Monthly archives: July 2012

July 31st, 2012

California Man Insults Cop on Camera After Being Told to Back Off 0

By Carlos Miller

A California man not only proved it is legal to record cops in public, something everybody should know by now, he also proved it is legal to insult them in a profanity-laced tirade.

He also proved to be an asshole, but that is not against the law.

“Fuck you, you fucking dick,” the man yelled at the Camarillo police officer as he was driving away.

“Have a good day, sir,” the cop responded.

“You should be scared, you corrupt little bitch,” the man with the camera continued.

“One of these days, it’s not going to be a guy with a camera.

“One of these days, people are going to be fed up with your fucking corruption, you little bitch.

“Get the fuck on. Get the fuck on, you little pig.”

The cop’s only other words were, “See you later,” before starting his car and driving off.

The man with the camera goes by FunTrails on Youtube and is apparently a member of Camarillo Cop Watch in Ventura County.

He walked up to the police officer who was making a traffic stop in a construction zone where fines were doubled.

As soon as he walked up, the cop ordered him to move across the street, accusing him of distracting him, even though the man had not even talked to him at that point.

The man refused to move, pointing out that he was standing at least ten feet away. The cop called for back-up.

Eventually, a plainclothes Ventura County sheriff’s deputy pulled up as well as another Camarillo cop in a patrol car.

The deputy maintained his professionalism, even engaging the videographer in civil conversation. The second cop didn’t say a word.

Eventually, all three law enforcement officers stepped back in their cars and left, which is when the videographer launched into his tirade.

So even though his goal was to make the cops look stupid, he did the complete opposite, proving that the cops were aware that the First Amendment allows citizens to curse them out.

This was confirmed by the U.S. Department of Justice when it sent a set of guidelines to the Baltimore Police Department in May.

Even foul expressions of disapproval towards police officers are protected under the First Amendment.4 See, e.g., Duran v. City of Douglas, Arizona, 904 F.2d 1372, 1377-78 (9th Cir. 1990) (individual who was “making obscene gestures” and “yell[ed] profanities” at an officer engaged in conduct that “fell squarely within the protective umbrella of the First Amendment and any action to punish or deter such speech—such as stopping or hassling the speaker—is categorically prohibited by the Constitution.”).

In 2010, a Kansas man received a $5,000 settlement after he was arrested for telling a cop to fuck off and later that year, a Washington man received a $4,000 settlement.

In 2009,a Pennsylvania man who was arrested after flipping a cop off received a $50,000 settlement.

Earlier this month, a man sued the New York City Police Department for having arrested him for giving cops the middle finger.

According to Yahoo:

Robert Bell, an aspiring lawyer, stepped outside of a pub for a breath of fresh air in August of last year. After some police officers passed him, he raised his middle finger and flipped the cops off behind their backs. Bell didn’t notice another cop standing nearby who witnessed the shocking gesture.

According to a suit filed recently, the officer asked Bell, “Do you think that’s funny?” and before Bell could respond he was cuffed. When asked why he did it, Bell replied, “Because I don’t like cops.” He was hauled off to a holding cell where he taunted for his sexual orientation by officers. Bell was released after about two hours and later had his disorderly conduct charge dropped.

So perhaps we should all go out and start flipping cops off as a way to make a quick buck.

But I wouldn’t recommend it because civility goes a lot further in the long-run than a few thousand bucks.


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.

Facebook PINAC Page

You can keep up with my stories by friending me on Facebook or following me on Twitter and/or Google + or by liking the PINAC Facebook page.

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.

July 28th, 2012

Amtrak Cops Threaten to Arrest Reporter Despite Policy Allowing Photography 0

By Carlos Miller

Oblivious to its own photo policy, Amtrak police threatened to arrest a reporter for having recorded a video of a TSA checkpoint at Chicago’s Union Station.

Julio Rausseo of We Are Change had video recorded Transportation Security Administration screeners setting up a checkpoint at the train station on July 5.

He uploaded the video, then returned to the station a week later where he sat in a restaurant video recording TSA screeners ordering their food.

That was when he was approached by an Amtrak police officer who recognized him from the previous encounter as you can see in the above video. Unfortunately, Rausseo never dared record the faces of the two cops who ended up harassing him.

