Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Photography Is Not A Crime Website Claims To Stand for First Amendment Right to Free Speech, So Why Do They Want to Silence Me?

Photography Is Not A Crime

By Davy V.

If there's one thing I hate and despise more than a dirty cop, it's a hypocrite, and a fraud, claiming to be something they're not.

By now, many of you who follow my work, and this blog, probably know about Carlos Miller, the Miami, Florida based photographer and blogger who runs Photography Is Not A Crime, or PINAC.

PINAC is a site which focuses on citizen's first amendment right to photograph and video record law enforcement officers, as well as government buildings.

PINAC claims to support free speech.

The site pitches itself on serving an important role by informing and educating citizens on their first amendment right to record, as well as exposing overzealous law enforcement officers who violate that right on a daily basis by intimidating, and in some cases even arresting citizens for excercing their first amendment right.

But PINAC'S co-founder, Carlos Miller is simply put, a hypocrite.

He doesn't practice what he preaches.

And as you'll soon see, neither does his partner, PINAC co-founder and regular contributor, Grant Stern.

But before I get into why Miller is a hypocrite, and a fraud, who gets drunk and creates confrontations with law enforcement officers, a la "Gotcha!" style, just to bring viewers to his site, let me give you a brief history about how I came to know Carlos Miller.

I was born in Rochester, NY.

That's upstate, NY for those of you not familiar with Rochester.

When I was just a couple of months old, my family moved to Miami, Florida.

I lived in Miami until I was 9 years old, when for some strange fucking reason which I still don't understand, my Dad decided the snow wasn't that bad after all, and moved our family back to Siberia.

Well, I'm kidding, kind of.

You see, Rochester is on the edge of Lake Ontario, in other words, you can't get any closer to Canada, on land that is, so yes, it's fucking cold in the winters!

Anyways, even though Rochester is my hometown, Miami will always feel more like home to me.

It's where I took my first steps.

It's where I said my first words.

Simply put, I LOVE MIAMI.

Coral Way, 32nd Ave., Calle Ocho, Ocean Drive, Westchester.

In 2011, I took my two sons and my niece to Miami for summer vacation.

I wanted them to see Miami.

I wanted them to see where I spent the a major part of my childhood.

And I wanted them to experience Cuban culture.

Including great Cuban food!

Well, we've all heard the old saying, "It's a small world."

It is.

You see, it turns out that Carlos Miller, whose work I first became aware of after he wrote about Emily Good, the Rochester, NY woman who was arrested in 2011 by Rochester Police for video recording a traffic stop of a black man by white RPD cops, lives in my old Miami neighborhood.

While on vacation, I got to meet Carlos Miller.

And at first at least, we seemed to have a lot in common.

For one, activism, and a passion for exposing police misconduct and corruption.

I thought Carlos Miller was pretty cool.

Then, I started to see things which showed me otherwise.


After Trayvon Martin was shot and killed by George Zimmerman, the racist wannabe cop, and neighborhood watch group member in Sanford, Florida, I came across several very disturbing posts and comments on Carlos Miller's Facebook page, related to Trayvon Martin's death.

The posts and comments all seemed to be from Carlos Miller's white Facebook friends.

After reading several sick posts, including some hate-filled comments mocking and laughing Trayvon's death and praising George Zimmerman, I immediately began responding to the posts and comments, denouncing each one.

And then something happened which was the first sign that Carlos Miller had a twisted, disturbing side to him.

A side I hadn't seen.

Carlos Miller posted a comment responding to my comments, where I denounced the racist comments and posts by his Facebook friends.

The comment that Carlos Miller posted were in defense of the racist, hatred-filled comments mocking Trayvon's death.

Miller was irate at the fact that I would call his Facebook friends out on his page, despite the fact that the comments by his friends were disgusting.

I couldn't believe it.

Instead of Carlos Miller denouncing the racist comments by his friends on his Facebook page, he blasted me for my denouncing the comments!

Shocked and disgusted by Carlos Miller's  behavior, I didn't speak to him for nearly a year.

The next time I took my children and my niece to Miami, I ran into Carlos Miller at Sergio's, a Cuban restaurant in Miami, next door to Carlos Miller's condo.

We spoke, and Carlos Miller invited us over for a barbecue.

After having seen Carlos Miller's disturbing side, I didn't feel quite right, but having been raised to forgive people, and their ignorance, I decided to forgive Miller.

Wrong move as I soon learned.

My aunt is like my second mother.

As a child living in Miami, I loved weekends.

Every weekend I'd go stay at my aunt's apartment, and she'd take me to the beach.

Unfortunately, like my mother, my aunt has fallen ill in the past couple of years.

My aunt has early stages of dementia, attributed to Alzheimer's.

It's been very hard for me personally.

To see someone slowly forget who they are, and who you are, is not easy.

