Posts Tagged ‘1st Amendment Audit’

USDOJ Refuses to Allow Journalists into Jeff Sessions’ Press Conference Fearing Negative Coverage

Thursday, September 21st, 2017

The United States Department of Justice says it welcomes all journalists into their press conferences as long as they follow a short list of criteria listed on its website.
However, that turned out to be a lie as a pair of Portland journalists learned earlier this week.
The journalists were from Flossin Media, a black-owned, Portland-based digital magazine founded in 2004 that covers social justice issues as well as other general interest issues.
On Tuesday, they were trying to enter a press conference in Portland where United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions was going to denounce sanctuary cities like Portland who have refused to cooperate with federal officials in deporting undocumented immigrants.
Flossin Media journalist Michele Darr said she emailed Sessions’ press secretary, Devin O’Malley, a day earlier to RSVP for the press conference.
And O’Malley responded by asking Darr a series of questions about what type of stories they have published during the previous six months, she said in a telephone interview with Photography is Not a Crime.
Darr told PINAC that she asked other Portland media outlets if they had to answer similar questions, but was told no, that they only had to RSVP.
However, Darr was under the impression that Flossin Media would be placed on the list because she complied with the following guidelines listed on the USDOJ website, emailing O’Malley the required information.

 
However, when Darr tried to enter the press conference, Homeland Security officers said they were not on the list as you can see in her video.
Flossin Media photographer and videographer Hailei Aberson-Holford was also denied access to the press conference.
Meanwhile, countless other journalists were being allowed inside as Darr remained professional but persistent while standing in the rain.
According to its website, Flossing Media owns and operates within print, video, epic events, street teams, graphic design, digital distribution, online social marketing, and

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WATCH: PINAC Correspondent Kicked Out of Free Speech Rally in Oregon

Sunday, September 17th, 2017

PINAC correspondent Mike Smith attended a free speech rally in Portland only to be physically thrown out by police.
Smith was at the Patriot Prayer rally at the waterfront last Sunday, which is a popular place in the Oregon city for events and protests. There were several other groups counterprotesting the Patriot Prayer group which is why police were there to keep the peace.
The police sectioned off an area for media personnel in the middle of the protests but when Smith attempted to enter the media area, cops told him he wasn’t allowed because he was a counterprotester. Smith repeatedly told the cops that he was on assignment as a correspondent with PINAC News and not a counterprotester.
Police kept Smith from covering footage as seen in picture.
Smith even showed the cops his PINAC issued press pass, but they still assumed that he was a counterprotester at the rally to start trouble.
It was then that Sergeant Mirau told Smith that he could enter the press area on the other side of the gate, as seen in the video.
Smith walks all the way to the other side of the media entrance area and crossed the yellow line for media only to be told by a different set of officers that he still was not allowed in the media area.
And this time officers even threatened to arrest Smith.
Smith tried getting the name and badge numbers of the officers but then other officers came to physically remove Smith from the general protest area.
Meanwhile, the corporate media reporters who were allowed to enter the area were photographing the altercation but it does not appear as if they were published.

Other angles from the protest show officers throwing tear gas canisters at videographers.
Smith had this to say concerning the incident:
“I believe the Portland police trampled on my rights. I

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Watch: Idaho Police Arrest Man for Video Recording FBI Building

