The First Amendment wilts on the streets

May 22, 2012 | By | Reply More

Serious journalism has always been a dangerous business. It continues to be dangerous now, even for folks who want to make a record of how law enforce officers are cracking down on people reporting on protestors expressing their First Amendment rights.

Tim Karr of Free Press reports:

While it’s important to take a day to recognize our right to speak and share information, threats to our First Amendment freedoms happen all the time, everywhere. It’s a threat that will become very real on the streets of Chicago this weekend as a new breed of journalists and onlookers attempt to cover the protests surrounding the NATO summit.

Just ask Carlos Miller. The photojournalist has been arrested three times. His “crime?” Attempting to photograph police actions in the U.S. Most recently, in January, Miller was filming the eviction of Occupy Wall Street activists from a park in downtown Miami.

In a twist that’s become too familiar to many, the journalist became the story as police focused their crackdown on the scrum of reporters there to cover the eviction. Miller came face to face with Officer Nancy Perez, who confiscated his camera and placed him under arrest.

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Category: Civil Rights, Law Enforcement Abuses, Orwellian, Protests and Actions, Videotaping law enforcement

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

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