Posts tagged ‘Carlos Miller’

The Urge to Control

This is the personality of the people we are electing to higher office.  They have such an urge for control that they will not allow cell phone pictures taken of them in public.  By personality, these people have to control everything.  Is it really any surprise when they turn around and read our email?

From the article at the fabulous Photography is Not a Crime:

Hillary Clinton’s henchmen snatched a smartphone from a man who had photographed her giving a speech in Miami Thursday, deleting the image before returning the phone.

“That’s American politics,” one of the individuals in charge of preventing the presidential hopeful from being photographed told a Miami Herald reporter covering the meeting.

No, that’s Russian politics. Or Chinese politics. Or Cuban politics.

By the way (and I could be wrong here) Carlos Miller strikes me as much more Occupy than Tea Party in his political preferences.  But he obviously doesn't pull any punches on his issue (legality of public photography) when his team is involved.

Photography is Not A Crime

I was surprised to find this bit of awesomeness on the net:

Update: Speaking of which, Carlos Miller, from whom the title of this post is stolen, was yet again arrested for filming police in a public place.

Photography is Not a Crime

I made this from a link at Radley Balko's site for Carlos Miller.


Carlos Miller Wins His Appeal

Photographer Carlos Miller of Miami, and a blogger I really enjoy reading, won his appeal of his criminal conviction (here and here).  Some of the details are important to bloggers:

A three-judge panel determined there were errors both in my conviction and my sentencing. The panel reversed both with directions for me to be tried again before a different judge.

In other words, they realized that Judge Jose L. Fernandez allowed his personal bias to affect my trial, including in how he allowed the prosecutor to use my blog against me "“ even though I did not even launch the blog until after my arrest "“ and how he allowed those blog postings to affect my sentencing.

The charge was effectively one of taking pictures of police in public, a perfectly legal and Constitutionally-protected activity that many police have none-the-less convinced themselves should be illegal, so they treat it as such.  The actual charge was "resisting arrest without violence," perhaps the most abusable statute on record.   Especially when there is no underlying illegal activity for the arrest in the first place.  In effect, if a police officer hassles someone for no reason, the citizen responds verbally that the officer is out of line - boom, "resisting arrest without violence." It's amazing one can be convicted of this without there being any underlying crime justifying the arrest, but I guess Martha Stewart went to jail for lying to the police about something that turned out not to be a crime as well.

In this particular  case, the Judge made this outrageous statement to Miller during sentencing:

I can't imagine why you thought this situation was worth getting arrested for. I can't imagine for the life of me.

I don't know if you think you're some kind of hero or something like that, but if you want to see a hero, go visit Arlington. All right? I don't think any of those people that are back here are those people that are giving you the "” the thumbs up on your blog.

If I were to sentence you to jail, none of those people would volunteer to go in there to serve the time with you. They might say they would, but I guarantee you they wouldn't. I'm shocked at your lack of remorse.

Miller gets double extra style points for defending himself through this whole process, and managing to win a victory at appeals when fewer than 1 in 15 trained attorneys are able to do so.

A Flip for Every Citizen

The police are very good at enforcing their own version of the facts after an encounter with citizens goes wrong.  It is only the advent of the inexpensive digital camera that has started to save folks from the police's ability to make up a story and stick to it when they screw up.  In fact, I am constantly amazed at how long the police will often hold on to their story even in the face of video evidence.

So after reading stories like this one, I am strongly considering buying myself a Flip camcorder or something similar and just tossing it into my car.  Of course the downside is, as documented by Carlos Miller, there is nothing guaranteed to enrage your average law enforcement officer than filming his or her actions in public.

Related, here is a good video:  10 Rules for Dealing with the Police.

And on a lighter note, here is some classic Chris Rock on the same topic.

Wherein I Find Phoenix Is Not The Most Liveable City

How, in a benevolent universe, can it be that Phoenix does not have a team in this league?  More here via Carlos Miller.

Loser of the Week

Via Carlos Miller:

The suburban Chicago cop who was caught on video beating a 15-year-old student for refusing to tuck his shirt last May is being accused of raping a woman while holding a pillow over her face.He also killed his ex-wife's new husband last year by shooting him 24 times in front of their children while he was a cop for another suburban police department.

What does it take to actually bring a police officer to justice?  He shoots his ex-wife's new husband 24 times and no one presses charges just because he is a police officer?  I can't find any details on the weapon he was using but I can't believe that any weapon he was issued by his force had a magazine with a 24 shot capacity.   So the guy probably stopped and reloaded and then pumped some more bullets in the guy's corpse.

Great Moments in Protecting and Serving

Via Carlos Miller:

Police in California used their Taser on a legless man, then dragged him out of his apartment where they sat him on a curb handcuffed and naked from the waist down for several minutes as neighbors complained of brutality.Gregory Williams, 40, a double-amputee, ended up spending six days in jail on charges of domestic violence and resisting arrest before he was released with dropped charges.

It all began when Williams apparently was reluctant to let Child Protective Services in to search his house in response to an anonymous tip.  I don't know the laws in California, but CPS officials often have scary, broad powers that go beyond any reasonable definition of Fourth Amendment rights.

In this case, police get double abuse points for seizing the camera of a bystander video taping the event (something that is entirely legal but which police treat as illegal) and allegedly deleting the video of the police handling of Williams.

A Quick Thought on the Gates Arrest

I don't have a clue if Professor Gates was arrested primarily because he was black.  But I can certainly say that it is not just blacks who are arrested every day for what is being called "comptempt of cop."  Police officers have developped a theory, which is not backed up by any actual written law, that they are the dictators of the immediate area that they occupy, and that citizens owe them absolute obedience to their commands and complete deference to their majesty, or else risk arrest.  While blacks may fall victim to such arrests at a higher rate, this is not just an issue of racism.  It is an issue of abuse of power as well.

Update: Carlos Miller has many of the same thoughts, and a lot more detail.  Having been arrested himself for "comtempt of cop," he should know.

Do You Owe the State Your Name if You Have Not Committed A Crime?

Carlos Miller has an interesting story from New Hampshire, where a man was arrested for bringing a camera into a courtroom, and then has been detained for weeks in prison because he refuses to tell his captors his name.  By the way, filming and picture taking is explicitly allowed in courts by New Hampshire law and past state supreme court rulings.  The judge who presides over the court in question began banning cameras from court, despite having no legal right to do so, last year after he was personally embarrassed by a YouTube video of his courtroom temper tantrum.  The state has yet to point to the precise statute that requires courtroom visitors to provide their names on demand.  One would think the worst that could happen is to be told that revealing one's name is a security requirement and that those refusing to do so are barred entry.  But 22 days in jail?

Also yet to occur is any arrest or prison sentence for a judge who flaunts the very state law he is sworn to uphold.