Posts Tagged 'Miami'

America’s Biggest Gang: The Miami Chapter

YouTube member ShoginArmada raises a valid point:

2011 shaping up to be one hell of a year to get away with police abuse.

Miami Police vs. Civil Liberties – and Guess Who’s Winning?

Just when you think the photographers’ rights issue is dying down a bit because surely — surely! — police departments realize it’s a losing battle considering the ubiquity of cameras, you realize that’s just not the case at all.

In fact, as the Miami New Times reports, it’s “quickly becoming the most hotly contested corner of American civil liberties law.” The paper recounts the story of two Miami residents, Robert Hammonds and Brent Bredwell, who’ve had multiple run-ins with Miami police, resulting in detainments, tickets, jail time, lawyer fees and countless headaches.

Miami Police Department officers, meanwhile, say they only arrest camera-toting civilians like Hammonds when they harass cops. “When you go beyond filming to trying to piss off an officer, you’re subject to arrest,” says Delrish Moss, a department spokesman.

Er, how do I say this without my head exploding? Wrong, wrong, wrong! (But also so illuminating.) There is no law on the books that says you can be arrested for pissing off a police officer. But that’s clearly been the impetus for so many of the incidents we’ve posted on over the years.

Anyway, you have to read this article and hear what Hammonds and Bredwell have been through — including having their video camera confiscated and then, when they showed up at the station to retrieve it, bringing along cameras to film it all, Hammonds was arrested again for “obstruction of justice.” The Miami Beach police even created a “safety” bulletin warning other officers about these extremely dangerous individuals. The flyer, they believe, had a big part in the friends (two more have also been involved) being detained half a dozen times in the ensuing months.

Wow. How is this the US of A? If the ACLU ever had a case, it is here.

Hammonds and Bredwell are working on a documentary project called Man Vs. Pig (see the trailer above), and you can read more at their IndieGoGo site.

Source: Miami New Times

Miami Throws the Book at Photog

Photo by discarted

Carlos Miller was in a Miami court this week fighting for his constitutional rights. The freelance photographer was arrested in February 2007 for three misdemeanors (disobeying a police officer, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest without violence) while taking photos of police activity on Biscayne Boulevard.

Oh his blog, Miller writes that Judge Jose L. Fernandez apparently didn’t like his attitude in court and otherwise, so he gave him the harshest sentence possible – even though the prosecutor recommended just three months of probation and court costs. Miller got one year of probation, 100 hours of community service, anger management class and a fine of $540.50.

Judge Fernandez called Miller out for his lack of remorse and accused him of intentionally getting arrested to write about it on his blog and become a hero. Judge Fernandez said he should visit Arlington Cemetery to see some real heroes.

This response is so extremely tired – this blanket “veterans/military/we fought for you” crap. It’s amazing how often this is used by law enforcement and government officials. It happened last month to Discarted when he was approached by security guards for taking photos in the LA subway.

On top of that, after having my photo taken, Officer ******* then asked me if I was in the military and I said, “No, I don’t believe in the military.” He then exploded and said, “I fucking built this land you’re standing on! Get outta here!” 

So by implication, anyone who hasn’t served in the military doesn’t have the right to question the law or enjoy the protections of the constitution? That rationale has more holes than Miami’s porous border.

You can send your thoughts on what it is to be a hero to Judge Fernandez:

Court Administrator’s Office
Lawson E. Thomas Courthouse Center
175 NW 1st Ave Suite 3016
Miami, FL 33128

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