Internal Affairs clears cops who arrested me; Trial date finally set
I wasn’t exactly surprised that Internal Affairs cleared the cops who arrested me of any wrongdoing.
But I was surprised that they went as far as interviewing witnesses to the incident and even went as far as obtaining my mug shot from the night of my arrest, which apparently shows my face and neck bloodied.
The witnesses were three men involved in the accident that police were investigating when I approached the scene with my camera. All three were across the street that dark night. More than a half block down the street. All three offered separate accounts of what actually happened.
The report was completed in February 2008, but I just received it this week. The Civilian Investigative Panel will now conduct its own investigation.
The first witness, Erwin Coney, who was the Miami-Dade Transit bus driver cited in the accident, gave an extremely colorful account of my arrest.
“Mr. Coney stated that the first officer to approach the photographer was the heavyset Hispanic officer, who took the photographer’s camera and slammed it to the ground. He was then joined by a slender Hispanic officer and both stepped on the camera.
“Mr. Coney stated that the sergeant slammed the photographer to the ground and placed his knee against his back. He stated that a short officer, later indentified as Officer James Walker, joined the Latin officers in kicking the photographer.”
The second witness, Charles Foote, who was a Miami-Dade Transit supervisor who showed up at the scene, gave another account.
“Mr. Foote stated that he remembers seeing the photographer being restrained, but did not see him get punched, kicked or hit.”
The third witness, Daniel Fushman, who was apparently the driver of the second vehicle involved in the accident, gave another highly fictionalized account.
“Mr. Fushman stated that he observed the photographer on the ground with two officers holding down his shoulders and another trying to handcuff him.
“He said he observed an officer holding the photographer’s camera, as if to prevent damage to it or to use as evidence, while the other officer’s secured the photographer.”
The truth is, the cops grabbed me from behind, kicked my ankle until I fell forward on my right knee and slammed my head into the pavement, causing both of my cameras to come crashing to the pavement.
One of the cops twisted my right hand backwards. Another cop, or possibly the same cop, grabbed my head from behind and continuously slammed it into the pavement, causing the abrasion and swelling that was documented in my mug shot (and no, I haven’t seen it).
Here is an excerpt regarding Officer Anthonius Kurver, the officer on the far right in the banner photo. He was one of the more aggressive cops.
“When Officer Kurver was shown Mr. Miller’s booking photo, he stated that the abrasion on Mr. Miller’s forehead appeared superficial and less obvious than the booking photo.
“Officer Kurver added that the bright flash that was used for the booking photo enhanced marks on Mr. Miller’s face that were not visible while in his custody.”
Here is excerpt regarding Sergeant Ronald Rahming, the commanding officer on the scene who escorted me across the street. His left sleeve can be seen on the far left in the banner photo.
“Sergeant Rahming grabbed the cameras and removed them from Mr. Miller’s neck area as he was being brought to the ground, in order to facilitate the arrest and prevent any injuries. …
“Sergeant Rahming attributed the redness visible on Mr. Miller’s face and neck on the booking photograph to the straps of the cameras rubbing against his face as they were being removed during the arrest.”
Rahming and Kurver are liars. They are a disgrace to the badge. I will prove their lies in court.
My trial is scheduled for May 5th, 2008. Cinco de Mayo.
Montezuma will be on my side that day.