Can’t We All Just Get Along?

Now might be a good time to bring up the sheriff’s deputy who snatched my cell phone, in mid-use, right out of my hand. That was his way of ending an interview I was doing with a man on a street that this deputy thought had gone on too long. Because we were transmitting that phone interview live, as a report during our noon newscast, the last thing viewers heard was my voice yelling “Hey, what are you doing!” Click.

Back in the studio, the anchors explained to viewers that somehow the cell connection was lost. Back out on Pembroke Road, I was dogging the deputy up the street to get his name for some future action. The incident is all on videotape, as happens when news photographers are present.

That deputy’s action was not law enforcement. It was bully behavior.

And in the bigger picture, this guy with a badge, a gun and the power of the law had just trashed the First Amendment.

Later that day, a spokesman for the Broward Sheriff’s Office graciously apologized for the deputy’s behavior (though the offender never did). I tried to be equally gracious, and chalked up his behavior to an emotional reaction in the hours after a colleague had been shot.

End of story.

Except it’s not the end.

That incident was part of a continuum of law enforcement officers acting on some preconceived notion that news reporters are public enemy number one. And I bring it up now because of what happened Tuesday afternoon.

A school police officer arrested my colleague Jeff Weinsier, because Jeff did not move from a sidewalk in front of a high school. This would have been a perfectly acceptable command, had the sidewalk been part of a police action, had the officer also ordered away the dozens of people on the sidewalk with him. But he didn’t. More officers showed up, and when Jeff stood his ground, they cuffed him, then charged him with trespassing (on a sidewalk?), with resisting arrest (by asserting his right to be on a public street?).

Jeff was carrying a revolver, for which he has a permit, and showed that permit to the officers. Not that those officers even knew he had the gun when they arrested him. And not that it legally matters.

Been there, done that (minus the arrest). Different school, different police officer, same command to get off a public sidewalk, move here, stay there.
Crash course in freedom of the press: as the “voice of the public”, news crews are permitted to be anywhere the public is permitted.

When was the last time someone told you to leave a sidewalk in front of a school?

Allowing for two sides (and typically more) to every story, I make no judgments about Jeff’s arrest. The facts will come out in due time. The chances of that happening are good, because this incident, too, was videotaped – by news photographer Frank Debesa. Unblinking, unedited videotape provides an unvarnished, indisputable picture like no verbal account ever can. Without emotion or agenda.

Still photographs, as snapshots of moments, may also help. A freelance journalist named Carlos Miller is currently using his photos in his own legal fight. Earlier this year, in the course of shooting pictures for a story along Biscayne Boulevard, he managed to shoot a few frames while police officers arrested him. They had told him to go away. He didn’t. His photos show his arrest on a public sidewalk.

Why do they do it? Because they can? To show they’re in charge?

Badge on the chest, gun belt around the waist and chip on the shoulder?

Every reporter I know – EVERY one – has a deep respect for the law and the people who enforce it. Many count among them good friends and collegial professional relationships. No reporter I know would do anything to compromise an investigation or the safety of an officer or the public. News organizations that employ me have gone out of the way to assist officers and departments when asked.

So why this inherent contentious, combative demeanor? Aren’t we all on the same side?? Serving the people?

54 Responses

  1. I fought the law—and the law obviously won!! Your devotion and expected allegiance to the colleague is admirable as is your commentary that reporters have this deep respect for law enforcement. Fact remains, this fine gent could have avoided his now-declared status of ‘alleged offender,’ had he just followed the direction of the officer(s)in charge at the scene. If there really was that ‘deep respect,’ we so often hear about, maybe this would not have occurred. I do not doubt he is a dedicated and fine journalist ready to cover a news event for the good of the public. Initial fact remains, law enforcement takes charge of those type daily scenes—reporters need to remember to step back, when told, just like all the rest of us. Sure we ‘can all get along,’but sometimes we need recall that the lawmen are there to protect; and, in this case, you are talking bout a heightened scene at a school. Your allegiance to the colleague is admirable, whether the facts stick or do not stick, when all the dust settles..

