Palm Beach Cops Act Like Hired Goons During Michael Jordan's Wedding


Palm Beach police officers acted like hired goons when they chased photographers from a public sidewalk who were trying to photograph Michael Jordan’s wedding over the weekend.

The officers were in full uniform but were working off-duty, meaning Jordan had paid the department close to $1,700 for six officers for four hours.

And that apparently convinced them they could threaten to arrest any citizen who dared tried to catch a glimpse of the celebrity wedding, even if it was from a tax-funded sidewalk.

Gossip columnist Jose Lambiet, never one to pull punches, tore into the department in his latest piece:

The allegiance of Palm Beach’s own police force seemed to turn away from locals and to former Chicago Bulls star Jordan, who was getting married to a Miami model named Yvette Prieto inside the famous church.

King Michael apparently needed to be saved from a few passersby and photographers.

So he hired off-duty, yet uniform-wearing, Palm Beach cops who, in turn, did not hesitate to violate other people’s rights, including freedom of assembly, freedom of the press and freedom of using public spaces without being asked what you’re doing there.

Press photographers, for example, were herded in a far corner of the intersection of South County and Barton Road under more threats of, you guessed it, arrest.

They were prevented from walking about to get better shots under the pretense that they were blocking passage.

Palm Beach Patch



About Carlos Miller

Carlos Miller is founder and publisher of Photography is Not a Crime, which began as a one-man blog in 2007 to document his trial after he was arrested for photographing police during a journalistic assignment. He is also the author of The Citizen Journalist's Photography Handbook, which can be purchased through Amazon.

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  • Ron

    If they are off-duty what police powers do they have? Wouldn’t they need to call an on-duty officer to effect an arrest?

    • Me

      Certified law enforcement officers in Florida are on duty 24/7 while in their jurisdiction. Even when not on the clock, they have a duty to act. When a private entity is asking a law enforcement agency for a ‘special detail’, they not only pay the agency for it (part of it goes back to the officer assigned to the detail, the other part is to pay for the agency equipment used), but also sign a waiver taking all liability for any action from the officers.

      • Difdi

        It also follows that if they are on duty 24/7 they also have a duty to uphold their oath and obey the law even if moonlighting.

      • Fotaugrafee

        OK, so a duty to act on “what illegal activity” here that they felt the need to get involved, other than the protect their ‘moonlighting’ income from Jordan’s wedding?

  • Texas Killdozer

    Of course, Michael Jordan won’t be on the hook for any settlements coming from this case, and neither will Palm Beach PD. It’ll be all on the taxpayers.

  • Haeshu

    The police weren’t walking anywhere on the ‘blocked sidewalk’. Them saying they were trying to pass was simply harassment to make these photographers go away. What a bunch of bully thugs. These cops need to be arrested for harassing a citizen on a public sidewalk.

    • MongoLikesCandy

      There is some actual need to keep that narrow sidewalk clear. Hence that jogger being forced to run in the street. However, if thats due to the photographer or the heavy police presence on the sidewalk we’ll never know.

  • $22798478

    Where is an out of control “driving on the sidewalk” drunk driver when you need one ?

  • Difdi

    But…by herding people into that little area, weren’t the off-duty police themselves blocking passage on a sidewalk?

  • steveo

    Since when did Michael Jordan get camera shy? I’m never buying any of his shoes or underwear.

  • steveo

    In Florida, Section 316.003 (47) defines the “sidewalk” as the area from the curbline to the property line. The cement thing you see running along the road is just that a cement thing. They could have stepped off the cement part, toward the street and on the other side of the curbline and still be lawfully present and if one of the Law? enforcement officers arrested them for What again? Trespassing on a public sidewalk? We need to have a school for leos to teach them law. There wasn’t much room here but the easement probably went further than just the cement part. The guy in the driveway could have moved a little off the cement sidewalk and still have been ok, because he was in easement. Right about 08 he could have backed into the hedge and been ok, but they seemed like they didn’t want to challenge the leo.

  • Proud GrandPa

    Why not hire your own police officer to protect your rights to walk along a public sidewalk taping the wedding? Sure it would lead to cop on cop violence, but I bet the good cop would get plenty of support from the crowd. What if you also pay your lawyer to come and film you as well?
    Easy to say. Easy to pay for if you have the money. I wonder why the media don’t with all their money? Perhaps they didn’t think of it… until now.
    BTW- If I were interested– and I am not–I would use a quadradrone to fly over and upload streaming video to my private account and sell the video. Imagine the paycheck.
    I like police officers and wish my friends in law enforcement well. My advice to those paid to protect event like this: “Friend, you are still bound to obey the law and honor constitutional rights even when ordered to the contrary by your employer.”

  • Anonymous Email

    Nobody even knows if Michael was aware of the behavior. He hired them for security. The violations were by the cops. Does anyone here actually think any of those guys were hired by or met Jordan?

  • Frank Palmer

    You should do an update on the dangers of vertical video syndrome. :)