Milwaukee Cops Turn Camera On Reporter When Asked For ID

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Video tape that reporter. Click photo to watch our video.

Video tape that reporter. Click photo to watch our video.

Several Milwaukee police officers were captured again on video refusing to identify themselves as required by police rules. In response to questions about their identity, one officer turned a video camera on the reporter and protesters asking for the information.

The problem has been a running one as community activists try to bring attention to a pair of deaths they blame on Milwaukee police brutality.As we reported from last Sunday’s march, some MPD officers have been covering their badge numbers and refusing to identify themselves. At a march on Friday the same behavior was displayed at the police administration building, though it appeared that some officers had electrical tape not actually covering an identification number.

As seen in the video, many officers are wearing an MPD windbreaker style jacket. Some officers who are wearing this style jacket, who do not have electrical tape on their coats, do not have identification numbers on the front of their coat. Two officers with the same style coat, have large pieces of tape placed where an identification number typically would be on their uniform. The ID badge is hard to see in the video since it is a dark badge on the officer’s right hand side. A metal badge is on the officers left hand side but does not have an ID number or name.

In the past, police have said the black tape honors other officers killed in the line of duty. Regardless of the motivation for officers to cover existent or non-existent identification on their uniform, it is still against MPD rules and regulations rule 4, section 255.00 to not identify themselves to members of the public when asked.

In the above video, an officer points for the MPD camera man to start recording me and an activist from Occupy the Hood while we asked officers to identify themselves.

Jasmine Washington, Occupy the Hood, reacts to their denial of entry calling it an intimidation tactic by the MPD.

At the city hall, two men were detained by police. A young man was attempting to drop a banner on an upper floor of the city hall, but was immediately pulled away from the banister by a police officer. The second man was detained for an undetermined reason.

Both men were released before activists left city hall.

This happened at the end of a silent march on the sidewalk to the Police Administration building in downtown Milwaukee. Activists were hoping to speak with MPD Chief Edward Flynn. Activists were not allowed to enter the public building, the doors being blocked by several MPD officers who said the building was temporarily closed during business hours.

The next march planned is Sunday, December 2 to be held at North Sherman and Hampton Avenues in Milwaukee.

Tracey Pollock

Tracey Pollock, a native of River Falls, Wis., studied journalism at UW-River Falls and finished her education at UW-Milwaukee with a focus in sociology. She is interested in covering social justice issues and shedding light on issues in a way that corporate media will not undertake. Pollock lives in Milwaukee, where generations of her family have resided. She enjoys the local music scene, bicycling and camping.

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