  2. Well Local-10 has a well proven history of good community reporting. Especially, when compared to some of the other media choices that the local community has. I support Jeff, and Local-10’s commitment to show the community some of the problems with our local schools. Education is important to the community. Maybe Local-10 should focus on the misuse of power by many law enforcement officers. These very officers are supposed to protect our children in violent schools. Now isn’t that ironic. Officers wonder why the community has distaste for the police. As for the above anonymous poster, who smells of a law enforcement officer (especially after the 5am post): the rest of the world has to abide by the rules that you all are in place to enforce. That does not mean you are above those rules. Especially moral rules, one day you may need to rely on those members of the community who are recipients of your abusive power. Like me, possible a trauma nurse at your local hospital…

  3. Way to go, Glenna. Police suppression of the media happens all too often, but we only hear about it when a reporter gets arrested.

    Case in point, your cell phone incident.

    The commenter known as Anonymous states that if the reporter had just followed the officer’s orders, then he would not have been arrested.

    The truth is, most reporters abide by this philosophy even when they know the officer has no legal right to order them away from a scene.

    They know that if they stand their ground, they will end up in jail.

    And even though they might win the case several months or years down the line, nothing can make up for the inconvenience of spending a night in jail, especially if that reporter was on deadline.

    It is true that most reporters have a deep respect for law enforcement officials. They understand the high demands of the job more than most people because in many cases, they are working the same incidents, talking to the same victims, trying to make sense of the same facts.

    But unfortunately, some officers have absolutely no respect for the First Amendment.

  4. Thank you Glenna

    Not oly reports, but average citizens, those that are homeless, or appear different are quite often bullied by police. I commend Jeff for taking a stance. The US Supreme court has already ruled that once a right of way is established it is open to everyone, including the press.

    I have seen Fort Lauderdale Police Thugs force a homless person to “move along” even though all he was doing was resting his bare feet by sitting on a bus bench. I asked the officer why he proceded with that action, he told me to “mind your business or I will arrest you with interfering with a police investigation” What was he investigating, a shoeless homeless human being.

    These charges should be dropped by the State Attorneys office and the bullying officer reprimanded and educated on the constitution and the rights it provides US the citizens and tax payers of this country.

  5. Perhaps the police officers are considering this payback for Jeff having gotten them in trouble for the illegal parking near the courthouse from a couple of years ago. Beats fighting actual crime, though…

  6. I had a simular experience with the Miami Beach Police Department. I had a video camera on scene of a shooting that just happend outside of a night club. The police officers told me to stop shooting video and leave the scene even though 30 other people on the side walk were allowed to stay.

    S.J.G.

  7. The so-called law officer who ended up arresting Jeff should have his badge taken from him and be suspended. He must have been reading about Hitler in Nazi German because that’s how he behaved. Jeff did NOTHING WRONG and I am amazed at how Jeff kept his composure and professionalism. Kudos to you Jeff. I just hope that your employers back you up 100%. I am a loyal Channel 10 viewer and I support you!! Good luck. Viewer from Tamarac, FL

  8. as usual the press can do no wrong in their quest for a hot news story and/or the truth……

  9. Watch the raw footage — As far as I can tell, the guy with the press pass and the guy with the badge were in a battle to see who could be stupider and more stubborn, and I score it a draw.

    The cop didn’t need to send Jeff across the street and Jeff didn’t need to fight him on it (there were certainly enough people crossing the street that he could have gotten all he needed for the segment). He wanted to get arrested, told his cameraman to get it on film, and did it with a gun on him. It reminded me somewhat of the U of F student who was left to cry “Don’t Taze Me, Bro!”

    And the cop was left with the challenge of writing a report where he needs to articulate how his “lawful” order commanding Jeff to leave the sidewalk was in fact a lawful order.

    Just stupid on both sides…

  10. I support Jeff Weinser and hope Local 10 stands by him, which I think they will. I totally agree with your blog Glenna. Jeff did nothing wrong and law enforcement should learn to respect the 1st ammendment. Perhaps these officers should be re-educated on citizens rights so this doesn’t happen again. It’s an embarrassment for the police department to see their officers behaving this way. Shame on that officer! You go Jeff!

  11. I disagree… Jeff Weinsier is a certain type of reporter, who’s skill is getting in people’s faces – sometimes a good thing, other times not – and this time he pissed off the wrong cop.
    It’s one thing to suggest an officer of abusing the badge, but it’s another to tease the lion and then scream help when he charges. A little discernment was in order and because Jeff decided to stand his ground when it wasn’t necessary, now there’s a problem.
    I don’t suppose it would occur to reporters that sometimes y’all can be a bit of a nuisance to law enforcement and the fire department when all you’re interested in is getting the story – you know, not all of us like snooty annoying people with cameras shoving microphones in our faces demanding that we give them something juicy to plaster all over the TV; You may not always come off that way, but Jeff does a lot—

  12. I am no where near where this happend, however; I can’t help but comment on those that argue the ideology that one MUST listen to a police officer for the reason “BECAUSE they are police officers telling you to do something.”

