September 1, 2012

MORE ODD HAPPENINGS INVOLVING THE MILWAUKEE POLICE DEPARTMENT:

Some people who beat a ticket in Milwaukee Municipal Court might do a little victory dance.

Geoff Davidian appealed.

Davidian wanted his day in court to explore what he contends was a mishandling of a traffic accident involving a police officer and Davidian’s attempts to report it. He wanted a trial, where the police officer would have to testify. Instead, a judge dismissed the case.

“What am I trying to accomplish?” Davidian said. “To have cops not stop a reporter with a camera, and to make this judge think before he does that kind of thing again.”

It all started more than a year ago when Davidian was ticketed for resisting or obstructing, after he tried to videotape the arrest of a woman he says was wrongly struck by a Milwaukee police cruiser exiting an alley.

Unsuccessful in having the case reactivated, Davidian returned to Municipal Court last week with fliers about his experience, warning others headed inside to not let themselves be rushed or bullied.

Davidian says he discovered a whole lot of things he didn’t like about the court during his foray through the system. He says Judge Phillip Chavez refused to allow him to record his own proceeding, wouldn’t allow Davidian’s chosen counsel to appear on his behalf, and didn’t notify him when he denied Davidian’s appeal.

His biggest surprise, he said, was having a substitute judge who’s not even a lawyer appear one day to dismiss the case, while ordering no record be made.

That town really doesn’t seem to care much for the rule of law.

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