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Coral Gables Police Delete Ladies Images

Original Story and images here


In a sunny morning of June 10, 2008, I was taking a walk on Coralway in Coral Gables, just several blocks from where I live. It had rained earlier and all plants were wet and shiny under the bright sun light, so I took a camera with me. I put a big yellow straw hat tied up with a bandanna so the hat wouldn't get blown by wind. (scroll down to see photo) This hat thing was to protect my face from the intense sun light as I easily get sun spots on my face exposed to the sun. I simply grabbed this piece of fabric to attach the hat to my head to keep the hat on my head. It never occurred to me that my outfit was too exotic for some xenophobic Coral Gables police officers.

In retrospect, the problem started the very moment the officer saw my outfit. But the more apparent problem started when he saw me taking a picture of the police motorcycle. Immediately I was treated like a terrorist/criminal/illegal/lunatic, with a series of interrogations. He ordered me to hand over my camera, just to discover that all display on the camera was in the Japanese language. This offended the police officer, not being able to read a thing, in a great deal, fueling to his xenophobia. He had me help change the language setting to English, and after that he would not let me see what he was doing with my camera. He actually ordered not to move.

I kept saying to him that he could delete only the pictures with the motorcycle but other digital images should be left alone. He kept saying he wouldn't delete the other images. Before giving me back the camera, he opened up the camera, took out my 1GB (one gigabyte) memory card, and threw it to the ground. At that time I was just coping the situation because I was frightened with this big officer with abusive attitude. I said, "Would you please not to do that?" as I picked up the memory card from the ground. I offered him to put the memory card back to the camera, but he still didn't allow me to touch my camera.

Finally he handed my camera to me, and again, scared me by shouting "Leave now!" Naturally I left the area in shock. I had walked about a block away from the site when I discovered that my 1GB (one gigabyte) memory card was totally erased. I am a visual artist and there were large number of high resolution images of my work and also my personal pictures in the memory card. All gone. For what?

I will not be quiet about this. Abuse of power by law enforcement officers is an ongoing national problem. I don't care how small and trivial my problem may seem. I refuse to accept police abuse of any scale and any content.

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I commend you on providing this information. Its time we take this country back and restore the constitution and remind these police officers that they are here to protect and serve the people. They've been brainwashed. Its disgusting..

they treat skateboarders the same way. what happened to the good ole' days of rebelling with muskets and pitch forks

If I remember correctly from a few other stories I've read on this subject (and I'm no expert) you really shouldn't have even let him delete the photo of the police motorcycle. In fact, you shouldn't have handed over your camera. You have a right to take photos of anything you wish to, and the officer's actions are, if not illegal, certainly not fully in accordance with the law.

If you have his name, report him immediately, call some reporters or if you have any friends who are reporters tell them about it-- you should never feel compelled to hand anything over to a cop- unless you ask him "Am I being detained?" and he says "Yes" and you make it clear to him that you are not detained voluntarily. To make a "Terry stop" a cop has to have a reasonable suspicion that you've committed some crime or are about to. Because you surrendered your camera you essentially volunteered for the stop, although when he deleted your photos he converted them, or interfered with your property rights in those pictures. Depending on the laws that allow citizens to sue the state in your state, you might be able to sue the police for the amount of $$ you can prove you lost by losing those photos. In the future, when approached by a cop, play Bartleby: "I would prefer not to."

this is a disgusting abuse of power. I hate the police they do nothing when called do nothing until the end of the month and harass and intimidate everyone, especially kids. it makes me sick the abuse these kids have to go through these days. the officers are brainwashed drones for sure. I once saw my neighbors birthday party invaded by police because some old couple down the street said there was underage drinking. this was not the case at all. sad. the people of this country need to regain power before it is too late. the longer we sit silent and submissive the more difficult it will be to reclaim what is rightfully ours. freedom.

This case has been written up in a local newspaper. You can read up from this link.


I'm disgusted by this story. Police are too often letting their power go to their heads and acting like they can be any way they want just because they wear a badge. If they wonder why civilians hold such ill feelings to the police, they should take a look at themselves. It just makes me sick, especially because there really isn't a way to take them down a notch. Because they are police, its unlikely that they will get in any trouble. Ridiculous, [expletive deleted, lets keep this clean] cops.

This sucks. If you still have the card, there are loads of "undelete" programes for memory cards, you should be able to recover 90% of your images (if you havn't used the card since).

I'm glad you're speaking out. This is outrageous. Law enforcement officers do not have the right to treat people this way.

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