    Upholding the law /and forcing you to do something are two completely different agendas. Law enforcement everywhere should learn what they are employed to do. Enforce what is written, not what is the mood of the given day. Jon ~ Indianapolis

  13. I totally support Jeff Weinsier in his actions to stand up to police. Police officers more often than not take for granted the badge that they are given. They need to realize wearing that badge is a privledge afforded to them by the taxpayers of this country. After reviewing the tape several times, I think the officer needs to have his badge pulled and I also believe there should be a public apology from Miami-Dade County Public schools. Do not send out the public information officer to give a generic apology for causing all of this mess, have the officers involved go on camera and apologize to Jeff for not having gone to school and learning their constitutional rights.

    -Angelo from Pembroke Pines.

  14. Wow, that cop made a real fool of himself. That video speaks for itself.

  15. Everyone needs to face it, cops don’t like pictures, news or people off the street. My husband was getting arrested one time for resisting arrest. I pulled our camera out of our car and started snapping shots of my husband standing there calmly, hands behind his back, waiting for the cop to put the cuffs on, as he had not done so yet. BEFORE he put the cuffs on he told me I had to stop taking pictures!! I told him when he pries the camera from my cold dead hands! The reason for the arrest? He pulled us over for a check and could find nothing wrong so he decided to go with that…..he even wrote in his report I was hindering him by taking pictures. Standing at the end of my car, was somehow hindering him? Needless to say the case was dismissed! Guess he shouldn’t have mentioned the pictures in his report?

  16. this is sad. Americans do not have the same rights we had 10 years ago.. infact as im typing this im sure ive lost another right as an american citizen. makes me sick, we can thank our great government for this

  17. Respect for law enforcement begins with having integrity. Time and time again, from Dan Rather to Jerry Springer the media is out to showboat themselves. Both law enforcment and journalists have ethical responsibilities, fortunately for journalists their pay is alot higher with alot less professional oversight. The Channel Ten reporter is heard on his Nextel calling someone and almost pridefully wanting to get arrested on camera. Great role model for our kids. What does he strive for next…a gangster rap song? His plain disregard for the officer’s “kind request” was ignored time and time again. Very respectful, again great example for our kids to respect the police. By the way is it constitutional to video tape juveniles without consent, I think not. Your reporter has another accomplishment for his jounalistic career, arrestee. What a fool. The Violence in Schools story should now be called, A fool at a school.

  18. I work with the police everyday. I once had a conversation with a 20 year swat veteran the informed me, they had to take a psychological exam to get the job. But not years later when the job has jaded them, when they need it most.

  19. Cops are idiots. Incidents like this happen every day to countless citizens. That fat, grabby bozo with the badge is so typical of “law enforcement”: bullying people around with the support of his gang when he’s not sucking down donuts by the dozen.

    Open your eyes, people. Cops today don’t have any integrity. They exist to enforce revenue for the state and county. They don’t give a damn about your rights and they hate lights and cameras. These flunkies were the dumb bullies you knew back in high school, only now, they have a gun and the “authority” to do whatever they want.

  20. Um….the officer was in the wrong for asking him to leave a public sidewalk. BUT, you are NOT allowed to carry a gun within 1000 feet of any school real property, regardless of your permit.

    He should have his permit revoked.

  21. I have just looked up the state law on the 500 foot issue. It seems that the police can require someone to leave the area if they meet some requirements. Like believing that they are going to commit a crime.

    If a person has “legitimate business in the school safety zone or any other authorization” they can stay there. So I think Jeff had both the above. He was working on a story and I believe at one point he told the officers that the School District Public Info person told him he could.

    Below is the statute.

    Title XLVI
    CRIMES Chapter 810
    BURGLARY AND TRESPASS View Entire Chapter

    810.0975 School safety zones; definition; trespass prohibited; penalty.–

    (1) For the purposes of this section, the term “school safety zone” means in, on, or within 500 feet of any real property owned by or leased to any public or private elementary, middle, or high school or school board and used for elementary, middle, or high school education.

