That usually means they will they do nothing about the incident in the hopes the media will eventually forget about it.
The department has already been attempting to manipulate the media by releasing a dash cam video that was completely unrelated to the incident, showing another motorcyclist cutting in front of another deputy.
Yet they have refused to release the dash cam video from Deputy James Westbrook’s car when he pulled over motorcyclist Chris Moore and told him the following:
The reason you’re being pulled over is because I’m gonna take your camera, and we’re gonna use it as evidence of… in the crimes that have been committed by other bikers.”
The department is claiming that Westbrook needed Moore’s camera as evidence against the other cyclist who cut the other deputy off, even though they already had their own evidence against that motorcyclist.
It is unclear why that one deputy didn’t just pull that one motorcyclist over when he had the chance.
Regardless, police do not have the legal right to confiscate cameras from citizens as evidence unless they have exigent circumstances, which is not the case here.
The incident has generated plenty of outrage from Photography is Not a Crime readers because it was just such a blatant abuse of power. Even more than the usual.
One PINAC reader named Robert Baker called the sheriff’s office and was told that Deputy Westbrook was still on full-duty because there was not enough evidence yet to suspend him – when the evidence is very clear from the video.
And PINAC reader Avi Adelman, who already has written one letter to Sheriff Lupe Valdez, wrote a second letter, which berated the department’s media relations spokesperson and also included the guidelines issued by the U.S. Department of Justice as well as the Miami Beach Police Department last year, stating that officers cannot confiscate cameras from citizens without exigent circumstances.
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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.
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.