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Monthly Archives: March 2012

Houston Cop Threatens To Tase Teens For Video Recording

A Houston cop nearly tased and detained two teens for using a video camera outside a Walmart store Friday morning.

The cop was off-duty working as a contracted security guard for the store and told the teens he didn't want to be recorded.

The teens told the cop they would not record him. The cop confronted them anyway.

The video was uploaded to Youtube Friday and has already surpassed 60,000 page views.

The Youtube description states the cop handcuffed the men but were released when a second cop showed up, apparently realizing they had not committed a crime.

The teens apparently avoided a trip to jail after they somehow convinced the cops that they had deleted the footage.

The incident was only resolved after the cop tried to bribe and threaten the men to ERASE this footage or go to JAIL....

According to Click 2 Houston:

The Harris County District Attorney's office declined to press charges against the teens. Police said they were let go with a warning about criminal trespassing.

A Walmart representative said the incident is being investigated and the cellphone video and their own surveillance video will be reviewed.

The company asked the security company it contracts with not to schedule that guard at any of the Walmart stores until the investigation is completed.


 

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

CARLOS MILLER'S LEGAL DEFENSE FUND

I am immersed in a legal case where I not only want to clear my criminal charges stemming from my arrest in January, but I want to sue the Miami-Dade Police Department for deleting my footage, which I was able to recover.

My goal is to set some type of precedent to ensure this does not happen as often as it does today where cops simply get away with it.

So if you would like to contribute, please click on the "donate" button below and contribute whatever you can afford.

You can also contribute to my Legal Defense Fund by purchasing a photographer 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.

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Charges Dismissed Against Florida Man Charged With Wiretapping For Recording Cops

It took nearly two months for the Sarasota County State Attorney’s Office to determine that Steve Horrigan did not commit a crime the night he was arrested for video recording cops during a traffic stop.

According to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune:

 Steve Horrigan, 57, was charged with felony eavesdropping and misdemeanor obstruction when he used his smartphone to record North Port Police officers making an arrest across the street from his home. Horrigan, a computer technician and amateur videographer, spent a night in jail and could have faced five years in prison if convicted of eavesdropping.

But in deciding not to press charges, Assistant State Attorney Eric Werbeck wrote "the State would be unable to prove the officer enjoyed an expectation of privacy with the defendant" and that the state likely could not "prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the officer's duties were obstructed by the defendant's conduct."

The story highlights in the lies and inconsistencies from North Port police.

 Sarasota prosecutors noted that "unknown to the officers at the time of the stop, no audio regarding the traffic stop, be it conversation between officers and those detained or conversations between fellow officers, is audible on the recording seized from the defendant." That was key because an eavesdropping charge required that Horrigan had recorded private police interviews or conversations.

Prosecutors also wrote that they heard one of the officers tell Horrigan, "you can take video or pictures if you really feel necessary." They added, contrary to the NPPD probable cause affidavit, the video showed Horrigan "at least 15-30 feet from the back of the patrol vehicles."

Horrigan also did not "communicate with the subjects being arrested, incite other civilians" or verbally threaten officers.

Police also stated they had warned Horrigan "approximately 10-15 times" to stop recording, but the video appears to show only a single request.

 

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Police Threaten To Arrest Reporters Covering Trayvon Martin Case As Video Emerges

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George Zimmerman claimed he shot and killed Trayvon Martin in self-defense because the 17-year-old black teen was viciously pounding his head on the pavement in central Florida last month.

And many people were buying that flimsy self-defense argument despite Zimmerman’s 911 call to police proving he chased after the teen with a gun against the advice of the dispatcher, indicating that Martin was perhaps the one acting in self-defense.

But now a video has emerged from that night that shows Zimmerman did not have any visible injuries on his face or body despite claims on the initial police report that he suffered injuries from the scuffle.

According to ABC News, who obtained the video from the Sanford Police Department and shows a handcuffed Zimmerman being led out of the police car and into the police station for questioning:

The initial police report noted that Zimmerman was bleeding from the back of the head and nose, and after medical attention it was decided that he was in good enough condition to travel in a police cruiser to the Sanford, Fla., police station for questioning.

