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Back Pain
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…

Update: I have been in contact with a friend of the person arrested (RaginginMiami) in this case. I just left RaginginMiami a voicemail and will publish more details on this after I speak with him. In addition I have been in contact with the Miami Police and have a person in their department working to get me the police report on this incident. Once I have that report I will share more details.

Andrew Ferguson pointed me to a very troubling post today. I’m trying to research the story more, but here’s what I’ve got so far.

A photojournalist who goes by the name RaginginMiami was on assignment shooting Biscayne Blvd in Miami and was shooting a police action from a public street. The police asked him not to photograph them and he continued, resulting in a forceful arrest and his being charged with multiple infractions over the incident. He ended up spending 16 hours in a Miami Dade jail.

From his account:

"One of the cops told me to keep walking because this was a "private matter".
I said that I will not keep walking because this is a "public street".
Within seconds, the five officer left the first man alone and came after me. One cop escorted me across the road. As I stood on the sidewalk on the opposite side of the road, the cops began surrounding me, which was when I shot several more shots.

That was when they slammed me against the pavement even though I offered no resistance, causing a deep abrasion on my right knee. One officer grabbed me by the back of the head and repeatedly bashed my forehead against the sidewalk, causing abrasions and swelling to the right side of my forehead.

Another officer grabbed my right hand and bent it backwards in a 90 degree angle, causing me to scream out in pain and continuing to do so even after the handcuffs were placed on me. As I verbally protested, one officer threatened me with a taser gun if I did not stop talking.

The officers charged me with five counts of disobeying a police, one count of obstructing justice, one count of obstructing traffic, one count of disorderly conduct and one count of resisting arrest without violence."

The photo above is one that RaginginMiami says is of the cops who abused him.

When I hear things like this it makes my blood boil. All photographers have absolute rights to photograph the police. This is an important right. It is a check and a balance against police abuse and brutality. Without this right things like the Rodney King incident and others might never be recorded.

Apparently the abused journalist has contacted the ACLU and is working to fight back this week.

I’m trying to make contact with the journalist and will report more of the details on this as I learn them. I hope that these cops pay dearly for their decision to use force on someone for exercising their First Amendment rights.

A few years ago Flickr photographers Aqui-Ali, Ropeboy, Ranjit and myself were stopped by the Alameda Sheriff’s department. They ran our IDs for background checks for doing nothing but taking photos. The Alameda cop asked me not to take his photo but I took it anyways when he wasn’t looking.

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