I'll start with some background info for my question.
I'm a photojournalist based in Michigan.
I was on (what appeared to be) a public sidewalk.
I was taking photos of the Oakland County Jail for a story I was working on.
I was outside the OCSO jail getting some photo and video for a story when several LEOs approached me. One addressed herself as a lieutenant. She told me I was in a "secure jail area" and had to stop taking photos. My argument was that I was on a public sidewalk, exercising my 1st amendment rights. She responded, telling me that if I didn't leave, I'd be arrested for trespassing. Another officer said I could take photos if I went to the other side of a sign. I complied, and continued my work. He ordered that I go to the other side of a sign that was farther away.
Were they right?