His lawyer later insisted that Zimmerman's nose had been broken in his scuffle with 17-year-old Martin.

In the video an officer is seen pausing to look at the back of Zimmerman's head, but no abrasions or blood can be seen in the video and he did not check into the emergency room following the police questioning.

So now reporters are becoming even more persistent in trying to get to the bottom of this story.

But Sanford police have become extremely intolerant of the media, threatening to arrest reporters who attempt to interview city officials during non-working hours.

According to the Palm Beach Post:

Sanford Police on Wednesday threatened to arrest members of the media who approach or ask questions of city employees during non-working hours.

Some city employees have been "followed or approached at their home or in settings outside of working hours," according to the statement, released late Wednesday.

The city further asked that reporters not approach, call or email city employees at home.

"Law enforcement officials will not hesitate to make an arrest for stalking," the press release stated.

If anybody was stalking, it was Zimmerman who chased after Martin simply because he was walking down the street after buying Skittles and iced tea at the local convenience store.

It is not clear who is running the Sanford Police Department since Chief Bill Lee stepped down temporarily last week amid growing pressure from this case.

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

 

CARLOS MILLER'S LEGAL DEFENSE FUND

I am immersed in a legal case where I not only want to clear my criminal charges stemming from my arrest in January, but I want to sue the Miami-Dade Police Department for deleting my footage, which I was able to recover.

My goal is to set some type of precedent to ensure this does not happen as often as it does today where cops simply get away with it.

So if you would like to contribute, please click on the "donate" button below and contribute whatever you can afford.

You can also contribute to my Legal Defense Fund by purchasing a photographer 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.

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Passengers Told Not To Record As JetBlue Captain Has Mid-Flight Meltdown

A JetBlue captain had a midair meltdown on a flight from New York to Las Vegas, forcing the plane to land in Amarillo, Texas where authorities had to remove the pilot on a stretcher.

So far, at least one video has emerged, but many more are sure to appear as the video above shows at least two other passengers recording with their cell phones.

A flight attendant can be heard on the loud speaker saying “we don’t need pictures of this.”

Then one passenger tells the passenger recording the incident, “don’t be a dick.”

The passenger recording the incident, which is really not visible, responds by saying, “shut the fuck up.”

The video was uploaded only a few hours ago, but so far has received 88 comments with people either criticizing the videographer or complimenting him.

Details are scarce right now but according to a news report, the co-pilot had to force the pilot out of the cockpit when he began acting erratically.

According to CBS/AP:

A police officer and an off-duty airline pilot subdued a JetBlue captain Tuesday morning aboard a Las Vegas-bound flight when the captain started pounding on the cockpit door after the flight's co-pilot asked him to leave and subsequently locked him out, a federal official told CBS News.

The captain became incoherent during JetBlue Flight 191 from New York's John F. Kennedy International, prompting the co-pilot to get him to leave the cockpit, the official said. JetBlue said in a statement to CBS News that the flight was diverted to Amarillo, Texas, "for a medical situation involving the captain."

Grant Heppes, a 22-year-old passenger from New York City, told The Associated Press that a man in a JetBlue uniform walked from the cockpit to the back of the plane, but that he started to become disruptive when he was barred from getting back inside.

JetBlue has proven in the past not to be very camera friendly.


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

CARLOS MILLER'S LEGAL DEFENSE FUND

I am immersed in a legal case where I not only want to clear my criminal charges stemming from my arrest in January, but I want to sue the Miami-Dade Police Department for deleting my footage, which I was able to recover.

My goal is to set some type of precedent to ensure this does not happen as often as it does today where cops simply get away with it.

So if you would like to contribute, please click on the "donate" button below and contribute whatever you can afford.

You can also contribute to my Legal Defense Fund by purchasing a photographer 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.

