while handcuffed. I’m a big guy and came up a foot or so but came right back down and landed on my hand. This action caused bruising to my arm and both wrists and caused a bloody wound to my hand which I photographed later.  I yelled to not be so rough when a “nice” officer comes to my other side and asks me to put my feet under me and stand up. I do so and leave immediately with my loitering ticket.Obviously that code doesn’t even come close to applying to my activity.

My actual arrest occurs in front of SUITE Lounge at the very end of the video. “Neil” attempts to have me removed from the public sidewalk next to a public bench after watching my entire interaction with Sgt. Mccullough. It seems SUITE Lounge 1103 North Old World 3rd Street Milwaukee, WI 53203 has more allegiance to protecting police from public scrutiny than to the patrons spending their time and money, such as myself, at their establishment.

On my citation officer Kotarak wrote, “Subject was loitering outside of business, in front of a no loitering sign, and was asked to leave several times by business security and uniformed police, but refused to leave.” I intend to request a John Doe hearing to address a misdemeanor count of, “False Swearing.” Perhaps it’s time for a career change for him.

I believe MPD has a propensity to commit these violations. Clint Filinger of Fox6 and the Journal reporter during the past year or so. Who knows how many others?

The US DOJ just released a scathing 11 page memo to Baltimore PD for arresting people for doing what I did. It cites every ounce of case law support the right to record:

 

 

 

Milwaukee Police Arrest Videographer For Filming (Loitering) is a post from Cop Block – Badges Don’t Grant Extra Rights

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