    (2)(a) Each principal or designee of each public or private school in this state shall notify the appropriate law enforcement agency to prohibit any person from loitering in the school safety zone who does not have legitimate business in the school safety zone or any other authorization, or license to enter or remain in the school safety zone or does not otherwise have invitee status in the designated safety zone.

    (b) During the period from 1 hour prior to the start of a school session until 1 hour after the conclusion of a school session, it is unlawful for any person to enter the premises or trespass within a school safety zone or to remain on such premises or within such school safety zone when that person does not have legitimate business in the school safety zone or any other authorization, license, or invitation to enter or remain in the school safety zone. Any person who violates this subsection commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

    (c) Any person who does not have legitimate business in the school safety zone or any other authorization, license, or invitation to enter or remain in the school safety zone who shall willfully fail to remove himself or herself from the school safety zone after the principal or designee, having a reasonable belief that he or she will commit a crime or is engaged in harassment or intimidation of students entering or leaving school property, requests him or her to leave the school safety zone commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083. Nothing in this section shall be construed to abridge or infringe upon the right of any person to peaceably assemble and protest.

    (3) This section does not apply to residents or persons engaged in the operation of a licensed commercial business within the school safety zone.

  22. BTW the 500 feet is from the edge of the property not the building, so sending anyone across the street would not clear the School Safety Zone.

    I like the idea of this safety zone to keep gang types, or drug dealers from harassing students. But in this case it sure looks like the officers were not clear on what they were doing. The statue seems to say that they need to be notified by someone in the school to enforce this law, so my question who asked them to get Jeff to move and why? Also the officers should have known the law better and explained to the school person that it did not apply to a reporter on Legit bussiness.

  23. The officer was well within his right to order the reporter to the other side of the street. What you fail to mention Glena was that he was “kindy asked to go to the other side of the street,” about 20 times!

    It’s dismissal! Thousands of kids were about to start coming out of school! The last thing you need is for the students to get run over as they jump infront of the camera, trying to get position on each other. A media staging rea was designated by the officer accross the street.

    From that vantage point, he would have been able to get his story, interview the kids, get the pictures, etc. Instead, the guy spent 10 minutes arguing with cops. If you see the unedited tape (which hurts him more than helps him), the reporter clearly says, “I’m going to get arrested today, aint I?”

    When the kids started coming out of school, did he start interviewing them? Of course not, instead he was trying to devise a plan to get to the other side again. he is an idiot and got what he asked for.

    This guy wanted to become the story, and he got what he asked for. I hope he loses his job! Great job Miami-dad4e Schools Police Department!

  24. Y’know, I keep wondering why the cop didn’t just tell Jeff a reason for why he was asking him to move to the other sidewalk. He kept being asked that by Jeff in the beginning and he only kept repeating he was lawfully asking him to move. But why? What was Jeff doing that made it so important for him to move?

    Perhaps, had the officer given him a reason, Jeff would have moved and this whole drama would have never happened. Respect works both ways. When you’re asked why, a simple answer would have gone a long way, I think. Instead, the officer looked like a bully and Jeff looked like the one who stood up to him.

  25. I don’t know what kind of idiot would challenge a cop after being told numerous times to leave an area. The reporter should have left, filed a complaint to internal affairs and then check for legal sufficiency later on his position. Even when a cop is wrong, he can still arrest when challenged, and if he has even argueable probable cause, he has immunity. Yes, the side walk is a public place, but when the reporters presence has now become a debacle and then done in front of hundreds of students in an atmosphere likely to ignite and then causes students to gather instead of getting in their buses and leaving, now that reporter has entered in another realm. I’m 100 percent sure those officers decision will be upheld and the litmus test will be the officer’s arguable probable cause, vs that reporters need to write an article. Even the reporter himself is making comments on camera he intends to challenge the officer. Bad move bro. good luck next time.

  26. An interesting report and blog, I would like to know what Federal Law banning guns within 1000 feet of a school, the report refered to. Didn’t the US Supreme Court in US v Lopez (1995) up hole the lower courts ruling that invalidated this law.

  27. I hope chanel 10 stand behind Jeff, those idiot police officer when they wearin a badge the think they can do whatever they want.