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Simon Glik Wins $170,000 Settlement From Unlawful Arrest Recording Police

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Simon Glik, the attorney who last year forced the First Circuit Court of Appeals to affirm that recording police in public is not a crime, will receive a $170,000 settlement from the City of Boston, stemming from his 2007 arrest for recording police in a public park.

Even though criminal charges against Glik were quickly dismissed, it took five years to settle the case because police were seeking qualified immunity in making unlawful arrests, which would have protected them from such lawsuits.

Obviously, they were under the impression that the long-standing legal principle of ignorance of the law excuses no one did not apply to them.

Last year’s First Circuit decision not only affirmed that police do not have an expectation of privacy, it ruled that police do not have qualified immunity from making these bonehead arrests, which allowed Glik to proceed with his lawsuit for the unlawful arrest.

Earlier this year, Boston police admitted they had made a mistake in arresting Glik and this month the City of Boston settled another case for $1.4 million.

And they may have to dish out more money in another lawsuit involving a man named Maury Paulino.


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

CARLOS MILLER'S LEGAL DEFENSE FUND

I am immersed in a legal case where I not only want to clear my criminal charges stemming from my arrest in January, but I want to sue the Miami-Dade Police Department for deleting my footage, which I was able to recover.

My goal is to set some type of precedent to ensure this does not happen as often as it does today where cops simply get away with it.

So if you would like to contribute, please click on the "donate" button below and contribute whatever you can afford.

You can also contribute to my Legal Defense Fund by purchasing a photographer 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.

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Chicago PD's Intolerance To First Amendment To Be Tested In NATO Protests Next Month

Every time things begin to be progress in Illinois, they begin to regress.

Earlier this year, we saw several victories in overcoming the state’s Draconian wiretapping law, which makes it illegal for citizens to record cops in public without their consent, even though cops have the right to record citizens without their consent.

But last week, we had two setbacks, including an incident where Chicago police detained a pair of journalists at the request of hospital security guards, telling the journalists that their “First Amendment rights can be terminated.”

That incident prompted Mickey Osterreicher, general counsel for the National Press Photographers Association, to fire off a letter to Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy.

The second setback was when legislators voted down a bill that would have legalized the recording of cops in public without their consent, which would have brought Illinois in par with the 49 other states.

Massachusetts, which has the second harshest wiretapping law, makes it a crime to secretly record cops in public without their consent. All the other states allow citizens to record cops in public because they do not have an expectation of privacy.

Of course, those laws never stop cops from arresting people as we’ve recently seen in Florida in the case of Steve Horrigan.

The Illinois bill, introduced by Democratic Rep. Elaine Nekritz, was mostly voted down by republicans. And for the most absurd reasons.

According to the State Journal- Register:

One of the bill's detractors, Rep. Jim Sacia, R-Freeport, said the bill opens the possibility for citizens to alter audio recordings of interactions with police to make them look bad.

Rep. Jim Watson, R-Jacksonville, agreed.

“We should not be creating an atmosphere where people enter this ‘got you’ mode and try to tape law enforcement, trying to catch them (doing things),” Watson said.

“Why should (the police) have to go get a court order to record these people when these people can record them?” said Rep. Dennis Reboletti, R-Elmhurst.

Nekritz’s bill would apply only to citizens recording police, not the other way around.

Nekritz argued that public officials, including police officers, should not have an expectation of privacy if they are performing public duties in a public place.

Watson and state Reps. Raymond Poe, R-Springfield, Rich Brauer, R-Petersburg, and Wayne Rosenthal, R-Morrisonville, all voted against the bill.

Rebeletti proved his ignorance of the law by assuming that cops can’t record citizens, not realizing there is an exception in the law that allows cops to record citizens without their permission.

But even though Nekritz’s bill failed to pass, there is still ACLU vs Alvarez, the pending appeal that could determine the wiretapping law unconstitutional.

But if it goes another month without a final decision, Chicago police might find themselves in a bind when thousands of protesters and hundreds of journalists descend on the Windy City for the NATO meetings beginning May 20, virtually all of them with cameras.

City officials recently denied a permit that would have allowed protesters to legally march through city streets, citing a lack of police manpower.