Wednesday, July 26th, 2017
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oGr2M8nzbHY?feature=oembed&w=620&h=349] Police in Pocatello, Idaho arrested a man for filming an FBI building from public property. It is becoming an all too common occurrence for officers to stop and detain citizens for recording police or law enforcement activity of any kind. But the aforementioned video recording is a First Amendment protected activity, so anyone has the right to do so.
In June Sean Johnson was doing a First Amendment audit on the Pocatello FBI building. The First Amendment gives everyone in America freedom of speech and freedom of press, which includes video recording. Johnson was on a public sidewalk across the street from the FBI building during his audit.
Johnson was recording the entrance gate of the FBI building. Included in Johnson’s footage are vehicles going in and out of the FBI gate.
Quickly into the video a city officer approaches Johnson and asked for his ID. Johnson refuses to give the officer any ID on the premise that he is filming on a public sidewalk. The officer isn’t buying it and says that Johnson is committing a public voyeurism crime. That is a crime that doesn’t exist in Idaho.
Idaho code does not have a public voyeurism law. There is a video voyeurism law listed under “Chapter 66: Sex Crimes.” But video voyeurism deals with sex crimes and videoing sexually exploited content etc. Nothing about the video voyeurism law addresses filming law enforcement or law enforcement buildings.
But, the officer was determined that Johnson was breaking a law, so after so many chances of trying to get his ID, the officer arrests Johnson for failing to provide ID and obstructing.
Idaho law enforcement officials even received a memo from the state that reads: “remember the public has the right to photograph the exterior of Federal Buildings from publicly accessible spaces, such as streets, sidewalks, parks or

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Journalists Arrested for Interviewing Portland Police Officers and Local District Attorney

Tuesday, July 25th, 2017

Portland Oregon where journalists are arrested for attempting to interview Portland Police Officers and District Attorney.  Oregon Journalists Bob West and Eli Richey both have a colorful history as it relates to documenting the employees of Oregon Law Enforcement agencies, both have been arrested multiple times for various phony charges only to later have the charges dropped by the DA’s office sadly this is not the case this time.
As of Friday, July 21, 2017, Eli Richey is in custody with a $250,000.00 bond for six misdemeanors and Bob is free on his own recognizance with a promise to appear on Tuesday next week for a first appearance. I expect that Eli will be released early next week as well because the bail amount is purely punitive and simply a result of the staff at the county jail politicking and plotting revenge against Eli for documenting the Portland Police Bureau employees, a 100% lawful and legal act.

Video report from Mike Bluehair captures the whole event.
 
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=govCJgV5hhc?feature=oembed&w=620&h=349] Portland Police are Targeting cop watchers for arrest to silence them!
These Kind of punitive arrests are having a chilling effect on our ability to continue our vital accountability work in our community. Please contact the ACLU and ask them to help us! 503-227-6928
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Bluehair’s Bitcoin QR code
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Here’s a link to that Sweet Ear Candy
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These Motherfuckers Kick 9 miles of Ass!  You should check them out on facebook here’s that link
I spoke With Bob West on Sunday here is the audio.

The post Journalists Arrested for Interviewing Portland Police Officers and Local District Attorney appeared first on PINAC News.

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WATCH: Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy Walker Interferes with Freedom of The Press Again

Tuesday, July 18th, 2017

Once again Daniel Saulman aka “Tom Zebra” known for his web page “Mistaken Bacon”  delivers as he exposes the now notorious Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy Ryan Walker (524706) who on March 15, 2017, arrested citizen journalist  of the former YouTube Channel +POETIC  claiming he violated California P.C. § 402(a) when he was far outside of the established perimeter, so much so there was no yellow barrier tape or any semblance of a barrier.
Mind You, +POETIC was not out COP WATCHING, COP BLOCKING or even performing a FIRST AMENDMENT AUDIT, he was walking towards his home after finishing a long day at work, when he came upon several Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department vehicles and started documenting his surroundings.
A 100% Lawful and Protected Activity as the State of California Legislature determined when it changed the law with the passing of California P. C. § 148 (g) as well as determined by the 9th Circut Court of Appeals in the written opinion regarding Fordyce vs City of Seattle. Yet somehow LASD Deputy Ryan Walker assigned to the South Los Angeles Sheriff’s Station either fails to understand the Law or simply does not care to follow it.
Which should come at no surprise when one examines the past and recent history of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, with Former long time Sheriff Lee Baca and his cronies are either in or are going to spend some time in a federal prison, not the typical model citizens many a Law Enforcement Agency claim they employ. Yet individuals like Walker are gainfully employed and granted the authority to throw citizens in a cage and kill a citizen if they fail to comply.
The Video starts with Daniel riding up on a traffic stop where an LASD Deputy can be seen searching the interior of the stopped car for anything to arrest and charge the

