August 30th, 2010

Upstate NY cops arrest man with video camera after beating other man 0

By Carlos Miller

A college student who was videotaping the aftermath of an altercation between another student and a police officer was arrested on questionable charges.

Nicholas Nigro, a student at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in upstate New York, was charged with disorderly conduct and having an open container. He denied having an open container, according to the Times Union.

And it is not clear what constituted disorderly conduct because while the above video is not very clear, it is obvious that Nigro was not interfering nor yelling nor doing anything other than describing the incident that had just taken place between the officer and the student.

“His face is all bloodied up. When I came out they were hitting him with nightsticks,” Nigro narrates into the camera.

Seconds later, an officer storms up to him and orders him to get back inside his home. It doesn’t appear as if the cop even gave Nigro a chance to comply because the camera is then turned off and he is presumably arrested.

It is likely that Troy police were trying to clear the area of any evidence after having beaten a man senseless.

”He was down on the ground and they were taking turns hitting him three times in the back of the head,” Nigro said. ”One of the officers also bare-fisted punched him in the face and people were yelling at them to stop.”

August 29th, 2010

N.C. judge who convicted woman for videotaping cops faces reelection 0

By Carlos Miller

Judge Beth Dixon has no business wearing the robe

Normally I wouldn’t give a rat’s ass about a local election in North Carolina, but now I want to do anything I can to make sure Judge Beth Dixon loses her reelection bid for Rowan County District Court Judge come this November.

Dixon, who has served as District Court Judge since 2002, last week convicted a woman named Felicia Gibson for resisting arrest for refusing to go back inside her house as she stood on her front porch videotaping police making a traffic stop.

Salisbury Police Officer Mark Hunter actually arrested her inside her home in November 2009, which is reminiscent of the Texas case where a cop followed a man inside his home and arrested him for “illegal photography” as well as the recent case of Arkansas cops arresting a man who stood on his property and called the cops Nazis as they were making an arrest.

But charges in both those cases were dropped by the time they got to court as they should have been in this case.

Dixon obviously has no respect for the Constitution, especially the First and Fourth Amendments.

The conviction stirred a protest as well as an editorial in the local newspaper, questioning how can someone be arrested for resisting arrest for documenting police from their own property?

The resisting-arrest conviction last week of Felicia Gibson has left a lot of people wondering. Can a person be charged with resisting arrest while observing a traffic stop from his or her own front porch?

Salisbury Police Officer Mark Hunter thought so, and last week District Court Judge Beth Dixon agreed. Because Gibson did not at first comply when the officer told her and others to go inside, the judge found Gibson guilty of resisting, delaying or obstructing an officer.

Gibson was not the only bystander watching the action on the street. She was the only one holding up a cell-phone video camera

As a guy who’s been arrested twice for resisting arrest for photographing cops, including one where I was convicted because of improper evidence allowed by a biased judge, this case really aggravates me. Documenting police against their wishes is not resisting arrest.

Obviously, the cops will use that charge against people because there is no law in the books that specifically forbid the recording of police in public.

But it’s up to the judges to keep the laws straight, which is where Dixon failed.

That is why she must not be reelected this November.

Feel free to share your feelings with her on her Facebook page as others have been doing. You’ll have to “like” the page first. Let’s see how long those comments last. She is running against a guy named Douglas Smith.

Editor’s note: As of Monday morning, Dixon has deleted several comments on her Facebook page, so I took the liberty of creating a Defeat Beth Dixon on Rowan County District Court Judge Facebook page.

Gibson plans to appeal the case and I have no doubts she will have her conviction overturned as I did in my appeal.

Below is the video that Gibson recorded the night of her arrest. It’s really hard to make out any details.

August 29th, 2010

Joey Boots, the gay man behind the goober video, has even more videos 0

By Carlos Miller

Joey Boots, the man behind the viral video of the Times Square ballerina that led to a confrontation with a vigilante bicyclist, wants to make one thing clear.

Joey Boots

He is not a pervert.

“Well I’m not a pervert for that girl,” he said during a phone interview with Photography is Not a Crime Sunday afternoon.

