The Miami-Dade police officer who had me arrested as I was covering the Occupy Miami eviction is a public information officer, meaning it is her job to deal with the media.
You would think Major Nancy Perez would have known better than to single out a reporter from the hordes of other reporters covering the eviction that night, even if she was not familiar with my face (or maybe she was).
And while it’s true I was not wearing my press pass that night (I had left it in another camera bag), there is no law that requires journalists to wear credentials.
In fact, the Miami-Dade Police Department used to issue press credentials to qualified reporters, but they did away with them a few years ago because as one spokesman told me at the time, reporters don’t have any more rights than non-reporters.
I would have given her my business card as I do to all police officers whom I come in contact with during my job.
But she gave me no chance to do any of that.
And worst, I imagine it was her who ordered the deletion of my footage because she was the only officer who had anything to lose by that video going public.
As you will see in the video I plan to post on Miami Beach 411 on Tuesday, most of the cops were acting very restrained, even if a handful of activists were taunting them.
Although the video I recovered, which is below, is a little choppy, I plan on having a forensics specialist recover the entire video without interruptions, who would also determine the time it was deleted.
And while I do plan to eventually file an internal affairs complaint against Perez, I have no confidence in a police department investigating one of its own members, which is why I also plan on filing a complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice, who are not too keen on police officers deleting footage from the cameras of citizens.