Miami Photographer’s Arrest Concerns Journalist groups by Mitch E. Perry03/15/07
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday
Last month in Miami, a freelance photojournalist, Carlos Miller, was arrested while taking photos of police officers questioning an individual.
But his supporters say there was no reason for his detainment, and say it’s another case of the Miami Police Department acting overzealous with a reporter.
Darcie Lunsford is President of the South Florida Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. She says Miller was doing his job taking photos on the night of February 20th. She says he was was on a public road, did not cross any police lines, and was not using a flash, when he was told by one officer to move on from the scene. (roll tape#1 o.q.”spent the night there”)
Initially, Miller was charged with 5 violations, including obstruction of justice, obstruction of traffic, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest without violence.
Miller was taking the photos for the Miami internet magazine Category 305.
Last week, the South Florida Chapter of the Society for Professional Journalists learned about Miller’s case, and immediately provided a thousand dollars to help with his legal defense. They also sent off an open letter to Miami Police Chief John Timoney, asking him to intervene and calling the photographer’s arrest ‘simply outrageous’. Again, the SPJ’s Darcie Lunsford (roll tape#2 o.q.”right to do that”)
The Miami Police Department is conducting an internal investigation into the circumstances of Miller’s arrest. (roll tape# 3 o.q.”such an event”)
Thomas Julin is a First Amendment attorney in Miami working with Miller on the case.
He says this is another case of the Miami PD acting aggressively against a member of the press (roll tape#3 o.q.”constitutionally appropriate”)
Miller was originally scheduled to be arraigned on Wednesday. But that was postponed, and a new date has yet to be scheduled. Neither the Miami Police Department, nor Carlos Miller, was available for comment today.