We knew it was too good to be true; the way Miami-Dade Metrorail security officials informed us that they are now aware of the law that states photography at transit stations is permissible.
On Thursday, I was once again accosted by a Metrorail Security Guard from 50 State who bull-rushed me as if I were a matador.
The same security guard also bull-rushed Adam Mueller from Liberty on Tour, part of the activist duo who finally made it to Miami after traveling the country for the past few months in an RV.
The guard, whose name is Carlos Rodriguez, ended up grabbing Mueller’s camera, attempting to shut it down.
He also tried to grab my camera, but I’m a veteran at these situations so I stepped aside or turned my back on him like a true matador.
When he realized we were not going to allow ourselves to be intimidated, he pulled out his own cell phone camera and took our pictures.
Considering the guy was armed, we’re lucky that is all he pulled out.
We both smiled for the picture. I introduced myself. Adam waved.
The above video is a compilation of the footage I shot and the footage Adam shot. Adam put it together after I dropped him off at the RV.
So what does this all mean? Well, besides constant fodder for my blog, it means that there is a serious lack of communication within Miami-Dade County Transit and 50 State Security.
Last month, after two incidents in which I was either “permanently banned” from the Metrorail or outright assaulted by a security guard for shooting video on the premises, a local representative fired off a letter of complaint to Miami-Dade County Manager George Burgess.
It took a couple of months, but Burgess eventually responded to Coconut Grove Village Councilman Stephen Murray, informing him of the following:
“MDT met with the security contractor and stressed the right of the public to photograph in the common areas of its public facilities. To that end, all contracted security officers have been retrained on the appropriate manner in which to enforce Miami-Dade County Code of Ordinances, Part III, Chapter 30B-5, governing photography on the transit system, and a copy of the aforementioned code has been placed at all MDT Metrorail security kiosks.”
The right to take photographs on the Metrorail was also confirmed in a letter to the National Press Photographers Association from Eric Muntan, director of security for Miami-Dade Transit.
And it was only last month that I, along with a group of Miami photographers, visited the Coconut Grove Metrorail Station and after initially being told we were not allowed to take pictures, were informed that yes, we are allowed to take pictures inside the stations.
We were even shown a laminated copy of the law that they supposedly had placed at all the Metrorail stations.
And we were informed that every single security guard would be required to sign a notice that they are aware of the county law that allows photography and videography inside Metrorail stations.
But even then, we knew it was too good to be true.
If you’re in the Miami area, Liberty on Tour activists Adam Mueller and Pete Eyre will be hosting a meetup Friday night at the Flanigan’s Seafood Bar and Grill in Doral, 8695 NW 12th St Doral, FL 33126. This is in Miami-Dade County.
The event lasts from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Click here for more details.
Unfortunately, I won’t be there because I will be in DC for the Rally to Restore Sanity.
Send stories, tips and videos to Carlos Miller.