Carlos Miller Assaulted by 50 State Security Employees at Miami-Dade Metrorail

Published On January 21, 2013 | By Pete Eyre | Articles, Videos

Last night our good friend Carlos Miller was assaulted and given a 100FRN ransom note by 50 State Security employees on the platform and escalator of the Miami-Dade Metrorail.

While waiting for their train, Miller was giving his friend visiting from out of town some background on the area. After his friend took a picture of the nearby courthouse, they were first told via the speaker mounted on the platform, then in-person by hostile 50 State Security employees, that they were not allowed to film.

Miller rightly questioned where such a dictate stemmed from. His question was answered with force, as he was eventually tackled, choked, and handcuffed, by three men. His friend was taken as well.

Let the folks over at 50 State Security know your thoughts:

Tell those at the Miami-Dade Metrorail that they shouldn’t hire such thugs:

Connect with Miami Cop Block:

________________________________

I was Attacked by Miami-Dade Metrorail Security Guards for Taking Photos and Shooting Video

by Carlos Miller at PhotographyIsNotACrime.com, originally published on Jan. 21st, 2013

I was attacked, choked, suffocated and handcuffed by 50 State security guards for shooting video on the Miami-Dade Metrorail Sunday night, escalating a pending state lawsuit into a possible federal suit.

As you will see in the above video, they tried to push me down the escalator and I shoved back in order to defend myself, which prompted at least three security guards to pounce on me, including one security guard named R. Myers who violently choked me to the point where I thought I was going to die.

I was video recording on my iPhone and my friend was recording on his camera. Both of us ended up handcuffed and detained until City of Miami and Miami-Dade police arrived, both who knew right away who I was.

We were released an hour later with a $100 citation accusing us of “producing loud or excessive noise,” which is a lie.

My friend, who is visiting from California, was taking a picture of the Dade County Courthouse as we were waiting for the southbound train to go back to my place.

I was taking a photo of him, taking a photo of the building for possibly uploading to Facebook. We were joking that it probably looked real gay, me kneeling in front of him as he took a photo.

I was taking a photo of my friend taking a photo of the Dade County Courthouse from the platform of the Miami-Dade Metrorail Government Center when we were ordered to stop through a loudspeaker.

We were not yelling or making any kind of noise.

A 50 State security guard announced on the loudspeaker to stop taking photos. He then came out to confront us. I switched my iPhone to video record and walked up to him.

He 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.

The photo my friend was taking

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.

I can only imagine how many complaints he has had against him.

Surprisingly, they returned my phone and my friend’s camera to me as I was handcuffed, placing them in my pockets.

Miami-Dade police officer Luis Fernandez, who is familiar with this blog and agreed that  Nancy Perez made a horrible witness, even made it a point to say they didn’t delete my footage.

Below is a video of my injuries. I am in a lot of pain right now. I would like to visit a hospital but I am way too tired and I don’t have insurance anyway.

I have a history of getting assaulted and harassed by 50 State which is why I’m already suing them. But it’s never been as bad as this one.

Here is my friend’s account of the incident:

It’s tough to stand up for your constitutional rights. And it’s tough to stand up to authority.

I’m glad I have Carlos to do it for me – and that’s why I support him.

When I told people I was going to Miami to visit Carlos, one of my dearest friends, people joked about not bailing me out.

But I didn’t think twice when Carlos suggested taking the Metrorail after watching the Ravens game. And what’s the worst that could happen when at the Government Center station we walked to the end of the platform to take a photo of the art deco courthouse.

Things changed so quickly. A voice on the PA said something about stop taking pictures and a couple of security guards came. They immediately said we couldn’t take pictures of the rail and we had to leave. After some tense back and forth, Carlos slowly made his way to the escalator. Then the guards shoved him and started to try to put the cuffs on – as he stepped on to the escalator. They all tumbled to the metal steps toward me. Gutierrez stopped helping subdue Carlos, inexplicably to grab my camera. He knocked it out of my hands and it turned off. But I grabbed it and turned it back on to capture Myers with Carlos in a choke hold, Carlos’ shirt was ripped and his shoes were off.

