Monthly archives: March 2011

March 31st, 2011

Miami Police Assault Photojournalist for Shooting Video 0

By Carlos Miller


Stretch Ledford, the Miami photojournalist who was with me during my first Metrorail run-in last year, was assaulted by a Miami police officer for shooting video this morning.

Ledford was videotaping a double-shooting investigation in Overtown, one of Miami’s most crime-ridden neighborhoods, when a female officer ordered him to walk away – despite the fact that he was standing outside the yellow crime tape they had up.

Officer J. Mayorga then reached for his camera and tried to pry it from his hands.

Ledford, who posted about the incident on his blog, yelled out “assault” so the other officers could hear.

Mayorga then backed off, but continued to order him away, accusing him of “interfering with the investigation.”

The altercation drew the attention of other officers, including a sergeant, who also tried to reach for Ledford’s camera, muttering something about her being undercover – although she was in full uniform.

The officers then expanded the perimeter with the crime tape, thus keeping Ledford well away from the actual crime scene.

Ledford then approached the sergeant to file a report, but she told him they were too busy tending to the double-shooting.

But apparently not busy enough to assault Ledford in the first place.

Ledford, who has been a professional photojournalist for decades, is now pursuing a masters degree at the University of Miami in multimedia journalism.

Documenting life in Overtown is part of an ongoing project he has been working on for his degree, which is why he moved there two months ago.

He is an excellent story-teller through his videos. Check them out here.

“This is the first time I ever felt threatened by anybody in Overtown,” said Ledford, who is white, of this predominantly black neighborhood.

The Miami Police Department has been under heavy criticism lately for killing seven black men in the last eight months on these same streets, including two who were unarmed.


March 31st, 2011

El Paso Sheriff Insults Councilman for Videotaping Detective 0

By Carlos Miller

El Paso County Sheriff Richard Wiles proved to be “silly,” “stupid” and “unprofessional” when he accused a city councilman of the same for having the gall to videotape one of his detectives on a public street.

Sheriff Richard Wiles denounced Socorro City Councilman Jesus Gandara Jr. on a KFOX 14 news segment Tuesday after an incident in which the councilman accused a detective of assaulting him.

The detective was investigating Gandara for allegedly abusing his power and having public workers pave his private driveway with public funding.

Accompanied by a photographer, the detective was trying to determine if the public project extended into Gandara’s private driveway.

Gandara then stepped out of his home with his own camera.

So far, everything seems normal and legit – aside from the fact that Gandara is a possible swindler.

This is how Wiles explains it:

“He comes out and he starts videotaping us. Now how silly is that? Here’s a police vehicle out there, here’s a police crime tech with a video camera, and he’s videotaping us, that’s stupid. It doesn’t make any sense, it’s very unprofessional, and I don’t appreciate the way he is treating my personnel,” Wiles told KFOX 14.

“So he goes up and tries to videotape the witness in the back of the police car who doesn’t want to be videotaped and the detective approached him and asked him to step back, and grabbed the camera and pushed it down.”

However, according to a Socorro police report, the detective grabbed Gandara’s hand and squeezed it, causing pain.

Gandara has since filed a misdemeanor assault charge against the detective, which concerns Wiles because he believes Socorro police are acting only on the orders of the Socorro councilman.

And we are not naïve to assume that Socorro police would have filed the same report had this been a regular Joe Blow from Socorro.

Regardless, the detective tried to prevent Gandara from videotaping, which is a violation of his rights, no matter how bad of sleazebag he may be.

And the sheriff doesn’t help matters any by insulting the councilman for videotaping the detective.

March 30th, 2011

I Was on the Katherine Albrecht Show Monday Discussing My Lawsuit 0

By Carlos Miller

On Monday, hours after my attorney filed our lawsuit against 50 State Security, I was asked to discuss my story on the Katherine Albrecht Show.

I was on for the full hour and my attorney, Michael Pancier, joined us for the second half of the show.

You can check out the segment here.

Also, The Miami Herald published the news in its print edition in Tuesday’s newspaper, even though they did not put it in its online version.

Check out the photo below.


March 30th, 2011

Videos Contradict Claims by Police Officer in Miami Beach Melee 0

By Carlos Miller

A Miami Beach police officer was caught on video body slamming a woman half his size because she had been kicked out of a concert.

About three feet away from him, a security guard places what appears to be an illegal chokehold on a male suspect.

Meanwhile, a growing crowd watching and recording the incidents voice their displeasure at what they are witnessing.

Eventually more cops arrive, which prompts the first cop to pull someone out of the crowd to arrest him, charging him with aggravated battery on a police officer.

However, none of the four videos available from this incident show this took place.

Read the whole story I wrote and check out the rest of the videos on Miami Beach 411 where I question the arrest and the chokehold.



March 29th, 2011

NJ girl who was detained for videotaping cops files lawsuit 0

By Carlos Miller

A teenage girl who was detained for videotaping police officers in New Jersey last year is suing the Newark Police Department.

Khaliah Fitchette, then a 16-year-old high school student, began recording police who were investigating a case where a man had fallen on the bus.

Up to that point, it was a routine investigation.

But then one officer ordered the girl to stop recording. When she continued doing so, the officer grabbed her off the bus, deleted the video, handcuffed her, refused to call her mother and tried to charge her with obsruction of justice, according to the New Jersey Star-Ledger.

Now the ACLU and the Civil Rights and Constitutional Litigation Clinic at Seton Hall Law School are suing on her behalf.

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