  28. For once it appears media is 100% right. No crime was committed according to the A Form and the video. The push of the cameraman and the arrest should be investigated by the FBI for Federal violations. Ch 10 should not fire the reporter. His mode of concealed carry was not in his waistband, but a method used by Federal air marshals and other sin law enforcement. Slow on the draw, Jeff, but safe. I hope CH 10 realizes the interview of the police union leader demonstrated the stupidity disease that law enforcement has caught from the general populus and thug- minded police management. I believe that while a civilian can use reasonable force, but not deadly force to eject a trespasser from property owned or controlled by the civilian, an LEO cannot. It is either arrest or suck wind.

  29. Great piece Ms. Milberg. Someday, sometime, some cops are idiots to their duty, their powers, and their knowledge. Unlike the Martin Lee Anderson trial outcome, I truly, truly hope, if this gets to a jury, truth will be victorious. Give my best to Jeff and his family.

  30. One misconception I have seen on here is about this 1000ft rule and the reporter having a gun. He was perfectly legal in doing so. According to 2007 Florida Law, Chapter 790. WEAPONS AND FIREARMS.
    Section 790.115 Possessing or discharging weapons or firearms at a school-sponsored event or on school property prohibited; penalties; EXCEPTIONS.–

    (1) A PERSON WHO EXHIBITS any sword, sword cane, FIREARM, electric weapon or device, destructive device, or other weapon as defined in s. 790.001(13), including a razor blade, box cutter, or common pocketknife, except as authorized in support of school-sanctioned activities, in the presence of one or more persons in a rude, careless, angry, or threatening manner and not in lawful self-defense, at a school-sponsored event or ON THE GROUNDS OR FACILITIES OF ANY SCHOOL, school bus, or school bus stop, OR WITHIN 1,000 FEET OF THE REAL PROPERTY that comprises a public or private elementary school, middle school, or secondary school, during school hours or during the time of a sanctioned school activity, commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. This subsection does not apply to the EXHIBITION of a firearm or weapon on private real property within 1,000 feet of a school by the owner of such property or by a person whose presence on such property has been authorized, licensed, or invited by the owner.

    (2)(a) A PERSON SHALL NOT POSSESS ANY FIREARM, electric weapon or device, destructive device, or other weapon as defined in s. 790.001(13), including a razor blade or box cutter, except as authorized in support of school-sanctioned activities, at a school-sponsored event or ON THE PROPERTY OF ANY SCHOOL, school bus, or school bus stop;

    Therefore, Section 1 does not apply to the reporter since he was not exhibiting a firearm.
    Section 2 applies to the reporter since he possessed a firearm, but there is NO LAW STATED about HOW MANY FEET he should be from the school. It just says NOT ON SCHOOL PROPERTY. From video, he was in a PUBLIC RIGHT OF WAY.
    So federal law would apply, BUT NOT TO A PERSON LICENSED BY THE STATE TO CARRY A CONCEALED WEAPON.

    L45-TX

  31. I can’t believe there are wimps who think people should just comply with the stupid cops when they know they are within the law and, in this case, have permission to be on that sidewalk. Why should we just throw our civil rights away and let those Nazis do what they want?

    The school kids’ safety is not an issue here because, in a school zone, cars are just crawling by. Had the news crew been left alone, they probably would have wrapped up their report before classes were dismissed.

    Officer Porky never gave a reason why the news crew had to move. Rarely do the buffoons-with-badges have a valid reason or know the law when they’re abusing their powers. I hope Ofc Chubby and his troop of baboons get sued; but I’m afraid the taxpayers have to foot the bill everytime they lose in court.

    It’s distressing, but there are places in this USA where it is ILLEGAL to record police behavior in public. These laws are being passed to protect the cops as they violate the public’s civil rights with impunity. Without solid evidence, it’s just your word versus theirs. And guess whose side the judge is on? Society has lost sight of the fact that cops exist to supposedly serve the public, with professionalism and respect.

  32. WOW this news station is a JOKE.It appears that Weinser got all of his family and friends to post comments on what a hero he is. Are you kidding me? What kind of a reporter are you? You look like an idiot on TV provoking the police. I would have personally done the cops a favor and crossed the street when asked. Whats the big deal? These police have to protect us civilians from violent criminals and you are busting their chops at a school….Are you nuts? I will never watch channel 10 again. Hopefully local 10 will do the right thing and abandon you and save what credibility they have left.