And I'm going through a lot, both with my mom, and my aunt.

I don't care what anyone says, seeing your loved ones grow old sucks.

Since my aunt lived on Coral Way, the same street as Carlos Miller lives on, in fact just a few blocks away, Carlos Miller offered to help out if I ever needed anything for my aunt.

A few months later, my aunt had several accidents in her apartment where she fell and couldn't get herself up.

One of those falls was serious, and my aunt ended laying on the floor for about 8 hours, unable to get up.

With no one able to hear her screams for help, my aunt lay on the floor, until a neighbor finally heard her in distress.

I got a call from a Miami Police officer who told me my aunt had been laying on the floor, and had urinated on herself.

She was taken to the hospital and later discharged.

Unable to get around on her own after the injuries she sustained after the fall, reached out to Carlos Miller for help with my aunt.

I just wanted someone to drop by her apartment and make sure she was ok.

Carlos Miller ignored each text and each voicemail.

Despite my pleading to him for his help as a friend, he ignored each and every attempt.

Perhaps more disturbing, Carlos Miller later admitted that he ignored my attempts to contact him, because in his words, "Dude, I'm not a babysitter."

That was strike 2.

My Dad Mario Vara was a community activist against police misconduct and corruption.

Having fled Cuba in 1968, in search of a better life for his family, a life of freedom, or so he thought, and a life free from a police state, or so he thought, my Dad was the real deal.

Long before what the Internet is today, long before YouTube, Facebook, and all this social media, my Dad marched the streets of Rochester, NY, denouncing police misconduct and corruption, including trigger-happy cops executing innocent, unarmed blacks and Latinos, and demanding accountability not only from police officers, but also accountability from the politicians, the elected officials whose job it is to oversee the police.

My dad was a pioneer.

My dad Mario Vara was video recording police, long before recording cops became the "cool" thing to do.

Check out the photo below, circa 1989.

My Dad, Mario Vara, photo circa 1989

That's my dad Mario Vara with his old school VHS camcorder.

As a teen, I would tag along with my dad, and accompany him on marches, rallies, protests,and press conferences.

Activism is in my blood.

It's all I know.

Everyday I live with the pain of seeing what my dad went through as a result of his passion to expose injustices.

As a result of my dad's work, the Rochester, NY Police Department made his life miserable.

They would intimidate and harass him on a regular basis.

Unfortunately, my dad fell into a very bad and deep depression and committed suicide on July 9, 1993, while me and my mom were home.

I live this.

And I take it very seriously.

And very passionate.

And that's why I can't stand hypocrites.

And fakes.

Individuals who profess to stand for justice, when in reality they have hidden agendas and motives.

So, knowing that most people, especially his supporters have not seen the real Carlos Miller like I have, I decided to expose him for what he is.

A fraud and a fake.

A still drunk Carlos Miller shoes off 'injuries'
he claims to have received during his confrontation with
Miami Metrorail security officers.
Carlos Miller is an alcoholic.


Let me be clear.

I only bring that up Carlos Miller's alcoholism
because it goes to his work.

It affects and clouds his "activism."

Alcohol not only makes Carlos Miller a very nasty person, but it also has created, and escalated many of the confrontations that he has had with law enforcement officers, which he then posts on his site "PINAC", in order 
to generate views to his site, 
Photography Is Not A Crime.

Because more views equals more revenue.

Take for example, the video below, of Carlos Miller at a Miami Metrorail station.

In the video, Carlos Miller is drunk.

And although in the video, 50 State Security guards act like over zealous cops, and are completely wrong in trying to ban Miller and his drinking buddy from their right to record, the video actually shows much more than that.

If looked at from a truly objective and unbiased point of view, the video shows a drunk Carlos Miller making an already bad situation, worse, because that's what he does best.

Get drunk and create confrontations with police.

Again, because more views equals more revenue.

A smiling Carlos Miller in one of his many mugshots
for what are usually 'self-provoked' confrontations with police.

But most folks don't realize that because they don't know Carlos Miller personally.

Like I do.

And Carlos Miller has found a way to fool his followers into believing he's something he's truly not.

And, since most people don't question things, what happens is they think Carlos Miller is some sort of "First Amendment Rights Crusader", when there's really a lot more they don't know.

But that's how people are.

They tend to not question things.

And they tend to make heroes out of people who couldn't be any more the opposite.

The sad truth is that Carlos Miller gives real activists a bad name.

Getting drunk and intentionally creating and then escalating situations with law enforcement officials for views and revenue, is NOT true activism.

But Carlos Miller doesn't care.

You see, like I said earlier, in the social media world, clicks means cash.

And the more views Carlos Miller generates for his site, PINAC, the more cash he makes.


Carlos Miller is not the only one raking in the money.

His partner, and PINAC co-founder, Grant Stern is also lining his pockets.

