November 12th, 2013

The Battle of Boston Heats up as Hearing Approaches 58

By Carlos Miller

We have been speaking to several Boston attorneys since last week in trying to determine the best approach to the upcoming magistrate hearing where the Boston Police Department will try to indict us for felony charges for trying to hold them accountable.

And while we haven’t settled on an attorney yet, it looks as if we’ll be hiring a veteran attorney from the Boston powerhouse law firm, Zalkind Duncan & Bernstein LLP, rated one of the nation’s best law firms by U.S. News.

But we need to raise $2,200 by tomorrow in order to retain him, which is why I launched this Indiegogo campaign (Indiegogo will take a cut of almost $200 while $2,000 will go to the attorney).

David Duncan, a partner at the firm, will take on both Taylor Hardy’s case of illegal wiretapping and my case for witness intimidation for that price, which is much lower than he would normally charge for two felony cases.

He was referred to us by my friends at the Digital Media Law Project, which is a site every one of you should become familiar with because it contains a wealth of legal information regarding media law, which in this day and age, applies to every single one of us who uses the internet.

I first met DMLP Director Jeff Hermes and Assistant Director Andy Sellars back in February 2012 during the Liberty Tree Initiative, where we all spoke about the importance of the First Amendment in the digital age.

And they’ve always been very helpful since, speaking to me at length last year when I was considering turning PINAC into a non-profit, making me realize that it’s not the best decision at the moment.

Considering they’re based in Cambridge, which is just outside Boston, they have a solid network of attorneys they can reach out to, which is what they did in our case.

We also had the Committee to Protect Journalists reaching out to their networks and I had my lawyer friends in Miami reaching out to their networks, so if I look tired in the above video, it’s because I’ve been spending my nights trying to finish my book on citizen journalism while spending my days talking to attorneys.

I am a strong believer in attorneys. You can’t have enough of them on your side. And in that regard, PINAC has been very lucky although I drive them nuts with my online rants and raves against the people trying to incarcerate me.

But I am also a strong believer in fighting the battle in the court of public opinion, which goes against the mindset of most attorneys, but apparently they trust me enough not to go too crazy  because they still stand by my side when I need them the most.

About Thursday’s hearing. No, we’re not going to attend. We never planned to attend. We figured the charges would go through anyway, so we decided the best strategy was to plan for the upcoming battle rather than fly up there, only for a magistrate clerk to rubber stamp the case.

But Duncan sounded the most confident about getting the case thrown out Thursday, not that he made any promises. The odds are stacked against us, so there is a good chance this will lead to an arraignment, where we would be required to fly up there anyway.

But Duncan doesn’t come cheap. Most good attorneys don’t. He is charging $2,000 to attend the hearing on our behalf. Then he will charge $6,000 to attend three hearings after that if it does continue.

And that might not even include the actual trial, if it comes down to that. Nor does it include travel expenses.

I created the Indiegogo campaign to raise $2,200 in 24 hours (Indiegogo will take an almost $200 cut) to pay Duncan tomorrow, so he can get started preparing his argument.

I was going to hire Boston photographer Paul Weiskel to photograph the hearing, but the hearing is closed to the public to protect the accused, meaning I would have to file a motion to get a photographer in the hearing, and that could work against me considering I am already being accused of witness intimidation.

So while my journalistic sensibilities tell me I should go ahead with the photographer, my journalistic instincts tell me it’s best to listen to my lawyers. So no photographer for now, but that will change if it does lead to an actual charge and trial.

The charge against me, witness intimidation, is normally reserved for gang members who threaten witnesses with violence if they testify. All the attorneys I’ve spoken to were very surprised the Boston Police Department would use that charge on a journalist.

But if they get away with it now, you can be rest assured they will not only continue doing so, other police departments will start doing the same.

We’re hoping we can stop this nonsense dead in its tracks by Thursday, but if we don’t, we are prepared to go all out on them, even if we have to build up a team of more lawyers.

After all, we must never let them forget that we, the people, have the right to petition government for a redress of grievances. 

It says it right there in the First Amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

And that’s what this blog has always been about: The First Amendment.

It has never been about intimidating witnesses. It’s been about holding police accountable for intimidating witnesses.

And that’s not going to stop just because the Boston Police Department have raised the stakes to a new level.


