November 8th, 2012

*** NOT GUILTY *** 52

By Carlos Miller

Judge Ed Newman and bailiff Tony Nathan are former well-known Miami Dolphin players who understand that Photography is Not a Crime (Photo by Carlos Miller).

 

The most telling part of my trial yesterday, besides the continuous lies under oath by Miami-Dade Police Major Nancy Perez, was when a frattish looking prosecutor fresh out of law school named Ari Pregen tried to explain to jurors how a “real journalist” was supposed to act.

A real journalist, he explained, was supposed to follow police orders without a second thought. A real journalist would never back talk to police. A real journalist would never question a direct police order as to why he was not allowed to stand on a public sidewalk.

Miami-Dade Assistant State Attorney Ari Pregen (Photo by Bruce Wayne Stanley)

 

That left the door open for one of my attorneys, Santiago Lavandera, to remind jurors that a real journalist was supposed to do the complete opposite.

“In this country, when you’re a journalist, your job is to investigate.

Not to be led by your hand where the police want you to see, so they can hide what they don’t want you to see.

No, when you’re a journalist, a real journalist, it’s your job to go find the truth. As long as you are acting within the law as Mr. Miller was, you have the right to demand and say, ‘no, I’m not moving, I have the right to be here. This is a public sidewalk, I have the right to be here.’

He did his job. He has the right to do his job the way he sees fit. It’s not up to these prosecutors to tell anybody, much less an independent journalist, how to do their job. It’s not up to the police officers, it’s not up to a judge or the president.

In this country, journalists do their job the way they see fit.

What’s he describing is Cuba. What he’s describing is a communist country. The government says you can’t be here because I say you can’t be here.

And it’s infuriating to me that a prosecutor would try to get up here and try to convince you that just because a police officer says something, that he has to bow his head and walk away.

That is a disgrace to the Constitution of this country.”

By that time, both prosecutors had their heads hung low, knowing they had been beat, reminding me of the old Charlie Daniel’s song about the devil going back to Georgia where the devil hung his head after losing a fiddling contest.

But as I had predicted before the trial, the real ace in my hole was my surprise witness, Miami Herald reporter Glenn Garvin, who was also covering the Occupy Miami eviction that night, but wasn’t arrested, even though he had been standing on the same sidewalk as I had been.

Garvin told the jury that there was no doubt I was a journalist and not a protester, the opposite of what prosecutors had been trying to convince the jury all day long.

He also said that when he was saw me getting arrested, he immediately thought he was going to get arrested, so he asked Nancy Perez if it was all-right for him to be standing there and she said, yes, he was under no threat of getting arrested.

That proved that police had not established a clear perimeter, contrary to what they had been arguing, claiming that I had deliberately walked into that perimeter after being told I was not supposed to be there.

Attorney Arnold Trevilla cross-examining Nancy Perez (Photo by Bruce Wayne Stanley).

 

PINAC videographer Bruce Wayne Stanley recorded the entire trial and I will be adding clips to this piece as I convert and edit them, which might take a few days.

The trial lasted about nine hours but it took the jury just over 30 minutes to deliberate, coming back with a not guilty verdict for the single charge of resisting police without violence.

The prosecuting team led by Thomas D. Graham kept harping on the argument that I had refused to leave the area after police gave several dispersal orders.

But they didn’t have much explanation as to why they didn’t arrest the countless other journalists that were also there.

Nancy Perez claimed to Graham that I had called her names but when my attorney, Arnold Trevilla, asked her what kind of names, she backtracked and said it was only me telling her to get the fuck out of my shot, which is not the same as calling her names.

But I wasn’t even directing my comments to her at that moment but at the officers with the shields who were trying to prevent me from recording an activist getting arrested by City of Miami police.

But even though there was video evidence of that incident introduced in the trial, she still tried to say that I said “fuck you” to her, which I never did. And even if I had, it still wouldn’t have been illegal.

