Photo by Christopher Post
A Miami-Dade County jury has found Photography is Not a Crime founder and publisher Carlos Miller, not guilty of resisting arrest stemming from his January 31, 2012 arrest, which was ordered by Miami-Dade Police Major Nancy Perez, as MDPD officers were evicting Occupy protesters in downtown Miami.
Perez is also the Public Information Officer (PIO) for the Miami-Dade Police department, which makes the fact that she ordered Miller's arrest even more disturbing, as one would think that as the department's PIO, she would not only have have recognized, but respected Miller's First Amendment right to be there on that January night, like she did with every other media press member--who were not arrested.
However, in the days, weeks and months that followed Miller's arrest, alot would be revealed about MDPD Major Nancy Perez, such as how incompetent and unorganized she is as PIO of a major metroplitan police force like the Miami-Dade Police department.
For example, despite several requests made by Miami-Dade County Court Judge Ed Newman ordering that Perez provide Miller's attorney with the MDP Standard Operating Procedures, dictating how the department should interact with the media, Perez refused to comply with those orders, forcing Judge to continue the case.
Eventually, Miller's attorney did obtain the SOP documents, and the trial began today.
Major Perez also showed her cluelessness as a PIO, by making ignorant comments about social media and blogs, such as Photography is Not a Crime.
After Miller's arrest, in referring to blogs, Perez stated "They don't put out information that is relevant to the community."
Major Perez then went on to say "I don't know enough about the-- I mean, I know nowadays all the kids blog," when explaining her understanding of blogging.
Well, let's just say that Miller's blog, Photography is Not a Crime, or PINAC, is well, very relevant.
In fact, PINAC exists for this very same reason--law enforcement not knowing, understanding, or simply not respecting individuals' (not just media) First Amendment right to photograph and videotape police officers doing their job.
Perhaps key to Miller's defense was Miami Herald columnist Glenn Garvin, who testified that
he never heard Perez direct or guide any journalists covering the scene to clear the area, Miller claims.
Garvin, just as Miller, was also covering the MDPD's eviction of Occupy Miami protesters, but was not arrested.
Garvin testified before the jury that when he saw Miller get arrested, he was worried that he too would be arrested.
However, Garvin testified, after he approached Perez, she told him he was fine.
Reached by phone in Miami, Miller had this to say about his acquittal, "My acquittal means many things, including a solid proof of my innocence as well as a green light to proceed with my civil suit against the Miami-Dade Police Department."
Miller added, "But it also sends out a message to cops around the country that they can no longer make up their own versions of the truth because they just never know when they are being recorded.
After Carlos Miller was arrested and booked, Miami Dade Police deleted some of his camera's footage leading up to the arrest.
Miller was later able to recover the deleted footage.
In the video link I have posted at the bottom, footage from Miller's video camera shows Miami Dade police officers dressed in full riot gear, wielding batons.
At about the 3:50 mark of the video, Miami Dade police Major Nancy Perez, who happens to be the Public Information officer (PIO) is seen extending her arm out towards Miller as to block him, before calling out to her fellow officers, "Prisoner", at which point other Miami Dade cops can be heard yelling "Arrestee! Arrestee!"
Perez can also be heard telling a relaxed Carlos Miller, "We don't wanna have to hurt you."
This latest victory marks the third time that Miller has beaten charges after being arrested by Miami-Dade Police as well as Miami Beach Police.
All bogus charges, including a resisting arrest conviction which he had reversed on appeal pro se (meaning Miller represented himself).
Will the Miami-Dade Police department, as well as police departments throught the U.S., finally understand that Photography is Not a Crime?
We will see.
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Carlos Miller's arrest video
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