MIAMI (CBS4) – Earlier this year, Miami photographer Taylor Hardy made headlines with a video he took of Miami-Dade Fire Recue. He captured a firefighter intent on Hardy not filming an air rescue. The video led to the department writing him an apology and giving the Captain further community relations training.
This past weekend Hardy ended up in yet another showdown, this time with Miami Police.
“I heard they were doing a commercial with LeBron James and I just wanted to see what was going on.” Hardy explained to CBS4.
He parked his car, grabbed his camera and began walking down the sidewalk in Allapatah along 17th avenue and Northwest 16th terrace.
“At some point the production company asked Mr. Hardy to move because he was in the shot. He refused.” Miami Police officers Rene Pimentel explained.
Officers were summoned over and Hardy was told to leave.
“I said ‘officer this is a public sidewalk’. He said ‘no this is not public, this is reserved. You need to move out of the area now’.” Hardy said.
Hardy said he backed away, but not fast enough for the officers.
“One grabbed my camera and said let it go or you are going to jail. I wasn’t letting go of my camera. I said, ‘you want me to leave? Let go of my camera. You choose’. Then the officer grabbed me and pushed me up against the way and told me ‘you’re under arrest’.” Hardy explained.
Miami Police maintain it had nothing to do with the camera.
“They didn’t want him to stop filming, they just wanted him to move so that they could film without him being there.” said Officer Pimentel.
Did Hardy have the right to stand there?
“Not during a permitted event.” Pimentel confirmed.
According to police, Nike had a permit to shut down public streets and sidewalks.
In the end Hardy didn’t see LeBron James. Just handcuffs.
“If the officer is asking you to move, it’s for a reason. The last thing we want to do is attempt to violate anyone’s rights,” said Pimentel.
Hardy believes the whole thing could have been avoided if the area was better marked off.
“The streets were closed down but the sidewalks were open to the public. If you want to have your privacy and secrecy, close the streets down. Put signs up.” Hardy said.
After 18 hours in jail, $500 spent in legal fees, and a whole lot of headache, Hardy said if he had to do it all over again, he would just leave faster, regardless of who’s right or wrong.