Please watch this video. You can read more about the incident here
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Monday, December 13, 2010
LaCrosseWatchDog Blogger Who Was Arrested For Possessing A Video Camera At Public Congressional Debate Speaks Out About The Abuse He Suffered At The Hands Of UW-L Police and Administration
I broke no laws, and didn’t even violate the policies of the debate. I was forcefully hauled out of the room, arrested, cited, and prohibited from re-entry. The charges were subsequently dismissed.
The incident reports obtained from the campus police are filled with fabrications and even contradict each other. Whether from malice or not, I don’t care. They are inaccurate and reflect an apparent attempt to justify a thuggish abuse of power. Whatever the excuse, they represent a serious problem, especially since many such discrepancies work in favor of the “authorities” when no evidence or witnesses can refute their false claims.
To start off, both Miller and Barton are confused about the individual who was seen as a potential “disturbance”, wrongfully claiming that Mike was the one identified as possessing a video camera, handed a business card and “asked to leave”. Barton then fraudulently claims that he asked me twice to put the camera down and that I refused while citing Constitutional rights. Not only does he lie about any verbal demands, but
then concocts a fantastic narrative. Interestingly, Miller got right to the point of the camera grabbing assault and skipped any embellishments of fictitious conversations.
However, she does falsely claim later in her report that Barton gave me “plenty of chances to exit the building”. Barton concludes with; “It is this officer’s belief that both parties were working in concert in the attempt to instigate a confrontation with law enforcement officers, with the intent on (sic) video- taping it. When Clark was removed, the other party left the event. This action indicated to me that neither party actually intended on watching the debate.”
While Barton is free to assume whatever he wishes, it’s irrelevant and presumptuous. We were both threatened with arrest if we re-entered the building. He then concludes that our departure revealed WHAT?! Simple logic should eliminate such half-baked assumptions.
Contrary to speculation, we did intend to stay for the entire debate, and had no desires for creating a disturbance. In this particular case, we don’t even get to the issue of whether or not it’s legal to prohibit filming a public event on public property for public consumption. I did nothing wrong nor improper, and don’t know why I wouldn’t be entitled to a public apology from university officials, including event organizers and especially the campus police. I will be patiently waiting for this kind gesture.