…Citizens are often harassed, arrested and even prosecuted for photographing police despite there being no law that forbids them from doing so. But there’s one man in south Florida who has made it his mission to not only tell their stories, but also to encourage and instruct people how they too can become one of those who watch the watchers…
Keeping Your Eyes on the Cops
FIRST PUBLISHED IN AMERICAN FREE PRESS ISSUE 1 / 2 , 2014
Journalists arrested for photographing police in action win series of big court cases
Judge rules advances in technology can make us all impromptu citizen journalists
By Keith Johnson
Keeping cops honest is a responsibility all freedom loving Americans share. Thanks to modern technology, that job has become a lot easier. Most U.S. citizens now have video cameras hardwired into their cell phones that can be activated at a moment’s notice and used to document encounters with peace officers. Of course, this new reality is something that hasn’t exactly been warmly received by many in the law enforcement community.
Citizens are often harassed, arrested and even prosecuted for photographing police despite there being no law that forbids them from doing so. But there’s one man in south Florida who has made it his mission to not only tell their stories, but also to encourage and instruct people how they too can become one of those who watch the watchers. This AMERICAN FREE PRESS reporter recently spoke with journalist Carlos Miller, whose unfortunate encounter with Miami, Fla. police inspired him to launch the website “Pho- tography is Not a Crime.” Miller is a seasoned crime re- porter who worked for several newspapers in the southwestern United States before returning to his native home of Miami in 2005.
In 2007, Miller found himself in a Miami neighborhood known as a haven for drugs and prostitution. As he was doing research for an upcoming article, he came upon five police officers in the process of making an arrest and decided to take some photographs. That’s when things turned ugly.
“The cops said ‘you can’t take our pictures’ and told me to leave,” Miller recounted. “I told them ‘please allow me to do my job’ and continued to photograph them. They eventually came after me. I was tackled, my head was bashed into the sidewalk, my wrist was twisted back and my cam- era lens and flash were broken. I was really beaten badly and in pain for days.”
Police arrested Miller and charged him with nine misdemeanors, including disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and obstruction of justice.
“There was no law that says you can’t take pictures so they had to make up something,” Miller added. “That’s when I decided to use my experience in journalism to bring attention to this.”
While waiting to go to trial, Miller launched his website and immediately attracted a large audience. “The initial stories about my arrest were getting attention and people around the country were sending me their own stories,” he said. “People talked about similar experiences and I started writing stories about them to highlight that my arrest was not an isolated incident.”
Miller’s case eventually went to trial and he was later cleared of all charges. “I was arrested a couple times after that and have also beaten those charges, so I have no con- victions,” he said.
Last November, the Boston Police Department threat- ened to charge Miller with felony witness intimidation after he posted the name, email and phone number of a police spokeswoman and encouraged readers to call her. “The phone number I provided was on the Boston P.D. website,” said Miller. “I just wanted to make it easier for my readers so they wouldn’t have to look it up.”
According to Miller, the police spokeswoman had accused one of his colleagues, Taylor Hardy, of committing a crime that could have put Hardy behind bars for up to 10 years. “He called to ask if she had seen a video he took in August,” Miller explained. “It shows a Boston police officer threatening to arrest another videographer on felony battery charges when it was the cop that was actually battering him. The woman said she hadn’t seen the video, and that was the extent of the interview.”
But because Miller’s colleague recorded the brief conversation without the woman’s consent, he was threatened with a charge of wiretapping. That’s what compelled Miller to post the phone number and encourage his readers to call and ask that she withdraw the accusation. Instead of backing down, however, the Boston police went on the offensive.
“They originally said they were just charging me with witness intimidation,” Miller said. “But then they told me that if my readers didn’t stop calling they were going to charge every single one of them with the same thing. So I informed my readers of this and they responded by calling even more. They refused to be intimidated.”
Miller ultimately prevailed. His readers donated to his legal defense fund and he was able to retain a prominent Boston lawyer. “Their whole case just eventually fell apart and they withdrew the charges,” Miller said. “They thought they had some small-time blogger who was just going to back down but soon realized that this is a new era where bloggers can attain a very strong and loyal readership that is willing to mobilize for the right cause.”
Miller isn’t the only one who has successfully challenged Massachusetts’s draconian wiretapping laws. As he ex- plains: “In 2011, there was a landmark case against the Boston Police Department that confirmed what we already knew about the law. It stems from the arrest of Simon Glik, who was charged with wiretapping after he was found film- ing cops on his cell phone. They eventually dropped the charges, but he decided to sue them. The police asked the judge to grant them ‘qualified immunity’—meaning that they didn’t know what the law meant and should not be held li- able. The judge disagreed and said they should know the law. Glik was allowed to sue and ended up winning $170,000.”
