WPLG's Jeff Weinsier was arrested yesterday for having a gun at a Miami high school where he was doing a piece on school violence. That's a photo from WPLG above, though I couldn't find the video footage. From WPLG's account:
"Kindly, go across the street now," an officer is shown telling Weinsier during the videotaped encounter.
"I'm not," Weinsier replied. The officer then handcuffed him.
Weinsier, 40, was charged with possession of a firearm on school grounds, trespassing on school property with a weapon and resisting officers without violence.
The photographer working with Weinsier, Frank Debesa, said afterward: "Jeff did have a gun on him."
Sure, the irony is rich, and yes, this thing reeks of First Amendment abuse, for which the Pulp is firmly in Weinsier's corner. (Weinsier maintains that he wasn't trespassing and I think he's right). But the most intriguing part may be that he was carrying the gun because he was afraid some restaurant owners were going to come after him for his "Dirty Dining" series. Did Weinsier, who had a concealed weapons permit and who I've found to be a truly agressive reporter (a good thing), really think he was going to get in a shoot-out with an angry restaurateur? This arrest might have saved some trouble in the future:
OFFICER: You killed that cook, Jeff. WEINSIER: He was trying to kill me. He had a gun in his hand. OFFICER: That wasn't a gun, Jeff. It was a pepper grinder, a simple pepper grinder. WEINSIER: But ... but ... nooooooo...