Journalist claims unlawful arrest by KISD Police - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |


Journalist claims unlawful arrest by KISD Police


A freelance journalist spent a night in jail after he says he was wrongly arrested Friday by Killeen ISD Police.

Freelancer Perry Penning was shooting video and interviewing neighbors for a story, across the street from Charles Patterson Middle School when he was approached by an officer.

Penning kept the camera rolling and captured video he says is proof of his unlawful arrest.

Penning says he was surprised by the KISD's officer actions because he had notified the school district and principal beforehand that he would be filming.

Arrest records show that the KISD officer did arrest him off of school property. 

"I did not do an unsafe act, I did not threaten anybody at the school, and I did not cause any type of problem or to the determent school."

The officer later called Killeen PD for backup.

"You can't get a police car out there to open the roads for traffic but they can send six to nine police cars out there for one guy with a camera trying to do a story."

He was charged with criminal trespassing and failure to show ID. KISD declined our request to do either an on camera or phone interview, but did release this statement:

"The matter has been brought to the attention of the KISD Administration and the KISD Chief of Police. The incident is currently being investigated," said Killeen Executive Officer Ramona L. B. Bellard.

Penning also claims the officer stole his camera because she never registered it as evidence with Killeen PD or KISD and took hours to track down. 

He says KISD Police Chief Walker Veal even apologized to him after the incident when he returned to camera to pick up his camera. But Penning says sorry isn't good enough.

"Apology accepted, but for the rest of my life I'm going to be dealing with this incident. It's out there. Everybody knows, once it's on the web it's there forever."

After a little online digging News Channel 25 found another incident where Penning had a run in with the law. He was arrested by Austin Police in June of last year for making a terrorist threat. Those charges were later dropped.

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