Milwaukee Police Arrest Videographer For Filming (Loitering)

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:






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  • Ruprecht Raoul

    I hate Milwaukee Police more than anyone, but seriously dude, while you were in fact exercising your 1st amendment rights, you were still being kind of a douche. Just saying.

  • Chris

    For the reasons we have discussed, we see no
    basis in the law for a reasonable officer to conclude that such a
    conspicuous act of recording was “secret” merely because the
    officer did not have actual knowledge of whether audio was being
    recorded. We thus agree with the district court that, at this
    stage in the litigation, the officers are not entitled to qualified
    immunity from Glik’s Fourth Amendment claim.

    GLIK v. CUNNIFFE, et al, No. 10-1764 (United States Court of Appeals 1st Cir. August 26, 2011) The people have a 1st Amendment right to video police in their duty in a public forum.

    So bring your Civil Rights case in Federal District Court and summons that Videotape before it’s erased.

  • Yet another example of the “We don’t care what your constitutional rights are” “You WILL submit to MY authority” Crowd. These clowns aren’t the only ones out of control in this country, as we’ve seen with the videos posted from virtuall every police force in the country. The peeps are strained. They are near a breaking point. The more we see incidents like this, and less of the cops dealing with real threats to us(the true law-breakers), and the more that we see evidence of there being more police on the take or in collusion with the very elements they are sworn and paid to protect us from, the more that the peeps will begin to revolt. I give it another 2 yrs. before we see the first rumblings of this revolt. See Ya’ll in the trenches. LOL.

  • Chris Mallory

    Ok, how does a private business “own” the sidewalk? Looking at the Google street view, there is a very small inset right in front of their door, I will give them ownership of that. But most of the sidewalk in front of their building should be public property. If anything, the club should be getting a citation for the velvet rope in the middle of the sidewalk.

  • wow

    Might want to do a little checking. In some communities, the businesses do own the sidewalk. This is a pro-active approach to keeping loitering at bay. You can’t be trespassed from a “public” sidewalk, but if it’s owned by the business owner, you can!

    The down sides are that the businesses have to do the up keep to the sidewalks (fix damage, clear snow, etc…), or they can be fined, or worse, sued if someone gets injured on their sidewalk.

  • Centurion

    Main street sidewalks cannot be owned by businesses, get the tax print out of that city I guarantee that youll find Public works or park and rec depts. clean , sweep, snow removal#2 If it is a public accessible or a throughway especially downtown again for the fucking millionth time it is public jurisdiction. It is plain obvious that these police dicks are extremely nervous about people seeing how they operate. On top of them assaulting the video man by pushing him out of the way and unbecoming conduct with all their disorganized orders. It is quit clear these police need to be arrested for treason for violating public jurisdiction and violating free speech PLAIN and SIMPLE . Keep up the good work capturing these dushbag sketchballs.

  • John

    This guy recording is a total D Bag!

  • Common Sense

    Gilk only covers the 1st District.

    You were acting like a tool, there was a complaint, you failed to move and were arrested, just like you wanted. Stop bitching.

  • wiguy

    Commoncop, glick is precedent which would be used in all cases in all districts…dumbass. And John the troll from hundreds of miles away, keep using typical cop, cliche, sexually oriented adjectives like, “Douchebag, turd, etc…”

    Enjoy your supervised visit with the kids on Saturday. Bitch…

  • Rango

    Hey man you should keep me posted on how it goes because I just got put in the back of a car and given a loitering ticket for filming last night in downtown Milwaukee

  • wiguy

    Hey Rango, I’m the guy in this video. I have some information that will be helpful to your case via my mpd open records requests. Feel free to email me at I also have the current status of fighting my charge documented with 8 or 9 videos under my youtube handle milwaukeecitizenpress. I meet with a prosecutor July 10 and should have a video up by that night.