At this point, I have no choice but to conclude she is a compulsive liar, which is probably why she heads the department’s media relations department where she has proven to be a master spin doctor to local reporters.

There is so much more I want to write, but I know my readers are getting impatient, so I will be adding to this post throughout the day.

I’ll just finish it off with a statement from my attorney, Arnold Trevilla, who’s been in my corner from my very first arrest when no other attorneys would take my case, except that one loser who dropped me as a client on Christmas Eve Day when I refused to accept a plea deal.

Trevilla is the real deal. He brought in Lavandera to assist with the case, who also proved to be the real deal.

The prosecutor called this a simple case and he was right because you didn’t need a lawyer or a judge to persuade anybody what happened that night.

It was all captured on video from beginning to end and the jury made up their minds on what they saw.

Glenn Garvin’s testimony was incredibly instrumental in getting the jury to understand the amount of confusion and disorder that was taking place that night.

The police perimeter was unclear and undefined and the jury saw that for themselves.

The truth is the truth and it is hard to manipulate it when you capture it on video.

e


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  • Difdi

    If you demand a jury trial, the judge HAS to give it to you, or you cannot be convicted of a crime in that court. Basic constitutional law.

    Of course, if nobody ever broke an oath or violated the law, we probably wouldn’t have courts or police. We certainly would not have criminal appeals courts.

    • steveo

      Crimes carrying a possible penalty of more than six months in jail are
      serious crimes and require a jury trial if the defendant so desires;
      crimes carrying a penalty of six months or less in jail are considered
      petty crimes and a defendant is not entitled to a jury trial in such
      cases in FL. Also, if the prosecution and the judge agree that even in the case of conviction that no jail time will be sentenced, the defendant does not have the right to a public defender or a jury.

      • Difdi

        The U.S. constitution does not make that distinction, and the 14th amendment extends that to the states. If you are to be deprived of your liberty, property or good name by a court, and have the conviction on your record, then you are not merely entitled to a jury trial, but any judge who refuses you one has committed a federal crime (18USC241, 18USC242).

        The Florida statute that denies the right to a trial by one’s peers is unconstitutional. It’s as simple as that.

        • steveo

          See Lewis Vs. US http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/95-6465.ZO.html, opinion rendered by Justice O’Connor: “We conclude that no jury trial right exists where a defendant
          is prosecuted for multiple petty offenses.” A shock to me too.

          What really sux in Fl, if you are on trial for say molesting a child under 12 yrs old that is a mandatory life sentence and you have to serve 25 yrs. You only get 6 jurors (you only get 12 in a death penalty case) and the defense attorney is not allowed to inform the jury of the mandatory sentence. If he does, it’s a mistrial.

          What makes anyone think here that we really follow the Constitution? There’s no 4th Amendment anymore. State vs. Miller is proof of that.

        • Jan Rooth

          See Duncan v. Louisiana, 391 U.S. 145 (1968)

          http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0391_0145_ZS.html

          “It is doubtless true that there is a category of petty crimes or offenses which is not subject to the Sixth Amendment jury trial provision [n31] and should not be subject to the Fourteenth Amendment jury trial requirement here applied to the States.

          In determining whether the length of the authorized prison term or the seriousness of other punishment is enough, in itself, to require a jury trial, we are counseled by District of Columbia v. Clawans, supra, to refer to objective criteria, chiefly the existing laws and practices in the Nation. In the federal system, petty offenses are defined as those punishable by no more than six months in prison and a $500 fine.”

  • Difdi

    With her personality and outlook on the value of oaths, she’s be dog ugly even with supermodel looks. The fact she doesn’t have supermodel looks, or even average looks, just makes it worse.

  • J. kaufman

    @21:16:

    Trevilla: He called you names?
    Perez: (nodding her head to the jury) Yes.
    Trevilla: Tell us what those names were
    Perez: (deer in headlights)

    Damn that be some funny shit.

    • Carlos_Miller

      I agree. Did she really believe we weren’t going to ask her exactly what names I called her?

