Monthly archives: February 2012

February 28th, 2012

Public Records Activists Squeezing Info From MDPD Regarding My Arrest 0

By Carlos Miller

When it comes to obtaining public records, nobody does it better than Joel and Robert Chandler.

Based out of Central Florida, the Chandler brothers have proven to be a thorn in the side of government agencies that refuse to provide public records.

Joel, who has been mentioned in countless news articles for his work, runs Fog Watch. Robert runs Raw Dash Cam. They drove down to Miami for my Metrorail photo protest in 2010.

That is why I’m very fortunate to have them on my side demanding public records from the Miami-Dade Police Department regarding my arrest.

At first, Miami-Dade police brushed them off as they normally do to pesky citizens asking questions. Just take a look at the “arrest report” they provided the Chandlers.

But the Chandlers live for that type of response because it just gives them an excuse to sue the agencies. It didn’t have to get that far with Miami-Dade police because it quickly realized it was dealing with professionals. Email exchanges between Robert Chandler and Miami-Dade police are below.

So far, the Chandlers have obtained 78 minutes of video footage shot by police the night of my arrest, posted below, as well as Major Nancy Perez’s employee log, which highlights her disciplinary record.

Robert Chandler edited down a version that shows only my arrest, which is posted above. Even though it is clear I am not resisting, Perez tells me “we don’t want to have to hurt you” in a very condescending manner.

At 1:00:39 into the raw video, Perez can be seen pushing me from the sidewalk into the street as I was questioning why they were telling me I was not allowed to stand on the sidewalk.

I will be filing an internal affairs complaint against Perez, not that I think will do any good, but it will please me to blemish the almost four years she has gone without an internal affairs complaint against her.

But first I will face off with her in court as she tries to explain to a jury how she singled me out from the other reporters because I was not one of her embedded journalists who were given little police helmets to wear during the eviction (watch the last few minutes of the raw clip below).

The videographer from Telemundo who video recorded my arrest never responded to a message I sent him, so I will contact the news director and if we have to, we will file a subpoena to obtain that footage.

It is obvious after the Miami Herald piece on my arrest that the local mainstream media is not on my side.

But that just makes this whole debacle that much more challenging.

Now for the email exchange.

Mr. Loftus,

Some months back you had me communicate with Adreann White concerning public records request.  Please see the email thread below along with the attached file. Mrs. White claims that this document was responsive to my request for an “arrest report.”  I am sure that in your many years of faithful service, you have seen countless arrest reports.  Would you agree that this is not one?  From my limited encounters with arrest reports, they seem to contain information such as the charge, statutes, arresting officer, etc.  This has none of those.  My experience with obtaining non-exempt public records from your agency is straining my patience and grace.  I have litigated on multiple occasions (and won every time) in order to obtain public records.  I am genuinely after these records, as well as more requests to follow, and would like to have a cooperative and collegial relationship with your agency.  I am confident that your legal counsel will tell you that even if you produced the requested arrest report today, I have still been denied access and can seek a judicial finding of fact (see Grapski v City of Alachua).  I am extending an olive branch, please reply immediately with the requested records.  Just so there is no more confusion, from now on I will make all requests directly to you.

Warmest Regards,                                                                                                       Robert Chandler

***

Good afternoon Mr. Chandler,

Thank you for your correspondence and for your desire to have a cooperative and collegial relationship with our Department. I am sure we can address your concerns and resolve any pending issues.

I will follow-up with our Professional Compliance Bureau tomorrow to address your concerns. I have a meeting which will probably take up most of the morning but will get back to you tomorrow afternoon. In the meantime, would you please provide a little more detail regarding Carlos Miller such as date of birth and race information? That would narrow the results when we search our database. Also, I would appreciate if you would direct any questions and/or correspondence to me. If you would prefer to call, my direct line is 305-471-3591.