Miller continued: “If you read the case, it says anyone can be a journalist at any given time because of advances in technology. For the first time in history, we have true freedom of the press. All of us can become journalists and help keep our government transparent. It’s a great time we’re living in.” ★
FIRST PUBLISHED IN AMERICAN FREE PRESS ISSUE 6 , 2014
D.C. ramps up militarization of police forces across the nation
Turning Cops Into Soldiers
By John Friend
Recent reports emerging from Utah have traditional American conservatives, nationalists and civil libertarians in an outrage at the extent of the militarization of domestic U.S. law enforcement agencies, including their practices, tactics and equipment. And while the military-industrial-banking complex may be slavering over the profits it sees from programs like Utah’s, regular citizens are increasingly in the crosshairs of these new soldier-cops, a dangerous prospect for anyone who may find himself at the mercy of U.S. law enforcement.
An investigative article recently appearing in The Salt Lake Tribune exposed the 1033 Program managed by the Department of Defense, which provides state and local American police forces with military weaponry and equipment.
This past year, the Utah Highway Patrol—totaling about 500 troopers—received a mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicle, known as an MRAP, typically reserved for war zones. According to the Tribune, law enforcement agencies in Utah also received 1,230 rifles, four grenade launchers, 17 .45-caliber pistols and a variety of magazines and accessories through the 1033 Program.
The article notes that Congress initiated the 1033 Program in 1996 in an effort to transfer military surplus equipment and weaponry to local and state law enforcement agencies. “According to the Defense Logistics Agency, the Pentagon office responsible for the program, it has given $4.2 billion worth of equipment to police, including $502 million just in 2011,” the Tribune reported.
The increasingly militarized nature of domestic American law enforcement has led to widespread abuses of American citizens and consistent violations of their basic civil and human rights. As AFP’s own Dave Gahary recently reported, many American citizens have tragically seen their own family pets shot and killed [admin: Please, when you have the police come to your home, you first lock up your pets, BEFORE YOU OPEN THE DOOR, if you have any sense at all! Or do you think the cop is going to have to run a pet test first to see if it is save for him to enter??? And put your kids away, too!!! Lock them in. And don’t ask the cop if you can first put your pet away. He will not let you because he does not know if you are going to get a gun] as a result of out-of-control police tactics across the United States. The American people, including women, young adults and the elderly, have been viciously abused by thuggish cops in recent years, with many of these incidents being filmed and uploaded to the Internet. Many attribute these types of abuses to the militarization of American police forces.
“Over 5,000 more people have been killed in the U.S. by police than U.S. soldiers have fallen during the Iraq war over the last 10 years,” according to a recent report by BuzzsawTV. “The figure seems to reflect the increased militarization of police and, shockingly, means that you are 29 times more likely to be killed by a police officer than by a terrorist.”
The militarization of American law enforcement has been taking place for well over a decade, particularly following the events of 9-11 and the rise of the Homeland Security mind- set, where everyone is a suspect and a potential terrorist.
Independent researchers, investigative journalists and honest news outlets, such as AFP, have exposed 9-11 as an elaborate false-flag event planned, organized and executed by criminal elements within the American political and media establishment with direct ties to Israel.
The events of 9-11 have been used to justify not only the fraudulent and disastrous wars America and her NATO allies currently find themselves involved in, but also to justify the tyrannical abuses of the Constitution and the rise and establishment of the militarized police state, epitomized by the Department of Homeland Security.
Philip Giraldi, a former counter-terrorism specialist with the CIA and current executive director of the Council for the National Interest, has argued that since the events of 9-11, “the United States has abandoned many liberties, constitutional constraints, and its rule of law to become more like Israel”— which includes the increasing militarization of domestic law enforcement agencies and organizations—in order to combat perceived terrorist threats.
Even basic law enforcement practices in the United States, such as serving arrest warrants and policing the streets, are becoming more and more militarized.
Kara Dansky, a senior lawyer investigating the 1033 Pro- gram on behalf of the ACLU, was quoted by the Tribune as stating, “When police use military-style tactics and weapons to serve warrants on people’s homes, what we’ve seen is violence ensue.” ★
*Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America’s Police Forces (hardcover, 352 pages, $27 plus $6 S&H inside the U.S.) is available from AFP, 16000 Trade Zone Avenue, Unit 406, Upper Marlboro, MD 20774. Call 1-888-699-NEWS to charge or visit www.americanfreepress.net. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for S&H outside the U.S.
States Rejecting Indefinite Detentions
FIRST PUBLISHED IN AMERICAN FREE PRESS ISSUE 1/2, 2014
By Mark Anderson
On Dec. 26, Michigan became the fourth state to sign into law a bill that formally tells Washington that the state of Michigan will not cooperate with the federal government in arresting and indefinitely detaining American citizens on U.S. soil as “enemy combatants” under the broad National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
According to the Tenth Amendment Center (TAC), the apparent nerve center of this 10th Amendment movement, the Allegan County, Michigan Board of Commissioners was among the first local governing bodies to pass a resolution opposing federal “kidnapping powers” in the NDAA.
