A veteran photographer was taken away in handcuffs shortly after filming footage of a Milwaukee house fire behind police tape.
Clint Fillinger, 68, was cited for "resisting and obstructing an officer," according to a report by Milwaukee's Fox 6, the station for which Fillinger was filming.
Fillinger told reporters he was approached by an officer, who told him to move back from the scene for his own safety.
In the video footage, the photographer can be heard defending his rights by saying, "If the public is out here, I'm allowed to be out here," TV Spy points out.
(Scroll to watch footage)
He said he put up his hand to slow down the officer, when he was knocked to the ground.
The event is stirring up some controversy among officials at media organizations, who are highlighting the photographer's right to access under the first amendment.
The National Photographers Press Association wrote a complaint letter to the police department, stating "Sgt. Thomas Heinz pretextually stated he has [sic] moving Mr. Fillinger “for his own safety” yet did not see fit to move any other persons back or to move the previously established police/fire lines.'"
The news station's management team has sent a letter to the department requesting the citations be dropped, FOX 6 reported.
"We are aware of the incident and are looking into it," Anne Schwartz, Milwaukee Police communications director, told The Huffington Post in an email.
On Sept. 21, Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn responded to the incident involving Fillinger. Flynn came to the defense of the officers saying, "If the cameraman had simply complied with the instructions to back off from a working fire, none of this hullabaloo would be taking place."
However, in the interview with FOX6, Flynn also pointed out that additional steps need to be taken before the department makes a decision.
"Ascertaining exactly what happened terms of the sequence of events in which the photographer is on the ground, clearly we've got to look into it. We need interviews. We need to interview him. We need a formal interview with the officers and any other witnesses we have," he told the reporter.
More news organizations, such as the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTNDA) and the Wisconsin News Photographers Association (WNPA), have also sent the department letters asking that Fillinger's citation be dropped.
To watch the full interview with Flynn, view the FOX6 video at the bottom of this article.
WATCH: Police Chief Response
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