PODCAST: Shawn Randall Thomas, the Original First Amendment Auditor

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.

And please help support our mission by making a donation at the bottom of the page.

***

Use the donor box below to make a quick one-time or recurring donation or click on the link below to make a tax-deductible donation through the Center for Social Change in Miami, a 501 (c) (3) which is serving as our fiscal sponsor.

CLICK HERE TO MAKE TAX-DEDUCTIBLE DONATION

 

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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.

And please help support our mission by making a donation at the bottom of the page.

***

Use the donor box below to make a quick one-time or recurring donation or click on the link below to make a tax-deductible donation through the Center for Social Change in Miami, a 501 (c) (3) which is serving as our fiscal sponsor.

- Advertisement -

CLICK HERE TO MAKE TAX-DEDUCTIBLE DONATION

 

- Advertisement -

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.

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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.

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