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Hermosa Beach Police Officer David Elliot’s Version of Excellent Customer Service On Display

Sunday, July 16th, 2017

What could have been a normal Saturday night in Hermosa Beach, California chasing calls for CATMAN of ONUS News Service, almost turned into a chest bumping and tough guy contest? When what would have a simple call to investigate suspicious activity (individual checking doors) turned into a perfect display of how exactly not to conduct yourself as a uniformed police officer.
David Elliot who pulled in over $112,000.00 of the City of Hermosa Beach Taxpayer’s monies in 2016, simply does not understand that interfering with the rights of the citizen is not part of the job description and that he should simply smile and wave unless asked a question.
That did not happen at all, he started by blinding the camera with his flashlight and then when CATMAN repositioned David Elliott redirected the beam to continue to obstruct and deny any attempt to document the incident.
(L) DAVID ELLIOTT
Would David Elliot have done the same thing if it was any of the Big Local Media Outlets like KCAL, KNBC, ABC7, KTLA or the National Outlets such as CNN, FOX News, MSNBC, likely not and if he did, I can promise you someone would be on the phone with David Elliott’s bosses immediately. Not saying that won’t occur, because it will, I will be calling and so should you.
The video continues, the suspicious character was found to be not so suspicious because he was sent on his merry way and this is where the incident takes a turn to the bizarre and surreal when David Elliott loses his cool and charges over to CATMAN and chest bumps him and behaves as if he is somewhere other than standing on the sidewalk in Hermosa Beach and working as a Police Officer.
I will venture to guess that this display will not be making anyone within David Elliott’s

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Awarded for Bravery, But Fears a Camera, Officer Assaults Cameraman

Thursday, July 13th, 2017

PINAC Correspondent Felipe Hernandez (highdesert community watch news network) and his then 16-year-old son Elijah were out and about on a beautiful spring afternoon capturing video and stills of the San Bernardino County Government Complex in downtown San Bernardino, California on May 17th, 2016.
This complex covers multiple city blocks and is the home of many of San Bernardino County’s agencies and the local offices of many state and federal agencies. The City, County, and State Courthouses are also found in this area and as one would expect there is also a large law enforcement presence during business hours.
The video starts with the Hernandez duo, walking through a public area where they encounter probation officers walking at least a 100 plus feet away from them speaking loudly and shouting for them to stop so they can talk with them. The Hernandez duo continues walking knowing that have done nothing unlawful or illegal heading in the direction of their car parked off of county property a few blocks from the government center.
The video continues and as the Hernandez duo get close to the edge of the center’s property, they are grabbed, restrained and detained by J. Holmes and L, Jaramillo. Jaramillo held Elijah by the arm applying pressure to pain compliance point and the Holmes held Felipe by the belt loop and then the whole waistband of Felipe’s jeans, Holmes would later pull upwards and backward and Felipe will have to stand on his tip toes to lessen the pain being inflicted to his scrotum and groin area.
PO J. Smith, PO Isabel Jaramillo and Elijah Hernandez
During this Felipe calls his daughter Felicity on the phone and asked her to contact Felipe with PINAC, I get her call and I promptly call Felipe and attempt to intervene with no success and then I begin

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LAPD Lures Journalists into Police Station Only To Threaten Them With Arrest.