Soon I was handcuffed and so was Carlos. I had never been in handcuffs before – and though the guards and the police were gentle with me – the cuffs still bruised my wrists and strained my back. I was really afraid of what was going to happen – and I was barely involved. But I felt guilty for just being there with Carlos. I felt guilty for taking photos in a public place in the land of the free and the home of the brave. And I was scared because I had been a witness to what happened – abuse of power under the color of the law. In the end, Carlos was assaulted – not because he broke any laws – but because he didn’t do what he was told. As if we were in an Eastern Bloc country during the Cold War.

When Perez finally heard the name of the founder of PhotographyIsNotaCrime.com, he repeated it like cuss words – “Carlos Miller.”

Of course they didn’t cite us for the crime of photography. Not for intoxication (which we weren’t) or even trespassing. But after more than an hour in cuffs, the Miami-Dade officers argued about the charge (speaking in Spanish sometimes) until deciding that we would be charged with being loud.

 

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About The Author

Pete Eyre is co-founder of CopBlock.org. As an advocate of peaceful, consensual interactions, Eyre seeks to inject a message of complete liberty and self-government into the conversation of police accountability.Eyre went to undergrad and grad school for law enforcement, then spent time in DC as an intern at the Cato Institute, a Koch Fellow at the Drug Policy Alliance, Directer of Campus Outreach at the Institute for Humane Studies, Crasher-in-Chief at Bureaucrash, and as a contractor for the Future of Freedom Foundation.He later hit the road as co-founder of the Motorhome Diaries and Liberty On Tour, and now resides in the 'shire.
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  • steve H

    Carlos,you are the man. You are the reason I wake up and never sleep. You can not believe the adrenaline you put into the freedom movement. You are the man.

  • YankeeFan

    The regular police posters will be in soon to tell us that we do not know all the facts, we weren’t there or any of the usual defenses for this kind of behaviour. They will also be along to tell us it is another isolated incident.

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  • 1605

    Jesus… I am sorry you were subjected to this Carlos. I support what you do and hope you nothing but the best. Keep us informed.

    t and Common Sense, you agree with the actions of these thugs, right? Every day, I want you to reaffirm your oath and steel yourself to not assault other humans.

  • Chris

    I knew it!!! My suspicions were correct. t is a COP! You worthless POS!

  • rick

    1:15 no gloves….2:15 putting gloves on

    I have noticed other incidents where the cop or security officer put on their leather gloves prior to “restraining the suspect.” What is that about?
    At least it serves as a warning to the officer’s mindset.

  • CopBlockTucson

    I just called 50 State Security (305-891-7000), identified myself as an independent journalist and requested comment on the incident. They hung-up on me. LOL

  • http://www.badgeabuse.com badgeabuse
  • CopBlockTucson

    I called Miami-Dade Metrorail’s “Public Information Officer” and her voicemail says she is “out of the office and out of the country until January 3rd”

    I hope she is just inept at her job and forgot to change her message or else I’ll have to wait until January 3, 2014 to get any comment.

  • Ray

    This went to 50 StHate. I don’t expect an answer.

    Comments: When are you going to stop your thugs from enforcing their opinions instead of the law and end your vendetta against Carlos Miller?

  • http://www.policemisconduct.net Glenn

    Where is the ACLU on this?

  • Common Sense

    How interesting, Carlos did nearly the same thing in 2010, apparently ‘banned for life’ from using the rail. Still waiting for his check apparently. “No insurance” – perhaps gainful employment could correct that.

    Sec. 30B-5. – Commercial activities.

    Effective: Tuesday, March 06, 2012

    (1)

    Soliciting or carrying on business. No person, unless duly authorized in writing by MDTA, shall anywhere on the transit system:

    (a)

    Engage in any business or commercial activity;

    (b)

    Sell, or offer for sale, any merchandise or service;

    (c)

    Solicit any business or trade;

    (d)

    Sing, dance or play any musical instrument.

    (2)

    Commercial photography or recording. No person, unless authorized in writing by MDTA or the County Manager when appropriate under Section 2-11.14 of this Code, shall take still, motion, or sound motion pictures or sound records or recordings of voices or otherwise for commercial, training or educational purposes, other than news coverage anywhere in the transit system.

