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Monthly Archives: June 2012

NYPD Publishes Poster of "Professional Agitators," aka Citizens who Record Cops

The New York City Police Department issued a notice to officers to be aware of a pair of “professional agitators” who like to video record police performing their duties.

It was the agitators themselves who discovered the flyer when they walked inside the 30th Precinct for a community board meeting.

This is how Christina Gonzalez, who captured the flyer on video, described it on Youtube:

Walked into the monthly 30th Precinct community board meeting to discover our own faces hanging on the podium. It reads

Be aware that the subjects are known professional agitators that live at [our address posted on poster]. Above subjects mo is that they video tape officers performing routine stops and post on youtube. Subjects purpose is to portray officers in a negative way and too deter officers from conducting there responsibilities. Above subjects also deter officers from being safe and tactical by causing unnecessary distractions. Do not feed into subjects propaganda.

The 30th Precinct has their own website but haven’t gotten around to posting the flyer on it yet.

professionalagitators.jpg


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 I've created an Indiegogo fundraiser in an attempt to raise $3,500 by July 2 in order to prepare for my July 25 trial.

 Hair Transplant 

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. I did not pay for this transplant, which is why I'm promoting the doctor through the hair transplant blog.

Read More »

LAPD Tell Photog Not to Listen in on Their Private Conversation on a Public Sidewalk

Shawn Nee, our west coast photo activist who never leaves home without his Vievu, had another run-in with Los Angeles police officers earlier today.

Nee was in downtown about to cover a protest when he spotted a group of cops milling about on the sidewalk, so he started taking photos.

A Sgt. Wright walked up to him and said he was not allowed to listen to what they were saying.

Nee pointed out that numerous pedestrians were walking by the group without a problem, making it seem as if he was being singled out because he was taking pictures.

Another cop walked up behind Wright and started recording with what looked like an iPad. Nee pulled out his iPhone and began recording with that as well.

Nee asked Wright for his supervisor at 3:50, which prompts a look of contempt from the cop, but he kept his cool.


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 I've created an Indiegogo fundraiser in an attempt to raise $3,500 by July 2 in order to prepare for my July 25 trial.

 Hair Transplant 

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. I did not pay for this transplant, which is why I'm promoting the doctor through the hair transplant blog.

Read More »

Introducing TapIn, an iPhone App Essential for Citizen Journalists

 iphone_app.png

The Silicon Valley developers who are allowing us to test their new citizen journalism iPhone app for Saturday’s photo walk/protest are still putting the final touches on their website and the app itself, but they just gave me the green light to make a formal announcement.

The app is called TapIn and will allow users to record video footage that is automatically live-streamed and stored in a cloud, making it impossible for police to delete the footage, even if they do confiscate your phone because it is not possible to delete the footage on the cloud from the phone.

This is how David Tyler, one of the four developers who built the app, describes it:

We're building the easiest way to go from seeing something interesting happening to sharing video of it.

We're really excited by the work people like Carlos are doing to make the world more transparent.

As the news moves from a centralized service to a collaborative process, we want to enable anyone to contribute to the story.

This weekend is a test run of something we think will revolutionize the way video journalism is conducted.

To obtain the app, send an email to Tylor at davidt@tapin.tv with your UDID, which is not a birth control device, but a number assigned to your iPhone that can be obtained by connecting your phone to iTunes, then placing your cursor on the serial number, which turns it into a longer number.

That longer number is your UDID. I made a screenshot of it and sent to him because I was unable to cut and paste and I didn’t feel like typing in each number individually.

It also helps if you send him your phone number in case there are updates before this weekend, but that is not necessary.

I played around with it a little today and the quality of the video is much better than what I've seen on Qik and maybe even a little better than the regular iPhone video camera, if that's possible.

TapIn will be made available for the Android in a few months.
UPDATE: Click on TapIn.TV at around 4, then scroll on the map down to Miami, then click on the pins to see the videos we are uploading. We plan to hop on the bus to the Miami Herald at around 4:30 p.m.

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 I've created an Indiegogo fundraiser in an attempt to raise $3,500 by July 2 in order to prepare for my July 25 trial.

 Hair Transplant 

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. I did not pay for this transplant, which is why I'm promoting the doctor through the hair transplant blog.

Read More »

North Carolina Deputy With Media Training Forbids Reporter From Video Recording

sheriffalanjordan.jpg

A North Carolina deputy who had just gone through media training barred a television reporter from video recording the aftermath of a trailer fire that left one man dead last week.

The Beaufort County sheriff’s deputy told reporter Mike Valerio of WCTI-12 that he would not be allowed to shoot because doing so would jeopardize the investigation.

According to the Indie Register, which is operated by PINAC reader William Toler, who works at WCTI-12:

Valerio was allowed onto nearby property owned by relatives and he decided to shoot from there. The same deputy approached him again and told him not to record.

“He was forceful…even though I was on private property that a family member invited me onto,” Valerio said. “Shortly after I left the family member’s property and got back where they wanted me to be, he said they had just been through media training.”

Later that day, News Director Shane Moreland made a call to Sheriff Alan Jordan. Chief Deputy Kit Campbell returned the call and said that the concern was for the family and that it would seem in poor taste to film the scene.

“The government doesn’t tell us what’s tasteful or not,” Moreland said. “The community does.” After the conversation, Moreland reiterated to the newsroom to respect the crime scene but added, “They’re not going to tell us what to air.”

Obviously, the issue here is law enforcement trying to play news editor. No different than the incident that took place in New Mexico a couple of days ago.

That incident prompted Mickey Osterreicher of the National Press Photographers Association to fire off a letter to Albuquerque Police Chief Ray Schultz, stating the following:

It is neither a police officer’s duty nor right to decide what constitutes appropriate news coverage of any story. That is solely an editorial decision to be made by each news organization. It is also well established that there is no reasonable expectation of privacy on a public street. So long as news personnel are in a public forum and not violating any ordinances they have a right to gather news unfettered by the personal feelings or opinions of law enforcement. Anything less may be considered a form of prior restraint thus creating a chilling effect upon a free press.


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 I've created an Indiegogo fundraiser in an attempt to raise $3,500 by July 2 in order to prepare for my July 25 trial.

 Hair Transplant 

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. I did not pay for this transplant, which is why I'm promoting the doctor through the hair transplant blog.

Read More »

Albuquerque Police Officer Chases Away News Videographer From Investigation

An Albuquerque police officer first told a news videographer that he would not be allowed to continue filming an incident where the body of a motorcyclist remained trapped underneath a car this morning.

KOB-TV news videographer Jeremy Fine asserted his rights to continue shooting.

But Officer B. Arbogast, who himself was wearing a camera, insisted the victim’s privacy rights overrode Fine’s First Amendment rights to document a news story from a public sidewalk.

He tried to get Fine to move to a media staging area, but when Fine insisted on remaining where he was, he expanded the crime scene to prevent Fine from getting his shot.

“Cops can tell me where not to go but they can’t tell me where to go,” Fine said in a quick telephone interview with Photography is Not a Crime this afternoon.

"The first cop said I could go to the staging area or I could stay where I was. The second cop told me I had to go to the staging area."

Fine had a similar run-in with Albuquerque police in 2006 when he walked past a police cruiser to interview witnesses to a balloon crash. He was detained while all other citizens were allowed to walk past the cruiser.

Other KOB-TV reporters have had their own run-ins with the same department, indicating a serious lack of training within the department.

rayschultz_web.jpg

Mickey Osterreicher, general counsel for the National Press Photographers Association, who will be sending a letter to Albuquerque Police Chief Ray Schultz, provided the following statement:

Watching the video of a senior officer who should know better illustrates how important proper guidelines and training are regarding these issues.

