PetaPixel

Photographer Forcefully Arrested After Shooting on Metrorail Platform

Photographer, blogger, and photographers rights’ activist Carlos Miller has made headlines quite a few times over the past few years with his legal rumbles with authorities over photography in public places. Miller, who often instigates the disputes for the purpose of bringing photographers’ rights into the spotlight, recently had another big confrontation with authorities in Miami (it’s not the first time it has happened).

The video above is Miller’s documentation of the incident. He says he was “attacked, choked, suffocated and handcuffed by 50 State security guards” for shooting photos and video on the Miami-Dade Metro rail this past Sunday night.

According to Miller, his friend was photographing Dade County Courthouse from the rail platform and he was photographing his friend. Here are the photos that they shot:

carlosmiller

Miller says that they were spotted by a security guard and warned over a loudspeaker to stop shooting photographs. When they didn’t put their cameras away, security guards arrived to confront them. Miller then started recording footage with his phone, which resulted in the video above.

Here’s Miller’s account of how the alleged assault went down:

[The security guard] said it was illegal to photograph the rail portion of the train, which, of course, is complete hogwash. He then accused me of being drunk. I had three drinks in two hours while watching football and I am not a lightweight. They then told me I had to leave the Metrorail because I was drunk and I refused because I had not done anything illegal. I just wanted to take the train home. And I wasn’t drunk. He didn’t notice I had been drinking until he got close to me and he smelled something.

But as they started crowding me, I started walking towards the escalator. 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. Then three of them piled on top of me, including one choking me where I couldn’t even breathe, leaving me gasping for air. When R. Myer walked up to us, I was hoping he would de-escalate the situation but he escalated completely. He is a tall black man who wears a USMC logo on his name badge. He was the one choking me. He wouldn’t have hesitated to kill me.

The two were handcuffed and detained for an hour until actual police officers arrived on the scene. The officers recognized Miller from previous confrontations. Miller and his friend were then released with a $100 citation for “producing loud or excessive noise.”

After arriving home, Miller shot this video to show the extent of the injuries he claims to have received at the hands of the guards:

Miller says that he is considering escalate his pending state lawsuit into a federal lawsuit. You can read his full account of what transpired over on his blog.

I was Attacked by Miami-Dade Metrorail Security Guards for Taking Photos and Shooting Video [Photography is Not a Crime]


 
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  • http://www.facebook.com/DanielGBallard Dan Ballard

    Oh and Michael-typo I think-5 guards not fifty…

  • http://www.facebook.com/zargar Mahmood Shafeie Zargar

    Did they mention that it was not? How hard was it for the security guards to answer the simple question about the law that made photography illegal. I was once got stopped in Monaco for using a tripod. The first thing the officer explained to me was that the streets of Monaco were his highness’s private property and he did not desire to allow tripods in his property. I immediately obeyed. That’s how non-violent law enforcement can be. Civilized people talk instead of escalating.

  • lhardy

    What way?

    Telling someone that they are violating your civil rights must be said in a specific tone? Such as groveling for mercy? For crimes not committed.

    What the hell is wrong with you people?

  • lhardy

    Good little sheep.
    The Gestapo loves people like you.

  • lhardy

    Yes because we should always allow secruity people and police the free reign to violate the civil rights and laws of our county. We should submitt ourselves to their tyranny and violent unconstituional actions.
    One set of laws for us and one set for them.
    .
    Another sheep has been found..,

  • http://www.thryse.com/ Kaitlyn Richardson

    People hate the US because the US abuses the weak mercilessly, both inside and outside its borders.

  • Old Pirate

    This and his prior work certainly define him as a trouble maker who has long lost any credibility that he may have once had. Unfortunately any web site that continues to offer him up as creditable is slowly diminishing in statue too.

  • Bob

    He sought this out, are you kidding? He was minding his own business taking pictures in a public place. Security had zero reason to approach him. You are part of the reason I am embarrassed to be an American. Grow a spine you coward.

  • http://twitter.com/KrisWould Kris Wood

    I thought we hated the USA because they keep banging on about that God bloke?

  • Kaemaril

    It seems unlikely that he was “drunk as f%&k” given that he was arrested, but he wasn’t charged with anything drink related. I’m sure if the police could have charged him with something along those lines they would have.

  • http://www.facebook.com/igor.kennn Igor Ken

    I think they just didn’t charge him so he wouldn’t start a bigger brawl … I mean he already said he started a lawsuit…

  • http://www.facebook.com/igor.kennn Igor Ken

    he was clearly provoking them. This is what I meant. No of course not, and you are right, no groveling for mercy, but try to see my point…

  • Dozy Meda

    Someone please get these assholes fired and sued for assault.

  • lhardy

    The guards clearly provoked him when they lied about what reason they had to harass him. What law in our country gives the police and security guards the right to harass and falsely arrest citizens?
    Your only point is to submit to tyranny because standing up to tyranny is too difficult.
    You’re most likely a real nice guy but your stance is exactly why the police and the guards in this article, violate citizens rights at will. They know most people are unwilling to stand up for their Constitutional rights.
    Allowing the police state to grow.

