Miami multimedia journalist Carlos Miller, arrested by Miami-Dade police during the eviction of Occupy Miami, has posted video he recovered from his camera. The footage is believed to have been deleted by police when he was in custody.
Miller was able to access the deleted video. In a post, he concludes police spokesperson Nancy Perez allowed other media to walk past her to cover the news event and arbitrarily chose to arrest him.
The recovered video of Miller’s arrest was put up on YouTube. The police can be seen falling out of their “military formation.” A group of cops walk past him, which Miller believes is indication “all the activists had been dispersed.”
There is a television cameraman, who is permitted to exercise his press freedom. He can be seen in the video “dressed in blue standing on the sidewalk.” Miller thinks he recorded the arrest. There’s also another shot of a television cameraman later in the video and he gets a “close-up of the cops.”
It shows that police had already fallen out of their military formation, which they had been in all night as they dispersed the activists. The operation was pretty much over.
A Miami Herald reporter is also in the video. [As Miller notes in his post, he mentioned Miller’s arrest “in the fifth paragraph of this story.”
The video shows videographers freely moving by police without being intercepted for any arrests. Suddenly, fifty seconds into the video, Perez steps up to detain Miller. The words she utters are, “No, it doesn’t work that way,” when Miller tries to explain to her he is heading back to his car now.
Most of the video was recovered but there are interruptions here and there. Below is the clip of Miller’s arrest:
Miller is not going to let this go (and he shouldn’t). He describes his plan for what he intends to do from here so he can clear his name:
So now the next step is taking my camera to a professional recovery service with a forensics specialists who will not only retrieve the entire deleted footage without interruptions, but would also determine the exact time the footage was deleted
That will determined that the footage was deleted while I was in custody and the camera was in their possession, leaving them no defense for blatantly violating my Constitutional rights.
I also plan on obtaining the footage recorded by the Miami police officer as well as the footage recorded by the television news cameraman.
And, of course, I plan on filing an internal affairs complaint against Perez as well as a complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice for deleting my footage.
Miller was charged with “resisting arrest.” The video shows he was not resisting at all.
Constitutional and media lawyers, he says, are interested in getting involved and may join his legal team as he advances his case against the Miami-Dade Police Department.
As he notes in his post, the Justice Department determined in a “statement of interest”:
The right to record police officers while performing duties in a public place as well as the right to be protected from the warrantless seizure and destruction of those recordings, are not only required by the Constitution…They are consistent with our fundamental notions of liberty, promote the accountability of our governmental officers, and instill public confidence in the police officers who serve us daily.
Miller is just one of over sixty-five journalists that have been targeted, detained and/or arrested since the Occupy movement kicked off on Wall Street last September.
The ACLU collaborated with actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt and the Gregory Brothers on this animated video on photographers’ rights.
The animation features a song with a catchy chorus. The lyrics for it are the following:
They can’t turn the lights off now/The world is much too small/Cause everybody’s pluggin’ in/They’re passing on the wake up call/Corruption thrives on secrecy/Transparency is up to you and me/If we really want to see the truth/And we wanna see the truth set free for all.