Florida prosecutor supports photographers’ rights



Even a “known drug dealer” is legally allowed to photograph undercover cops as they serve a search warrant, if he takes the photos from a public space, according to a Florida prosecutor.

The photographer was 20-year-old Randy Sievert of Bradenton, who was arrested in February after he stood on a public road and photographed Manatee County sheriff’s officials conducting a search warrant on a private home.

Deputies ordered him to erase the images before they arrested him, charging him with interfering in a search warrant.

He was jailed without bail because the charge violated his probation in two drug cases. Although he is unemployed, he had $1,500 in cash in his pockets.

But Tony Casorias, an assistant state attorney, refused to prosecute Sievert, according to the Herald-Tribune of Sarasota

A person cannot be charged with obstruction or resisting arrest if the police detention is unlawful, an assistant state attorney, Tony Casoria, said in a memo released this week. Sievert did not physically interfere with the search warrant, the prosecutor said.

Casoria said Sievert “took a photograph in a public place, across the street from the home where law enforcement were conducting their search.”

Casorias, who was admitted to the Florida Bar in 2006, pointed to a decision in a federal lawsuit in which a judge awarded a man damages for his arrest for videotaping police, the article states.

In 2003, a state judge in Pennsylvania overturned the harassment conviction of Allen E. Robinson, who had taped police during a traffic stop. Robinson said he was concerned about unsafe truck inspections and set up a video camera.

Robinson, a truck driver, sued the police, saying he was subjected to false arrest, excessive force and malicious prosecution. Robinson won in federal court in 2005.

“The activities of the police, like those of other public officials, are subject to public scrutiny,” a federal judge wrote. “Robinson’s right to free speech encompasses the right to receive information and ideas.”

The police, the judge wrote, citing a case in Texas, do not have “unfettered discretion to arrest individuals for words or conduct that annoy or offend them.”



Even a “known drug dealer” is legally allowed to photograph undercover cops as they serve a search warrant, if he takes the photos from a public space, according to a Florida prosecutor.

The photographer was 20-year-old Randy Sievert of Bradenton, who was arrested in February after he stood on a public road and photographed Manatee County sheriff’s officials conducting a search warrant on a private home.

Deputies ordered him to erase the images before they arrested him, charging him with interfering in a search warrant.

He was jailed without bail because the charge violated his probation in two drug cases. Although he is unemployed, he had $1,500 in cash in his pockets.

But Tony Casorias, an assistant state attorney, refused to prosecute Sievert, according to the Herald-Tribune of Sarasota

A person cannot be charged with obstruction or resisting arrest if the police detention is unlawful, an assistant state attorney, Tony Casoria, said in a memo released this week. Sievert did not physically interfere with the search warrant, the prosecutor said.

Casoria said Sievert “took a photograph in a public place, across the street from the home where law enforcement were conducting their search.”

Casorias, who was admitted to the Florida Bar in 2006, pointed to a decision in a federal lawsuit in which a judge awarded a man damages for his arrest for videotaping police, the article states.

In 2003, a state judge in Pennsylvania overturned the harassment conviction of Allen E. Robinson, who had taped police during a traffic stop. Robinson said he was concerned about unsafe truck inspections and set up a video camera.

Robinson, a truck driver, sued the police, saying he was subjected to false arrest, excessive force and malicious prosecution. Robinson won in federal court in 2005.

“The activities of the police, like those of other public officials, are subject to public scrutiny,” a federal judge wrote. “Robinson’s right to free speech encompasses the right to receive information and ideas.”

The police, the judge wrote, citing a case in Texas, do not have “unfettered discretion to arrest individuals for words or conduct that annoy or offend them.”

Support our Mission

Help us build a database of bad cops

For almost 15 years, PINAC News has remained active despite continuous efforts by the government and Big Tech to shut us down by either arresting us for lawful activity or by restricting access to our readers under the pretense that we write about “social issues.”

Since we are forbidden from discussing social issues on social media, we have created forums on our site to allow us to fulfill our mission with as little restriction as possible. We welcome our readers to join our forums and support our mission by either donating, volunteering or both.

Our plan is to build a national database of bad cops obtained from public records maintained by local prosecutors. The goal is to teach our readers how to obtain these lists to ensure we cover every city, county and state in the country.

After all, the government has made it clear it will not police the police so the role falls upon us.

It will be our most ambitious project yet but it can only be done with your help.

But if we succeed, we will be able to keep innocent people out of prison.

Please make a donation below or click on side tab to learn more about our mission.

Subscribe to PINAC

Bypass Big Tech censorship.

Carlos Millerhttps://pinacnews.com
Editor-in-Chief Carlos Miller spent a decade covering the cop beat for various newspapers in the Southwest before returning to his hometown Miami and launching Photography is Not a Crime aka PINAC News in 2007. He also published a book, The Citizen Journalist's Photography Handbook, which is available on Amazon.

Leave a Reply

- Advertisement -

Latest articles