      In all honesty, I had no interaction with her until I was arrested. She pushed me off the sidewalk at one point, but I just saw her as a uniform.

      And the part about the cops blocking my shot was directed at the cops with the riot shields. And I guess she was there but I don’t remember seeing her.

      • J. kaufman

        I don’t think she was anywhere near you when you made that comment to the officer blocking your shot. I think she saw that on video and just claimed that it was made toward her.

        ***edit***
        okay I just watched the short clip you put together regarding her testimony and this scene from that night….I think I spotted her behind the police line…..so maybe she was there….but I don’t think anyone could interpret that mini-episode to include you calling her names.

        • Happy_Tinfoil_Cat

          That’s my guess, too. If you are on video saying a naughty word at anytime during the day… then that becomes the issue long after the fact. Otherwise, there would be no plausible reason at all since cops simply blow off any DHS alerts.

          I’m sure your arrest had absolutely nothing to do with the DHS alert w/your photo which she claims to have gleefully ignored. uhhuh yep… nothing to do with that. /Sarcasm

    • Ron

      Deer in headlights.

      Looks pointedly at the prosecutor (well ain’t you going to say something),
      glances at jury (damn),
      back at the defence attorney.

      Prosecutor finally objects

      • Ron

        Watch that bit and you will see she does just that

  • samala5793

    CONGRATULATIONS!!! Thank you so much for all you do.

  • http://www.noneedforastinkingwebsite.com dow daytrader

    Freedom and our Constitutional Rights prevail over Tyranny…

  • http://twitter.com/ActLocaleeFTL Act Locally

    @FreeTalkLive show topics: Photography is not a Crime’s Carlos Miller Wins Trial,GovtDefinesRealJournalist ow.ly/fbeRO @FederalJack

  • Virtualfrog

    It seems that this woman should give dancing lessons. She has more side steps than the tallest building in Miami! She would do very well on Dancing with the Stars.

  • steveo

    obviously you didn’t need it, but looking at the scene from Google Earth makes a huge impression. The operator can go 360 degree, go left, right, north south, Perez kept saying she didn’t know or was confused, but with the video and the mapping program, she wouldn’t have been able to deny her way out of it. The jury could actually see where you were and where she was at the time of the arrest and how far away from the Govt Center you were. Arnold tried to nail her down as to why do you as a leo believe that you can restrict the movement of an American Citizen walking back to his car on a public sidewalk, 3 or 4 blocks away from the park. But I couldn’t really tell from the video exactly how far away you were. The location was about .1/4 miles away (about 4 football fields) from the center of the park. Perez is maintaining that you wouldn’t leave the park, but obviously that wasn’t true. Where did she want you to go, Nassau?

    In order to use Google earth, though, you need an I-3 or above Intel and it would have helped if the court had a 60 in but you have to go with what you have.

  • Jmz

    you are a real Citizen and a great reporter!

  • http://twitter.com/RickHorowitz RickHorowitz

    Congratulations! Good to see the right result comes out of our legal system sometimes. :)

  • steveo

    Haven’t seen the whole thing yet, but so far it looks like you could get some traction on false arrest, violation of 1st Amendment rights, and for sure malicious prosecution. I think a jury in a federal civil rights case would agree that this is malicious on the part of the SAO. Plus in a civil rights case, the burden of proof is preponderance of evidence which I think you can easily reach.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tha.narcoleptica Tha Narcoleptica

    A victory for liberty, good job for standing up and not taking a plea bargain!

  • Ex-Cop

    That was some excellent trial lawyer tactics by Trevilla on cross. He got Perez to testify outside the bounds of the question asked on several occasions (expounding beyond a simple yes, no, east, west; I don’t know). Any rookie cop will only make that mistake once before their superior takes corrective action. That a MAJOR with 15+ years experience and especially with media experience is beyond the pale. Thank you, I will take care of my own safety and you can disband the police force.

    • steveo

      Actually 27 years, I think she’s ready for retirement. Maybe Obama can hire her for DHS in a command position.