  33. I support Jeff. No he did not have to go across the street to speak to students, but he had the right to. He could have listened “be bullied” but he noticed a much to often problem with law enforcement, and made the right decision to show our community the problem. The viedo speaks for its self.

  34. Unless there was a legitimate public safety reason to force Jeff to the other side of the street, he should have been allowed to remain on what appeared to be public property. If indeed there was a public safety issue, there seemed to be plenty of opportunity for the officers to communicate that to Jeff. Instead, they seemed to just keep saying that it was a lawful order to move him across the street. It doesn’t matter whether Jeff was purposely “testing” their authority. If they exceeded it, for the public good, they need to be reeled in. Thanks for giving us a look at the raw camera footage.

  35. I hope the station will pursue this matter and air editorials repeatedly until the police apologize and damages are paid (pick a First Amendment charity to donate to).

    I hope station management won’t let this blow over and will resist any wimpy attorney’s advice to back down.

    Anonymous also needs to understand that the press — like them or not — is the only force keeping this country from becoming a police state.

  36. I am a career Law Enforcement officer in Miami-Dade County. I have been following the comments in this forum, after watching the video related to the arrest of Mr. Jeff Weinsier. I will not defend the Officer, nor will I defend Mr. Weinsier in this case.

    But I will say these few things:
    1) Mr. Weinsier put himself in the postion to be intentionally arrested. Kudos for standing up for what he felt the constitution guarantees him. More importantly, good luck in court, in think he made need it. The video helps, yet hurts his case.

    2) The Officers (whatever their names were) could have communicated better, why the media needed to be moved across the street, versus the rest of the general civilians that were using the public sidewalks. (ie: The Principal requested it, for the safety of the students and to prevent the sidewalk from crowding during the school kids leaving for the day, traffic related issues**, etc.)

    Communication helps with getting the job done easier and with less resistance from the public or whoever you are addressing. I have always had the best of luck when communicating with public on why we need something done, when we need it done. Mind you, I have no responsibility to always provide a LENGTHY discussion or explanation (and sometimes quite honestly public safety situations preclude lenghty explanations other than please move, please go inside) However, the officer managed numerous “nicely” asking you to move across the street statements. I feel that it could have been handled better by both the officer and Mr. Weinsier.

    I have been a LOYAL Channel 10 viewer for the past 25 years. Ms. Milberg, I believe in general, that the media has a certain amount of respect for Law Enforcement. They also have an important job to do. Though I failed to see that “respect for law enforcement” in Mr. Weinsier’s actions that he displayed on the video. If anything, he showed a total disrespect for the officers or their position (or whatever their assigned task at hand was).

    Mr Weinsier was argumentative, defiant, provokative and trying to push an issue! Then to make matters worse he proved how right he was (knowing he would go to jail ie: if they’re going to arrest me you are going to get it on camera). For that, he went to jail! In my opinion he should have gone to jail sooner because his conduct of trespassing also became disorderly.

    Quite honestly, despite the officers inability to communicate the reasoning for the media moving, I think the officers showed alot more restraint because they were dealing with the media. Ask anybody that has been arrested for trespassing before (refer to the trespassing statute that one of your forum members posted) most arrestees of that particular crime are not asked politely 20 plus times.

    I am not sure how many of the people that have commented in this forum, drive regularly on the streets of Miami. I have personally done it for 30 years. Traffic lights are mere suggestions, improper turns from the wrong lanes run rampent, speed limit is meant to be tested or ignored (and that includes speeding in school zones), stop signs ignored, people on cellular telephones or driving with their heads somewhere else (rubber-necking). Vehicle crashes in this county are out of control!

    Did you all notice in the video, the gentleman in plain clothes consulting with the officers inside the gate), after Mr. Weinsier was successfully moved across the street the first time?
    Did anyone notice that after Mr. Weinsier was moved across the street, the children were allowed to leave the school?

    My guess would be that the gentleman in the plain clothes was a representative of the school and held up letting the children out until the media was moved safely from the sidewalk. My guess would also be, that with the crazies that we have driving our streets on a day-to-day basis (who rubber-neck at ANYTHING) might have contributed to the concerns for the children’s safety.

    Did anyone noticed that some of the kids were drawn to the camera like moths to a flame? These kids I am refering were totally oblivious to passing motor vehicles. Is the story more important than a child wandering into traffic and getting hit? Is the story so important that Mr. Weinsier chose not wait until the supervisor of the officers arrived and talk to him for an explanation?

