Photography is Not a Crime

Carlos Miller has been a First Amendment Champion for years. He has been unlawfully arrested multiple times for filming and photographing police activity and other happenings in public areas. Marc Randazza alerts us to the latest injustice involving Carlos Miller.

On Sunday night, Carlos Miller was lawfully filming at the Miami-Dade Metrorail, when 50 States security personnel attacked and choked him. The five minute video on Miller’s site, Photography is Not a Crime, shows that he and a friend were minding their own business and shooting some harmless video when they were confronted by security guards.

Miller is well aware of his rights as a journalist. Police and security personnel have singled him out in the past, but Miller knows that shooting video is not a crime. Carlos Miller is known for filming police activity, and also for having police confiscate his equipment (and even deleting footage which exposes the bad acts of police). It’s interesting that ordinary citizens who delete video footage of potential crimes could be charged criminally for doing so, but some police officers seem to have no qualms about deleting Miller’s footage of their potential misconduct.

Carlos Miller is a hero as it relates to the First Amendment, even winning an appeal of a judge’s bad decision in a criminal case against him…. while representing himself! At his sentencing for this crime, Judge Jose Fernandez even said:

I can’t imagine why you thought this situation was worth getting arrested for. I can’t imagine for the life of me. I don’t know if you think you’re some kind of hero or something like that, but if you want to see a hero, go visit Arlington. All right?

I happen to think Carlos Miller is a hero. Is filming police activity “worth” getting arrested for? What does that mean? That we should fear police so much, that we should not participate in lawful activities that document police action? That police should be allowed to potentially commit crimes while on the job, and have that not documented with pictures and videos simply because citizens are too afraid to stand up for what is right (because getting arrested might not be “worth it”)?

Yes, I think Carlos Miller is some sort of hero for standing up for what is right. And based on the video from last night, the security officers who attacked and choked him should be disciplined accordingly. Take a look at the second video on the site which shows Carlos Miller’s injuries from the attack.  That is EXACTLY WHY citizens need to document police and security activity with their cameras.

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