Send stories, tips and videos to Carlos Miller.
  • Flashing Scotsman

    I’m not exactly a rich man, and my money making season just ended for this year. But this is a cause I believe strongly in, so I donated what I could. Everyone else needs to do the same. And share the facebook posting. I wish you the best of luck fighting this unlawful giant, Carlos.

  • Truth For Carlos

    Hey Carlos….remember when you said “screw that advice”. Now you are on here begging for others to pay your attorney fees ? Obviously you have no common sense but have you no shame either ?

    • mr wonderful

      why are you even reading this blog, much less posting?

      • rust

        @7db3a123705cdb25c8c95d783ee9c532:disqus he’s doing it for his vicarious participation in the issue. and as for @ae91a8b47b023d0e632d809a4e677169:disqus he’s one of those commie socialist creeps that comes out of the woodwork when someone has to make a living in the real world.

        • Krinkle

          “commie socialist creeps”? Anything bad with beeing socialist now?

          • Proud Grandpa

            Q: Anything bad with beeing socialist now?

            A: Yes, it’s the socialists in MA who are doing this to us. Ditto for FL, NJ, and NY.

          • inquisitor

            The left will be used to drive the right into a state of fascism.
            Two heads of the same snake.

            Ross Perot came and went…American lost out on a choice and a chance for true maintenance of America.

            Now it is all downhill…the giant sucking sound…sllllluuuuuuurrrrrrrrp!

          • Barking Dog

            This guy is an idiot

          • 5oh4

            Jesus was a Socialist.

          • Krinkle

            Am guessing Proud Grandpa refuses to be on Medicare part D on behalf of it beeing an evil socialist scheme. And would refuse aid from those terrible socialist firefighters on principle if his house was burning.

          • Proud Grandpa

            Socialist medical care is a bad idea. Millions of Obama ex-voters now realize it was all a get something for nothing scheme with us honest, hardworking adults paying for it.

          • Krinkle

            Socialist medical care actually works kinda well over here (In Norway, a country that uses less than the US per citizen on healthcare, but has a better life expectancy than your “Murrica” and no people left without coverage). The problem with what I call common sense and you call “Obamacare” is that it doesnt take it far enough. It is just a small patch on a large problem. But thats what you have to start with when you have a stalemated dysfunctional bipartisan political system.
            You didnt say anything about those pesky socialist firefighters btw. Does this mean you endorse them?

        • Voice-Of-Concern

          Truth is a sanctimonious Ass, but I haven’t seen any reason to suggest he a Communist or Socialist or even what color hair he has. Why both to inject such silly stuff (about “commie socialists”)?

    • Carlos_Miller

      You obviously have no life if all you do is troll this site.

      • LibertyEbbs

        In all fairness, I am sure that he trolls multiple sites.

    • inquisitor

      Carlos has a lot of support from those who frequent and participate on his website.
      That is truly a rarity and genuinely touching.

      But you can take a shit all over it if you want to…if that is in your nature.

    • Barking Dog

      Smells like troll in here

  • yulva

    A Supreme Court decision filled with land mines…

    Do You Have A Right to Remain Silent? Thoughts on the “Sleeper” Criminal Procedure Case of the Term,Salinas v. Texas

    http://www.volokh.com/2013/06/17/do-you-have-a-right-to-remain-silent-thoughts-on-the-sleeper-criminal-procedure-case-of-the-term-salinas-v-texas/

    You may have no protection at all if you voluntarily talk to the police, under this ruling.

  • Guest

    Is Taylor Hardy planning to attend his hearing? Is there an Indiegogo campaign to help with his legal expenses?

    • Carlos_Miller

      Taylor is not attending. This attorney is taking on both cases.

    • Carlos_Miller

      I guess I should have made that more clear in the article. From the moment this started, I was not going to allow Taylor to go without the same representation I had.

      We’re in this together.

  • Log

    And you’re already fully funded. Give ‘em Hell.

  • Dan

    Carlos,

    Strongly support you in this endeavor, and will donate to the campaign. If you’ve not already, I would highly encourage you to speak with the MASS ACLU, as well. This is right up their alley. As you may recall, they assisted Ian Freeman, earlier this year in his case with a PINAC related issue and won a nice little settlement from the city of Palmer, MA.

    http://photographyisnotacrime.com/2013/06/10/man-arrested-for-video-recording-inside-government-building-wins-5000-settlement/

    Plus, when it comes to Civil Liberties, as written above, no better organization.

