There has been a lot of speculation as to why Miami-Dade Major Nancy Perez had me arrested in the aftermath of the Occupy Miami eviction on January 31.
Some believe she singled me out because she was familiar with my blog and wanted to teach me a lesson about writing negative (but true) stories about police officers.
I’m not sure if she’s that stupid, even though some of her co-workers believe she is not qualified to be a major.
But the fact that she is the one who most likely ordered my footage deleted not only shows a lack of intelligence, but that she is not worthy of her high rank or any of those commendations she so proudly wears on her uniform.
I’m speculating it might had something to do with the heated exchanged I had with officers in the above video where they were trying to block me for video recording the arrest of an activist. The video is not that clean, but I posted it like that to give readers a sense of the chaos at the time.
I didn’t notice her at the time because I had so many shields in front of me trying to block my shot, but I did see her as I was looking through my footage at home.
Maybe she didn’t appreciate that I would actually tell cops not to block my shot. Maybe she decided right then and there that I wasn’t a legitimate journalist because she believed no corporate journalist would dare bark at a cop.
Maybe she thought I was in cahoots with the activists because I was so deadset on recording the way they treated him as they shoved him in the paddy wagon (the five guys I spent the night in jail with gave me no reports on excessive physical abuse at the hands of police).
My exchange with the cops was pretty harmless, just me yelling at them to stop blocking my shot with perhaps a vulgarity or two thrown in, nothing that they haven’t heard before.
It all started after an activist who had been dancing in the street in front of marching police ended up getting arrested on felony inciting riot charges.
The activist then allowed his body to go limp, which forced the cops to have to pick him and carry him to the paddy wagon where incidentally, I later joined him.
The paddy wagon was parked on a street that had been closed off and a line of cops stood at the edge of the street ensuring nobody would enter.
I never tried to enter the street but I made several attempts to zoom in on the cops lifting him into the paddy wagon.
And several cops kept blocking my shot by positioning their bodies and shields in front of my camera.
It wasn’t much different than the incident that took place in New York City last year between an NYPD officer and a New York Times photographer, which prompted the Times to send an angry letter to police officials.
I yelled at them to stop doing that and eventually they stopped momentarily to allow me to get a clear shot, which I used in the video below for my Miami Beach 411 story.
And that was it. I was happy with my shot so I moved on. It was getting a little tense and crazy at that point, so I was ready for police to make more arrests.
About 15 minutes later as cops had forced the activists down another street, one cop yelled on his bull horn that everybody on the street was under arrest, which prompted the activists to scatter, as you can also see in the video below.
I remained on the scene because all the other journalists remained on the scene. I figured if they would arrest me, they would arrest all of us.
And then I noticed as they continued marching forward, they paid the media no mind, including me, as you can see in the video I recovered.
Their main objective was to clear the activists from the street and they did just that.
But as I was walking back to my car, Perez stopped me and had me arrested, telling me I had failed to disperse after having received an order.
This is where Perez, a media spokeswoman, a woman whose job is to shine a positive light on the police department, shows she is not the smartest of the bunch.
After all, she never once asked if I was a journalist.
I had a still camera and a video camera slung across by body and both had strobes. I was also wearing headphones and was carrying a photo back pack containing my lenses.
It was obvious to the other cops that I was part of the media, even to the ones I had yelled at to get out of my shot.
But it wasn’t obvious to the department’s public information officer.
Or maybe it was.
Maybe she really is just that stupid.
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