  • Charlie

    Oh right, I see now. The USA intervenes when others need help do they? Such as when?
    The USA act in its own interest and if that happens to coincide with yours then its lucky for you.
    By the way your 2 cents is worth about 1 cent now since your economy got stolen by the super-rich.

  • http://twitter.com/Reactivestills Gary Martin

    America..What a mess at the moment. He knows that the place is on edge for photographing places..He should have just complied and moved on..

  • ace ventura

    america is about protecting corporation….fuck the people…., time to change that..POWER TO THE PEOPLE….

  • http://shashinkaichiban1.wordpress.com/ 写真家

    Security was not illegally stopping them to violate their rights. Security was enforcing a policy of loitering. The problem here is not the security guards, it is with Metra who gave this directive.

    The guards are doing their duty, they probably received the same DHS direction that every employee in every aspect of the transportation industry received over the course of the past 12 years.

    The reality is since 9/11, DHS instructs anyone who works in the transportation sector, that if you see someone taking pictures regardless if it is trains, planes, boats, or whatnot,you are required to report it. In the case of security, their job is to follow that order. They are also reasonable to inquiries, that’s the job.

    I can easily surmised that being a security guard at a subways station also involves dealing with every possible type of person on the planet, and most likely, their encounters tend to be with the drugees, drunks, and gang bangers.

    Also, note, these guys may be security, but they also may be carrying a special police commission. SPC’s are very specific to those who work in security in the transportation sector, especially the railroads. In Washington DC, the security who works Metro hold SPCs and do have full legal powers despite wearing a security uniform. (The same applies to CSX Railroad police, NS railroad police, Amtrak Police and so forth)

    BTW: I’ve spent 20 eyars as a newspaper photographer, and 30 as a railroad photographer, so I’ve had more ruins with security and police photographing in the public than this kid has spent playing photography rights advocate. If he truly cares about this as an issue, instead of just trying to pick fights with $10 security guards, perhaps he would be better off putting his time in to organizations such as NPPA.I am sure Mr. Osterreicher would love to have some assistance in following up with photography right complaint cases.

  • rnourse

    Boy you don’t know much about what a CONCEALED permit is do you? Fact is multiple states permit you to openly carry a firearm but if you want to hide the fact you have a gun THEN you need a concealed carry permit.

  • gail zawacki

    I think it should be 5 and not 50 security guards? Either way, sickening!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=647684635 Carlos Miller

    Sorry, DavidC, but it’s pussies like you that give photographers a bad name and encourage guards and cops to continue creating their own laws.

  • http://twitter.com/CameraShooter Keenan Adams

    Start carrying a gun on you, and the next time that happens, take them all out.

  • http://www.facebook.com/TangoCan Kris J Boorman

    People do. You can see hundreds of “open carry” videos on youtube and its perfectly legal.

  • junyo

    A) It’s not legal everywhere, and B) even in the places where it is legal, you will almost immediately attract law enforcement attention, especially in major metropolitan areas. PA is a ‘gun-friendly’ state, shall issue, open carry. And up until fairly recently you open carried at your bodily peril in Philly or Pittsburgh. Thus the idea that you’re more free to carry a gun than a camera is non-nonsensical, which was my point.

  • John Adkins

    I’m all for photographers’ rights, I’m a photographer. While this guy seems to be trying to support a serious issue, I think the way he is going about it is immature and antagonistic. There are many ways to support rights that you believe in, but going out and creating “situations” where you get yourself harrassed and physically endangered is just plain idiotic in my opinion. I don’t condone the acts of the security guards, but I also don’t condone people going out and looking for trouble either, which is what this guy seems to do. I think all parties involved here are to blame.

  • Costa

    I would be interestded to hear more about this. Could you please post something here?

  • Ken Jones

    I’m sorry Carlos, but you lost me when you refused to leave the platform. You had stumped the guard with the “law” about shooting the rail. (It might not be a law, but more of a policy, I don’t know.) However, the way I’m seeing it is you’re confusing being arrested for photography with arrested for trespassing. I don’t know about Florida, but here security can ask you to leave the premises for any, or no, reason. You refused. It’s become less about photography and more about trespassing. Sure, photography started the issue, but you crossed the line when you refused to leave.

    Also, security guards are not police. An important distinction is they are not bound by the same Constitutional restraints as police. A police officer can’t, on his own authority, tell you to leave private property. However, when someone with authority over that property–even publicly held property with limited public access–asks you to leave then you are required to do so. Then the police can arrest under the appropriate law for failing to do so. A person with authority over private property doesn’t need a reason to ask you to leave. If you don’t like it then you take it up with their boss if they have one. Challenging someone over this issue got you what you got.

    It’s good that you bring photographers’ right into public awareness. You were very wrong in this case, though.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=647684635 Carlos Miller

    I paid for my ticket. He was kicking me out because I stumped him on the law.

    Why should I obey an unlawful command?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=647684635 Carlos Miller

    Ken, you should conduct your research before speaking so confidently because you are very wrong.

    Their job is to call the cops and let the cops sort it out. That’s it. If they asked me to leave and I refused, then let the cops handle it.

    They had already called the cops so I was waiting for them to arrive.

