June 21st, 2012

PINAC Public Records Request of Emails Reveals Prosecutor Strategy for My Trial 0

By Carlos Miller

 Normally, conversations between client and attorney are confidential.

But not when both are public employees and discussing a pending case via email on the county dime.

My case to be exact, discussing just how they expect to convict me.

Through a public records request, Photography is Not a Crime obtained email conversations between Miami-Dade Police Major Nancy Perez and Miami-Dade Assistant State Attorney Thomas D. Graham as they prepared their case against me.

Bill Belichick would be proud.

Perez, as you know, is the public information officer who arrested me in January as I covered the Occupy Miami eviction, making me the only person arrested by the Miami-Dade Police Department that night. Another five were arrested by the Miami Police Department. The former is the county police, the latter city police.

Graham sent the email to Perez on April 24, one day before my scheduled trial, which we had continued after it was revealed that the Miami-Dade Police Department’s Homeland Security Bureau had been monitoring my Facebook page on the day of my arrest, even though Perez had claimed she had no idea who I was when she arrested me.

Graham, who graduated from law school in 2010, then scored in the top 20 highest scores on the bar exam in the state, planned to tell the jury that I was there as a protester instead of a journalist.

He even collected a horde of video screen shots from MDPD videographer Rick Bravo of me throughout the night where I am mostly shooting video. Or tweeting.

Or in one case, speaking to one of the activists. I imagine they will try to make me guilty by association.

His main argument is that I should have dispersed with all the other activists because I wasn’t part of what he describes in one screenshot as “credentialed media.”

However, he has since been removed from my case, according to my attorney. I’m sure it has to do with this email because it completely reveals their strategy.

Now they have until my July 25 trial to find a new prosecutor. And a new bullshit argument.

Let him explain in his words:

Here is a little bit about my theory of prosecution-

Even if he can show that he was working as a journalist it wouldn’t change the case.  He broke the law that night because he opposed all of the dispersal orders and didn’t leave the area in the manner he was instructed to by Officer Dieppa; he defied the final arrest order when everyone was told to “hit the ground, you are now under arrest”; and he tried to quickly walk past you even after he was the last person to be pushed out by the deployment force.  He knew exactly what he was doing when he tried to walk directly back into the area he had just been pushed out of.  Early on in the video you can hear your Commander saying his big concern was protestors walking back in after being pushed out- this is exactly what you stopped and prevented from happening when you arrested Mr. Miller.

In essence, he cannot conduct himself like a protestor all night and then want to be a journalist when it suits him to gain access to the area he was pushed out of and to defy the police.  It is clear from the video that when the protestors refused to leave it caused traffic problems and for streets to be shut down for long periods.  This is why they were given specific instructions on exactly what routes to leave from.

His behavior was especially unnecessary given that you were working with media all night to keep them safe and help them do their job with a few time, place, and manner restrictions.  Mr. Miller resisted, opposed, and obstructed officers all night by refusing lawful commands to leave and also by refusing to leave in the pre-planned direction to safely evict occupants of the protest.  As a result, his status as a journalist is irrelevant.

In other words, he would have told the jurors that I failed to corral myself with the rest of the corporate media before the eviction.

Instead, I insisted on remaining close to the activists in case police started getting violent during the eviction as we had seen many police departments do during the Occupy protests.

Even though the officers came out in riot gear and many were  carrying gas masks beforehand, they managed to breakdown the camp without getting physically abusive against the activists.

As the activists were evicted from the park, I remained on the sidewalk until they forced me off.  It was Nancy Perez, in fact, who came up from behind me and shoved me at 1:00:36 into the following video.

They eventually dispersed all the activists by telling them to lie on  the ground as they were about to get arrested. All the activists ran off, but I remained because the corporate media made no attempt to leave.

They have no more legal rights than I do. That is confirmed by Glik vs Boston as well as the recent U.S. Department of Justice guidelines.

We also received a mass amount of other emails that I have yet to look fully through, but there are a few nuggets in there. Some which we will save for the trial.

My attorney, Arnold Trevilla, will do at least three more depositions with officers who handcuffed me and handled my camera, from which my footage was deleted.

I launched an Indiegogo fundraiser where I am attempting to raise $3,500, a few hundred dollars which will go to Indiegogo. I mistakenly set July 2 as my deadline instead of July 20 as I was trying to do. So I only have 11 days.

We want to request more public records as well as do depositions. The trial might take at least two entire days and nights if my first trial is any indicator.

I once again have to thank the Chandler brothers, who live near Tampa, in helping me with the public records request.

Joel won an award for his public records activism earlier this year.

But it’s been Robert, who runs Raw Dash Cam, who’s been helping me in this case.

This is what I call PINAC NATION.


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