    (3)

    Building construction and improvements. No person, unless authorized in writing by MDTA, shall construct or cause to be constructed any buildings or structures, including signs, utility connection, or any improvements, modifications, or additions to any such buildings or structures, or any pavings, excavations, removal of oil or fill material anywhere on the transit system.

    (4)

    Advertising. No person, unless authorized in writing by MDTA, shall post or distribute commercial signs, advertisements, literature, circulars, pictures, sketches, drawings, handbills, or any other form of printed or written commercial matter or material anywhere within the transit system.

    (5)

    Vending in public areas. No person shall vend services, including but not limited to amusements and food and beverages, anywhere within the transit system, unless authorized in writing by MDTA.

    (6)

    Signs. No person unless authorized in writing by MDTA, shall construct or install any sign or device anywhere on the transit system.

    (Ord. No. 84-67, § 1, 7-17-84)

    Sec. 2-11.14. – Film production on publicly-owned or controlled property.

    Effective: Tuesday, March 06, 2012

    Legislative purpose. The purpose of this section shall be to provide for the coordination of film production on publicly-owned or controlled property to serve the public interest.

    (a)

    Definitions. The following terms shall have the meanings ascribed to them below for the purposes of this section:

    Film. Still, live or motion picture production whether made on or by film, electronic tape, or any other electronic device used to produce theatrical motion pictures, television entertainment motion pictures, industrial motion pictures, television commercials, or print media.

    Participating municipalities. Those municipalities located within Miami-Dade County which have executed interlocal agreements with Miami-Dade County with regard to the coordination of film permitting.

    (b)

    Film permits.

    (1)

    Required. No person shall film within a publicly-owned site, facility or right-of-way within the participating incorporated or unincorporated area of Miami-Dade County without first obtaining a permit. Within the unincorporated area of Miami-Dade County, the County Manager shall establish the criteria and procedures to be followed for film permits. Within the participating incorporated areas, the municipality having jurisdiction shall establish the criteria and procedures to be followed for film permits through interlocal agreement with Miami-Dade County. Permits shall be authorized by the governmental body having jurisdiction over the public site.

    (2)

    Exceptions. Nothing in this section shall require any permit from:

    (i)

    Individuals filming or video taping only for their own personal or family use.

    (ii)

    Employees of print or electronic news media when filming on-going news events. This exception shall not apply to simulations or re-enactments orchestrated by print or electronic news media.

    (iii)

    Students and faculty filming exclusively for educational purposes.

    (3)

    Permit application. The permit application shall (i) identify the applicant; (ii) demonstrate the public liability insurance provided by the applicant in the amount established by the governmental body having jurisdiction; (iii) identify the number and type of locations to be utilized for filming and the agencies to provide assistance. Each participating municipality may establish additional permit requirements.

    (4)

    Procedures. Procedures for the collection of required fees and reimbursements, if any, shall be established through administrative orders in connection with County locations and through interlocal agreements in connection with participating municipal locations.

    (5)

    Permit criteria. The permit shall be granted unless the County Manager’s designee finds that the proposed film production:

    (i)

    Unduly impedes governmental business or public access; or

    (ii)

    Conflicts with previously scheduled activities; or

    (iii)

    Imperils public safety; or

    (iv)

    Violates the provisions of applicable interlocal agreement.

    (6)

    Appeals. Any person aggrieved by the terms of a permit issued by the County, by the decision not to issue a permit or by a revocation of a permit issued by the County may, within ten (10) days of the decision, appeal to the County Manager, whose decision will be final.

    (c)

    Authority of County Manager. The County Manager shall designate an individual who shall be authorized to facilitate and coordinate the use of publicly-owned sites within the incorporated and unincorporated areas of Miami-Dade County for the filming and production of film projects. In this regard the Manager’s designee shall be responsible for:

    (1)

    Negotiating interlocal agreements with municipalities to provide that the County may issue municipal film permits on behalf of the participating municipality, which shall conform to the requirements of all applicable municipal ordinances and written regulations, and shall set out the procedures by which the County shall facilitate film production within the municipality.

    (2)

    Establishing by administrative order the criteria for film permits issued with regard to sites owned or controlled by the County.

    (3)

    Issuing, denying or revoking permits pursuant to this section, administrative order or interlocal agreements.