    They, in turn, decided to get physical.

    I don’t mind taking the beating because I will win this case in the long run.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=647684635 Carlos Miller

    You even admit you don’t know about Florida, so why not just leave it there instead of pretending that you do know about the laws down here?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=647684635 Carlos Miller

    I guess you would just allow them to push you down the escalator.

  • Ken Jones

    It’s interesting that you admit to getting a $100 ticket for trespassing in your video. If the police recognize you were trespassing then how am I wrong? You were asked to leave, you didn’t. You were then cited for trespassing.

    Also, are you filing a complaint for assault and kidnapping against the security guards? If not, why not? It’d be interesting on how that goes.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=647684635 Carlos Miller

    You really have it figured out, don’t you. lol

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=647684635 Carlos Miller

    The guard created a law that doesn’t exist. I called him on it.

    That’s provoking?

    Loser.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=647684635 Carlos Miller

    I’m leaning back because they are crowding my personal space.

    You guys are incredible.

    It’s no wonder authority figures believe they can walk all over our rights.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=647684635 Carlos Miller

    John, how would you go about asserting your rights?

    I swear, the photogs on this thread are a huge disappointment.

    I really don’t care if you think I’m an asshole.

    But you’re missing the main issue, which is that these guards became violent because I questioned a made-up law about not being able to photograph the rails.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=647684635 Carlos Miller

    50 State is the name of the security company.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=647684635 Carlos Miller

    I was cited for making excessive noise, even though I said trespassing in the video. At the time, I did not have a chance to read the citation.

    I am going to appeal it because I did not make excessive noise.

    This is simply a case of police protecting the security guards.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tinakeen86 Tina Monique Keen

    Wow That is just crazy.

  • John Adkins

    Carlos – had it been me, I wouldn’t have gone looking for trouble in the first place. If however, I did need to shoot in the location you were in, I would have checked to see if permits were required first. If they weren’t, then I would I go shoot there, if they were, then I would have followed the right channels to get a permit. If I was harassed by security saying that I couldn’t shoot there even after I told them I was well within my rights, and they still saw fit to harass me about it, I would have kindly moved on and found a way to lodge a formal grievance. Getting yourself beat up just to shoot for fun, is not my idea of asserting your rights or common sense. FYI, I never said you were an asshole. I also understand your point, and the main issue. However, if you were just shooting for fun, was it worth the hassle? You have to weigh your options, your safety and the sense of importance to every job. Choose your battles. You seem to just want to battle, which is cool if that’s your thing. Good luck to you!

  • RJ

    Leaning back IN THE PHOTO. Not the video. My point is if you were leaning (even slightly) back over the ledge perhaps that’s why they came down in the first place.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1571410745 Keith Turrill

    “What is a cop suppose to do with someone pushing his buttons and smells of alcohol?”

    This was a cop it was just a private security guard. DavidC, you might want to go back and actually read the story.

  • Clark

    LOITERING!? THEY WERE WAITING FOR A TRAIN! So now what? They have to wait outside the station, then dash inside and time it just right so they can step aboard exactly at doors open so they are no longer “loitering???”

  • http://searchmarketingwisdom.com alanbleiweiss

    Sadly, the U.S. almost always only gets involved because of imperialistic reasons. However, it was the U.S. that led the effort to drive Saddam out of Kuwait. Sure, we had just as much invested in doing so as every other country (oil). Yet it WAS the U.S. that led the effort. Here’s the reality. NOT ONE SINGLE COUNTRY has EVER “come to the military aid of another country” for pure altruistic reasons. It’s ALWAYS fueled by political motives. Just figured I’d mention that to clarify the anti-American attitude and offer a more realistic perspective..

  • sfmc98

    Mr. Osterreicher is one of Carlos’ biggest supporters and vice versa. They are apparently good friends and Mickey has written several letters on Carlos’ behalf. So, he doesn’t need to do something else to do “instead.” Hes doing exactly what the NPPA supports.

    And yeah, loitering while waiting for a train is absolutely absurd.

  • sfmc98

    Its not private property. Actually because of previous cases of wrongly enforcing this no photo ‘policy’, a memo is posted in each an every guard booth in the Miami metro prohibiting exactly what they did.

  • sfmc98

    Luckily, you’re giving bootlickers a good name (among your fellow bootlickers). Which has the better taste? Kiwi or Lincoln brand?

  • sfmc98

    You know who effects change in our society? I’ll give you a hint, its not the people who sit at home in their easy chairs. Its the ‘trouble-makers.’ The people who are willing to go through the effort and inconvenience to stop something they disagree with when most people simply find it easier to go along.

    BTW, I think you meant “stature.” I don’t think websites have many statues that are diminishing. That would be boring to watch.

  • sfmc98

    There’s no need to find out if you need a permit. In a public place, you never need a permit to shoot non-commercially, especially for a news-gathering purpose which is what Carlos does.

    Of course, getting beat up sucks but I think it will be worth the hassle when he gets a nice judgment in his favor.

  • sfmc98

    I don’t think he’s getting himself beat up for the pictures themselves. Rather the basic right to take them. You can thank him later.