Journalist arrested covering Occupy Miami eviction recovers arrest-video deleted by police

Carlos Miller, an accredited photojournalist covering the Occupy Miami eviction, was arrested by Miami-Dade police, who deleted several videos from his camera before they returned it to him. Miller recovered some of the deleted files and has posted them to YouTube. They support his version of the events of that night, in which he was subject to arbitrary arrest. The deletion of a journalist's arrest-video seems a move calculated to obscure guilt on the part of the police.

So now the next step is taking my camera to a professional recovery service with a forensics specialists who will not only retrieve the entire deleted footage without interruptions, but would also determine the exact time the footage was deleted

That will determined that the footage was deleted while I was in custody and the camera was in their possession, leaving them no defense for blatantly violating my Constitutional rights.

I also plan on obtaining the footage recorded by the Miami police officer as well as the footage recorded by the television news cameraman.

And, of course, I plan on filing an internal affairs complaint against Perez as well as a complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice for deleting my footage.

Here Is The Recovered Video Police Deleted Of My Arrest (via Ars Technica)


    1. A) These dimwits have no idea what DOD standard data wiping is. They probably think they were super smart to have attempted wiping it in the first place and are now scratching their heads, saying “what the …” 

      B) even if they did, it would have taken them too long to do before they would have had to release the journo and return his camera.

      1. Too long?  I assume you mean because they would have had to overwrite it 1000x or whatever.

        A single overwrite is sufficient to prevent recovery on most media.  That’d take, well, not very long.  The myth about magnetic media (which this isn’t) retaining some sort of “hint” of the old data even after multiple overwrites is just that – a myth.

        Data CAN be recovered if it hasn’t been overwritten, and most file deletions don’t overwrite data.  That’s typically what the data recovery firms do (that and trying to recover un-overwritten data from drives that have failed or have been physically damaged)

        However, even if data hasn’t been overwritten, putting the pieces together can be difficult or impossible.  For example, if it’s a UFS-like FS, like ext3 or a slew of others, the individual blocks still exist, but the metadata that tells you WHICH blocks are used and in WHICH order is simply gone.  If the data is at all fragmented (and it usually is), putting the pieces back together can be difficult or impossible from a practical standpoint.

    2.  I would imagine using the professional service also served to document the process for legal purposes.

  1. How cheerfully he seems to grin
    How neatly spreads his claws,
    And welcomes little fishes in,
    With gently smiling jaws!

    1. I was about to say the same thing. I’m hardly an expert but I believe that’s one reason they cannot delete video or photos without a warrant both here in the UK and in the US, as it’s basically destroying the evidence and as far as I know that’s a very serious criminal offence on both sides of the Atlantic. The policemen who did this shouldn’t just be disciplined they need to have criminal charges brought against them.

      1. A good PR action right now would be to chart the charges and penalties levied in Miami-Dade for evidence destruction. Has a police officer ever been charged? Convicted? Settled? Inquiring minds..

      2. they will never even see a reprimand. In the US these days, it’s just business as usual.  He’s lucky they didn’t charge him for wiretapping police.

        1. Isn’t that the crux of most of these stories, the huge disparity between what should happen and what actually happens. Hopefully the public exposure increases the likelihood (even if small) of the right thing happening and some kind of justice prevailing.

    2. It’s a crime but you can only be prosecuted if you get caught. I’m sure the police thought they were being very clever and that destroying evidence would mean they wouldn’t be charged with any crime.

      I’m not sure they needed to go to the trouble. Being police I doubt they’ll ever be charged with any crime, and even if, by some miracle, they are and are found guilty they’ll receive a slap on the wrist.

      1.  It’s a crime but you can only be prosecuted if you get caught.

        And when “caught” – you can only be prosecuted if the prosecutor elects to do so.

  2. Lesson we would like the police to learn: Behave decently, because video might pop up.

    Lesson the police will actually learn: Next time, destroy the camera instead of deleting the contents.

  3. So the officers deleting video footage is a problem for me. However, after viewing the videos and doing a little googling on “Carlos Miller”, I am wondering what the issue is. The officers clearly state at the outset that they are enforcing a disbursement order. Given the kind of guy Carlos apparently is (do the google and see for yourself) he comes across as the kind of guy who wants to push things into a confrontation. I would also guess that other interactions might not get  video taped – as in, didn’t that first female police officer sound like she had discussed something with Carlos prior to the encounter we got to see in the video?  I am no apologist for cops who do the job wrong or incompetently. But I am also not going to simply assume good old Carlos was just a poor little victim in all this either.

    1. I don’t care if Miller was making lewd comments about the cop’s wife and then illustrating them with puppets and farm animals–destroying evidence is a crime.


      1. I don’t care if Miller was making lewd comments about the cop’s wife and then illustrating them with puppets and farm animals–destroying evidence is a crime.

        Destroying video evidence of that would also be a crime against culture.