    (4)

    Coordinating proposed film production schedules to minimize conflicts and to monitor compliance with applicable rules and regulations of the County and of the participating municipalities, and coordinating with the police and fire departments having jurisdiction to determine those services reasonably necessary to protect the life, safety and welfare of the public, as well as property.

    (5)

    Facilitating execution of appropriate permits for the provision of special police, fire or other public services as may be required. In connection with these arrangements, the County may collect all necessary fees and deposits on behalf of the County and participating municipalities and shall remit municipal fees collected in accordance with the interlocal agreement with the participating municipality. Municipal fees shall be determined by each participating municipality.

    (6)

    Supporting public programs and private initiatives that enhance Miami-Dade County as a location for film production and post-production facilities.

    (7)

    Developing and disseminating a comprehensive listing of all related available resources including but not limited to companies dealing with film production to assist in the expansion and enhancement of the film production industry and related industries in Miami-Dade County.

    (Ord. No. 76-112, § 6, 12-21-76; Ord. No. 91-50, §§ 1, 2, 5-7-91)

    Annotation—AO 4-34.

    PART II THE CODE*

    Chapter 36 NOISE*

    Sec. 36-1. Unnecessary, excessive or unusual noises–Generally.

    It shall be unlawful to make any loud, unnecessary, excessive or unusual noise in the city.

    (Code 1967, § 36-1; Code 1980, § 36-1)

    Sec. 36-2. Same–Near hospitals and schools.

    It shall be unlawful for any person, by himself or by the operation of any instrument, agency or vehicle, to make any unnecessary noises within 100 feet of any portion of the grounds and premises on which is located a hospital or other institution reserved for the sick, or any school during school hours. The city manager shall place as many signs as he may deem proper within or near zones hereby created, calling attention to the prohibition against unnecessary noises within such zones.

    (Code 1967, § 36-2; Code 1980, § 36-2)

    Sec. 36-3. Loud or boisterous noises generally.

    No person shall create any loud or boisterous noise which may annoy persons on any street or sidewalk or in any building adjacent thereto.

    (Code 1967, § 36-3; Code 1980, § 36-3)

  • Common Sense

    Glenn=liar

  • Matt

    “common sense”:
    It wasn’t Commercial activity, end of story.

  • Ronald
  • Dan Sayers

    There was no victim, so they came along and made one.

    @Common Sense: That’s a lot of text, but no source quoted. No source for the text you copy/pasted and no source for what authorized such things to be written. Just because somebody writes down “you cannot take video” doesn’t make it correct and/or reason enough to initiate force against another human being. I lost track of how many times he told them to not touch him.

  • Common Sense

    The text are the statutes and an ordinance. I also located the one concerning loud conduct, but I thought I would leave you one to locate on your own. Most can be found online. One simply has to do some searching and you can read of Carlos’ last encounter with the dreaded ‘rail security.’ Maybe Carlos will post a copy of the police report and perhaps on from the security company.

  • t.

    1605: I guess I need more info. Is this Cop Block or Security Block? The rules are vastly different between se unity and police. And honestly, security can do things on their property that I can’t, kinda like private citizens can do things that I can’t as I’m restrained by things like the constitution which doesn’t apply to private parties. But if you take in what Common Sense posted, and what the first guard said about filming the tracks (which seems pretty reasonable and sensible in this day and age), and add into that the fact that Carlos even admits / acknowledges that he has a problem with the company and knows that he was asked to stop the filming (which he can be told if its private property) and then he aggressively walks down to face off with the guards….sounds and looks like Carlos isn’t all that right. BTW I love the contradiction of how it’s ok for Carlos to say something and its supposed to be honored but if an “authority” says something it’s meaningless. What a joke

  • certain

    Really? The Constitution doesn’t apply to private parties? Gee, that’s a new one for me.

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  • Justice_League

    Title = 50 State Employees assault….

    I counted 3 THREE,

    Why does this happen? Because you people are constantly provoking law enforcement… It’s funny that millions in this world exist every day and never have these encounters.

  • t.

    Certain: The constitution is about .limits of what??? I’ll wait….bet you don’t answer….well????