-Bill                                                                                                                            William Lyons,                                                                                                         Police Legal Advisor 2                                                                                         Police Legal Bureau                                                                                             Miami-Dade Police Department 

 

***                                                                                 

Mr. Lyons,

Mrs. Robin Baker was kind enough to find the arrest report I requested and is mailing it to me.  She has been pleasant to deal with in resolving this situation.   On the other hand, Mrs. White does not like to respond to emails or return calls, so all further communication regarding my public records request will be done through Mr. Loftus or yourself if you wish to handle all further public records requests I make on behalf of the MDPD.  I wish to avoid any further issues.

Please find my next public records request below.

Pursuant to F.S. 119, provide the following records in electronic format if they exist in that form.  If the cost of production is expected to exceed $1.00, provide a written estimate prior to production.  Please cite all statutory exemptions for all withholdings and/or redactions.

(1)  All documents that indicate or tend to indicate the purchase, maintenance, use, etc. of all handheld video cameras. Please include all equipment sign out logs.

(2)  All video that was taken on all handheld video cameras on January 31, 2012.

(3)  The staff roster of the Rapid Deployment Force that was activated on January 31, 2012.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Best Regards,

Robert Chandler

***

Good afternoon Mr. Chandler,

I am glad the arrest report you requested is on its way to you. Are there any other pending issues regarding your original public records request of February 06, 2012 (below)?

With regard to your request immediately below (2/16), would you please be more specific as to item 1? I would imagine that we probably started purchasing hand-held video cameras at least 25 years ago. Also, we have a number of elements in our Department that may have used them and/or are using them over the years. Are you just interested in the video cameras that were used on January 31, 2012? If so, I think we could expedite this if we limit the scope of your request to those particular cameras.

And yes, I would appreciate if you would direct any questions and/or correspondence to me regarding any public records requests. There is no a need to copy Director Loftus on any future messages. We do like to stay within our chain-of-command here in the police department. I copied my supervisor above and she reports to Director Loftus. Again, if you would prefer to call, my direct line is 305-471-3591.

 Thank you.

-Bill                                                                                                                            William Lyons,                                                                                                         Police Legal Advisor 2                                                                                         Police Legal Bureau                                                                                             Miami-Dade Police Department  

***

Mr. Lyons,

I will let you know if the records that are on their way to me are satisfactory to my request as soon as I receive them.

Can I please have all video recordings that were taken at the occupy Miami location on January 31, 2012.  Please provide the names of all officers that used the video cameras that date. Please provide the video sign ou log for January 31, 2012.

There is a video a journalist took of the protest that shows one of your officers video recording arrests that day.  The records I am after are essentially those videos and the officers names that were using them.  You can find the video at www.carlosmiller.com. Thank you for your assistance.

Best Regards,

Robert Chandler

The Chandlers are demanding more public records that might reveal more insight into the night of my arrest, including further evidence that they deleted my footage.I won’t reveal details yet but these guys definitely think outside the box.

Stay tuned.

 


 

Please send stories, tips and videos to carlosmiller@magiccitymedia.com.

Also, if you would like to contribute to my Legal Defense Fund, please buy a photographers’ rights lens cloth and/or laminated card to wear around your neck like a press badge through Zap Rag. Please write “carlos3″ in the comments section of the Paypal transaction to ensure I receive a portion of the sale.

Or you can just donate to my Legal Defense Fund by clicking on the button below.

February 28th, 2012

Videos Of My Speech At NH Liberty Forum And Near-Arrest At NH Courthouse 0

By Carlos Miller

If you have an hour to kill and don’t mind spending it hearing me talking about photography rights, you might want to check out my talk at the 2012 New Hampshire Liberty Forum, which was just posted online.

I talk about my experiences running Photography is Not a Crime, including what motivated me to launch it.

The trip was a great experience, especially when I visited Keene Monday morning with some of the activists who had been banned from the Cheshire County Courthouse because they used cameras inside the building.

There is no state law that bans video recording inside courthouses. In fact, cameras are allowed inside courtrooms for journalistic purposes if the videographer goes through the proper channels to obtain permission.