Monday, June 26th, 2017

June of 2017 has been one eventful month for Daniel Saulman aka “Tom Zebra” known for his web page “Mistaken Bacon”  he was arrested by the LAPD  while documenting a DUI/DWI checkpoint disguised as a “Traffic Safety Checkpoint” for the charge of being in the LAPD’s “workspace”. After our coverage Mr. Saulman was fortunate to receive help from the ACLU, they were instrumental in bringing this matter to a quick and abrupt end or so the LAPD believes.
Mr. Saulman was also able to have an outstanding legal matter centered around his operating a Quadcopter camera platform in a park, the LAPD then claimed to be a violation of a Los Angeles City ordinance regarding taking off and land remote controlled aircraft. Mr. Saulman’s attorney’s less than adequate representation resulted in a ridiculous ruling and the permanent seizure of his property. Which Mr. Saulman arrest included 5 days in the Los Angeles County Jail and a added penalty of community service hours.
As a result, Mr. Sulman was not only out of the money for the cost of the DJI Phantom, he lost money on videos and images he could not capture and then upload to YouTube or sell to media outlets. Through the ACLU’s efforts, Mr. Saulman’ s charges were negated and the presiding Judge also ordered the return of all his seized property and any outstanding community service hours.
While attempting to recover his property from the LAPD’s 77th street station, Mr. Saulman and his colleague Catman of the Onus News Service,
(L-R) Ricky Munday, Catman, TMFZ
documented the exterior and approached the front entrance where they were greeted by Lt Magee who identified herself as the person in charge of the station and she invited both Daniel and Catman into the station. From their reactions, both Daniel and Catman were kinda surprised,

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Homestead PD Still Doesn’t Know Photography Is Not A Crime

Thursday, June 15th, 2017

Homestead Police Department (HPD), in South Florida, has myriad problems respecting the First Amendment. I went to HPD this week to serve some officers in a civil rights suit, the story was covered earlier. While entering I discovered that HPD still has not learned that photography is not a crime.
I covered HPD officer John Frank, last year, him initially claiming that I could not take his picture. He quickly backed down once I started recording the video below. HPD adopting a policy such as shown in the sign above makes it understandable that some of their officers would fail to realize that photography is not a crime.
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WixzsV0H-A8?feature=oembed&w=620&h=349] However, HPD officers such as Tony Sincore realize that it is our right to record them and to record within the station. The below video was taken by another local victim of HPD abuse.
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QeZ5Ioy1ZSc?feature=oembed&w=620&h=349] Photography Is Not A Crime, is not only our name as an organization, it’s the law. It is also part and parcel of our First Amendment right as Americans to gather information on governmental affairs. First, I will address briefly herein the legal issues of video recording with sound which is legally equivalent to audio recording. Then I will cover photography which is legally equivalent to video without sound.
The Florida wire tap statute, FSS. 934.03, makes it illegal to intercept an “oral communication”, i.e. voices, without the consent of all parties. In this way video recordings having audio and/or audio recordings could be a crime, in some cases. Yet, the definition, FSS. 934.02, of “oral communication”, excludes conversations having no expectation of privacy, see also State v. Inciarano. Additionally, what can be plainly seen or overheard in public is covered by the plain view doctrine.
Katz v. United States establishes that no person in the publicly accessible lobby of the police department would have an expectation of privacy. Further, it must be noted that Constitutional rights, such as privacy, protect citizens from

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Florida Man Fights Extensive Public Records Request Abuse

Friday, May 26th, 2017

INTRODUCTION
 
The City of Homestead has a torrid reputation, and a pattern of willfully refusing to comply with the public records law. Homestead is a little town at the southern end of Miami-Dade County, rarely receiving the scrutiny it deserves as a cesspool of public corruption and maleficence.
 
I have used the records request process, as a pre-discovery method for investigating my civil rights claims. Homestead has failed to comply with the public records law on the majority of the nearly one hundred requests I have filed.
 
Homestead has a pattern and practice of unlawful noncompliance as it relates to the records law including but not limited to: excessively overcharging for records, claiming inapplicable exemptions, creating automatic and/or unreasonable delays in production, claiming incriminating records do not exist, falsifying records and destruction of records.
 
Florida has some of the strictest public records laws in the nation. The records law is thoroughly explained in the Government in the Sunshine Manual (GSM), and the city owns several copies. Yet, you could be easily fooled into thinking otherwise, based on the behavior and actions of Homestead and their attorneys.
 
I hope the information provided herein, while extensive by nature, will educate the readers on the public records law and how some public entities create costly issues.
 
BACKGROUND
 
PINAC published the original story of my abuse by Homestead officer Alejandro Murguido, beginning in 2012. I was falsely arrested in April 2013, after attempting to file a complaint, and charged for simply asking my neighbor to not speed and recklessly drive his city owned police car, in our community. Children regularly play in the street, and Murguido had previously asked me to contact him directly versus filing a formal complaint with his department.
 