    Give ‘em hell. Make sure to itemize all expenses, as well as emotional distress, for reimbursement, that either the city of Beantown and/or the Commonwealth should be held accountable for.

    • Dan

      Awesome to see the goal reached!

  • ray brown

    Mass has raised the stakes by asserting that its seeming disregard for Constitutional rights and reasonable expectation of privacy enjoy extraterritorial ability to foist such inanity on citizens of other states. There’s a lot of Federal jurisdiction between Mass and Florida. The danger for Mass is that it will set itself up to have every yahoo from Danbury to Djibouti making one party consent audio recordings of public employees acting in their official capacity. I’m sorry that Carlos and Mr Hardy have to be subjected to Mass recalcitrance. Hopefuly someone in lower reaches of the Judicial food chain will act before it’s swallowed by the Federal law shark.

  • Good Luck

    $2,000!? I hope the indictment lasts all day so you get your (our) monies worth. No wonder the poor are given short shrift when they visit legal land. How unfortunate a citizen must be wealthy to assert their rights or risk financial ruin.

    • Guest

      “David Duncan, a partner at the firm, will take on both Taylor Hardy’s case of illegal wiretapping and my case for witness intimidation for that price, which is much lower than he would normally charge for two felony cases.”

    • Scherp

      While it is unfortunate that legal expenses are high, what can you expect from a system and society that is so litigious that he’s having to go through this. I expect his lawyer is going to spend more than a few hours preparing for this hearing and that costs $$

    • inquisitor

      Some lawyers want 5000 up front as a non-refundable retainer just to be hired.
      From there you sit down and discuss your case while they start to then charge you by the hour.

  • TBK Revolution

    Boston PD got the green light to do door-to-door home invasions at gunpoint and without warrants, all in the name of finding a single teenage bombing suspect (who was ultimately found by an unarmed civilian). They occupied Watertown like an invading army preparing to fight a battle against a heavily resistant insurgency. Something tells me that the power has gone to their head. We’re all Iraqis now, even if you’re just a blogger trying to hold them accountable for their actions. You’re part of the insurgency, Carlos, and apparently the Beantown Police State will do whatever they can do to shut you up.

    • Barking Dog

      A good reason to fight on!

      • Jeffrey Marcus Gray

        Yes this only assures us that we are effective at holding them accountable.

  • jimmarch

    Carlos, there’s a very interesting legal issue you’ve run smack into the middle of.

    Let’s assume for a sec the judge does rubber-stamp the charges Thursday and you “need” to appear in court in Boston. But, let’s also assume you don’t.

    At that point Florida cops can grab you and put you through an extradition hearing in FL to see if your butt should be dragged to Boston.

    At that extradition hearing before a judge in Florida, you get the weirdest court in America. Why? You can challenge the extradition all right, but NOT on constitutional grounds…because in that one court, across the entire system of Federal, state and local courts, in that one court the US Constitution doesn’t apply and cannot be raised.

    Now…I think you have grounds to challenge that concept. What Boston is doing at a minimum violates your rights to free speech and your right to petition for redress of grievance (which includes asking others to petition as well). It’s an open-and-shut Constitutional issue that should be raised at the extradition hearing and if that fails, there needs to be an appeal up the food chain of that horrible flawed concept in the extradition rules.

    Absolutely try having a lawyer throw this crap out on Thursday. But if that doesn’t work, you have an opportunity to expose and challenge a massive flaw in the US legal system involving extradition between US states.

    Because that extradition court needs to follow the US Constitution, and Constitutional challenges to extradition must be allowed.

    • Freedom_Fighter_of_America

      What Boston is doing is an act of terrorism and they are no better than those who set off the bombs in Boston. That’s right, I said it, they are acting as terrorists. They chose terrorism of the Law, The Constitution, and the authority the people hold over them. They chose to commit acts of terrorism to try and overthrow and subvert our authority over them. They have levied war on the people which is by definition treason. They need to be dealt with swift and accordingly as allowed by law. We can not have our public servants levying war against us.

  • ray brown

    Lest you think I’m being unreasonable about Mass audio recording law please realize that it’s a crime in Massachusetts for a victim and/or “ear” witness to make a one party consent audio recording of a reasonably suspected assailant. The recorder may be criminally and civilly liable for making such a recording. I believe the purpose of this was to preclude a recorder saying the recording was to capture a crime when it may not be and also to prevent police from engineering a recording made by a civilian of someone police are investigating or to prevent civilians from recording possible government shenanigans.See Commonwealth v Hyde as an example.