The cop first said he was not allowed to record the checkpoint, which does not comply with Amtrak’s photo policy, which is posted not only on Amtrak’s website but on the Amtrak police Wikipedia page. 

The cop then accused him of having trespassed in a restricted area when the original video clearly shows he was not.

And then the cop suggested that his video could have been used for “terrorist activity.”

When Rausseo asked him to elaborate, the cop explained that “people know the time, the date, you gave an explanation about TSA.”

Never mind the fact that thousands of people must have seen the TSA screeners setting up the checkpoint that day as you can see in the video below.

                      

The cop then demanded to see his identification. When Rausseo protested, a second cop showed up, explaining that they were conducting a Terry stop.

By law, a Terry stop requires the officers to have a reasonable suspicion or “specific and articulable facts” that a crime has just been committed or about to be committed.

In this case, the only “crime” that was committed was Rausseo having video recorded a security checkpoint and uploading the video to Youtube, which are not crimes, especially considering he made no indication in the video that he had committed a crime or was planning to commit a crime.

The second cop pointed out that Union Station is a privately owned building, which he said meant that Rausseo was required to get a permit before he was allowed to utilize his First Amendment rights to record.

“You’re obviously a rookie journalist ’cause any seasoned journalist would know that you follow policy and procedure,” the cop told him.

“A normal journalist and a professional journalist would know to go to management office, get a permit, who you are, what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. Then they escort you, and you are able to execute your First Amendment rights.”

Of course, a seasoned cop would also know that there is no requirement for reporters to get a permit.

And while it’s true that Union Station is owned by Amtrak, it is also true that Amtrak is a government-owned corporation, meaning it is funded by taxpayers.

Amtrak also has very clear photo policy listed on its website, thanks to its embarrassing flap in 2008 involving PINAC reader Duane Kerzic, who was arrested by Amtrak police for taking photos he planned to use in an Amtrak photo contest.

Kerzic, whose story went viral on PINAC, ended up being featured on The Colbert Show before winning a hefty settlement.

As a result of Kerzic’s arrest, Amtrak revised its photo policy in March 2009.

The policy, which I’ve posted below in its entirety, is no different than what you encounter at other transportation hubs, including the New York subway or the Miami-Dade Metrorail, in that allows photography and videography within public accessible areas, but not within restricted areas, which are not open to the public anyway.

It limits photography to hand-held cameras because tripods and lights would impede traffic. And while it recommends that reporters go through a formalized administrative procedure before conducting their work, it does not require them to do so.

It also requires commercial photographers, meaning photographers shooting ads or commercials, to get special permission.

The policy does give Amtrak police some leeway in harassing photographers if their “activity is suspicious in nature or inconsistent with this policy,” but the fact that Amtrak police had already viewed Rausseo’s video should have been an indicator that he was acting as a journalist, merely reporting his observations and his opinions.

The policy is pretty standard and not a very difficult to understand, but apparently the cops are having trouble with it.

“You can’t argue law with me, ok, because I’m competent and I know the law,” the second cop told Rausseo. “I’ve studied this ok and I know the way it works.”

Here’s giving that cop a second chance to study it because it obviously didn’t sink in the first time.

amtrak_photo_policy_1_2009_650x730.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 if you would like to contribute, please click on the “donate” button below and contribute whatever you can afford.

Facebook PINAC Page

You can keep up with my stories by friending me on Facebook or following me on Twitter and/or Google + or by liking the PINAC Facebook page.

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.

July 26th, 2012

NYC Transit Cop Caught on Camera Body Slamming Young Man 0

By Carlos Miller

A New York City Transit cop body slammed a young man inside the subway system, not just once but twice.

And two witnesses captured the entire incident with their video cameras.

At first, it appears as if the body slam was not justified, but I’ve watched it several times, including stopping the video at certain points, and now I’m not so sure because the young man appears to be holding onto the top of a billboard when the cop appears to be trying to bring his arms down to cuff them.

I’m curious as to what you guys think. No matter where you stand on this, the video shows the importance of being able to record openly without fear of arrest because it shows us what really took place.

One of the videographers, Dennis Galarza, believes it was completely unjustified.

“It wasn’t like the kid was trying to run,” he said in a telephone interview with Photography is Not a Crime Thursday afternoon.

