Only two days after a 50 State security guard told Joel Franco he was not allowed to video record on the Miami-Dade Metrorail, a Florida State Trooper threatened to confiscate his camera because he was video recording a traffic fatality.
It was the third time in less than two weeks the Miami resident was ordered by an authority figure to stop video recording.
The first time was when a Hialeah police officer ordered him to turn his camera off while recording the arrest of another man during the street celebrations that ensued after the Miami Heat won the national championship in June.
That man was arrested after he picked up a police flare from the street and ran off with it.
Franco was then threatened with arrest for standing in the street, even though it was closed off and already filled with thousands of people.
A quick look through his videos and you’ll see he already has the fundamentals of journalism down.
But he was a little unsure about the law after the first incident, so he obliged with the cop’s orders but then he asked his viewers in the video about whether or not he was allowed to record police officers from the street.
One commenter referred him to this blog, so now he is learning his rights.
On Monday night, he was walking to his local Taco Bell when he was noticed that police were investigating an incident in which a man was killed after he was struck by a car.
Franco ran up to the scene and started recording, standing behind the yellow police line.
But he was told to stop recording or have his camera confiscated as evidence. You can see that part at 6:45 in the video.
He acted as if he was obeying, but he just moved to a hidden spot and continued recording while the mainstream media pulled up and were allowed to record.
Franco knew something wasn’t right, so he asked his Facebook followers for advice on how to deal with cops who order him to stop recording.
Unfortunately, a couple of people gave him wrong information as you can see in the screenshot below.
So I’m going direct him to HONORYOUROATH’s Youtube channel because nobody does it better than him when setting cops straight on the law. Jeff Gray is also a fellow Floridian.
I will also guide him to the U.S. Department of Justice’s guidelines for police officers on how to deal with citizens who record them in public and hopefully he’ll learn it so he can educate officers, even if he has to carry around a printout with him at all times.
And I will ask my readers to give him any advice they can because you know this isn’t the last we hear of him.
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.
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.