Stern, a mortgage broker with Morningside Mortgage Company, who has made his fortune in condominiums, is PINAC'S silent partner.

While I'm still in the process of learning a lot more about Grant Stern, I can tell you this.

A long time ago I learned that when you're on to something, when someone knows you're on to them, and when they have something to hide, and something to fear, they'll tell on themselves.

And I don't necessarily mean by talking.

But if you pay attention to people, I mean really pay close attention to them, they will actually help you see that you're on the right track.

Take, for example, a tweet that Grant Stern sent to a Twitter user by the name @TracieMarieBella on Twitter.

Over the past couple of years, this woman has been completely obsessed with me and my work, regularly trolling my Twitter and Facebook pages for photos of me and my minor children.

In fact, if you go to her twitter page, chances are you'll see just how obsessed she is with me.

It's like a fatal attraction.

I have more than 100 screen shots with a total of more than 500 tweets form this individual directed at me and my Twitter user name.

Some of the tweets are spaced as close as just a few minutes apart, showing a very disturbing obsession and fixation wth me.

Now Twitter, and social media is a strange thing.

On one hand it's a great thing.

I rely on it and its reach, to get my work out to readers here in the U.S., and abroad, but social media has a very bad side as well.

For years, a couple of individuals who have engaged in a pattern of stalking and threatening my children.

These individuals are known to work as confidential informants, or C.I.'s, and they have used social media in order to stalk my children, including getting photos of them, etc.

One of these individuals, Theodore "Teddy" Loria is an ex-con who has served several prison sentences.

In August of 2014, Theodore "Teddy" Loria walked into a convenience store and threatened to murder and decapitate my 5-year old daughter.

Despite the entire threat having been captured and recorded on the store's video surveillance system, the Rochester, NY Police Department and Monroe County, NY District Attorney Sandra Doorley refused to charged Loria, citing that the threat was made to a third party.

The truth is when you're the son of a hardcore activist who the Rochester, NY Police Department hated, and when you spend the last 20-plus years exposing police misconduct and corruption, law enforcement doesn't care that a piece of shit ex-con threatened to kill an innocent child.

Especially when that piece of shit ex-con is feeding them information.

The reason I even mention this is because as a result of my work, I monitor social media very closely.

It's sad, but there are some very disturbed people out here, and they have to be monitored.

And that's how I came across Grant Stern's tweet.

So what did PINAC co-founder Grant Stern tweet to @TracieMarieBella?

Well, in essence he bribed her.

Grant Stern offered to purchase a domain name for @TracieMarieBella, so that she can take me down.

Here's Grant Stern's tweet.


So let me get this straight,

Grant Stern, co-founder and partner of Photography Is Not A Crime, a website which demands transparency from law enforcement officials, and a site which claims to advocate citizens' first amendment right to free speech, encourages someone taking me down?

Silencing me?

Taking away my right to free speech?

How UN-AMERICAN is that?

I only have one question.

Do you need any more proof that Carlos Miller and his partner Grant Stern are frauds?

Can you really trust PINAC?

A site which claims to stand for free speech, yet wants to silence me?

What are they afraid of?

So what does Carlos Miller have to say about this?

After all, his site, Photography Is Not A Crime claims to support the first amendment, yet is trying to silence me.

Well, Carlos Miller is obviously not happy that I'm exposing him and his partner Grant Stern.

Check out tweet he sent out.


Carlos Miller loves exposing.

As long as he's doing the exposing.

It's a little different when he's under the spotlight.

This is only the beginning,

In the weeks and months to come, I will be exposing more fakes, pretending to be activists standing up to injustices, when they're nothing but frauds.

My upcoming book will delve into this more.

Click Play below to watch the video of a drunk Carlos Miller escalate a 'confrontation' with Miami Metrorail security officers, then provoke his own arrest.


The video you see below, of a drunk Miller escalating, and as a result, creating what ends up turning into a physical altercation, "a la Carlos Miller!"

(Pay attention to the 11:00 minute mark of the second video below, where a Hialeah, Florida Police officer asks Carlos Miller why is he shaking, a side effect of alcohol withdrawal.)

Ironically, when I was outspoken and questioned some of Miller's associates, on their true motives and agendas, this was exactly the kind of thing I was referring to.

"So-called activists" who are going around doing a disservice to the real work of activism as it pertains to exposing police misconduct, corruption, and holding police accountable.

Individuals such as Carlos Miller, with his drunk adventures, actually hurt the greater cause for those in the fight for police accountability.

Click Play to watch video of Taylor Hardy, accompany Carlos Miller to Hialeah, Florida to document a public records request.

Pay close attention to the 11:00 minute mark of the video where a Hialeah Police officer asks Carlos Miller why is he shaking, a side effect of alcohol withdrawal.


Follow me on twitter https://twitter.com/davyvara