    2. Other journalists standing there as well were not arrested. Miller is more aware of his rights than most. It isn’t the arrest that bothers me, that is part of the territory, it is the intentional deletion of the video because they didn’t like it for some reason. 

      There are are only two scenarios. 

      At best, this was personal property that the police had no excuse or reason to destroy. If a crime was committed within view of a bank camera, store camera, or anything else, the police never have the right to go in and take footage. They have to ask, and have it freely given with the option of being denied, or they have to get a court order to have it turned over. So this was willful theft under color of law and destruction of personal property.
      The most chilling is the scenario of willful destruction of evidence, whether this is evidence of Miller’s commission of a crime or a crime committed by the police. If it was the former, then the police would want that preserved to vindicate their story, after all if they don’t lie on reports or omit vital information, then they have nothing to hide, but if the later, then it is very chilling indeed. 

      This happens far too often where the police get ahold of a camera and either delete the footage or (as they will probably start doing once they become aware of the technical aspects of data recovery) is remove the media completely and make sure it disappears.

    3. The law does not say that you are allowed to destroy evidence if the guy you’re dealing with is a douche. Whether Carlos incited the interaction is a totally separate issue. Two wrongs don’t make a right.

    4. I am no apologist for cops who do the job wrong or incompetently.

      I’m going to have to disagree with you on that one.

    1. What does it say about BB that I thought that your comment was about British versus American English?

    1. I think exposing the whole corrupt system is more important than convicting a few corrupt cops. And every documented incident helps there. Although I have ethical objections to the legal system in any case.

  4. Let’s see-
    Destruction of evidence
    Withholding of evidence from defense counsel
    Interfering with a police investigation
    Conspiracy to destroy property
    Conspiracy to violate copyright
    Violation of the First, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution
    If this kind of activity was known to their superiors beforehand, and no discipline enacted, tantamount to prior restraint.

    IANYL IANYL atinla, it’s just what I see.

    “if you’re innocent you have nothing to fear” — because every action is 100% reversible. Yeah.

  5. I think this would be  a great use of an EyeFi card set up for direct transfer mode. If you’re not familiar with the EyeFi cards, they are SD cards with a built in wifi transmitter. With direct transfer mode, the card can wirelessly transfer files to  a iPhone or Android device. Then if your card/camera gets wiped, with luck the cops won’t be savvy enough to check your phone.

  6. We should all just use spyglasses from now on. Hidden camera in the glasses frame; Google it. So much easier to bust cops.

  7. It’s good you inform people about such violations of constitution and democracy–this type of informing is what keeps those alive!

  8. At the beginning of this year’s Super Bowl, they sang the lyrics “land of the free” to the packed stadium and you could see the bullshit pride flowing.

    Then they kept showing imagery of military people fighting for our “freedom” in other countries whose only true purpose is to make money for corrupt “defense” companies like General Electric, Lockheed Martin, etc.

    It’s amazing how delusional so many Americans are. I even heard a Rage Against the Machine song playing as background music at one point (I forgot which song). Then, we have Madonna’s giant “world peace” graphic at the end of her halftime show. I wonder how many in the audience were insulted by such a stunt?

    What? The land of the free? Whoever told you that is your enemy.

  9. Spoliation of evidence
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia In law, spoliation of evidence is the intentional or negligent withholding, hiding, altering, or destroying of evidence relevant to a legal proceeding.[1] Spoliation has two possible consequences: in jurisdictions where the (intentional) act is criminal by statute, it may result in fines and incarceration for the parties who engaged in the spoliation; in jurisdictions where relevant case law precedent has been established, proceedings possibly altered by spoliation may be interpreted under a spoliation inference.

    The spoliation inference is a negative evidentiary inference that a finder of fact can draw from a party’s destruction of a document or thing that is relevant to an ongoing or reasonably foreseeable civil or criminal proceeding: the finder of fact can review all evidence uncovered in as strong a light as possible against the spoliator and in favor of the opposing party.

  10.  I was just looking up to see if there was an app for this and my eye fi card.  Then I scrolled down. 

    So it says it will transfer the photos and videos to your phone and whatnot.  I guess it is time to test and see how fast the video transfers from my camera to the destination server from my tethered phone.  I would imagine the 4g enabled cities have a clear advantage here.

    Also, will it stream live or is it when the video is stopped (I would imagine when stopped). Plus, what if the camera is powered down? 

  11. I do not know why they arrested Carlos or if it was a legal arrest, but I do know that it was highly illegal to erase the footage of a photographer (or anyone else). It seems to be able to protect protest pictures or footage, one must have them streaming to another location where it can be so widely distributed that it can not be contained. Shame on police authorities who destroy free speech of anyone.

  12. Isn’t the intentional destruction of evidence usually a Felony?
    It seems to me that the Police committed acts of armed kidnapping, followed by destruction of evidence.
    If any mere Citizen did that it would be 20 years in the rump-rape hotel.
    Cops won’t even get their pay docked… no wonder the nation is descending into a Police State.

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