    I always tell the people that ask me questions about police work, and want to know how to transition a situation to get a positive response from the police this one thing.

    “Be polite. Be courteous. Do not argue with a police officer. Even if you think you are right! We all have supervisors (and they have supervisors, and so on). If you do not think you are treated properly, talk to our bosses or talk to internal affairs. File a formal complaint later. It beats going to jail”. I stand by that statement and always will!!

    I applaud the story Mr. Weinsier was trying to do. I look forward to seeing the finished the product. I think violence in our schools is downright out of control at times. I never had to worry about the things that the school children today do.

    Again, good luck to Mr. Weinsier. Consider this one a lesson learned. And yes, this lesson was learned the hard way.

    Check out the Resisting arrest without Violence statute:

    Title XLVI
    CRIMES Chapter 843
    OBSTRUCTING JUSTICE View Entire Chapter

    843.02 Resisting officer without violence to his or her person.–Whoever shall resist, OBSTRUCT, or OPPOSE any officer as defined in s. 943.10(1), (2), (3), (6), (7), (8), or (9); member of the Parole Commission or any administrative aide or supervisor employed by the commission; county probation officer; parole and probation supervisor; personnel or representative of the Department of Law Enforcement; or other person legally authorized to execute process in the execution of legal process or in the lawful execution of any legal duty, without offering or doing violence to the person of the officer, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

    A Loyal Viewer from Miami-Dade and a concerned Police Officer.

  37. I say hound these people…including sending reporter crew after reporter crew down there on that same sidewalk to get a story, and videotape their arrests.
    The thing about not allowing people to carry weapons in, or near, schools is just plain nuts.

  38. I am a television reporter in a mid-America market. Our job is to tell a story and to get the video and sound necessary to tell that story. Are you telling me that interviewing kids on one side of the street vs. the other side would have allowed this reporter to tell a better story? He needs to learn to pick his battles. That freedom-of-the-press bug up his backside got him arrested, which if you watch the raw video was clearly his intent. This business is populated with big egos. When you combine that with bad judgement, this is the result.

  39. Obviously, we cannot “just get along”.

    When are you people going to wake up and realize that this isn’t some comfy job that hopefully will lead to a network anchor slot?

    So, you got an apology. Where’s the lawsuit? You don’t smile understandingly and then move on after something like that. And what is wrong with the anchors? Why weren’t they outraged?

    And now this latest, where so-called Law Enforcement violated the Second Amendment in order to suppress the First.

    Where is the legal action? Why aren’t you camped out in front of the DA’s office?

  40. The cops who post on this blog and defend the school police think we should just comply and then complain. The problem is that the vast majority of formal complaints are ignored and that Internal Affairs only covers up official wrong-doing. If citizens truly believed the system was fair, there would be fewer confrontations on the street.

    The police don’t deserve any special respect, only common courtesy. How many times have they been in the news lately for the wrong things? I’ll treat cops with respect when they start abiding by the same laws they enforce and write tickets for. But that’s gonna be a cold day in hell when cops are treated the same as civilians and pay for their traffic infractions and more serious crimes.

  41. Please, please, please sue these “law enforcement” clowns when they do this! Even if you lose, it doesn’t matter–because you are taking a stand for the liberties (supposedly) protected by the Constitution. And please educate your reporters on the law so that they will act EXACTLY like Jeff did! The Bill of Rights is not designed to protect us from terrorists or drug dealers or murderers. The Bill of Rights only protects us from one entity–the government. Standing up for our country oftentimes means disobeying cops. Do not obey directions from cops if what they are commanding you to do is in violation of the Constitution!

  42. Go Jeff!!
    I wouldve enjoyed it more if he wouldve said “Don’t Tase Me Bro” when being handcuffed…. ~~ Joke ;)

  43. As a police officer, I was embarrassed to see a fellow police officer behaving this way. It looked like the other officers were just following the big guys lead. They did seem to be weary of what he was doing. They just didnt stand up and say this was the wrong thing to be doing.
    One other thing. These officers appear to be School Resource Officers. SRO’s are generally directed by the School District as to what laws the School District wants enforced. I’ve seen school districts prevent SRO’s from reporting Sexual Assaults if it appears the assault may have occured on a campus. This may be another situation where the school district, which doesn’t know the law, directed the officer to send the reporter across the street.

