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U.S. Marshal's tough-guy talk is a government slogan: "Get the fu--- outta here."

@MarcACaputo

Four black youths sat in the middle of the street as police swarmed around them.

I went to take a picture from the sidewalk. An officer said I couldn’t.

“I’m a reporter with the Miami Herald.” I said.

The response, delivered from a U.S. Marshal: “Get the f--- outta here.”

Wow.

If there’s a slogan for how some in the federal government sometimes view the press and the public, it’s that: Get the [expletive] out of here.

After being sworn at, I insisted on remaining and started shooting video. But neither that Marshal nor another would give his name as we exchanged not-so-friendly words.

Ostensibly, the dispute looks like a case of over -policing Miami Beach’s Memorial Day weekend. (In a separate caught-on-camera moment, Miami-Dade Police cuffed and applied a choke-hold to a black 14-year-old, whose resisting-arrest charge came after officers said he looked threatening and gave them, according to CBS4, “dehumanizing stares.”)

On another level, the confrontation between police and press is a window into a secrecy-obsessed unaccountable government. It’s particularly common in the federal system, and not just with the Marshals.

The agency that houses the Marshal’s Service, the U.S. Department of Justice, has seized phone records of more than 100 staffers at the Associated Press. DOJ also accused a FOX News reporter of essentially being a spy and went so far as to obtain his parents’ phone records.

To explain himself, Attorney General Eric Holder offered an off-the-record meeting with some media organizations. Some declined the invitation, only to have a Democratic National Committee spokesman say this on Twitter to the press: “Kind of forfeits your right gripe.”

Translation: Get the expletive outta here.

Column here

Comments

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J. Morgan

Hey look on the bright side, they didn't snoop on all your emails, your parents emails and all the phone calls.

John Greco

Marc...a week later and you're still upset because someone in authority told you to "get the eff outta here" and all you had was your Herald credentials and your pen to show him who is boss? C'mon. And seriously, threatening to call the guy's boss to tell on him? You're never going to get to Fox News that way.

Look, the fed was abrasive and probably used bad judgment in telling you to move on. But you concentrate on that and totally ignore the professionalism of the Miami Beach cop who patiently explained to you what was going on.

I know it's popular these days to dump on federal employees and the government in certain political circles and, quite frankly, I'm surprised you didn't call the guy a "jack-booted thug" but all he really did was engage in a chest-bumping session with you. That's it. What occurred on Miami Beach that night as police conducted an investigation wasn't analogous to the IRS scandal or Eric Holder or anything bigger than 2 huge egos trying to get the better of each other.

The fact that you can't seem to let it go is, however, indicative of something. You're a smart guy, so I'm sure you know what that is.

whasup

It is a consistent and recurring problem with cops at various government levels that they don't want folks with the ability to video or take pictures around when they are engaged in enforcement actions against citizens.

I believe this heightened concern goes back to the Rodney King affair. The attitude of "nothing to see here, move along" is an old way for the force to keep folks from observing extra-legal and excessive methods they sometimes use.

The grotesque part is that most LE love the notion of having cameras all over to surveil the public, but often don't want cameras around capturing how they do their jobs.

foster

The reporter for the Miami Herald put the lives of law enforecement and those that they were detaining in danger by taking the officiers time away from a dangerous situation. Any of these people being detained could have had weapons, or used whatever was available to hurt someone when the police were distracted by this arrogant reporter. The reporter and camera crew should never had gotten that close to people being detained by police. The story would have been much different if someone from the newspaper got hurt or was killed while they distracted the police. This arrogant reporter should be disciplined.

Clint

Maybe they didnt want "Mr wanna be reporter" there because they were "engaged in enforcement actions" How about Officer safety "Whasup"? Marc should've went across the street from the begininging, he was too close to the action.

MB Citizen

Wow. The police frat boys are busy in the comments section. Pay no attention to the sadists who dress up in assault gear and beat up tourists (i.e. black and gay people). All members of law enforcement no matter which office they are tied to are public servants and should act with that dignity. The public can say whatever they want of these thugs as it is their right to complain about the conduct of the servants they pay.

JG

USG has been violating the privacy of every single citizen for a long while. Now that media is feeling it, it becomes an issue.

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