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.
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.
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.
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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.