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Then I was arrested and beat up by police Tuesday after photographing them against their wishes [View All]

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RagingInMiami Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-23-07 12:04 AM
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Then I was arrested and beat up by police Tuesday after photographing them against their wishes
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I ended up spending 16 hours in the Miami-Dade County Jail, a rat-infested institution that is more Abu Ghraib than American Grade.

The incident took place Tuesday night after leaving the media circus in Fort Lauderdale and driving down to Miami to continue working on a journalitic project about the ongoing transition affecting Biscayne Blvd. This wasn't for People Magazine, but my heart was at least into this project.

For years, Biscayne Blvd was known as a seedy motel strip where pimps, prostitutes and peddlers would rule the streets. But lately, several trendy shops and restaurant have started businesses there as well as many urbanites moving to the area.

So I'm very exciting about this story because it has a lot of different elements to it.

Anyway, on Tuesday night, I parked in my usual spot and was having a cell phone conversation with my editor on this story, informing her of all the progress I had done so far. She seemed very excited about it and told me she couldn't wait to read it.

I hung up the phone when I noticed five cops surrounding a man, threatening him with arrest. They were standing in a gravel area between the road and the sidewalk and I was standing on the gravel as well, but I was about 20 yards from them. The gravel area is part of the expansion construction that has been ongoing on the Blvd. One day, it will be open to all cars, but now, it is off-limit to cars.

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.

On the arrest affidavit, the officers lied several times in order to justify their arrest. They accused me of photographing them without identifying myself, which is not true (and not even against the law as far as I know). As soon as one of the officers questioned me about taking photos, I immediately identified myself by name and profession.

Then they accused me of stating that I can do whatever the hell I want when I said no such thing. I remained professional throughout the entire incident, even as I tried to remind them that I had a full legal right to photograph them.

And they accused me of standing in the middle of Biscayne Blvd while I was taking photos, obstructing traffic, which is why they had to arrest me. This is not true, as I would have been struck by a car within seconds. In fact, one of the photographs I took as they approached me clearly shows that Biscayne Blvd is behind them.




It is obvious that they arrested me because they did not appreciate me taking their photos. This is a clear violation of my First Amendment rights.

I plan on suing the Miami Police Department for false arrest, excessive force, damage to my equipment (so far, my $400 flash is destroyed)and medical expenses incurred since being released from jail, as I had to go to the doctor to make sure no bones were broken as they hurt like hell. I am also going in for a head scan on Monday because the swelling on my forehead has the doctor worried that it may cause internal bleeding.

This is just the beginning, so I will keep everybody in the loop as it expands.



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