Miami man pushed down escalator, violently choked for standing up for his rights

Steve Watson
Jan 22, 2013

Photographer Carlos Miller and his companion were viciously attacked by security guards while taking pictures at Miami-Dade Metrorail on Sunday night, and they captured most of the incident on film.

The pair were idly passing time waiting for a train home by taking shots of the Dade County Courthouse, a looming piece of architecture visible from the train platform. Suddenly, as if out of some some dystopian movie, a voice boomed over the loudspeaker ordering them to stop taking photographs.

When the pair ignored the order, a 50 State security guard emerged on to the platform to confront them.

Miller, who runs the popular website Photography Is Not A Crime, immediately recognized his rights were once again being trampled on, and began filming the exchange on his camera.

The security guard is seen on camera telling Miller that it is illegal to photograph the rail portion of the train, which is not true.

After a short exchange, Miller was accused of being drunk and another two guards approached and began to crowd Miller toward the escalator. A fracas then ensued, during which the camera Miller’s friend was using was knocked out of his hand and turned off.

“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.” Miller wrote on his website.

“Then three of them piled on top of me, including one choking me where I could’t even breathe, leaving me gasping for air.”

Miller notes that the third guard, the tall black man, whose badge read R. Myers “…violently choked me to the point where I thought I was going to die.”

In the video, Myers is heard threatening Miller’s companion, who was filming the choke hold, pointing handcuffs at him and stating “You’re going to jail next.”

Both men were eventually cuffed and detained until City of Miami and Miami-Dade police arrived. Miller says that the cops instantly recognized him from his website and previous incidents.

The pair were held for an hour, then released with a $100 citation accusing them of “producing loud or excessive noise”. Neither of the men was cited for anything to do with intoxication or photography. Indeed, the guards returned both cameras to the men without tampering with them.

Miller is already involved in a pending state lawsuit after a previous run-in with 50 State guards. He notes that it may now escalate to a federal suit.

Miller followed up the raw footage with a video showing his injuries resulting from the incident: