J. D. Heyes
In a lengthy piece recently, I documented how fear-mongering by the nation’s political elite has allowed them to foist a raft of unconstitutional regulations and legislation over the years on a nation that, undoubtedly, our founding fathers would likely never recognize (unless they were comparing modern-day America to latter-day England).
One of the latest justifications for the imposition of many of these onerous new rules is the ever-present threat of terrorism, a fallacy of fear that was on full display in Miami Jan. 20.
According to reports, renowned photographer Carlos Miller, who runs the website Photography Is Not a Crime, and a companion were roughed up, detained and eventually fined by Miami-Dade Metrorail security guards for taking pictures of a historical public building.
Ending photography as we know it – The latest anti-terrorism tactic
Miller and his friend were passing time while waiting for a Metrorail by taking photos of the Dade County Courthouse, which was built during the Roaring 20s and is considered to be a stunning piece of architecture.
“Then considered one of the more monumental structures in Florida, Dade County’s 27-story Neoclassical-style courthouse was begun in 1925,” says this historical account of the structure.
Suddenly, a voice blared over a loudspeaker ordering them to cease and desist with the photographs. The pair ignored the order, but shortly thereafter a 50 State security guard came onto the platform and confronted them.
Miller sensed that his civil rights were about to be violated once more, he asked his companion to begin videotaping the exchange.
The guard is seen on camera telling Miller that it is illegal to photograph the rail portion of the train which, according to InfoWars.com, “is not true.”
Following a short exchange, the guard accused Miller of being intoxicated; two more guards approached then approached him and sort of began to crowd him towards the elevator. A scuffle began next, during which time the camera Miller’s friend was using was knocked free and turned off.
“At the top of the escalator, one of them shoved me hard as if to push me down the escalator, which is when I shoved back,” said Miller in a blog post on his site.
“Then three of them piled on top of me, including one choking me where I couldn’t even breathe, leaving me gasping for air,” he said, adding that the third guard, a tall black man whose badge read R. Myers, “violently choked me to the point where I thought I was going to die.”
Myers is heard in the video threatening Miller’s friend, who was back to videotaping the incident and was able to capture the choke hold on tape, pointing handcuffs at him and saying, “You’re going to jail next.”
Miller and his friend were eventually cuffed and held until Miami-Dade Police officers arrived. The photographer activist said police instantly recognized him from his website and from previous incidents.
The new normal
The men were held for about an hour and were then released, having been issued a $100 citation that accused them of “producing loud or excessive noise” – though neither man was cited for anything having to do with illegally photographing anything. In fact, guards returned both cameras to them without erasing the photos or otherwise tampering with them.
Miller followed up the raw footage of his detainment and arrest with another video showing the injuries he received from the incident.
One final fact: Miller is already involved in a state lawsuit following a previous incident with 50 State guards. He says he may now escalate that suit into a federal case.
Welcome to America, circa 2013, where fear and loathing is the new normal and rules and regulations ostensibly aimed at “keeping you safe” are devoid of common sense and constitutionalism.