Sunday, May 31, 2009

Violence At The North Miami Polls ~ Supporters Of Council Candidate Jean Rodrigue Marcellus Tried To Grab My Camera And Then Clobbered Me On The Head

My heartfelt thanks to Merna and her coworkers at the Walgreens photo lab for actually getting still warm prints in my hands so quickly. Usually I just say "Take your time. I'll pick 'em up tomorrow" but it must have showed! Before I even walked up to the counter it was a "Hey Al! I can get them ready in under an hour." Perfect!

I've been shooting election photos in North Miami and elswhere since before 1970, and for numerous publications and candidates. I know that I have a right to photograph people or an event in a public place.

My reason for photographing this lovely group of citizens was that candidate Michelle Garcia mentioned to me that they had grabbed stacks of political fliers away from her and others working for her campaign. I walked over and politely asked them to not do so. I got cursed out. I got shouted at. I tried to explain that this was something that just isn't done, taking literature away from your opposition like that. I got threatened. I started taking pictures. I got cursed at again, told that I didn't have the right to photograph them without their permission.

They started advancing towards me in a very threatening manner. A woman by the name of Henrietta Lacy I later found out, smashed my camera into my face, and then clobbered me on the side of my head. Two of the guys with her must have had second thoughts about the way things were going and restrained her while she continued screaming at me. Now a few hours later I'm in pain. The right side of my head hurts where she clobbered me, my nose and eyebrows took the brunt of the camera being pushed into my face, and I must have also twisted my neck along the way. Now I'm heading over to the police station. Time to file a complaint!

Monkette reminds you not to vote for Jean Marcellus. If I could so easily find out Ms. Lacy's name then Jean could have found out my phone number. It's not like nobody knows me around here. An apology would have been a nice gesture. Jean, I'm still waiting.

I also found out that there's some concern that Jean Marcellus might not even have been a North Miami resident long enough to run for the council seat. Last year he was running for a seat in another municipality. There's a lawsuit pending now about that.

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