“He had his hands in the air and his back towards the cop. What kind of resisting is that?”

Galarza also pointed out that the train tracks were only a few feet away.

“The kid wasn’t sure if the cop was going to throw him on the tracks. It was a natural reaction to hold onto the billboard.”

The incident took place last Thursday after the young man allegedly jumped the turnstile without paying a fare. The video was posted today.

At one point while he is being patted down, the young man’s body flinches but that might just be a natural reaction to having his genitals fondled by a cop.

Seconds later, it appears as if the cop is trying to bring his arms down to handcuff him, but it appears as if the young man insists on holding on to the top of the billboard.

That is when the cop grabs him around the waist and body slams him, bringing the billboard down with both of them.

The young man manages to stand up and grab what’s left of the billboard, but the cop brings him down again.

At this point, the young man is sitting on his ass while the cop has him in a headlock, giving him the old, “stop resisting” order.

The young man says he is not resisting and it doesn’t appear as if he is resisting.

But this is one of those situations that could go either way depending on how much leeway you give police officers.

The cop manages to handcuff him without further incident and walks him towards the citizens recording him.

Galarza keeps asking for the cop’s name and the cop tells him to stop interfering, but other than, doesn’t seem to take issue with the videographers.

Meanwhile, the young man in handcuffs keeps planting his feet, making it difficult for the cop to walk him out. At one point, the cop’s badge falls to the ground and he points at it to allow the videographer to get it on video, which he does: Badge number 23400.

Galarza, who has been cop watching for at least ten years, tells the young man to stop resisting, which is good advice. Once you are handcuffed, there is nothing you can to your advantage except just go along with the arrest.

Galarza, who is a member of a community organization called La Casita Comunal de Sunset Park, said they called a press conference today and handed out DVDs of the video to media organizations, including the New York Times and New York Daily News.

He also said five transit cops showed up to the press conference and attempted to attend.

“They’re supposed to be patrolling the subways,” Galarza said. “We didn’t let them in.”


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.

Facebook PINAC Page

You can keep up with my stories by friending me on Facebook or following me on Twitter and/or Google + or by liking the PINAC Facebook page.

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.

July 26th, 2012

DC Cops Confiscate Phone, Steal Memory Card, Day After New Photo Policy Implemented 0

By Carlos Miller

lanier_cathy.jpg

On the day after Washington D.C. police implemented a new general order stating they must respect the rights of citizens who record them in public, an undercover cop snatched a cell phone from a man who was recording an investigation in public.

When they finally returned the phone back to Earl Staley later that day, he said his memory card was missing.

Now the ACLU, which assisted in drafting the policy, says that perhaps the officer did not know of the guidelines.

That’s still no excuse.

Because even though the general order, which came as a result of Jerome Vorus’ lawsuit, clearly states what police can and can’t do when it comes to dealing with civilians recording them in public, it doesn’t create any new laws that police must learn.

It simply spells out the existing laws in easy-to-read language that even the dumbest of cops can understand. Just in case they have not been keeping up with the multitude of court decisions that have arose over the last few years throughout the country stating that police do not have an expectation of privacy in public.

Or the U.S. Department of Justice guidelines issued straight out of Washington D.C. to the Baltimore Police Department two months earlier.

According to My Fox DC:

Staley says his smartphone was snatched by a D.C. Police officer last Friday evening along Raleigh Place in Southeast D.C. Staley says he saw police punching a man they were arresting and another plain-clothes officer harassing the people watching.

“So I go and grab my phone and start trying to record it,” says Staley, a 26-year-old employee of a private, non-profit mental health agency in the District. “And once I do that, another vice cop reaches over my back and grabs my phone and tells me he’s not giving my phone back.”

“That was the wrong thing for the officer to do,” says the ACLU’s Art Spitzer.

He says that officer may not have known about a new General Order issued by D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier that went into effect last Thursday.

“And the order is completely clear that in terms of preventing a person from taking pictures. The police are never to do that,” Spitzer continues.

Police told My Fox DC that “they are looking into it,” which means that we will most likely hear nothing more about the incident unless Staley files a lawsuit.

And even then, that is still not going to stop this abuse. But at least maybe it will make up for some of the images lost, which included hundreds of pictures of his four-year-old daughter.