It is neither a police officer’s duty or right to decide what is appropriate news coverage of any story. So long as news personnel are in a public forum and not violating any ordinances they have a right to gather news unfettered by the personal feelings or opinions of law enforcement. Anything less may be considered a form of prior restraint or censorship. It is all well and good that the police set-up a media staging area but that does not mean it is the only place that media are allowed to be. They can go wherever the public is allowed, which in this case is outside of the "crime scene" perimeter. To expand that area for the sole purpose to preventing photographs or video recording is not a reasonable time, place and manner restriction and limits more First Amendment protected activity than is necessary to achieve a governmental purpose.

This department would be well-advised to take a page from the Crime/disaster scene guidelines of San Diego Sheriff's Department Media Guide, specifically: 

 Do not establish artificial barriers. For example, do not hold the press at bay a block from the crime scene, while allowing the general public to wander freely just beyond the crime scene tape.

Do not prevent the taking of pictures or interviews of person(s) in public places. The media, when legally present at an emergency scene, may photograph or report anything or interview anyone they observe.

Do not isolate the media outside the crime/incident scene unless the area has been secured to preserve evidence or their presence jeopardizes law enforcement operations.


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 I've created an Indiegogo fundraiser in an attempt to raise $3,500 by July 2 in order to prepare for my July 25 trial.

 Hair Transplant 

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. I did not pay for this transplant, which is why I'm promoting the doctor through the hair transplant blog.

Read More »

PINAC's 3rd Annual Photo Protest Scheduled as we Test Out New iPhone Video App

miami_herald_building.jpg

Two weeks ago, a Miami blogger was told by a security guard that he was not allowed to take photos of the Miami Herald building, which has been a landmark on Biscayne Bay since 1963.

Since then, a Miami Herald executive told another Miami blogger that they don’t have issues with people taking photos of the building.

They just had issues with people “trespassing” on the sidewalk in front of the building, which they evidently believe is private property.

However, according to Miami-Dade property records, the Miami Herald’s property line begins just inside the sidewalk, making that sidewalk public, as you can see in the screenshots below that show the building enclosed in red with one imaged zoomed in closer than the other.

To see for yourself, click on this link, enter the Folio No.: 01-3231-045-0010 in the appropriate drop-down tab, then zoom in.

Besides, we have seen many businesses claim they own the sidewalk outside their buildings, only for them to be proven wrong.

herald1.jpgherald2.jpg

Naturally, this calls for the Third Annual PINAC Photo Protest where we will converge upon the Miami Herald building this Saturday to determine exactly what location can we legally photograph the building from without getting yelled at by a security guard.

The photo protest will coincide with the Google +_One Year Anniversary Photo Walk taking place in at least 85 cities throughout the world.

Adding to the fun is the fact that I will testing out a new iPhone app that is being developed specifically for citizen journalists in that it allows users to record and immediately store footage to a cloud.

Anybody else joining the protest with an iPhone will also be given the opportunity to test the app on their phones, so we will have a multitude of live streaming videographers recording the action.

From what I understand, it is the next generation of the Qik-type live stream apps.

I will have full details on the app by Thursday, including on how you can watch the photo protest live from your computer from anywhere in the world.

This is how one of the developers is describing it:

It's an app that automatically saves any video you take with it to the cloud where it's publicly viewable instantly, sorted by location and time. Open the app and you're recording in one tap. In most cases, it's faster to use than the built-in iPhone video camera. This lets people see what you're seeing as you see it, and be able to jump around between multiple angles of the same event with one click. Even after the event is over, you can go back and watch any video that was taken. We're creating a way for people to share and be found by virtue of being in the right place at the right time, without having to worry about uploading, titling and tagging videos.

Since my initial article went up, a video has surfaced of a Miami Herald security guard chasing off a teen on a skateboard and his dad from the street in front of the building.

The teen’s father was skeptical, asking the guard whether or not it was a public street, but the guard told him it was private, even though it looks pretty public by the looks of the video.

Miami photographer Larry Shane has also reported that he has been forbidden from photographing the building.

