No Charges Filed Against Milwaukee News Photographer

Prosecutors have decided not to “issue any tickets” against a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel photographer arrested while covering an Occupy protest near the University of Wisconsin last month, the newspaper has reported.

It is unclear from the report what grounds prosecutors may have had–if any–for issuing tickets.

The photographer, Kristyna Wentz-Graff, was arrested while photographing the protest November 2, and taken to a police station in downtown Milwaukee. The Journal Sentinel reported at the time that she was arrested “without warning [and] without being told why she was being arrested.”

In video footage that circulated online showing a police officer grabbing Wentz-Graff and handcuffing her, the photographer’s press credentials were clearly visible, and she was carrying two cameras–one with a very large lens. (A still photo of her arrest can be seen here.) Bystanders also reportedly told police she was a working journalist as they arrested her.

Under criticism for the arrest, and protest from the Journal Sentinel, police said at the time they had no idea she was a journalist until after they arrived with Wentz-Graff at the police station.

The mayor of Milwaukee reportedly said shortly after the arrest that it was clear to him from the video footage that Wentz-Graff was a journalist, and he added, “I very much support her First Amendment right to be there.”

Related: Pictures of Photog’s Arrest Force Police Accountability

5 Responses to “No Charges Filed Against Milwaukee News Photographer”

  1. Dan Says:

    “police said at the time they had no idea she was a journalist until after they arrived with Wentz-Graff at the police station.”

    That is mind-boggling, to point that I simply don’t believe that they didn’t realize it earlier. This is just another example of an all-too-common abuse of power by police.

  2. Greg Says:

    If the police were unable to conclude she was a credentialed photojournalist from her two cameras and the press credentials she was wearing, they’re incompetent and should be fired. If her behaviour was inconsistent with her credentials then that’s another story, but I’d say, “Put up or shut up,” and the point at which they should have “shut up” was just prior to the point of arrest.

    Agreed…another example of abuse of power.

  3. Brt Says:

    So basically they are admitting that they detained her without cause to surpress her documenting the situation. Which is illegal. So who’s going to “issue any tickets” to the cops who broke the law? Anyone? … Anyone? … Bueller?

  4. dbltapp Says:

    There will be no changes to these “harrass the photographer” attitudes until the offending officers’ superiors suffer consequences for their subordinates actions.

  5. Andrew Says:

    American democracy in action?