First thing Staley should do is file an internal affairs complaint because even though we know that will result in the officer not getting disciplined, it may help Staley identify and publicize the name of the cop who abused his right to record in public.

And if anything, perhaps fear of exposure and humiliation might make him think twice in the future of doing that to another citizen.

Then again, it probably won’t.

 


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.

Facebook PINAC Page

You can keep up with my stories by friending me on Facebook or following me on Twitter and/or Google + or by liking the PINAC Facebook page.

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.

July 25th, 2012

San Diego Police Arrest Photojournalist for the 2nd Time Since January 0

By Carlos Miller

chief_lansdowne_op_640x737.jpg

Less than a month after charges were dismissed from his last arrest, San Diego photojournalist Edward Baier was arrested again, indicating that police are retaliating against him.

After all, he was arrested Friday for interfering with a police officer when all he was trying to do was video record an ongoing investigation involving some whacked out dude attempting to stuff a brick inside a mailbox.

That, of course, prompted citizens to think terrorism, which led to a multitude of San Diego police officers responding to the scene.

Baier, a freelance videographer who sells his footage to local television stations, was one of the first to respond after hearing about the incident on his police scanner.

He was there before police had even taped off the area, so he began interviewing possible witnesses, including the owner of the home whose water hose the man also tried to stuff into the mailbox.

The brick also came from this man’s yard. And the USPS mailbox stood on the public sidewalk just outside his property. A short brick wall divided the man’s property from the sidewalk.

“At this point, I had no idea what was going on,” Baier said in a telephone interview with Photography is Not a Crime. “But the police kept arriving and they started blocking off the streets.”

Baier set up his tripod on the sidewalk and started talking to the man who was standing on his property. The wall between them was about two-and-a-half feet as you can see in one of Baier’s photos below.

san_diego_20120721_00271.jpg

The man was explaining how some random stranger walked into his yard, picked up a brick, then tried to stuff it into the mailbox. He then walked back onto the yard, grabbed the water hose and tried to do the same.

A woman spotted this bizarre behavior and figured he was some Al Qaeda operative trying to blow up the mailbox, so she called police.

A police car pulled up containing two officers, one who already has a history with Baier.

“That cop told me specifically, ‘you have to leave, it is too dangerous to stay here,’” Baier said.

“But there were at least four other people standing around, including the owner and three other people on the sidewalks.”

Baier asked the property owner if he could step onto his yard and continue working on his footage. The man said yes.

When Baier started to step over the short brick wall, one officer grabbed his wrist and brought him down with the other officer joining in.

“They twisted my arm and I landed on my face on the brick wall,” Baier said.

“They kept yelling, ‘stop resisting.’”

His face ended up breaking a couple of bricks from the top of the wall as you can see in the photos below.

Then they handcuffed him and shoved him into the back of a patrol car.

san_diego_20120721_00270.jpg

The Wall was already cracked but the RED BRICKS on top where damaged when my chest and face impacted the top of the wall, Baier wrote in the email when he sent these photos.

san_diego_20120721_00276q.jpg

Meanwhile, police had nothing to say to the other four men watching the altercation unfold.

They impounded his camera, threw him in jail and did not return his camera until the following Monday. And only because Mickey Osterreicher started giving them hell on Saturday (I was with Mickey that day in Fort Lauderdale so I witnessed his telephone conversation with one of the assistant chiefs).

mickey_osterreicher.jpg

Baier ended up with a dislocated thumb, a sore elbow and abrasions on his face and body.

He has gone to the doctor who stated the following in a request for evaluation of his thumb.

Mr. Baier had an injury to his right thumb on Friday, July 20th.  Upon evaluation, I believe that his first metacarpophlangeal joint stabilizing ligaments are torn on the index finger side. Please evaluate and give Mr. Baier your opinion on treatment options.


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.

Facebook PINAC Page

You can keep up with my stories by friending me on Facebook or following me on Twitter and/or Google + or by liking the PINAC Facebook page.

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.

Javascript is currently disabled. This website functions better with Javascript. Please enable Javascript in your browser.
Internet Explorer is out-of-date. Please upgrade your browser or install Google Chrome Frame for an improved web browsing experience.