The Miami Herald sold the bayfront property to a Malaysian casino company named Genting for $236 million last year, which means the building will probably be torn down by next year to make room for a mega-resort, so we might as well document a piece of Miami history while we still have the chance.

In 2010, I organized a photo protest at the Miami-Dade Metrorail after security guards insisted that we were not allowed to take pictures, even though county law stated we were allowed.

And in 2011, I organized another photo protest in Fort Lauderdale after police were forbidding photographers from taking pictures of the Rock of Ages movie set from public.

In the two prior protests, security guards and cops did an about-face on their anti-photography stance and suddenly started allowing photography when we showed up with our cameras.

But who knows what will happen this time around.

The protests were never really planned as an annual event, but that is how they have turned out so might as well go with it.

Saturday’s photo protest will also coincide with Mashable’s Social Media Day where a group of my friends will be hosting an all-day event at an art gallery in Wynwood, a neighborhood ideal for a photo walk with endless blocks of graffitied murals created by local artists.

shortbus.jpg

Jim Winters aka Nikon Miami is a veteran of the first two photo protests and has offered to transport us from Wynwood to the Miami Herald in his short bus, which is always a blast.

The social media day event begins at 2 p.m., so I’m thinking we can hop on the bus at around 4:30 p.m., head on down to the Miami Herald, which is only a couple of miles away, shoot some video and take some photos, then head back to Wynwood to photograph some murals, then maybe join the rest of the social media peeps for happy hour.

It will be a day filled with activism, photography, videography, technology, art, drinks and the infamous short bus. What else can you ask for?

The bus will pick us up at 4:30 p.m. at the following address:

Zadok Gallery
2534 N. Miami Ave
Miami, FL 33127

If all this sounds good to you, then add your name to the list so I can get a head count. And let me know if you have an iPhone and want to test out the app.


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 I've created an Indiegogo fundraiser in an attempt to raise $3,500 by July 2 in order to prepare for my July 25 trial.

 Hair Transplant 

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. I did not pay for this transplant, which is why I'm promoting the doctor through the hair transplant blog.

Read More »

Media at Odds at Exactly How Much to Hype Story of Subway Video Voyeur

subwaylegs.jpg

A man who secretly video records women on the New York City subway system, mainly their legs, is being labeled a “stalker,” a “pervert” and a “creep” by the media.

And depending on which media source you trust, police are either trying to track him down and throw him in jail for four years or are not doing anything at all about it.

Youtube has already terminated the man’s account, who went by the username “John Zippy” and maintained a channel titled “New York Subway Girls.”

CBS Local states the following about the case:

Police are on the lookout for a subway stalker who they said has been secretly video-taping young women on trains and posting the videos online.

The straphanger allegedly uses a camera hidden in a Starbucks cup to steal shots of women while they ride the rails.

He calls himself “John Zippy,” and he posts his shots on a YouTube channel called “New York Subway Girls.” He’s uploaded 35 videos since the beginning of the year and boasts that he always gets away with it because his targets never know what he’s up to.

Police said that he could face up to four years in jail for capturing intimate images without the subject’s consent.

Meanwhile, the Huffington Post has this to say about the police involvement:

Even so, police say it's unlikely Zippy will face punishment because of the vagueness regarding what are "intimate" images.

And the New York Post has this to say:

Despite blatantly violating the privacy of female riders, the subway slimeball is unlikely to be brought to justice, law-enforcement sources admit. Taping people in public places is not a crime.

While it’s impossible to judge his actions without viewing all of his videos, which no longer exist online, he would deliberately have to shoot up a woman’s skirt for it to be a crime.

Even if he catches a shot of woman's genitalia by sitting across from her if she happens to open her legs, it would be hard to prosecute the videographer if anybody else without a camera was able to view the same thing.

That's not saying he's being very gentlemanly about it.

Meanwhile, there is no such outrage about a site called Subway Crush where commuters posts photos they secretly took of male subway passengers they found attractive.


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 I've created an Indiegogo fundraiser in an attempt to raise $3,500 by July 2 in order to prepare for my July 25 trial.