So it’s obvious they really do believe First Amendment rights can be terminated.

UPDATE: Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said late Monday that he will not allow police to arrest journalists during the NATO meetings next month, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

However, he made no mention on whether he believes any of the thousands of protesters expected to descend upon the city should be arrested for recording cops.


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

CARLOS MILLER'S LEGAL DEFENSE FUND

I am immersed in a legal case where I not only want to clear my criminal charges stemming from my arrest in January, but I want to sue the Miami-Dade Police Department for deleting my footage, which I was able to recover.

My goal is to set some type of precedent to ensure this does not happen as often as it does today where cops simply get away with it.

So if you would like to contribute, please click on the "donate" button below and contribute whatever you can afford.

You can also contribute to my Legal Defense Fund by purchasing a photographer 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.

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Deputy Loses Job After Photographed Mowing Lawn In Underwear

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Police can shoot people, tase people, pepper spray people, harass people, steal from people, lie to people and arrest people on unlawful charges and they still get to keep their jobs.

But then you get a law enforcement officer in Tennessee who mows his lawn in his boxer briefs and he is quickly dismissed.

Granted, Bradley County Deputy Dallas Longwith has been warned about this behavior on a previous occasion before a cell phone photo emerged, showing the deputy mowing his lawn in boxer briefs a second time.

Longwith denies doing it a second time and it's not clear from the article whether they had solid proof when the photo was taken.

I don't find men in their underwear visually stimulating but I've seen more scantily clad men on South Beach, so I really don't see the issue here.

Unlike many officers who get to keep their jobs after a long string of abuses against citizens, Longwith had "no write-ups or reprimands" in his file.

And he was doing it on his own time - out of uniform - if that part wasn't obvious.

Longwith is now cooking at a local restaurant but would like to return to law enforcement.

But with a name like Dallas Longwith and a penchant for working in his underwear, perhaps he has a future in porn.


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

CARLOS MILLER'S LEGAL DEFENSE FUND

I am immersed in a legal case where I not only want to clear my criminal charges stemming from my arrest in January, but I want to sue the Miami-Dade Police Department for deleting my footage, which I was able to recover.

My goal is to set some type of precedent to ensure this does not happen as often as it does today where cops simply get away with it.

So if you would like to contribute, please click on the "donate" button below and contribute whatever you can afford.

You can also contribute to my Legal Defense Fund by purchasing a photographer 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.

Read More »

Citizen Journalism Video Misses Out On Most Important Point

It took five months to create the video titled the Citizen Journalist Supersuit and it does have some good points about documenting protests, especially the segment on how to create a homemade remedy to cleanse tear gas from your eyes (Maalox and water in a bottle).

But Rebecca Berdel completely lost all credibility with her final point when she talks about how to save your camera footage from getting deleted by police in case you get arrested.

Her recommendation is that you tape the camera inside a helmet or a shoe along with your contact information and toss it into the crowd in the hopes that it will somehow get back to you.

First of all, if your camera is already taped inside the shoe or helmet, there is no way you could be using it to actually do any documentation.

Second of all, if you are actually using the camera - even as a secondary device taped to the top of your helmet as she suggests (not a bad suggestion at all) - you are not going to have the time to remove it from the top of the helmet and place it inside the helmet, then secure it with tape and toss it into the crowd in the event of an arrest.

You'll be lucky if you're able to get one last frame in before an arrest.

She would have better served her viewers by discussing the benefits of live streaming.


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

CARLOS MILLER'S LEGAL DEFENSE FUND

I am immersed in a legal case where I not only want to clear my criminal charges stemming from my arrest in January, but I want to sue the Miami-Dade Police Department for deleting my footage, which I was able to recover.

My goal is to set some type of precedent to ensure this does not happen as often as it does today where cops simply get away with it.

So if you would like to contribute, please click on the "donate" button below and contribute whatever you can afford.

You can also contribute to my Legal Defense Fund by purchasing a photographer 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.

