The “Other Side” of the Carlos Miller Arrest Story
So I promised you all the “other side” of the story I’ve been reporting on regarding the recent arrest of Carlos Miller. Carlos Miller is a Miami based journalist who was recently arrested after, according to Miller, he was told not to photograph the police who were investigating a “private matter” and asked to move along.
Rather than comply with the police, Miller instead continued taking photographs of them, a crime for which he asserts he was arrested. In the end Miller spent 16 hours in a Miami Dade jail and now faces nine counts over the incident. You can read Miller’s take of what happened at this story here. The Miami Herald is also reporting on it here.
So the “other side” of the story? Well here from the police report:
“While Officer Read was conducting an investigation of an accident, defendant approached the scene with a camera without identifying himself. Because the accident was at a busy avenue (Biscayne) and was heavy traffic, Officer Read told to the defendent to go to the other side of the street (safety issue) and do not stand in the middle of the street obstructing the traffic at which time defendant refused to obey Officer Read’s commands and stated, “this is a public road and I can do what the hell I want.” And continued refusing to obey after being told to do so. Defendant (made?) myself [and other officers] escorted the defendant to the other side of the street (safe location) by the sidewalk at which time the defendant got violent by refusing to walk freely, tensing himself and taking pictures with his camera.
Then defendant was told to place his hands behind his back, but instead he started putting resistance by pulling his arms away, and non complaint to our verbal commands. Defendants actions caused motorists to stop their vehicles concerning about the comotions. Also defendants actions caused a delay with the accident investigation that Officer Read was conducting. Defendant was arrested without further incident.”
You can read the entire police report (with Carlos’ personal information redacted) at the links below.
Ok, a couple of things. First off, the photos that I saw that were taken by Carlos were not photos from the middle of the street. They were photos taken with the police between him and the street. Second. I just find it super hard to believe that even if someone is blocking traffic that they deserve to be arrested over this. People jaywalk all the time. Maybe give him a ticket or something. But to arrest the guy? And I like how the police throw in there that he “got violent” by refusing to walk freely. That’s just ridiculous. I suppose that’s the justification they will use to justify why Carlos was injured in this arrest (Carlos says they smashed his head into the street).
I guess I’m just not buying the cop’s story here. To me it seems like overkill to put Carlos through what he was put through. It doesn’t all add up. I can envision a scenario where what really happened was a photographer was taking photos of cops who didn’t want to be photographed. They asked him not to photograph them and he continued, so they used their power to teach him a lesson. The problem is that the cops should not be telling anyone not to photograph them. If they want to be in a job where they won’t be photographed public service is probably not for them. Also regardless of whether Carlos “identified” himself as a journalist or not, this is not relevant. We are all citizen journalists and as an actual journalist Carlos holds no special rights over any of the rest of us.
I hope that this matter is investigated and that if Carlos indeed was unjustly arrested that the cops in question lose their jobs at a minimum. I hope that his story gets the attention that it deserves and that police everywhere and photographers everywhere are better educated about our respective rights.