 Hair Transplant 

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. I did not pay for this transplant, which is why I'm promoting the doctor through the hair transplant blog.

Read More »

Miami Heat Owner Suing Blogger and Google Over "Unflattering" Photo (Updated)

raanankatz.jpg

Miami Heat minority owner Raanan Katz does not appreciate the above photo of himself circulating on the internet, so he is suing Google and a Miami blogger for refusing to take it down.

And he apparently has enough money to sue anybody else who posts the photo.

According to CNN Money via Gigaom.com:

In a complaint filed in Miami federal court this month, Ranaan Katz is demanding an injunction and damages over a photo that shows him court side with his tongue hanging out. The photo is posted on a blog devoted to reporting alleged rip-offs involving Katz’s commercial real estate operations in Miami. The lawsuit shows the photo “partially distorted due to its unflattering nature” :

But it doesn’t appear as if the billionaire has enough buying power to quash the First Amendment.

After all, the real estate tycoon claims he is not even a public figure, which would allow him to file a defamation suit without having to prove actual malice.

That would have been an easier argument had he not owned a piece of the 2012 NBA championship team.

Or had he not had a street named after him in Sunny Isles, a municipality in Miami-Dade County where he owns a plethora of shopping malls.

Or had he not had a special day designated in his honor in that same municipality as the Miami New Times pointed out last year when this whole mess started.

And if he wasn't a public figure before, he will most likely be once his photo goes viral under the Streisand effect.

The Streisand effect is a primarily online phenomenon in which an attempt to hide or remove a piece of information has the unintended consequence of publicizing the information more widely. It is named after American entertainer Barbra Streisand, whose attempt in 2003 to suppress photographs of her residence inadvertently generated further publicity.

Since 2011, Katz has been trying to get a judge to shut down a blog called RK Associates USA, which paints the developer in a negative light by using information that is already publicly available, which makes it even harder to prove actual malice.

The owner of the blog is a Russian-born woman named Irina Chevaldina who states the following in the heading of her blog:

This blog presents publicly available information about RK Centers (former RK Associates),including court records, media publications and opinions. Raanan Katz is the owner of RK Associates (Centers). Raanan Katz is a minor owner of Miami Heat. This blog is not associated in any way with RK Centers and RK Associates official websites and blogs.

Katz has been unable to intimidate Chevaldina into removing the photo, so he had his lawyers sue Google, which makes about as much sense as picking a fight with LeBron James when you couldn’t even scare the ball boy.

Chevaldina has retained First Amendment attorney Marc Randazza, publisher of The Legal Satyricon blog, a longtime Photography is Not a Crime reader, who provided the following statement:

The case began about a year ago, when Katz brought a SLAPP suit against Ms. Chevaldina.  Apparently he didn't like that she was making his litigation history and tactics public.  Florida state courts don't post everything up on line like federal courts, so this was a valuable public service.  This is what citizen journalists do -- their blogs are where stories first bubble up from the depths. 

A few weeks ago, Katz's lawyers tried to get a preliminary injunction against Chevaldina's continued blogging.  They actually asked the court to order her blog completely shut down.  Failing at that, Katz hired a second law firm to file this silly copyright complaint as a collateral attack on her First Amendment rights. 

My guess is that their strategy is this:  If you keep whiffing against a small time blogger, you might as well then just pick a fight with one of the biggest companies in the world.  Sit back and get your popcorn and watch how this one works out.  I want to thank Mr. Katz for bringing in an 800 lb gorilla to help me in his unsupportable SLAPP suit. 

We have yet to speak to Google's lawyers about this case, but we expect that they will be receptive to standing up for the First Amendment along with us. 

I'm defending the case along with Robert Kain and Darren Spielman of Kain & Associates.

Randazza and Kain responded to Katz's complaint with an impressive 30-page brief detailing just how frivolous this lawsuit is.

If it makes any difference to Katz, I was celebrating the Heat victory along with the rest of Miami.