Read More »

Philly Cops Attack Photojournalism Student, Grind His Face To Pavement

 

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Ian Van Kuyk, a 24-year-old photojournalism student, received a first-hand lesson in photographing cops when a Philadelphia police officer knocked him down, pushed his face into the pavement, then threw him in jail for 24 hours.

The Temple University student ended up with a felony charge of hindering apprehension as well as the misdemeanors of obstructing justice, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.

His girlfriend, Meghan Feighan, was also arrested on felony hindering apprehension when she tried to take his camera while he was being beaten.

“I was holding my camera away from my body,” Van Kuyk said in an interview with Photography is Not a Crime Friday night.

“It’s Temple University property. I didn’t want it to get damaged.

“My girlfriend walked across the street to grab my camera and she was grabbed by another officer. She spent 18 hours in jail.”

The incident took place March 14 as Van Kuyk sat on his front steps with his girlfriend and watched a police officer pull over one of his neighbors.

He had to complete a night photography assignment for one of his classes, so he grabbed his camera and started taking photos.

He said he was about 15 feet away when one of the officers ordered him back. He complied but the officer began shoving him repeatedly.

“He asked me what I was trying to prove and I told him I was a photojournalism student at Temple,” Van Kuyk said.

He said he began taking photos of the officer but none of them came out very clear. He said he purposely avoided using flash to not further antagonize the officer.

“I didn’t want them to say I was affecting their investigation,” he said.

Feighan’s charge has already been dismissed. He won’t go to trial until next month.

But he still hasn’t received the arrest report that describes the allegations against him or lists the name of the arresting officer, although neighbors told him that cop has a history of abusing citizens.

Mickey Osterreicher, general counsel for the National Press Photographers Association, already sent a letter of protest to Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey, who last year issued a general order to his officers that citizens have the right to record them.

But as we’ve seen in the case of Baltimore police, that general order is obviously not worth the paper it is written on.


 

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

CARLOS MILLER'S LEGAL DEFENSE FUND

I am immersed in a legal case where I not only want to clear my criminal charges stemming from my arrest in January, but I want to sue the Miami-Dade Police Department for deleting my footage, which I was able to recover.

My goal is to set some type of precedent to ensure this does not happen as often as it does today where cops simply get away with it.

So if you would like to contribute, please click on the "donate" button below and contribute whatever you can afford.

You can also contribute to my Legal Defense Fund by purchasing a photographer 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.

Read More »

Baltimore Cop Suspended After Snatching Woman's Cell Phone

baltimorepdsnatch.jpg

A Baltimore police officer was quickly suspended after he snatched a cell phone from a woman who was recording him making a traffic stop.

The woman, who is a city worker, was standing on private property more than 50 feet away from the cop.

The cop, however, stormed up to her - pointing his own cell phone camera at her - and told her she was on private property, ordering her onto the sidewalk.

He doesn’t even stop to figure out if she had permission to be on that private property.

The woman continues recording while on the sidewalk, explaining to him that she had every right to record, which was when he snatched her camera.

Click on the Fox 45 News story to see the video.

The incident occurred Tuesday and the story was reported Wednesday, showing his superiors didn’t waste any time in suspending the officer.

However, the news report did not include the officer’s name and it doesn’t appear to have been covered by any of the other local news agencies in Baltimore.

Last month, the Baltimore Police Department issued a general order to its officers reminding them that it is legal for citizens to record them in public.

But that order was quickly violated with 24 hours when officers threatened to arrest a man for loitering after they noticed him recording them from across the street.

The department is already embroiled in a lawsuit for deleting a man’s footage.


 

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

CARLOS MILLER'S LEGAL DEFENSE FUND

I am immersed in a legal case where I not only want to clear my criminal charges stemming from my arrest in January, but I want to sue the Miami-Dade Police Department for deleting my footage, which I was able to recover.

My goal is to set some type of precedent to ensure this does not happen as often as it does today where cops simply get away with it.

So if you would like to contribute, please click on the "donate" button below and contribute whatever you can afford.

You can also contribute to my Legal Defense Fund by purchasing a photographer 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.

Read More »

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