Miami-Dade Police Major Nancy Perez, who arrested me while covering the Occupy Miami eviction in January, claims I was under surveillance by the department’s Homeland Security Bureau before my arrest because I had been making “threats” on the internet.
But if that were true, I would be charged with something a little more serious than obstructing justice/resisting police without violence.
If anything, she was the one who threatened me with violence during my arrest when she told me, “we don’t want to have to hurt you,” even though I was showing no aggression towards police.
Perhaps that is why my footage ended up deleted that night. I was eventually able to recover it after being released from jail.
Perez, who is the head of the department’s media relations division, made these claims during an interview with Miami-based Spanish language news station América TeVe, which ran last night.
The segment begins a little after 6:15 in the above video.
This is her statement:
“Me da mucho pena si lo considera un persecucion. En ningun momento fue un persecucion. Pero cual quien person que ponen cierto amenazas en la computadora, por eso, clara, no ostros tenemos un departamento, que claro tienen que investigar eso.”
Here’s my translation. Feel free to correct it if I am wrong.
“I am very sorry he believes he is being persecuted. There was never a persecution. But somebody who puts certain threats on the computer, obviously our (Homeland Security Bureau) has a responsibility to investigate that.”
The key word in her statement is “amenazas,” which translates to “threat,” “menace,” or “assault,” according to this translation site or simply “threat” on this translation site or “threat” or “menace” on this translation site.
I also went as far as to ask my bilingual friends on Facebook just to be ensure “amenazas” didn’t have any variation of translations. Forgive the punciation blunder in the first sentence. Facebook does not allow one to edit, and people began responding before I could delete and repost the question.
In the televised interview, I told reporter Ernesto Morales that I have no history of aggression towards the cops.
That my thing is words and cameras and nothing else, which we all know are protected under the First Amendment.
Before it was revealed that the Homeland Security Bureau was monitoring my Facebook page prior to my arrest, even sending an email about me with my photo to Perez that same day, Perez claimed in a deposition that she did not know who I was.
Now she is not only claiming she knew who I was, she is also claiming I was a suspected terrorist threat.
All because I am not afraid of exposing cops who don’t follow the Constitution.
I can’t imagine what else she will reveal during our upcoming trial, which is scheduled for July 25, 2012. We still need to do several more depositions, so if you like to contribute to my Legal Defense Fund, click on the “donate” button below.
Morales is the first Miami-based television reporter to show an interest in my case.
It’s a little personal for him because he not only spent years in Cuba as a reporter for the state media before exiling to Miami, he and a cameraman were harassed last month by a Miami-Dade cop for doing their job.
He’s only been in the United States for 16 months but he has a very firm grasp of what the First Amendment stands for.
Here is what the Miami Herald had to say about him in 2010 after his arrival in the United States:
Top News: Cuban journalist and author of the blog “El Pequeño Hermando,” Ernesto Morales Licea, left the island for Miami on Tuesday, with plans to work as a journalist in the United States.
After studying journalism at the University of Oriente, Morales went to work for state media in the eastern town of Bayamo. Morales’ disagreements with the state’s editorial line put him in constant conflicts that boiled over when Cuban hunger striker Orlando Zapata Tamayo died, Morales told Cancio. “I was in an ethical conflict, because they obligated me to take sides and do interviews with artists and intellectuals to back up the government position, when in reality I was against it,” Morales said.
After leaving state journalism, Morales began a the blog El Pequeño Hermano in July, gaining notoriety soon after when his work was recommended by famous Cuban blogger Yoani Sánchez on her Twitter account. (Morales had interviewed Sánchez for a post published by Claudia Cadelo’s blog Octavo Cerco in April.)
In November, Morales denounced a series of intricate, online defamation attacks that he believes were coordinated by Cuban authorities. Morales outlined the story in a blog post entitled “Dissecting a Modus Operandi.”
Mickey Osterreicher, general counsel for the National Press Photographers Association, sent a protest letter to Miami-Dade Police Director James Loftus regarding the way Morales and the cameraman were treated. Loftus responded this month with this letter.
On the same day América TeVe came over to interview me, another reporter from Florida Watchdog came over to do an interview.
Marianela Toledo took advantage of the fact that Morales was here and interviewed him on camera about his incident, which you can see in the video below. That one is also in Spanish, but her article is in English.
Also below are two videos of my arrest, one from my camera which they deleted and I later recovered, the other from their own camera.
Judge for yourself who was the threatening one.
Please send stories, tips and videos to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Also, in an unrelated PINAC matter, I recently went through a hair transplant operation and I’m documenting my recovery on this blog if you are interested.