I was planning on posting this video earlier this week, announcing the new PINAC partnership with Joel Chandler and Jeff Gray, but Jeff had to go and get himself arrested where his iPhone ended up confiscated, preventing us from using footage that he had shot earlier in the week during another police interaction in Miami.
As you can see, things are getting off to a roaring start.
With Joel and Jeff onboard as editors, you can expect the content to triple with each of us bringing our unique style and voice to Photography is Not a Crime in what is the biggest development with this blog since I launched it in April 2007.
With Joel’s expertise in obtaining public records, you can expect more investigative reporting, especially since Jeff and I are learning all we can from him.
And with Jeff’s tact for diplomacy when dealing with authority figures, you can expect a lot more educational videos in how to assert your rights while remaining professional.
Taylor Hardy, the Miami journalism student who was arrested in August for attempting to photograph a Nike commercial, is also joining the PINAC team as a video producer, so we plan to interview people of interest on a regular basis in the studio at his school and post the videos on the newly formed PINAC TV Youtube channel.
Speaking of which, Hardy had his charges dropped two weeks ago after the cop failed to attend the trial, setting the stage for him to file a lawsuit.
PINAC reader and South Florida attorney Warren Redlich, who ran for office in New York under the libertarian platform, represented Hardy pro bono. We brought Redlich into the studio after the dismissal where we had a lengthy discussion, so we were forced to break it down into three videos.
We’re still experimenting with the PINAC TV format, so give us a few segments to get into the flow of things before trashing it, although we will always welcome constructive criticism.
One of our initial priorities will be combatting the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office, which is playing hardball with us by refusing to return Jeff’s cameras and by deleting our comments from its Facebook page. I can assure you that’s going to be an epic battle.
Anybody wishing to donate to Jeff’s legal defense fund can do so through the PINAC donation button in the right column.
PINAC will eventually go through a redesign where it will look like a traditional news site instead of a blog, which will allow for more content on the front page. We will also be adding more pages containing public records laws from all 50 states as well as other educational resources.
And we’re also hoping to get more readers involved in the public records education by producing their own videos from their own states, showing us how to obtain public records in that particular state.
The ultimate goal with this partnership is to not only continue fighting for government transparency, but to teach others how to do it.
After all, no matter where we stand politically and no matter who is in office, we must never forget that the government belongs to the people.