TAC, which describes itself as “a national think tank that works to preserve and protect the principles of strictly limited government through information, education and ac- tivism,” has drawn up model resolutions for any state, county, town or other political subdivision whose leaders want to officially state their displeasure with federal military policy during the “war on terror.”
The overall NDAA is a broad, annual authorization of policies and directives affecting the entire military apparatus.
n Dec. 26, Michigan became the fourth state to sign into law a bill that formally tells Washington that the state of Michigan will not cooperate with the federal government in arresting and indefinitely detaining American citizens on U.S. soil as “enemy combatants” [admin: that’s what they did to the German soldiers and starved them to death or murdered them otherwise] under the broad National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
According to the Tenth Amendment Center (TAC), the apparent nerve center of this 10th Amendment movement, the Allegan County, Michigan Board of Commissioners was among the first local governing bodies to pass a resolution opposing federal “kidnapping powers” in the NDAA. The federal powers that states and localities are op- posing were first found in Sections 1021 and 1022 of the 2012 NDAA signed into law on Dec. 31, 2011.
Michigan’s S.B.94 received resounding support, passing the Michigan Senate 37-0 March 6, 2013. It didn’t go to the House until Dec. 10, where it passed 109-0. It was signed into law Dec. 21, and then filed with the secretary of state Dec. 26 to immediately take effect.
In Virginia, H.B.1160, the Virginia Liberty Preservation Act, became law on July 1, 2012, making Virginia the first state in the nation to pass a law of this kind. In Alaska on June 21, 2013, H.B. 69 was signed into law for the same purpose. And on Oct. 1, 2013, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed A.B. 351, the California Liberty Preservation Act, into law.
States in which anti-NDAA measures have been introduced but have not yet passed either chamber are New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Kansas and Washington. In South Carolina, such a measure (S.92) was passed only in the state Senate.
TAC encourages local-level actions in every state, regardless of whether or not the state government has taken any action. ★
Judicial Tyranny Has Replaced U.S. Constitutional Law
FIRST PUBLISHED IN AMERICAN FREE PRESS ISSUE 1 / 2 , 2014
Rep. Jim Traficant (May 8, 1941 – Sept. 27, 2014)
The Federal Reserve System’s 100-year anniversary is now over, and still the privately owned and con- trolled central bank keeps ticking inexorably on- ward toward a massive collision with economic reality.
I’m inclined to agree with Mickey Paoletta of Americans for Banking Reform and the Citizens Reform Center that, in order to effect any meaningful change in our country, the American people must first realize that the Constitution of the United States is flawed by not having a permanent money system coupled with judicial review.
The people must understand that courts today are not im- partial, fair or honest but are actually enforcers of this illegal debt-money system. The courts are miniature banking insti- tutions that serve the debt collectors well in the illegal col- lection of fraudulent debt. The American Bar Association is the protective arm of the Federal Reserve System (or Fed), and the IRS is the collection arm of the Fed, thus enriching the privileged few and impoverishing many.
Courts operate under an illegal doctrine that is not con- stitutional law. These judges are traitors on the bench, crim- inally making new law through precedent case law (decisions) that governs future cases, transforming law, courts and culture. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has ruled that this de facto doctrine is acceptable, for it is some- what functional and protects the people from the truth.
Harvard Law Dean Roscoe Pound wrote in his book entitled Laws and Morals: “Judges should rule even when rulings conflict with established law and the popular will” and that “impartial, honest judges would lead to trials being dilatory, expensive and unsatisfactory, leaving decisions uncontrollable.” Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes stated, “We are under a Constitution, but the Constitution is what we say it is.” Patrick Henry said, “The Constitution is not an instrument through which the government restrains the peo- ple; it is an instrument through which the people restrain government.”
Thomas Jefferson pointed to that danger in 1819 when he wrote: “The Constitution is a mere thing of wax in the hands of the judiciary, which they twist and shape into any form they please.”
The American people need to take Jefferson’s advice in the Declaration of Independence and reject being slaves to the judicial tyranny and overturn this de facto government or nothing will change.
Judicial tyranny has replaced constitutional law, and judges have usurped the function of legislators, creating laws unconstitutionally from the bench.
The flawed Fed goes on. It will not stop. The fat cat bankers will continue to extract their continuous discount rate popularly known as payment with added-on interest. That interest rate indebtedness now exceeds $17 trillion.
The annual interest rate payment on the national debt is now $220 billion. This rip-off will not stop until the American people demand it.
Our Constitution deserves better. The American people deserve better.
One last word: If you’re losing your home, contact Mickey Paoletta at Americans for Banking Reform, Mechanicsburg, Pa. 17055.
Happy New Year . . . and remember to get back at me! I want to hear from readers. ★
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