Tag Archive - First Amendment

Miami-Dade Metrorail Update

A number of folks have requested updates to the July 1, 2010, post concerning my lifetime banishment from the Miami-Dade Metrorail.

I’m pleased to report that since I returned to Miami in early September I have been riding said metro unmolested. I have even made a few photographs while riding the metro, though not nearly as many as my friend Carlos Miller, who organized not one but two groups of camera toting defenders of the First Amendment to descend upon Miami’s Douglas Road station wielding enough cameras to make Kim Kardashian blush.

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Ruled by Laws, Not by Men

Greetings from Bucharest, Romania.

I arrived here this afternoon along with four of my University of Miami (UM) colleagues to begin work on a month-long multimedia project documenting the plight of the Roma people in Romania, Hungary, and the Czech Republic. Another five of us will hit Bulgaria and Slovakia. We’re fortunate to be working not only with three of the most talented multimedia professionals in the world – Candace Barbot, Rich Beckman, and Travis Fox – but also with a number of journalists from the region who are familiar with the territory and the Roma stories.

I wanted to take a few moments to update everyone on the situation in Miami, vis-à-vis my having been “banned for life” from the Miami-Dade Metrorail. This was punishment Miami-Dade Transit’s (MDT) security contractor, “50 State Security,” imposed on Carlos Miller and I on Wednesday, June 30, after we made photographs at Miami’s Douglas Road metro stop and attempted to board one of the trains with our cameras. Strangely, MDT’s action was supported by both the Miami Police Department and the Miami-Dade Police Department.

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Banned for Life from the Miami-Dade Metrorail

Be sure to read about the eventual resolution of this debacle here.

Wow. What a day. I’m 47 years old and got my first camera, a Canon AT-1, when I was 15 of so. In the intervening 32 years, I’ve made photographs both professionally and for my own personal enjoyment in 50 countries and in most of these beautiful United States of America. Photography has allowed me to see and experienced a lot of things, and yesterday I had an experience that I won’t forget for a long time. I’ll bet that some of the other folks involved – including but not limited to my friend Carlos Miller, various employees of a Miami company called “50 State Security,” three officers from the Miami Police Department, two officers from the Miami-Dade Police Department, and a gentleman who identified himself as an agent of the federal Department of Homeland Security – won’t forget it for a while either.

Please continue. There’s more…