  44. The only “crime” this reporter did was “contempt of cop,” which, as far the police are concerned, is their first priority.

    This reporter was so amazingly courageous to stand up for his rights. Use ‘em or lose ‘em.

    To all the cops on here setting up the blue wall of silence – as usual – you’re not fooling anyone. We all know that we have rights and we don’t have to follow orders and click our heels whenever some guy with a badge says so.

  45. “I don’t know what kind of idiot would challenge a cop after being told numerous times to leave an area.”

    I do, it is the kind of idiot who knows that the law and the Constitution are 100% on his side. Whether or not this reporter was an idiot for confronting police, knowing he would be arrested, he had every right to be where he was. The police intentionally interfered with his First Amendment rights.

    Hopefully Local 10 will not bury this story, but will continue to report on it time and again until not only the police department and school district apologizes to the reporter and the station, but also to the entire public for the department’s breach of authority.

  46. Come on PostNews, why suspend the “GO Getter” for being concerned about his safety, et al; knowing that if he sought permission he’d probably be laughed at and sent to cover a serial killer. I hope it’s suspension WITH PAY. Jeff, let’s go to the casino and maybe we’ll get mugged.

  47. Too all of those that say the reporter should have just obeyed the officer:

    Will you stand up when your rights are being violated by the government, or will you just shrink away and allow your abuser to win, while waiting for someone else to do something about it? The first amendment, folks, the very first amendment, was clearly violated here. Watch the raw footage and see that when arrested, the reporter was in the street, not even on the sidewalk! The only law broken that day might have been jaywalking, but there was no arrest for that!

    For any of you that would blindly obey “to stay out of trouble” to call yourselves Americans would be disgusting to me. Have you all really lost your backbone? Your will to live as free citizens? Your desire to be free of the burden and bullying of government thugs? Can’t you see the PIO for the school police back-pedaling? Is this what so many have sacrificed, fought and died for, you and everyone to just allow yourself to be pushed around when anyone is clearly within their rights?

    SHAME!!

  48. This is a sign of a much bigger problem in South Florida. It raises the bigger question of who owns who?? Who are the police really protecting?? It seems very clear that the police are oblivious to the first ammendment of the CONSTITUTION. Reporters have the right to report the story, they have the right to give us the news. This is just another sign of how dirty the police departments are. With South Florida crime the way it is, don’t the police have something better to do???

  49. File a complaint? hahaha, don’t make me laugh, please. Those go right into the garbage bin and will only earn you further scrutiny from the gentlemen you are complaining about. At least this way, he has it all on film and can get the matter settled in front of a court of law. I bet the prosecutor chickens out and throws the case out before it gets anywhere though.

  50. I commend Jeff for standing up for his constitutional rights. That officer was out of line and obviously doesn’t know what his job is. He needs to get schooled and his superiors should get reemed for it. But hey, this is what we get for hiring cops with only High School educations. Ignorant power mongols.

  51. did anyone clearly notice, jeff did go to the other side of the street when asked. he called someone who contacted the miami dade school police. someone who works at 10 was told jeff could go on the sidewalk. he never made it. he was arrested in the crosswalk!
    amazing, actually, it’s scary.

  52. I am a freelance who has been directly effected by abuse from Law Enforcement. I’m not speaking of just moving me from one side of the street, an all out assault on my right to gather images to support a story. In my case I shot a legal image from a legal vantage point with no officer around. Once the image was sold and used on a website that was speaking out about the rampant corruption I was targeted to be harassed to the point of slander.

    My Federal Civil Rights Bench Trial is set for Sept 08 and I can promise it will be explosive, the very thing these “officers” were trying to silence will now be on display for a Federal Judge in open court and entered into evidence as part of the “public record”.

    Deputy Danny Acree with the Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Office told me:
    “We were assigned a task that task led us to you. We were informed that you were out taking pictures of cops and you know we don’t take too kindly of that” This was said during an illegal two hour interrogation, after all when someone invokes their right to a lawyer the questioning should have ceased at that point.

    Where does this abuse of rights end, if we as professionals do not take a stand?

  53. […] Glenna Milberg: Speaking of the mainstream media, Milberg was the only television reporter to report on my arrest, expressing surprise when none of the other stations did. She also showed up to my trial with a cameraman and has always been supportive of my battle. She has also written against police abuses on her blog. […]

  54. :’- I am very thankful to this topic because it really gives up to date information `””

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