I arrived in Tampa Sunday afternoon with the threat of a tropical storm plowing a path behind me, threatening to turn into a hurricane.
At this time, Isaac is still a tropical storm and has veered into the Gulf of Mexico where it may turn into a hurricane before striking New Orleans.
So maybe God is a republican, after all.
At least I’m sure they’ll be telling each other that during the Republican National Convention, which was postponed a day because of the hurricane threat, meaning it will begin Tuesday instead of Monday.
But that’s not going to stop the protest that was scheduled for noon Monday, which I intend to cover.
I took a walk around downtown today with Joel and Robert Chandler, the brothers who have been helping me obtain public records from the Miami-Dade Police Department in preparation for my trial next month.
There were no signs of protesters but plenty of cops. But the cops we ran into were very cordial, including an Orlando police officer named Pasley (pictured above) who jokingly grabbed my camera strap for a photo opp, asking me to not “write a bad caption.”
Other cops offered us refreshments from a cooler. Much of this positive attitude stems from Mickey Osterreicher, general counsel for the National Press Photographers Association, who has been training the cops in how to deal with the media. We met with him for dinner shortly after the photo was taken.
Osterreicher is a veteran when it comes to covering political conventions, starting back in 1972 during the Democratic National Convention in Miami when he was a bushy haired hippy teenager with a press pass and a camera.
But the piece he wrote for JPG Magazine is worth clicking on not just to see that photo, but for all the other photos and conventional wisdom he offers. The Citizen Media Law Project also provides some good links and handy advice.
Hopefully, the cops will remain cordial during today’s protest where I plan to meet with photojournalist Dave Id, who recently won a settlement stemming for an unlawful arrest.
And speaking of cops who are not cordial, Miami-Dade Police Major Nancy Perez, the media spokeswoman who arrested me in January (and most likely ordered my footage to be deleted), is once again proving to be a detriment to her own department.
Robert Chandler had asked police attorney Bill Lyons for a copy of the Standard Operating Procedure regarding media relations. That’s the manual that outlines the way cops are supposed to deal with journalists.
Obviously, it’s something most cops don’t read because they usually don’t have a clue. But you would expect the head of the police department’s media relations bureau to be familiar with it.
But she ended up responding to Chandler saying it would take her three hours to find it.
She obviously is not aware that the Chandler brothers have sued more than 70 government agencies in Florida over public records and will gladly sue the Miami-Dade Police Department over this matter.
The fact that she would even involve herself in a public records that pertains to a case she is directly involved in shows she doesn’t know the meaning of “conflict of interest.”
But what can we expect from a cop who told a local news station that I had been stalked by the department’s homeland security bureau prior to my arrest because I had been making “threats” on the internet.
This was after she told my lawyer in a deposition that she had no clue who I was before she arrested me.
I can’t imagine what she will say when she takes the stand during my trial September 19. Or maybe they will offer me another ridiculous plea deal beforehand.
Chandler responded to her assertion that it would take three hours to find the Standard Operating Procedure by requesting her personnel file through the department’s attorney.
This is how he worded it:
I would like a copy of her entire personnel file. Please let me know how much of a deposit is needed and I will pay with a money order. Please show me the statute that allows for charging for redaction. Fees are governed by 119.07(4) and I see no subsection that expressly allows for the charge of redactions. To my knowledge, this has not yet been challenged in the judicial system. My reasoning is that by virtue of 119.01(1) “Providing access to public records is a duty of each agency.”, therefore part of that duty is to protect confidential information while still providing access to the public. Essentially, redacting records is a ministerial duty as “custodian”. I am more than happy to hear your thoughts on this issue. I see too often cost for redactions being used to keep records from the public through excessive fees.
I also received a letter today from Major Perez informing me that the cost for the MDPD SOP manual in a digital format will cost $79.56 for 3 hours of research time. I challenge your agency to explain this. She is telling me that the SOP manual took 3 hours of research to find. How can the MDPD expect to follow the SOP if it takes the PIO 3 hours just to find it. She asked me to contact Captain Bibiana Santana if I had any questions. I am still trying to run all my requests through you directly, as you requested.
Ergo I am making a subsequent public records request about my request.
(1) Please provide to me the salary of the lowest paid employee (or volunteer) that could have searched for the records.
(2) Provide to me a copy of the time sheet or any other documents of the employee documenting the 3 hours of search time to find the responsive records.
If the records exist in electronic format, provide them as such. If the cost of production is to exceed $1.00, provide a written estimate prior to production.
It should also be noted that Perez has refused to provide a copy of the SOP to my attorney who asked for it months ago as discovery, putting her dangerously close to being in contempt of court.
In one of Chandler’s requests, we discovered that the department’s Homeland Security bureau had learned that I had planned to drive up to Tampa to document the protests outside the Republican National Convention, so they had planned to notify Tampa authorities of my arrival.
Or as PDN Pulse said: “Apparently, Carlos Miller is being scheduled for another arrest for daring to hold police accountable to the First Amendment. Stay tuned.”
Obviously, Officer Pasley in the above photo did not receive the memo.
In other news, I’ve been testing out a new camera called a Looxcie that enables users to clip on their ears like a Bluetooth phone and live stream. You can also purchase an accessory that allows you to clip the camera to your cap as you can see in the photo below.
I haven’t figured out the live stream part of it but so far, it records excellent video as you can see in the clips below, including the clip from the restaurant tonight which was shot in extreme low light. It was so dark that we had to hold the candles up to the menu in order to read it.
But you wouldn’t know that from the video.
Please send stories, tips and videos to email@example.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.
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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.