I met with Homestead Chief of Police Alexander Rolle to file a complaint in February 2014. All false charges against me had been dismissed shortly

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California Men who Spent Seven Months in Jail for Rap Lyrics and Facebook Photos File Lawsuit

Friday, January 13th, 2017

Two California men who spent seven months in jail for conspiracy to commit murder based on rap lyrics and Facebook photos that made no reference to actual murders filed a lawsuit against the San Diego Police Department Tuesday.
Police based their arrests on allegations that Brandon Duncan and Aaron Harvey were Facebook friends with suspected gang members they grew up with, using an obscure law that does not ever appear to have been used in California before the 2014 arrests.
But there was no evidence that either committed any murders or were actual gang members.
Duncan, 35, was an aspiring rapper who went by the moniker “Tiny Doo,” but who was making a living laying tile when he was arrested at his San Diego home, which police searched without a warrant, later informing him he was arrested over the contents of his music lyrics.
Harvey, 28, was studying to become a real estate agent when he was arrested by federal marshals in Las Vegas, who informed him he was wanted for a string of murders, which he knew he did not commit.
He later learned that San Diego police detectives Rudy Castro and Scott Henderson were only basing that belief on Facebook photos showing him posing with suspected gang members he grew up with in San Diego’s Lincoln Park neighborhood.
Both men spent seven months in the George Bailey Detention Center, known as “Thunderdome” and “Gladiator School” because of its reputation for violence.
A judge threw out the case in 2015 on lack of evidence, allowing the men to proceed with the federal lawsuit, which you can read here.
The law police arrested them on is Penal Code 182.5 which notes gang members with general knowledge of a gang’s criminal activities can be prosecuted for crimes others commit as long as they willfully benefited from, furthered, promoted or assisted in some way.
Duncan was

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San Diego Cop Holds Photojournalist at Gunpoint, Accusing Him of “Trespassing on County Property”

Monday, September 21st, 2015

With two hands on his gun, a San Diego police officer confronted photojournalist JC Playford as he was conducting a video interview outside the main sheriff headquarters, accusing him of “trespassing on county property” Friday afternoon.
Playford had been interviewing another photojournalist, Gerry Nance, who had been shoved to the ground by a San Diego sheriff’s deputy last Wednesday while attempting to cover a stand-off situation involving a man barricaded inside an apartment with a gun.
Nance was planning on entering San Diego sheriff headquarters to file a complaint against the deputy, who not only shoved him, but later arrested him on Penal Code 148, the state’s resisting and obstruction charge, which is routinely used in contempt-of-cop cases.
But because Playford was carrying a tripod in a rifle case as he was conducting his interview, somebody from the sheriff’s office called police.
The video, posted below, includes footage from both Playford and Nance’s cameras as well as audio clips from Nance’s recorder from the night he was shoved and arrested.
It begins with Playford interviewing Nance about the incident until sirens can be heard in the background, which was when Nance lifts his own camera to begin recording Playford.
“Something going on?” Playford asks as a police car pulls up behind him, his camera pointing at Nance.
“Yeah, you’re the star of the show,” Nance responds, capturing the surreal scene on his own camera.
Playford turns around and acknowledges the cop, but then turns to face Nance again to continue his interview.
But the cop walks up with his gun drawn, ordering Playford to remove his hand from the bag. A potentially deadly situation considering this is the same agency that recently killed a man for holding a pen.

As more cops and deputies move in to handcuff and frisk him, Playford accuses them of violating his Constitutional rights.
The original cop

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Texas Officers Arrest PINAC Correspondent for Recording Outside Police Department, Ban Him From Setting Foot on Police Public Property

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015

Two Fort Worth police officers named Dyess and Grinalds pulled up in front of their station and walked across the street onto the sidewalk to confront PINAC correspondent Phillip Turner, who had been lawfully recording the police station for at least two minutes. What happened next is all too familiar, as the video shows two Texas officers …
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