 

UPDATE; Here is Katz's lawsuit against Chevaldina where he accuses her of "cyber-bullying" as well as another suit Katz is filing against Randazza and the other lawyers defending her, accusing them of "conspiring" with her against Katz and asking for at least $15,000 in damages.

 

And the story was posted on Boing Boing, ensuring the Streisand effect is in, well, full effect.

raanankatz1.jpg


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 I've created an Indiegogo fundraiser in an attempt to raise $3,500 by July 2 in order to prepare for my July 25 trial.

 Hair Transplant 

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. I did not pay for this transplant, which is why I'm promoting the doctor through the hair transplant blog.

Read More »

Austin Man Facing 10 Years in Prison After Photographing Cops Making Arrest

 nye_arrest_03.jpg

It was just after midnight on New Year’s Day when Antonio Buehler spotted a pair of Austin cops manhandling a woman at a gas station during a DUI investigation, so he pulled out his cell phone and began taking photos.

That, of course, prompted one of the cops to storm up to him and accuse him of interfering with the investigation.

Austin police officer Pat Oborski shoved Buehler against his truck before handcuffing him. He later claimed in his arrest report that Buehler had spit in his face.

Buehler was charged with resisting arrest and felony harassment on a public servant, the latter punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

After spending 16 hours in jail, Buehler began seeking witnesses to the incident.

“We started posting flyers around the gas station,” Buehler said in an interview with Photography is Not a Crime Sunday afternoon.

“I went on Facebook and on Twitter and I put something up on Craig’s List.”

 

By January 4, he had obtained a video from a witness who had been standing across the street watching the exchange between Buehler and Oborski.

The video doesn’t show Buehler spitting on the cop but it might be difficult to capture that from across the street with a cell phone camera.

However, it does show Oborski pinning Buehler against the truck, making it obvious that the cop had stormed up to him rather than the other way around.

But in the arrest report, Oborski claims that Buehler was “in my face,” which is why he had to place his hands on his shoulders to “distance him away.”

Oborski also claimed that he wiped his face after Buehler had supposedly spit on him, then pulled out the handcuffs to arrest him, but the video doesn’t show that either.

All the video shows is Oborski pushing Buehler against the truck before wrestling him down to arrest him.

The video also shows Buehler's friend acting as if he is video recording the arrest, but Buehler says he was not recording.

Buehler also attempted to obtain Oborski’s dash cam video through a public records request, but that request was denied after the city attorney consulted with the Texas attorney general.

Buehler then filed an internal affairs complaint against Oborski in late January thinking that the cell phone video – coupled with dash video and audio from the patrol car, the footage from the gas station surveillance camera and audio from a recorder Oborski was wearing on his uniform – would prove that he was unlawfully arrested.

But as we’ve seen so many times before, internal affairs did not substantiate a single one of Buehler’s complaints against the officers.

Not only that, but the letter dated June 15 also informed that he would be forbidden to “view, posses or receive copies of the Internal Affairs Division’s investigation.”

The letter did say he was welcome to meet with a “Police Monitor for a Police Monitor’s Conference,” where a cop would go over the details of the investigation with him.

But naturally, he would be forbidden from recording that meeting, even though he would be allowed to take notes.

Buehler said this is a policy stemming from the police union’s contract that states the investigation will only be made public if the accusations against the officer were substantiated.

So in other words, the public must take their word that they did, in fact, conduct a thorough and honest investigation.

But despite all this and the fact the charges are still hanging over him, Buehler remains upbeat.

On July 2, he will plead his case before the Austin Citizen Review Panel, which is made up of seven cities and was created to provide oversight to the police department.

The board does not have the authority to discipline but it can make recommendations.

Buehler also took the police department up on its offer to review the investigation in person where he was allowed to view all the evidence he had not seen before.

He posted his findings on Faeebook on a post that received more than 140 “likes.”

“I found it very interesting that you can only see driver’s side, you can’t see the passenger’s side,” he said of the dash cam video.