The court order banning cameras insides courthouses in Cheshire County was introduced three days after Adam “Ademo Freeman” Mueller was arrested for threatening a judge when the video shows all he was doing was asking the judge some questions about a recent decision where he jailed another activist for wearing a hat inside the courtroom.

Whether you agree with Mueller’s style of activism or not, the video shows that he never threatened Judge Edward Burke, which means that Burke ordered a false arrest.

I was threatened with arrest for recording inside the courthouse Monday, even though I had not even stepped through the metal detector, meaning cameras are considered more dangerous than guns inside the Cheshire County Courthouse.

Three activists were arrested for trespassing, including one who never even set foot on courthouse property.

The Glik vs. Boston court decision was brought up just as it was when Bradley Jardis and Adam Kokesh brought it up when they were told they were not allowed to record in the lobby of a police department.

The cops initially refused to believe the decision gave them that right but after researching it on their own, and most likely consulting with attorneys, they stepped back into the lobby and acknolwedged the decision did allow them to record.

So why should it be any different in the lobby of a courthouse?


Please send stories, tips and videos to carlosmiller@magiccitymedia.com.

Also, if you would like to contribute to my Legal Defense Fund, please buy a photographers’ rights lens cloth and/or laminated card to wear around your neck like a press badge through Zap Rag. Please write “carlos3″ in the comments section of the Paypal transaction to ensure I receive a portion of the sale.

Or you can just donate to my Legal Defense Fund by clicking on the button below.

February 26th, 2012

Enjoying My Time At The New Hampshire Liberty Forum 0

By Carlos Miller

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I’ve spent the last few days at the New Hampshire Liberty Forum where I spoke in front of a room full of people Saturday.

Several people were recording the talk, including a group working on a documentary movie about activists who promised to send me the video of me, which I will eventually post here for those that are interested.

I was also interviewed in person on Free Talk Radio, a first for me, even though I’ve been interviewed in the past by them through phone.

My first caller turned out to be Jimmy Justice, a man who’s not only been featured on Photography is Not a Crime but on The Colbert Report as well as you can see in the video below.

You can listen to my radio segment here. I come after the two minute mark in the clip.

I also got to listen to a heartfelt talk by Jodie Emory, wife of Marc Emory, who is serving a five-year prison sentence for importing marijuana seeds into the United States. I wish we would legalize it already.

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Now my plan is to ask Judge Burke from Keene some questions on video Monday for a story I’m working on.

Burke, who has a long history with some of these activists, had Adam “Ademo Freeman” Mueller jailed on charges of threatening a public official last year for asking non-threatening questions on video.

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That led to a whole cascade of events where Jason Talley of Talley.TV was arrested after attempting to walk into a courthouse with a camera.

Former cop turned activist Bradly Jardis will be with me Monday morning as well as several other activists.

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I’ll be writing more about that this week once I get the video of Burke.

Jardis was also interviewed by Free Talk Live in the above clip. He comes in after the second guest.

I’ve had a great time here. Met many people I’ve written about.

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February 25th, 2012

S.C. Sheriff's Dept. Attempts To Intimidate Animal Rights Group From Video Recording 0

By Carlos Miller

Animal rights activist Steve Hindi – who has been threatened, assaulted and arrested over the years for video recording perceived animal rights abusers in Pennsylvania – ventured down to South Carolina where he received a taste of Southern Hospitality from the local sheriff’s office.

Hindi and his film crew, collectively known as Showing Animals Respect and Kindness (SHARK), were parked alongside a public road outside the entrance to the Broxton Bridge Plantation where they were going to conduct a live pigeon shoot.

A Colleton County Sheriff’s Lt. whose name sounds like it may be W.G. Polk first told them they could record all they want but he insisted on seeing their identifications.

The lieutenant insisted South Carolina law required them to provide identification, even if they were not suspected of committing a crime. However, South Carolina is not listed among the “stop and identify” states.

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Hindi and his crew finally gave in and handed over their identifications. The lieutenant then walked over and showed them to the attorney for the Broxton Bridge Plantation.

