Carlos Miller’s arrest covering Occupy Miami eviction
Carlos Miller is a journalist for Maimi News Times and was arrested last week while reporting on the Occupy Miami eviction.
County cops arrested Miller on Tuesday night as he was filming the Fuzz forcibly evacuating Occupy Miami protesters from Government Center downtown. But he says the police are the ones who messed up.
“They took a routine bullshit arrest and turned it into a huge constitutional violation and a possible federal lawsuit because they deleted my footage,” Miller says. “They messed with the wrong reporter.”
Miami News Times was able to recover the the video of Carlos arrest. In another strange twist, the cop who had Miller arrested appears to be a public information officer.
Miller was booked on charges of obstruction of justice and resisting arrest without violence (he says cops forgot to include the statute number for obstruction, so he is now only battling the resisting arrest charge).
But Miller says the cops really screwed up when they allegedly deleted his footage. Miami Dade Police declined to comment.
“If you’re going to arrest me for doing nothing, fair enough, that’s your stupidity,” Miller says. “But to delete my images… that shows that they were afraid of my footage getting out. That’s totally illegal.”
He has some support. The National Press Photographers Association has chimed in on his behalf in a letter today to MDPD director James Loftus:
The reliance by your officer to question, detain, interfere with, arrest, seize and attempt to destroy the property of someone engaged in a lawful activity under color of law is reprehensible. At best - behavior that chills free speech is extremely unprofessional - at worst it is criminal. Law enforcement agencies are established to uphold and enforce existing laws not to act in a lawless manner. Photography may not be restricted in a public place by officers wishing to avoid the documentation of their actions.