“I’m gay, dude.”

Boots, who is a regular on the Howard Stern Show, has been building a collection of Youtube videos from around New York City over the last few months with his Flip camera.

He figured a video of a sexy girl in tight shorts spreading her legs in a ballerina pose in the middle of Times Square would probably get some attention. And he’s right, although it took a few months for it to go viral since he posted it in May.

The video ended up driving more than a 100,000 readers to PINAC yesterday where we ended up with a record 124,175 page views. The previous record was around 55,000. Gizmodo, Gawker, Gothamist and Fark all linked to PINAC with the video.

So now the question on everybody’s mind is, what in the hell is a goober?

“That’s from the Andy Griffith Show,” he said. “Goober was this real slow southerner on the show.”

“I call all stupid southerners Goobers.”

At one point that is not evident in the video, Boots knocked the man and his bicycle down.

“He was pushing against me and his bike was on my foot, so I pushed him back and he fell to the ground,” Boots said.

Boots stands at 6’1″ and weights 320 pounds. The cyclist was about 5’10″ and weighed about 160 pounds, Boots said.

The cyclist was not part of the group doing the photo shoot but standing to the side watching the shoot, probably getting his own thrills, when he decided to become a hero.

After the group walked away, they reported Boots to a police officer who ended up informing the group that Boots had the right to videotape in public.

“I had to show the cop my video,” he said.

Boots, who was born in the Bronx and raised in Long Island, has had several other confrontations with people over his public videography. He keeps his viewers updated on his Facebook page.

One of his videos, he won’t say which one, was chosen for Ridley Scott’s Life in a Day project, which will premiere at next year’s Sundance Film Festival in January 2011.

Above and below are a few videos where he gets confronted by people who believe it is illegal to videotape people in public. The above one is especially funny and infuriating because the woman is so goddamn annoying.

August 26th, 2010

Horny videographer ruins NYC photo shoot 0

By Carlos Miller

So this hot chick is spreading her legs in a ballerina pose in the middle of busy Manhattan for some type of photo shoot when a random guy walks up and starts videotaping her ass.

This prompts some of her friends to berate the guy for being a pervert, even though they were essentially doing the same thing, except with still cameras.

The action starts a little after the 2:50 mark. Within a minute, some wanker with a bicycle gets into the shot and starts shoving the videographer.

They exchange words in typical New York fashion with neither of them backing down.

The videographer gets the last word in by continually calling the cyclist a “goober.”

The model and her entourage end up walking away from the photo shoot while the videographer informs them that he had the right to videotape in public.

My question is, how did they manage to conduct such a photo shoot, with assistants, props and reflectors, without getting harassed by the NYPD?

August 26th, 2010

MDPD's "Terrorist Awareness Guide" turns photogs into suspected terrorists 0

By Carlos Miller

The Homeland Security Bureau of the Miami-Dade Police Department has published a “Terrorist Awareness Guide” where it advises citizens to be on the lookout for people taking “inappropriate photographs or videos.”

And no, they are not talking about perverts shooting up the skirts of women.

They’re talking about people taking photographs of surveillance cameras and other things that are plainly visible to the naked eye.

Here is an excerpt of what the pamphlet says:

Maybe you are at a National Monument and you
notice a person nearby taking a lot of photos. Not
unusual. But then you notice that he is only taking
photos of t he surveillance cameras, crash barriers at
the entrances, and access control procedures. Is that
normal for a tourist? Absolute not!

The following should cause a heightened sense of

•       Unusual interest
•       Surveillance
•       Inappropriate photographs or videos
•       Note-taking
•       Drawing of diagrams
•       Annotating maps
•       Using binoculars or night vision devices

It should be noted that Detective Bustamante of the same homeland security bureau was one of the officers who responded to our first Metrorail incident where we were “permanently banned” for taking photos.

Bustamante proved pretty clueless of the law when he informed us we needed a permit to photograph anything within the Metrorail, regardless if we were shooting commercial or not.

Read the entire document below. The portion on photography is on the second page in the right-hand column circled in red.

Terrorist Awareness Guide MDPD PINAC

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