  • Ademo Freeman

    50 States Security is the name of the company, not a reference to the number of officers that attacked Carlos.

  • enslave keene

    Im not leaving,

    mmmmmmmmmm yea you are!

    (cue the ademo cackiling hyena laugh) lmao

    Bad asses !

  • enslave keene

    Thhaaaaankkkssss but NO PICS!!

    Thaaaaaankkkssss bit NO PICS!!

    Thank you hoodlum Carlos for the glikky GLIK!

    Thaaaanks but no subway pics!

  • Eddie Hoover

    Non-Commercial photography of Metrorail’s facilities is allowed. In fact, Carlos was instrumental in having this policy clarified to security staff a couple of years ago. Apparently, the three security staff in the video were ignorant of that fact.

    Carlos was shooting as independent press, not commercially. Therefore, the security guards actions were completely unreasonable, especially the comment about “No pictures of the tracks.” Sorry, but he doesn’t get to make that call. He’s security staff & does not dictate policy.

    Furthermore, the choke hold used on Carlos might not have been legal, as he wasn’t a threat to anyone’s safety until the guards assaulted him.

    Finally, the statement “You’re going to jail next!” was completely unreasonable and shows a guard with self-control issues. A security guard does not, and never will, decide who goes to jail. That is up to law enforcement. This guard was acting above his mandate, and is seriously confused as to what his job is. I consider him a threat to public safety.

  • Eddie Hoover

    Here’s a link to the story about educating Metroail’s security staff.

    http://www.photographyisnotacrime.com/2010/09/07/miami-dade-metrorail-security-guards-still-learning-photography-law/

    Once again, I must heavily emphasize that Carlos was engaged in NON-commercial photography, which is unrestricted. This entire incident should have never happened, and would not have happened if the security staff had taken a moment to learn the policies already in place.

  • Lady of truth

    Is the metro a public or private company? I think if it is private then a boycott is necessary. Why should they create laws that violate federal laws? Why should a security officer have more rights then the cops? Why is it if you do not “respect the authority” of cops and securtiy guards do they have the right to physically assualt you? Too bad the security guards don’t understand the laws as “common sense” does or they would have cited Carlos for filming without permission and etc, but they didn’t even know their own authority. Common sense ain’t so common now is it.

  • steve H

    5 to 7K SS soldiers, enlisted as well as officers survived the occupation of Germany because they said that they were “following orders”.

    Such is the mind of the Leo. I’ll follow any order no matter if it confounds my sensiblilities or not.

  • http://clarkcountycriminalcops.wordpress.com clarkcountycriminalcops

    @Common Sense …Thanks for posting the applicable statute. Now we can all see that Miller had not violated Sec. 30B-5, Sec. 2-11.14, Sec. 36-2. Sec. 36-3, or Sec. 36-2.

    Why you felt it necessary to let us know that in 2010 Miller didn’t violate the law as well, was not exactly clear, but I’m sure you just wanted to remind us who the good guys are here.

  • Common Sense

    @clark

    See, having some background and some facts helps one make a informed opinion.

    The legality of his citations can be addressed in court. Whether Carlos’ intent was for private or commercial usage is debatable.

  • 1605

    ” Justice_League says:
    January 22, 2013 at 2:43 am

    Title = 50 State Employees assault….

    I counted 3 THREE, ”

    Better to remain silent and have the world think you’re an idiot than to open your mouth (put your fingers on a keyboard) and remove all doubt… Priceless

  • underoath

    Why does one go back to a place that he has a pending lawsuit against?

    Ill give you two guesses…

  • http://clarkcountycriminalcops.wordpress.com clarkcountycriminalcops

    @Common Sense … “Whether Carlos’ intent was for private or commercial usage is debatable.”

    Actually it really isn’t since Carlos was not charged with violating any of the photography/film statutes. He was cited with “producing loud or excessive noise,”

    Since we all have a record of what sounds Carlos was making when the rent-a-cops approached him, there should be no reason for anyone to believe he violated any part of “Chapter 36 NOISE.”

  • Dan Sayers

    @”Justice_League”: The only provocation in the video I saw was from behind a badge. Also, you don’t say to the victim, “Well if you didn’t have on a short skirt, you wouldn’t have gotten raped.” Never blame the victim.