“All the other dash cam videos I’ve seen show a wider angle where you can see both the driver side and passenger side.”

Buehler is referring to the car that police had pulled over that night prior to his altercation with them, which apparently has a tight crop of the driver’s side, which is rare indeed.

In the car were two women. The driver was undergoing a sobriety test. Oborski claims the passenger was interfering with that investigation by yelling out the window.

He also claims he had to twice walk over to the passenger side to tell the woman to settle down while he was conducting the sobriety test on the driver.

Buehler was pumping gas observing the situation. His friend was in the passenger’s seat.

“I didn’t hear her yell the entire time,” he said of the passenger. “She clearly wasn’t yelling to the degree that she was interfering like they claimed.”

nye_arrest_02.jpg

But before he knew it, Oborski had yanked her out of the car and was manhandling her.

“We pull out our cameras and try to take pictures with our cell phones,” he said. “She sees me taking pictures and says, ‘please, take pictures and videos.’

“I asked the cop, ‘why are you hurting her, she didn’t do anything wrong, stop hurting her.’

“They pick her up and walk her right past us. Oborski then turns around walks back towards me.

“’He said, ‘who do you think you are?’

Oborski walked up right up to Buehler, sandwiching him between the back of his truck.

That is where the cell phone video starts recording.

While that video doesn’t pick up much audio and the dash cam video doesn’t show the passenger’s side - and the recorder Oborski was wearing is conveniently undecipherable, coming across muffled as it had been covered - the dash cam video does provide clear audio of the interaction.

“The audio shows that he keep raising his voice escalating the situation,” Buehler said.

Oborski claimed in his report that it was Buehler who escalated the situation by continually raising his voice.

Then there is the chuckle.

“All of a sudden, he chuckles and says, ‘you spit in my face,’” Buehler said. “I said, ‘I didn’t spit in your face.’

“If someone spits in your face, do you chuckle?”

The gas station surveillance video shows the entire incident without audio, but from the beginning, unlike the cell phone video, which began recording once the two were in each other’s faces.

“It shows me taking pictures, then it shows the cops coming up to me, pushing me,” he said. “It shows I am completely passive in my demeanor.”

Today, more than six months after the incident, the case has yet to go before a grand jury, which will determine if the case will go to trial.

In the mean time, he created Peaceful Streets, a project will encourage Austin residents to record police in an effort to maintain accountability.

The program offers Know Your Rights workshops and will eventually hand out 100 video cameras to residents.

“We want to encourage people to take their liberty and security in their own hands,” he said.

Buehler has also created a petition where he is trying to gather 5,000 signatures to send a message to the district attorney to investigate Oborski and his partner.

As of today, the petition has 1,394 signature but more than 3,000 Facebook likes, which goes to show you just how lazy some of us have become.


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.http://www.pixiq.com/node/add/pixiq-post

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 I've created an Indiegogo fundraiser in an attempt to raise $3,500 by July 2 in order to prepare for my July 25 trial.

 Hair Transplant 

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. I did not pay for this transplant, which is why I'm promoting the doctor through the hair transplant blog.

Read More »

Drone Hovering Over South Beach During Memorial Day Weekend Likely Not MDPD's

drone2.jpg

Gizmodo is reporting that the Miami-Dade Police Department used its drone to keep an eye on the multitude of visitors during the controversial Urban Beach Week on Miami Beach during Memorial Day Weekend earlier this year.

But a commenter who goes by acanuelas is not buying it.

1st- Here is a picture of the actual drone that MDPD owns . it is a Honeywell’s RQ-16 T-hawk drone. Not that RC crap that you can see for 2 seconds on this clip.

cmt_medium.jpg

(Gizmodo/ ANDREW) check your sources, do your home work before posting inaccurate information just for the sake of posting something .

2nd- MDPD will only fly the drone at active shooter situations for the SRT units (Special Response Teams/ equivalent to SWAT) that's the standard SOP (Standard Operating Procedures) Of MDPD.