  • thestein

    I’ll keep you guys in my prayers. I didn’t know indiegogo took such a cut. I’m always good for at least $20, and I’m sure a bunch of other people are the same, in case you ever want to go around the crowdfunding sites and just hold a direct fundraiser.

  • John Gratian

    Carlos, Ignore the troll. You are fighting the fight of We The People. Keep up the good work. I have little in the way of money. But this is too important. So I contributed.

  • Ron

    After , what? four hours you have raised more than you need. These guys won’t know what hit them.

    • Guest

      The judge will send this to an arraignment. The police, DAs, prosecutors and judges all wipe their asses with the Constitution. They’re all traitorous pieces of filth.

  • Seth Levy

    If this goes to court please sue for legal fees as the charges fit all three of the criteria for suit, vexatious, frivolous or in bad faith. Then put it away for the next case so you’re not scrambling for cash at the last minute.

  • nrgins

    Awesome!!

  • Freedom_Fighter_of_America

    I’m a bit concerned about the court hearings being closed to the public. I’m almost certain they can not do that. They are typically required to be open for the public to view their actions.

    • inquisitor

      That was discussed here and the consensus was that it is really up to the sitting judge’s discretion whether video or photos can be taken during court proceedings.

      • inquisitor

        But can you do audio?

      • Freedom_Fighter_of_America

        I’m not talking about video/audio. I’m talking about the whole court proceeding being closed to the public period.

  • Ryan French

    Looks like you’ve exceeded your goal. I still donated a little something. Good luck and keep us posted.

  • angleton

    Was the video flipped or is the shirt supposed to read backwards?

    • Guest

      Video is flipped.

      • bzflagkilljoy

        You can also tell by the fact that the cars are on the wrong side of the road (for the US at least).

  • Boston(PD) Weak
  • JdL

    I’m coming in late, and you’re already over $2000, but I made a contribution anyway (there are always more criminal government thugs to combat); now you’re over $4000! Go, Carlos!

  • Wandering_Bard

    I submitted your story to the NPR show “On the Media” – hopefully they feel it’s a big enough issue to give your plight some air-time, and let the entire country know about the BPD’s shenanigans.

  • Smoothjc1

    Any extra money buy MORE cameras.

  • sinbadsailor

    Is Alan Dershowitz available?

  • Jeffrey Marcus Gray

    One of the most powerful aspects PINAC has toward holding government accountable is the pressure we apply through social media and call floods. It seems to me that Boston PD is going for PINAC’s throat by attacking one of our most effective means of holding them accountable and by going after Carlos himself. This is a purposeful attack on our 1st amendment right to petition the government for a redress of grievances. There is no doubt that the intent of this malicious witch hunt is to put a chilling effect PINAC’s strongest and most admirable traits. This is no game and I predict more of this from other law enforcement agencies in the future. PINAC will fight,we will win,and Boston PD will regret choosing this battle. As for you other law enforcement agencies contemplating taking this path….pay close attention to the legal carnage thats about to be unleashed on Boston PD.

    For you asshole pigs that monitor PINAC’s comments hoping to find something…I said “legal carnage”…. and fuck off.

  • Pingback: Boston Boondoggle Hearing Postponed Until Next Week as Internet Criticism Grows | Photography is Not a Crime: PINAC

  • Interested MA lawyer

    Morally you are probably in the right but……

    “Maybe we can call or email Richardson to persuade her to drop the charges against Hardy considering she should assume all her conversations with reporters are on the record unless otherwise stated. Her listed number is”
    Legally, Richardson is still a victim in a pending criminal case. Is “persuading” people to call her on a work phone within the legal limits of “harassment”? It really doesn’t matter if the original case is bogus, and in this case she has more case law to back her up (The NH case on this website is even cited).
    Either way this will be interesting at the legal level, most public videotaping charges are dropped for obvious reasons, but this is a little different.
    Good luck!

  • Joshua B.

    Hey Carlos – thanks for the kind words about us attorneys. On behalf of all the attorneys, we think you’re pretty awesome too. Keep on doing what you do, we’re behind you all the way.

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