  • IO_IO

    I have a few comments here. I was surprised that Perez was not more professional in both her attire and attitude. For a person in her position – commanding a division of over 100 employees, and also instructing classes on the topic. That coupled with being the department’s primary public information officer, spokesperson and thus their main expert in media affairs, I would have though that she would have had much more of a command and professional presence, rather than being somewhat dowry and uninspiring.

    This was the department’s best opportunity to kill off the obvious and announced lawsuit from
    Carlos. So, essentially Carlos was arrested for doing nothing (other than exercising his Constitutional Rights) – walking along a public sidewalk. Assault & Battery? False arrest? Malicious prosecution? How about kidnapping off a public street – against his will. False Imprisonment? Destruction of property – but how did they know to delete the video, illegal search? Warrant to view the video? You can start piling up these items like cord-wood here. I would really like to hear the State’s Attorney General defend both the prosecution and the arrest as being anything near lawful, and why the AG is not taking steps to stop actions like these.

    So, why is the prosecution allowed to continue to practice law? Would not the State Bar Association be interested in these actions? The prosecution is suppose to be an officer of the court? You start to address their ability to practice law from being a lawyer (affect their livelihood) – a lot of this will instantly stop. Why does not the AG also address the police problem.

    I’ll stop here…..

  • http://www.facebook.com/eloy.saenz.10 Eloy Saenz

    awesome.

  • Steven

    For a police officer, especially a Public Information Officer, she’s terrible at testifying. Her body language, demeanor, and hostile attitude are terrible. If your civil suit ever goes to trial, that will be helpful to you.

    • Fred S.

      I agree. One of the first things they taught us at LAPD Academy was that when you answer a question, you answer it to, and look at, the jury. You’re answering it for them. She did this when the Prosecutor was examining her. But during cross, she ignored the jury and answered everything to the defense attorney. I know this sounds like a nit, but it shows a serious lapse in demeanor. For such an experienced officer, this is a major fail.

  • bobholderman

    Carlos, Could you comment a bit More about them deleting the footage and how, if at all, it was addressed in your case?

  • Fascist Nation

    I see ARS Technicapicked up this story:

    http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2012/11/jury-says-journalist-arrested-while-videotaping-police-is-not-guilty/

    I wonder why Perez did not appear in uniform? Think they feel a uniform makes her look less sympathetic to a jury?

  • IceTrey

    Carlos, is it possible for you to find out how much your arrest and trial cost? I’d love to see the prosecutor get skewered for wasting money on such a frivolous case.

  • Boomer

    What really jumped out at me in the video’s was how awful Major Perez is in her testimony. One of the first things taught to police officers is how to testify in a court proceding and it’s clear to me she must not have been in attendance in those classes, or had never had to testify before. I’m not sure which one is worse.

    The rule in the courtroom, as it is with a police investigation, is to get the witness/suspect to keep talking until they say something that undermines their testimony. And experienced officers know this, and know how and when to answer a question, and shut up. The concept is exactly the same as it is in Las Vegas, where the idea is to keep you playing long enough for the inevitable math to catch up with you.

    Bravo to you, Carlos for your victory. And to your attorney for slamming the door on Major Perez claim that you had called her names. It’s a perfect example of someone like her never being able to shut up, and she eventually said something that couldn’t be supported under cross examination.

    Your victory is a victory for us all.

  • Ron

    It would have been pointless to ask, she would have just said she knew nothing about that, and the persecution would have objected anyway

  • zapeee

    as i read this i think about all of the people that get abused by the police this way. even when the police are wrong, innocent people dont know it, or cant afford to fight, and take the plea.
    I have come to expect this kind of behavior from police (FUCK YOU NANCY, think before you BLINDLY FOLLOW ORDERS like a NAZI STOOGE), but for the DA, Ari Pregen, to drop trou and piss on our rights this way is intolerable.
    hey ari, why dont you convict some 90 year old lady for using pot for medicine, seems right up your alley!

