Carlos Miller Arrested for the Crime of Photography

Miami Police Department Sergeant RahmingMiami Police Department Sergeant RahmingCategory 305 Miami politics, culture, nightlife, and traffic – Miami Police Arrest Journalist Two days ago I posted an article about a Miami journalist who goes by the name of RaginginMiami regarding a recent incident he had with the police. I promised more and here are more of the details. It’s really horrible to read.

The journalist referred to previously as “RaginginMiami”‘s real name is Carlos Miller. He was on assignment shooting Biscayne Boulevard when the police asked him not to take photographs of them. The thing is it’s not against the law to take photos of the police. In fact very specific court rulings have upheld this important right.

Here’s Miller’s account after he took more photos of the police when asked to stop from catergory305 where he works:

“Suddenly, Miller said, the officers lost interest in the man they had been questioning, and focused on him. The commanding officer at the scene, a Sgt. Rahming, walked over to him and took him by the elbow. Rahming escorted him across Biscayne Boulevard, to the sidewalk on the east side.

Miller then made the decision that probably got him thrown in jail. He reached up with one arm and snapped a photo of Rahming. “I knew it pissed him off,“ Miller admitted, “But it’s not illegal.”

Miller turned and saw that the other officers were also walking across the street. He took a couple of shots of them as well, motioning him to keep walking. And that was it. They’d had it.

Miller said that in the next instant, he was surrounded by the officers. One attempted to trip kick him to fall to the ground, but he was concerned about his expensive camera equipment, so he tried not to fall on his face. He heard one officer say “He’s resisting arrest!” “

I have been in contact with Carlos Miller personally and I have also been in contact with an Officer at the Miami PD who has told me that she will provide me a police report of the incident. There are of course two sides to every story and I’ll update again once I obtain that police report — but I will say this. If in fact Carlos’ story is true, these police officers should be fired and should also be put in prison themselves.

While I have a tremendous amount of respect for the police, have friends who are cops, etc. There is no room in this world for dirty cops. The law is the law and the law is clear. Cops are allowed to be photographed. If the cops don’t like this law, they can work to have it changed or move to a country that does not have this law. But when empowered with guns and arrest power they need to use this power only in legal ways.

It’s very upsetting to read stories like this and I hope that Carlos’ story gets the attention that it should and that more photographers and police will be educated about this important First Amendment right.

Loading Facebook Comments ...

12 Comments

  1. TranceMist says:

    I think it’s a good thing he took those photos, makes his story all that more real seeing those mugs.

  2. BG says:

    for some reason the phrase “he’s resisting arrest!” reminded me of the South Park routine “it’s coming right for us!”

    You know, where they get to hunt (endangered or out of season?) animals because they claim self defense. And they take out progressively bigger and more obnoxious guns.

  3. Anonymous says:

    i’ve surfed the exact same line more than once. it’s tricky.

    he’ll need his own witnesses. the photos may be enough, but it’s hard to say without seeing the full sequence, starting from his first at the scene. the police can (and do, in my experience) colour any statement to make them look good, and courts almost always take that over a defendant’s claim. besides, independent witnesses can fill the gaps between frames.

    if he used the flash at an inopportune moment, or repetitively, it could be seen as “obstruction” by a court, since to overtly distract the police could be called a hindrance. if he was warned to stop and continued as they were working, then he may well be legally screwed. at least, he would be in australia, and i suspect the US may have tougher laws on the subject. again, tough to say without seeing the proof sheet (as such). perhaps he only took those two crucial photos with a flash, arguably as evidence for any future complaint?

    (*** obligatory: I AM NOT A LAWYER.***)

    any which way, good luck to the guy. he’s gonna need it. cheers for bringing us the story.

    flickr.com/photos/mr_walker

  4. BG says:

    Thomas, this is a story somewhat similar to Carlos Miller’s.
    Seattle Times – Bogdan Mohora

    He at least got a settlement out of the incident.

  5. grussell903 says:

    How is this photo Illegal ..? and did Smith Co. Sheriff’s arrest you for taking it..? I was arrested for taking a photo of Smith co Low-Risk Jail when I knew that it was just as public as Smith Co Courthouse and stated as such ..on Ed June 6th 2007 by Lt Lile and Red necked racist runts R.H.Smith of the Smith Co Sheriff’s department….and my 1 GB PNY SD card was bent and destroyed in an illegal false arrest for trespassing and false (Made-up resisting as Lt Lile stated "Mouth " watch your mouth!! as I explained that you were fuck-ups and didn’t know the law for trespassing on public property after dark Like Officer Freeman of the Tyler PD. with a false arrest on Rose Rudman Trail…for being in the park after dark when the Statue unknown to Them was in the Tyler city codes for 12:01 am and worse a white male jogger was also there whom they didn’t arrest….or Shooting Public Buildings from Public streets…

    Sec. 86-132. Animals. (From Palestine City Codes 2-12-2007)

    (a) It shall be unlawful for any person to tether or pasture any animal in or upon any park or playground or to hitch any horse or other animal to any tree, shrub, fence, railing or other structure except in an area that is specifically designated as appropriate for hitching an animal.

    (b) Animals within a city park must be controlled at all times by the owner and registered as provided in section 14-31. Dogs must be on leash. Dog owners must be able to show current rabies vaccination records as required by section 14-33, as well as city registration documentation.

    (c) A person in control of, or responsible for, an animal in a city park is responsible for removing waste left by the animal.
    (d)
    (Ord. No. O-33-06-B, § II, 7-24-2006) http://grussell903.wordpress.com

  6. miami_photographer says:

    The story and the photos should be sent to the local media in Miami.

    Usually incidents like this make it into the news.

    We all have rights. No wonder lots of people on this planet don’t agree with such American behavior.

  7. […] after recording a police officer who was being verbally abusive on his doorstep. Photojournalist Carlos Miller was arrested in February of this year after taking pictures of on-duty police officers in […]

  8. Sam Haley says:

    I was very frustrated when I heard this news about Carlos Miller first. Hope that a justice will be done.

  9. […] even going as far as calling the Miami Police Department and obtaining the arrest report. He posted several articles on the arrest where it continued to get national […]

  10. […] Miami Police Image by Thomas Hawk Update #2: The journalist in this case is named Carlos Miller. You can read an update on this case including more of his account here: thomashawk.com/2007/02/carlos-miller-arrested-for-crime-o… […]

  11. […] Miami Police Image by Thomas Hawk Update #2: The journalist in this case is named Carlos Miller. You can read an update on this case including more of his account here: thomashawk.com/2007/02/carlos-miller-arrested-for-crime-o… […]

  12. […] Miami Police Image by Thomas Hawk Update #2: The journalist in this case is named Carlos Miller. You can read an update on this case including more of his account here: thomashawk.com/2007/02/carlos-miller-arrested-for-crime-o… […]