    @Common Sense: You say commercial use or not is debatable. This statement would be true if the footage was used commercially and THEN charges were filed. To witness the filming as it happens and say it’s in violation because it COULD be used commercially isn’t rational. You can’t own a car because you COULD run somebody over with it. Is this okay with you?

    @underoath: I thought we were talking about public transportation. So to make sure I understand what you’re saying, if you go to make use of PUBLIC transportation (this means both open to you and PAID FOR by you), THEY wrong you, and you file suit, this means you should never be able to make use of the transportation you paid for again? That seems like taking the infraction against the victim and really twisting the knife. He made it very clear in the video that where they were was someplace anybody could be.

    We need more people thinking for themselves.

  • Shawn

    From T
    “The rules are vastly different between se unity and police. And honestly, security can do things on their property that I can’t, kinda like private citizens can do things that I can’”

    As a security officer, that much is true. For a florida layman’s legal definition, Security has the exact same power as the owner of the property. No more, no less. It is called Agent Of.
    On private property, I can order anyone removed by the police and I’m only answerable to my employer for why. Now the question is, who owns the Metro Rail? If it is private, you’re SOL. If public, cue the cash register.

  • http://scarecrowsghost.blogspot.com Ghost

    Common:

    I’m sorry, I must have missed the part where it said that deadly force is authorized to prevent photography…

    You’re ok with that, right? Authorizing rent-a-cops like T and yourself to use whatever force you want in order to stop photographers?

    If just once, you dumbfucks would call out the evil in your ranks, you might maintain a shred of credibility.

    But you even defend the rent-a-thugs. Make sure you wear your knee pads for your next performance review.

  • t.

    @Shawn: Thanks. Tried to tell them. Its a big difference. I, like you have no idea who owns / controls the location where this occurred. If it is a private entity who a) owns it or b) was contracted to manage / control it, they get to decide about whatever types of activities can take place there.

    @Ghost: These guys aren’t the police. And as I said before, as private citizens they, in many ways, have more power and authority than the police would on the property that they control.

  • Common Sense

    After looking at the video, your right, it was attempted murder! Carlos should change the title to, “Innocent man nearly killed by Rail Thugs” or maybe “Patriot’s liberty suppressed by SS Rail Police” or better yet, “Drunk Chased off Rail Platform.”

    The rail security deemed he was in violation of an ordinace, and Carlos decided he wan’t going to leave. As Shawn said, rail security are ‘owners/agents’ of the private property and have full legal rights to ask/tell anyone to leave. However, it appears that the MDT is a governmental owned operation with private contractors.

    The ‘loud’ ticket could very well have happened AFTER the police arrived, since Carlos clearly said he was ‘detained’ for nearly an hour.

    Maybe his BAC spiked and he got mouthly as ‘those spanish speaking cops’ plotted against him…

    Sorry, non incident.

  • shawn

    Guys, T is correct here. On private property, a cop can’t just choose to remove somone because he wants to. But a guard can. There are situations where cops actually answer to security and can do nothing, while the security can do almost anything.

    A cop’s powers are specific and constant, if often abused. A security officer’s power and rights depend on the power law gives to the property owner. If the ow.er can shoot you dead on sight, so can the guard, while a cop would still be restricted by law. Security and police are NOT the same job at all.

  • shawn

    @T

    The mistake being made by most is that usually a cop is used to enforced a lot of security decissions. It wouldbe perfectly legal for me to physically toss someone from my client’s property. But the guard doesn’t have any immunity, so sueing is easier. And of course people are less likely to resist the cop. Florida actually made it a felony to attack a guard a few years ago. Equivilant or just under a cop.

    Make no mistake guys, a guard does have powers even a cop doesn’t, and on private property the Constitution doesn’t fully exist. On private property, you have no 1rst, 2nd, and even your 4th is limited. There are others too. As my dad said, the USA ended 20ft that way.

  • Common Sense

    I will note the time and date, I agree with Shawn again.

  • Tim

    Metrorail is operated by Miami-Dade Transit (MDT), a departmental agency of Miami-Dade County.

  • Real Common Sesnse

    No matter what rules these guys what to “make up”, you are allowed to video and record everything while in a public space. The metro rail is a public space.