He then came back with a list of alleged violations Hindi was committing for being parked along side of the road.

Hindi was smart enough to call him on his bullshit but wasn’t able to wipe the annoying smirk off the lieutenant’s face.

However, Hindi said they were able to stay at their current location.


Please send stories, tips and videos to carlosmiller@magiccitymedia.com.

Also, if you would like to contribute to my Legal Defense Fund, please buy a photographers’ rights lens cloth and/or laminated card to wear around your neck like a press badge through Zap Rag. Please write “carlos3″ in the comments section of the Paypal transaction to ensure I receive a portion of the sale.

Or you can just donate to my Legal Defense Fund by clicking on the button below.

February 24th, 2012

Pennsylvania Photographer Nearly Gets Arrested For Photographing From Bridge 0

By Carlos Miller

Pennsylvania photographer Jason Macchioni was taking photographs from a bridge in Elizabethtown the other night for a time-lapsed video, which naturally got the cops thinking he would then try to blow up the bridge or something.

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One cop, Northwest Regional Police Officer Charles Tobias, pulled up and demanded to know what he was doing, not seeming to understand the terms “time sequence.”

Tobias then began demanding Macchioni’s identification, which he refused to hand over because he was not committing a crime.

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Then another Northwest Regional cop named Harry Cleland pulled up, noticed Macchioni was video recording them, so he started threatening to arrest him on wiretapping charges.

The idiot cop apparently is unaware of that provision in the law that says he can be recorded if he doesn’t have an expectation of privacy.

Macchioni turned the camera off rather than spend the night in jail even though he was right.

But now he has gotten the ACLU involved who have filed a complaint with the department.

This is how he explains it on Youtube:

I was shooting a time-lapse which I’m still working on, I arrived at this site around 9 and was there for about 3 hours until these two cops rolled up! At first I was calm and refused to give ID, After the second cop was breathing down my neck and really threatening me. I gave in and tried to get them to leave. Then stuff got heated.

The first officer (Charles Tobias) was nice but just couldn’t grasp what I was doing after 4 explanations, He started to become angry when backup arrived, I guess so his fellow cop knew he was tough and could handle me? I gave him my ID even though I knew I didn’t have to, to try to make them leave asap, After the second cop (Cleland) notice I was recording become very upset, I guess he doesn’t like evidence when he breaks laws and infringes on a citizens rights. He also told me his dash cam and microphone was NOT on. Which I think you must have that on a call like this?

Officer (Harry Cleland) starting saying off camera that “if he wanted to hurt me he would have just came up and did it and stomped my phone and beat me up if he wanted too”. I told the officers I wanted to record to protect my self cause a lot of people being “mistreated” by the police. The officer (Celand) said well that’s mostly the “blacks” fault, People getting beat up.

He does not know Pa Wiretapping laws at all and my right to record! I have run into this cop before, I was shooting a car accident and this cop said ‘If you don’t leave, I’m going to confiscate your camera”. So now I know he has a record of violating citizens rights!

After the video stops, He (Cleland) went on a rant about people recording cops and thinking “they” know the law and about him thinking “black people are the problem, cause of drugs and crime”. They left I took a breath and checked my phone, My heart sank further knowing it didn’t catch-all of it. It did catch one thing, Him (Cleland) threatening to arrest me for recording him. Which is against the law, harry cleland

These Cops need to learn the law when it comes to photographers, and I can’t wait for my public apology.

Both Officers are from Northwest Regional Police Dept. Their website can be found here if you would like to send them some emails! http://northwestregionalpolice.org/Officers.htm


Please send stories, tips and videos to carlosmiller@magiccitymedia.com.

Also, if you would like to contribute to my Legal Defense Fund, please buy a photographers’ rights lens cloth and/or laminated card to wear around your neck like a press badge through Zap Rag. Please write “carlos3″ in the comments section of the Paypal transaction to ensure I receive a portion of the sale.

Or you can just donate to my Legal Defense Fund by clicking on the button below.

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