Monthly archives: October 2011

October 31st, 2011

Virginia Police Arrest Photojournalist Documenting Occupy Richmond Crackdown 0

By Carlos Miller

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A Virginia photojournalist was arrested early this morning while documenting a police crackdown on Occupy Richmond protesters.

Ian Graham, who was shooting for RVA Magazine, was arrested on charges on trespassing for crossing a public street outside Kanawa Plaza where protesters had been camping out since October 15.

That should get laughed out of court.

But, of course, it doesn’t matter to police if the charges stick or not because they were able to prevent him from documenting their actions.

I was there to photograph the police dissemble the occupation, and therefore what many call the trampling of the first and possibly second amendments. The people assembled in a (literal) public square, were paid lip service to by local authorities, and on the last morning of October, the local police were forced into thuggery by an order from on high. Again, I was not at Kanawa Plaza to make a political statement, I wanted to take some pictures… and instead, I got arrested for crossing the fucking street. The official charge is of trespassing. There were people on both sides of the crosswalk where I was arrested, and none of them were arrested. But none of them had cameras, either.

Police arrested nine people altogether on trespassing charges, according to CBS 6 News.

Even though the above news report insinuated that Graham was part of the movement, he clarified on Twitter that he was only there to do his job.

2 things I want to make clear: I do not speak for the #rva occupation, and I believe my arrest was motivated by my camera.


Please send stories and tips to carlosmiller@magiccitymedia.com
October 31st, 2011

NPPA Asking DC To Change Policy That Can Be Used To Target Photographers 0

By Carlos Miller

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Even though the Washington Post assured we had nothing to worry about regarding a policy that allows police to arrest photographers who spend more than five minutes at a single location taking pictures, the National Press Photographers Association wasn’t too convinced.

So earlier today, Mickey Osterreicher, general consul for the NPPA, sent a letter to the city’s district attorney, asking him repeal the current policy and offering to work with the city in establishing a policy that is not so vague and broad where it could subject anybody with a camera to arrest.

The policy is meant to target street photographers who prey on tourists, according to the Washington Post, which states that “as long as you don’t make a living hustling tourists for snapshots, you can snap away without keeping an eye on your watch.”

But we’ve all seen cops abuse laws in the books to harass innocent citizens with cameras.

Osterreicher, who has sent countless letters to various agencies in the last few months, working with several departments to revise their photo policies, stated the following in this morning’s letter:

Given the recent penchant for police to interfere with, harass and in many cases arrest photographers (i.e. D.C. Taxicab Commission meeting), the NPPA is concerned that these infringing regulations would provide the police with unbridled discretion to abridge the rights of photographers covering such events as “Occupy Wall Street” or any situation involving “photography of any person(s)” or lasting longer than five (5) minutes in any one location. Nationwide, photographers are increasingly subject to harassment by police officers, who, under color of law, cite safety and security concerns as a pretext to chill free speech and expression or to impede the ability to gather news. In that regard I would direct your attention to a recent decision by the First Circuit where the court recognized “the fundamental and virtually self-evident nature of the First Amendment’s protections” of the “right to film government officials or matters of public interest in public space.”1

It is our position that these facially defective regulations will only further contribute to the erroneous belief by law enforcement that public photography may be arbitrarily limited or curtailed. We  therefore respectfully request that these regulations be repealed immediately. In the alternative, we propose to work with your office to draft revised language that would be more narrowly tailored to serve a substantial government interest as a reasonable time, place and manner restriction on commercial photography.


Please send stories and tips to carlosmiller@magiccitymedia.com

October 30th, 2011

Occupy Wall Street Protester Threatens To Stab Reporter 0

By Carlos Miller

An Occupy Wall Street protester was arrested Friday after he threatened to stab a news reporter in the neck with a pen.

The protester also tore the microphone out of the reporter’s hand, dismantling it in the process.

The reporter, John Huddy from WYNW, an affiliate of Fox News, did a great job of maintaining his composure while not backing down.

He even stressed in his report that the incident was isolated and not a representation of the entire Occupy Wall Street movement, which he has been covering for weeks now.

Huddy describes the incident beginning at 1:55 in the above video. You will also see footage of the moments after the confrontation where Huddy is making a stand despite having just been assaulted and threatened.

The man who attacked him, Dustin Taylor, 34, of Ohio, can also be seen in the above video and it’s obvious he’s not all there.

Taylor, who can be seen being led away by police, was charged with grand larceny, menacing and criminal possession of a weapon.


Please send stories and tips to carlosmiller@magiccitymedia.com

 

October 30th, 2011

Journalist Arrested Covering Occupy Rochester Protest 0

By Carlos Miller

A student journalist documenting the arrests of Occupy Rochester protesters Friday night was arrested himself, even though he clearly identified himself as a journalist.

Jonathan Foster, 20, was even wearing a shirt that said “Reporter,” showing he was on assignment for Reporter Magazine, the weekly publication from the Rochester Institute of Technology.

I contacted Foster for an interview on Saturday, but he didn’t want to go on the record.

However, he gave an interview to a local news station, which you can see in the video above starting at 1:28.

Rochester police arrested 32 people altogether, mostly because they refused to leave Washington Square Park by the 11 p.m. curfew.

It was the first time police in New York enforced a curfew on Occupy protesters.

It may also be the first time since the Occupy protests started springing up around the country that the city’s police chief was making the actual arrests.

Rochester Police Chief James Sheppard even arrested Emily Good, the woman who made international headlines this year when she was arrested for video recording a cop from her front yard.

The protesters returned to the park Saturday night, remaining until midnight when police ordered them to leave.


Please send stories and tips to carlosmiller@magiccitymedia.com

 

October 29th, 2011

Journalist Uses Flip Camera To Document Own Arrest 0

By Carlos Miller

A reporter for the Nashville Scene was interviewing protesters with a Flip camera when he was caught up in a mass arrest at an Occupy Nashville protest.

The protesters were standing in front of Legislative Plaza where they had been camped out for three weeks.

Jonathan Meador can be heard identifying himself as a journalist, but the cop handcuffed him anyway.

One cop can be heard telling another cop to book him for “resisting arrest.”

Meador ended up being booked on public intoxication, which was never part of the conversation during the arrest.

And he comes across extremely sober while interviewing the protesters before his arrest.

The video reminds me of my second arrest for taking photos of cops in which I was initially charged with disorderly intoxication, a charge that was later changed to resisting arrest, which I ended up beating in court when the cop didn’t show up.

I describe that arrest here (scroll down to middle of story):

They charged me with disorderly intoxication, which requires a suspect to be carrying a drink in public as well as causing a public disturbance. I was not carrying any booze and asking a cop for his name is hardly creating a public disturbance. And neither is taking his picture for that matter.

I ended up spending the night in jail with a bunch of other guys arrested on baseless charges on Miami Beach.

Meador was among 25 people arrested that night whose charges were quickly dropped by a night court judge who took the time to research the law.

“I have reviewed the regulations of the state of Tennessee, and I can find no authority anywhere for anyone to authorize a curfew anywhere on Legislative Plaza,” Judge Nelson told a grimacing trooper, before ordering the immediate release of everyone arrested.

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