3rd- the footage was taken in south beach/ City of miami beach police department has the jurisdiction and responsibility for surveillance/tactical work on the city not miami dade PD.

I am a technical/tactical advisor for several police and law enforcement agencies in the area and i have work on several of these projects active/passive surveillance for these kind of events. ;)

The drone in the video posted on Gizmodo does not appear to be Honeywell’s RQ-16 T-Hawk judging by the photo acanuelas provided as well as the one on Honeywell’s website (pictured below)

mav_white.jpg

And perhaps the Miami-Dade Police Department is restricted by its own Standard Operating Procedures to use the drone in only certain situations, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they wouldn’t break that procedure. Especially if they could get away with the excuse that they were doing it to keep the citizens safe.

It was only last year that a multitude of cops shot and killed a man in a hail of bullets during this same weekend and it was three years earlier that I was one of more than 500 people arrested that weekend when all I did was photograph a cop.

And while it’s true that the footage in the video is from Miami Beach, which has its own police department, it is no secret that more than a million dollars is spent each year to bring in outside agencies to help control (or arrest) the crowds.

The Miami-Dade Police Department, as the largest police department in the county, always maintains a strong presence on Miami Beach during Memorial Day Weekend.

memorial_day_2009_photos_by_carlos_miller_8.jpg

So that’s the weakest out of acanuelas’ three points.

However, pictures rarely lie and the drone in the video appears to have come from one of the many do-it-yourself kits that can be purchased throughout the internet rather than from the Miami-Dade Police Department, which last year became the first police department in the country to receive FAA clearance to use drones.

However, as acanuelas points out, the department is highly restrictive as how it can use them, according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which obtained the department's Standard Operating Procedures through a public records request earlier this year.

According to the EFF:

The COA and the other records EFF received show that Miami-Dade’s drone program is quite limited in scope. The two small drones the MDPD is flying—Honeywell T-Hawks—are able to fly up to 10,000 feet high, can record video or still images in daylight or infrared, and can “Hover and stare; [and] follow and zoom,” (pdf) according to the manufacturer. However, the COA limits their use to flights below 300 feet. The drones also must remain within visual line of sight of both a pilot and an observer and can only be flown during the day. They cannot be flown within the Miami city limits or over any high-rise buildings, populated beaches, outdoor assemblies of people, or heavily trafficked roadways (which seems to severely limit their range).  Also, the MDPD has stated it doesn’t use the drones to record incidents or store image files and that the drone is set up to “clear[] the picture upon the next picture being captured.” (It is not clear from MDPD’s records whether the department has another system set up to retain the image files.)

MDPD sent EFF a copy of its “Standard Operating Procedures” for flying the T-Hawks, though these procedures are still in draft form. However, neither they nor the COA discuss any legal restrictions on flights or information collected to protect privacy or civil liberties. MDPD said in a separate email that the department does not require a warrant or any other form of court process prior to flying the drones.

Considering these remote controlled drones can easily be purchased on the internet for just over a thousand dollars, we probably should expect to much more of them hovering around in the near future.

And that will not only raise more awareness regarding expectations of privacy, but also highlight security concerns.

I’m actually surprised we haven’t seen reports of these homemade devices being flown over South Florida’s clothing-optional Haulover Beach to take photos, which might not be a legal issue considering it is public.

Last year the feds arrested a man who they said was plotting to attack the Pentagon and U.S. Capitol using explosives attached to a remote control plane.

Also last year, a couple of geeks unveiled a drone that would allow them to hack into wi-fi and cell phone conversations.

And Youtube is filled with videos of people recording their adventures with homemade drones.

I’m thinking maybe I should build my own drone to protect me next time I’m out recording police in the streets.


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 I've created an Indiegogo fundraiser in an attempt to raise $3,500 by July 2 in order to prepare for my July 25 trial.

 Hair Transplant 

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. I did not pay for this transplant, which is why I'm promoting the doctor through the hair transplant blog.

Read More »

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