  • steveo

    This is another issue that blows my mind. Even when the video, audio, and mapping, gps, public records, radio communications recordings confirm that the leo is lying, they still lie. They’ll lie through the depositions, they’ll lie through the trial as though they actually believe that “Listen, I’m a LEO, do you believe me or your lying eyes and ears.

  • steveo

    Veteran’s Day: what is that for? something about dying and fighting for freedom?

  • yatopepeg

    Carlos, I’d like to urge you and your excellent commenters to go easy on Nancy Perez. Yes, she inappropriately had you arrested, most likely from animus, and yes, she was snide and insulting while she did so, and yes, there is reason to believe that she was less than truthful, and that she personally and impermissibly hindered your defense.

    But that doesn’t make her ugly. It doesn’t even make her a bad person. If we direct personal animus toward her, we fall into the same trap she fell into. Further, even those who seem to be our worst enemies can someday become allies.

  • leslie moore

    Congratulations! Congratulations!! CONGRATULATIONS!!!

    And thank you.

    I sooooo much needed to see a sucess in this case and the delivery of that success was spectacular – far beyond my wildest dreams (which dreams ‘they’ have labeled ‘delusions’ and you proved their label wrong, so your victory is a personal victory for me too).

    Leslie Moore, Chico, California

  • leslie moore

    I want to thank every one of those 12 jurors.

  • Fred Mertz

    When are these police officers going to be arrested for kidnapping – false detainment, selective prosecution, official oppression, etc?

  • watching from overseas

    Congratulations, Carlos.

  • Glenn Weyant

    Joe, let me second that motion: Hey Nancy, FUCK YOU!

  • Glenn Weyant

    Hawaii, you are so right. “Some people” can not control their position of power. I’m 65 years old and back in 1964 when I was a minor I was sexually molested by a cop. I’m not a criminal and never have been but ever sense that episode I have “hated” those types of police officers and will expose them when ever I can. Way to go Carlos, Santiago, Arnold, & Glenn and all the others that helped bring these people into the light!

  • cansado

    zzzzzzzzz..is it over yet? what will you do for fame now?

  • http://twitter.com/tranplanr Frank B

    A “real” prosecutor would be ashamed…

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VHVLLX6JUHHKTZ7WLSTOMKZ6FA catmandu

    Congrats. Hee-hee. A real cop wouldn’t show up in court dressed like that.

  • SgtMustache

    WOO-HOO! Any possibility of a counter suit, legals costs, wrongful prosecution?
    Glad you’re here, speaking up, being witness to the world.
    Thanks.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Glenn-Festog/1703532994 Glenn Festog

    Well its always good to see a “win” for the little guy. As to LEO’s in general I can assure you that, when those blue & reds go off in my rearview mirror or the “boys in blue” approach me on foot, I suffer no more anxiety than I do when approached by Crips, Bloods, or any other armed criminal gang member.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1072806637 Darrell G. Ragland

    Who goes to court dressed in a sleeveless sun dress….only if you have a face as ugly as a bulldogs ass or you are Police Major Nancy Perez…OR….both! Nancy retire and return to your burrow with the rest of your groundhog friends.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=647684635 Carlos Miller

    I record in AVCHD with a Canon XA 10, so I have to convert it in Final Cut in Mov files.

  • catherine todd

    Excellent! We need more people like Carlos Miller and the ones who are unafraid and willing to stand up for our legal Constitutional rights which are quickly being IGNORED by police and anyone deemed to be an “authority” (read BULLY) in our country. I really am afraid for the way things are going. When are people going to wake up and realize WE ARE THE TERRORISTS! And finally, the chickens have come home to roost. Good going, Carlos, and your excellent attorney! Kudos to you both!

  • http://www.facebook.com/M.A.Emmons Mike Emmons

    when she asked to see the deposition, i half expected her to reach in her purse for some White Out.

  • http://www.facebook.com/M.A.Emmons Mike Emmons

    she has a face like a smack in the nuts.

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