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City of Oak Creek v. Ah King

436 N.W.2d 285 (1989)

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City of Oak Creek v. Ah King

Wisconsin Supreme Court

436 N.W.2d 285 (1989)

Facts

In 1985, a plane crashed in a restricted area of an airport in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. Peter Ah King (defendant), a news cameraman, jumped over a fence to gain access to the area and began taking pictures of the crash site. After repeatedly refusing a police officer’s order to leave the area, Ah King was arrested for violating an ordinance of the City of Oak Creek (plaintiff) that prohibited disorderly conduct. The officer who arrested Ah King testified at Ah King’s trial that the fence was marked with a no-trespassing sign and that approximately five other people were standing outside the fence when Ah King jumped over it. The trial court found Ah King guilty of disorderly conduct. Ah King appealed his conviction to the court of appeals, arguing, among other things, that as a news gatherer, he had a First Amendment right of access to the crash site despite the general public’s being barred from the area. The court of appeals requested certification to the Wisconsin Supreme Court, which the latter granted.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Ceci, J.)

Dissent (Abrahamson, J.)

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