When I launched this site in 2007 after I was beaten and arrested by Miami police, I never expected to be continuing to run this site 15 years later.
But as some of you know, that initial arrest sparked a seven-year legal battle between myself and the cops in Miami who arrested me an additional three times for photographing cops or security guards in public.Then there was the issue of citizens from around the country getting arrested for the non-crime of recording cops in public which started becoming more of an issue as more people began owning smartphones and learning they had the right to record in public.
At the time, the media was not reporting on these incidents so PINAC began reporting on these stories until the media finally caught on.
As the site grew, I ended up quitting other jobs I had at the time to focus full-time on PINAC. At the time, Facebook was encouraging me to grow the Photography is Not a Crime page by charging me to promote the stories we wrote which helped grow our page.
But Facebook ended up turning on PINAC when they started restricting our reach to only ten percent of the total readers who chose to follow our page which continues today and it is an obvious attempt to destroy our business in order to appease the government into not regulating them.
The podcast is our attempt to get around Facebook’s heavy hand as I explain in detail on the episode.
But the main event of this episode is an interview with Shawn Randall Thomas, a New York City man who began conducting First Amendment audits in 2004 before they were even called First Amendment audits.
Thomas, who has been arrested numerous times for the non-crime of recording police in public, is now suing the New York City Police Department after he was unlawfully arrested for walking into a police station and handing the cops an affidavit without identify himself which is not a crime.
But what is a crime is that one of the cops who arrested him was a retired cop who had no authority to make an arrest which is why the NYPD then tried to cover the arrest up by pretending it never happened, perhaps unaware that Thomas had recorded the entire incident.
Thomas was also involved in the ACLU’s original lawsuit against Homeland Security which affirmed that we had the right to record or photograph federal buildings before he was dropped as a plaintiff because he was considered a “troublemaker” for having the gall to use his camera to test law enforcement’s knowledge of the law which is what are now called First Amendment audits.
In this episode, which kicks off a series of episodes where I will interview activists and police abuse victims, Thomas talks about how he first became an activist after he was repeatedly harassed by the NYPD under its unconstitutional stop and frisk program.Listen to the podcast below. Below the podcast is the video of his latest arrest and here is the lawsuit.
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Watch the video below: