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.
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.
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
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.
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.
-Bill William Lyons, Police Legal Advisor 2 Police Legal Bureau Miami-Dade Police Department
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.
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.
Please send stories, tips and videos to email@example.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.Read More »