Journalist claims violations in suit against security firm
Photojournalist Carlos Miller, an advocate for filming and photographing public places and authorities, has filed a federal civil rights suit against a Miami security company that employs the transit guards who arrested him.
The lawsuit was filed Thursday against 50 State Security Services Inc. A call to the company for comment was not returned by deadline.
Miller posted the video of his Jan. 20 detention by security guards on Facebook and his website.
He said he and a friend were taking photos of the Dade County Courthouse from a MetroRail station when guards approached them. Miller runs the website Photography is Not a Crime.
The lawsuit alleges the guards said it was against the law to take photographs and accused Miller of being drunk. They forced Miller to leave the station down an escalator and one of three guards involved in the incident placed Miller "in a suffocating chokehold," the complaint said. The guards also slapped the cellphone camera out of Miller's friends hand at one point.
Miller and a companion were given citations for "making excessive noise," according to the lawsuit.
The case has been assigned to Senior U.S. District Judge James Lawrence King in Miami.