  • 2minutes

    From the Florida Statutes (Title XXXII Chapter 493):

    (19) “Security officer” means any individual who, for consideration, advertises as providing or performs bodyguard services or otherwise guards persons or property; attempts to prevent theft or unlawful taking of goods, wares, and merchandise; or attempts to prevent the misappropriation or concealment of goods, wares or merchandise, money, bonds, stocks, choses in action, notes, or other documents, papers, and articles of value or procurement of the return thereof. The term also includes armored car personnel and those personnel engaged in the transportation of prisoners.

    Now, given that the photography was legal, as a news item at least, (a court has ruled that a blog is considered a news source for legal purposes, keep in mind) and therefore has the same rights to film as any other news outlet – I fail to see where these security guards acted within the definition of their profession. Carlos Miller clearly did nothing wrong, and clearly the charge that has been leveled against him was all that these ‘officers” could come up with, given that it is not the reason that they accosted Mr. Miller in the first place.

    Also, No, security guards in Florida do not have carte blanche to do anything they want, they are licensed by the state and carry a large number of restrictions on their activities. Yes, they can detain someone temporarily, or escort them off a property, using only as much force as necessary to achieve their goal – but their goal has to be legal, and in this case, that’s in doubt.

  • Shawn

    @2min

    Sorry, but you better read more deeply into 493 than that.
    your (19) was in the definitions section and does not mean that is the entirety of 493 security duties and powers.

    http://www.milliensta.com/pdfs/FL_Chptr_493.pdf

    How about Section 776.012
    776.031

    Then there is something you are overlooking. Agents Of, as I stated before, have the power of the owner of the property. This is where security gets most of its powers, not 493.
    That isn’t only security, it is any officer of the company. That is why a security officer can trespass you, including with force. Anything that that the law allows the owner to do, the security officer and any other agent of can do. Of course security related activities are handled by the security personnel, not the billing department.

    Now, as T said, we don’t know what the legal status of the Metro Rail is. If it is private property, the company has the right to forcibly eject anyone they choose. They would also have the right to block certain activities on that property, such as photography and filming, unwanted speech, ect. You can’t go into walmart and advertise for Target. They’ll stop you. You can’t go into a church and scream about Allah, they will stop you. You can’t go into an abortion clinic and scream about life, they will stop you.
    It’s called private property rights. And many of your Constitutional rights don’t exist there.

    Private property is just like your home. People can’t just come in and do as they please. They don’t have a right to barge into your bedroom and take pictures. They answer to you for what they do, and you have the right to remove them if they go against your wishes.

    Now if the property is government owned, then what can be done is limited. And a contracted agency, even if private, doesn’t change those limits. They are still Agents Of, with the same rights and restrictions as the government that contracted them.

  • 1605

    They weren’t trying to REMOVE Carlos, one of them was trying to choke him out. If I wanted to remove someone from my house, you can bet I could do it with choking someone to the ground.

    These mercenary thugs were happy to assault Carlos and I hope it costs them their job.

    PINAC

  • shawn

    @1605

    Actually, mercenary is a good description of private security. Our job is to enforce the will of our client within the law, not law enforcement. And i wasn’t commenting on carlos. T and I were trying to explain the differences between security and police, and what they can do. In short, anything the owner can do, security can do.

  • Uncle Darrell

    Carlos, you have balls of steel! I lived in Miami for thirty years and I wish I had met you then. I would have loved to have joined you on your constant pestering of the Miami police. From what I see you are always right, your only crime is you don’t back down!!!! Keep up the good fight. I see a TV series in your future!

  • Tim

    @Shawn – given that Metrorail is operated by Miami-Dade Transit (MDT), a departmental agency of Miami-Dade County, why would any station be “private property” for this public transportation that is operated by a county agency?

    I agree with much of what you’ve said in explanation, but I think we’re past the point of viewing this as a private property issue anymore. Further evidence to this is that Carlos has been to bat against Metrorail before and won. Thus, the private property angle should be put to rest in further comments and the discussion should move forward with the acceptance that this was public property.

    The points I would like to raise are:
    1) Carlos was filming with a camera on a phone in his hand. No additional equipment (lights, stabilizers, etc.) was being used, so I think the presumption has to be that he is filming for non-commercial use.

    2) Even if they suspected Carlos of filming for commercial purposes without any reason or probable cause, they never bothered to question him as to his intent.

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  • 2minutes

    @Shawn
    I did read the chapter, and your link, and can find no further definition of the duties of a security officer than the one I presented. Your other suggestion, the statutes on the use of force, actually shows the force used in this situation to be excessive. A choke hold has been ruled by courts to be deadly force, as people have died from such techniques, and is banned from use in many departments. The rules in the chapter you posted (“Section 776.012 – 776.031″) actually prove the illegality of the actions taken by these security guards in the video.

    Now, security may have the power of the property owner, I cannot say yea or nay on that, since I cannot find that statement or rule in the statutes – perhaps you could enlighten us on the origin of the claim – but the property owner does not have unlimited power on their property. Especially in the use of force. Otherwise, in every wrong home raid, every pet shot and killed in the wrong location, every trespass onto private property, the owner could just shoot to kill and be justified. Clearly that is not so. The facts here are that Mr. Miller was on property open to the public, engaged in a legal activity, when he was accosted and assaulted by security. Note that the charge is about noise; but the confrontation began with another premise entirely. So, the security in this instance began a confrontation with an individual who was acting within his legal
    rights; the confrontation escalated to the point of deadly force, and the charge emanating from the encounter has no bearing on the
    initial reason for confronting Mr. Miller, meaning that the reason
    for the encounter itself is invalid. Therefor, according to the ‘totality of the situation”, security is ultimately responsible for
    engaging in an assault of a citizen without cause.

    Now, security can trespass you, but first you must be told to leave. That did not happen here. Security only said that he is going “downstairs”. What is downstairs? Is it off the property, or a holding cell where you will be left for days without food or water, or perhaps a place to torture a suspect? Who knows? I certainly do not, as it is never explained in the video or by the security guards. Perhaps a “Sir, we are asking (or telling) you to leave the property” would warrant a trespass, but not this. By the way, if those examples I mentioned seem absurd, then understand that both have happened – the FBI left a college student alone in a cell for days with no food or drink, from which he had to be hospitalized, and the New york police allowed the torture of suspects to go on for years. So Mr. Miller’s reluctance to go “downstairs” is completely understandable; especially in light of the fact that Florida security officers are not deputized; i.e. have no legal standing to make an arrest (beyond a ‘citizen’s arrest).

    Finally, why, after the confrontation started, did security make contact with the camera “Eddie” is holding, in an attempt to stop him from filming? Again, filming is a legal right. Yet, they not only reached out for the camera, but threatened him with jail, and handcuffed him, without cause. These actions are not something that
    are commonly accepted as being within the purview of a property
    owner.

  • 1605

    I just listened to Carlos on last night’s Free Talk Live mp3 (www.freetalklive.com)

    Carlos is a man with the courage of his conviction (literally and figuratively)

    I hope he lays these organizations open with his suits and continues to be he loudest voice that Photography Is Not A Crime.

    PINAC

  • Zee L Usay

    Carlos is very guilty of contempt of cop. Which to date has been punishable by biological attack as the cop spits in rage in your face; (a felony if you do it) physical assault; assault with a deadly weapon; assault and battery causing grievous bodily harm up to and including death. Pretty serious stuff for a crime that doesn’t exist.

  • Dude

    Clear to me from the get go that this whole videotaping was a deliberate attempt to provoke security… even the story of the author doesn’t match the video! Obviously an attempt to speed up the long process of his other suit and perhaps secure a settlement!

    Oh, for those not knowing.. the Metro-rail, as all other transit systems in Miami-Dade are the private property of the County transit system that are made available to the public, for the sole purpose of travel, for a monetary fare and by agreement of the traveler to adhere to all applicable terms, restrictions, ordinances and laws.

    The traveler is expected to know or be familiar with those and Ignorance of same is no excuse….

    The cops that responded should have charged this clown with failure to comply, trespass after warning and causing a disturbance.

    This guy needs to get a real job… what’s next? Slip & Fall suits at Walmart?

  • john doe

    I did my part and called 50 State (who claimed they had no idea what I was talking about). I called and left a message for the rail rep and suggested they find a new security agency.

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