By Carlos Miller
Here’s guaranteeing that Thomas Weindruch will think twice the next time he gets annoyed by a photographer.
That is, if the Arkansas State Trooper is ever granted the privilege to arrest again.
As it is right now, the 33-year-old cop has been assigned to temporary office duties inside the department’s headquarters facility. He has been ordered not to wear his uniform or make any attempt to act in the capacity of a law enforcement officer, according to the Morning News of Northwest Arkansas.
Meanwhile, all charges were dropped against Bill Lawson, the 59-year-old Maumelle Monitor photojournalist Weindruch arrested this month as he was attempting to take photos of a chimney fire .
Instead of the fire, Lawson ended up photographing Weindruch, which is the photo posted above (one day we should start a collage of cop photos taken seconds before they arrest the photographer).
Lawson, a military veteran and cancer survivor, had never been arrested before, according to his first-person account of the arrest.
Weindruch, who charged Lawson with “obstructing governmental operations,” stated in the incident report that he feared for his safety because the flash of the camera was blinding him. He is now being investigated by internal affairs.
All this happened in less than a week, demonstrating that things work much faster in Arkansas than they do in Miami (for I have yet to go to trial).
Either Stephens Media, who owns the Maumelle Monitor and the Morning News, has some serious clout or Arkansas State Police Directer Col. Winford Phillips, who disciplined Weindruch, has some serious respect for the First Amendment.
Either way, it’s a victory.216