Video shows Milwaukee cops lied: Knew they were arresting reporter covering Occupy Milwaukee

New video shows that the Milwaukee police lied when they said they weren’t informed, and had no idea, that they were arresting a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel photojournalist yesterday while she was in the midst of covering the Occupy Milwaukee (#OccupyMKE) protests.

The video shows the photojournalist’s employee ID tags dangling from her neck as the police arrest her, but far more damning is at 0:50 seconds into the video when the crowd yells “she’s a journalist,” and one of the arresting officers responds “it doesn’t matter.”

But look what Milwaukee police spokeswoman Anne Schwartz said last night:

In a statement hours later, Milwaukee Police Spokeswoman Anne Schwartz said those arrested off-campus ignored repeated commands to clear the street and were arrested near the intersection of N. Oakland Ave. and E. Linnwood Ave.

“I can tell you that no one at MPD had any idea (Wentz-Graff) was a journalist until she arrived here at the police station,” Schwartz said. “She never identified herself as a journalist to officers.”

And that’s a lie.  They had an idea.  They didn’t care.  And then they lied about it to the public and to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

So either Anne Schwartz is a liar, or the cops on the scene lied to Anne Schwartz.  Either way, the Milwaukee police department lied.

The bottom line is that the police knew this woman was a journalist with the local Milwaukee paper, they arrested her anyway for taking photos, and they intentionally lied to the public yesterday when they said they didn’t realize she was a journalist.  They knew.  They admitted it on the scene.  And they chose to lie to the people of Wisconsin.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

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