People of Hialeah, you need to know you must beware of the powers that be. You live in a police state where harassment of private citizens is not only tolerated, but in fact dictated by su alcaldito Carlos Hernandez.
While I am sure Ladra is not the only one to be harassed, followed, intimidated and insulted, she is the one who is going to amend her formal complaint with the State Attorney's Office with the latest tactics, which include another illegal trespass warning issued Friday, 18 hours after the fact -- over the telephone, no less -- by Hialeah Police homicide Det. Alex Castañeda, who was very nice and probably just following orders. Because, believe it or not, most of the cops in Hialeah are very supportive of my efforts to expose the corruption and ineptitude, the conflicts of interest and malfeasance going on at City Hall. They are being told to "write me up" by someone and it is a concerted and illegal systematic violation of my civil rights and freedom of speech and freedom of the press. And I believe that someone works from the fourth floor at City Hall.
As I said, it is not the first time.
This is the third illegal trespass warning originated by people connected to su alcaldito or Council President Isis "Gavelgirl" Garcia-Martinez, who has filed two false police reports about yours truly and was frustrated when she could not get a restraining order, like she threatened, because she is a big baby and there was never any legitimacy to that. One of the false reports was Sept. 10, when I was issued a trespass warning after I left the campaign office in the parking lot of a shopping strip. Who called the police, Gavelgirl's husband and "campaign manager" Alex Martinez, who had actually invited me to the grand opening event days earlier. Su alcaldito, however, also spoke to police, who wrote a report that clearly shows I never violated the Florida trespass law, which is a misdemeanor. That statute states "whoever, without being authorized, licensed or invited, willfully enters or remains in any structure or conveyance, or, having been authorized, licensed, or invited, is warned by the owner or lessee of the premises, or by a person authorized by the owner or lessee, to depart and refuses to do so, commits the offense of trespass."
Let me point you, dear readers and cops with remedial reading problems, to the key faults here: I did not remain nor refuse to depart. I left the campaign office and returned to the outside parking lot, where I had been for an hour taking pictures in complete view of the mayor and council members/candidates there. It was only after I took photos of paramedics entering the campaign headquarters of the people who want to fire 105 of them -- leaving the department with 40 percent fewer life savers -- that they decided they did not want my camera there. Not trespassing. I left.
This last one, Det. Castañeda said, came about after I took photos of the campaign office on Thursday evening (photographed) when there were three people there. It is a stark difference to the Martinez camp where there were dozens of volunteers signing up for the tasks of the week ahead. I believe that is a newsworthy observation and that the constitution of this country guarantees all of us the right to express it. I did not enter the campaign office. I stood outside. I then walked the promenade and took the phone numbers of several vacant store fronts that were not vacant when su alcaldito moved in. Just for fun. Who knows if there's a story there? It could be coincidence. But it might not be. And Ladra wants to know.
There have been other incidents that show an organized and systemic harassment and abuse of power. Council Vice President Luis Gonzalez's brother assaulted Political Cortadito cameraman Raul "El Toro" Torres and put him in a headlock (more on that later) in the parking lot of a TV station. A police officer in one of those crime supression unit muscle cars stopped me one night at what I suspect is the direction of Police Chief Mark Overton, I am sure at the direction of his boss, Hernandez. Su alcaldito's privagte security thug in residence, Glen "The Goon" Rice, stalked me at the JFK library during early voting taking hours of video and invading my personal space. And Casa Marin owner Diosdado Marin, who is also the proud owner of a list of 651 absentee votes he secures for his candidates (more on that later), followed me with his camera phone and insults and innuendos when I stopped to document the Super Sunday corner rally of the incumbents on West 49th Street and 16th Avenue.
I say all this with confidence because there is evidence. There are documents and there is video and there are photos. And these people will be held accountable. But the one who I want held accountable the most is su alcaldito, who Ladra is sure is giving the orders here. Because my questions and inquiries are making him more and more nervous and irate. Because other journalists have begun to follow the no-bid contracts story and have also uncovered other issues, like the Golden MultiMillion Dollar water pump built and inspected by contributors to su alcaldito's campaigns. He has the most to lose as he heads into an election where he has less time to pick up absentee ballots and fix the vote (more on that later... which is exactly what they want to stop). Because he can't let former Mayor Raul Martinez get into City Hall and open up all the no-bid contracts that su alcaldito has given away to friends and contributors to his campaigns. Because there might even be more hidden there than what we have found so far.
In fact, Ladra can smell it.
I hope su alcaldito and all his bullies can smell the wrath that is going to fall upon them for this official misconduct and abuse of power. Like I said, I had already made a complaint with the State Attorney's Office and they already forwarded it to the Miami-Dade Police public corruption unit. I am not going to go away with my tail between my legs, like some anonymous commenter seems to want. The elected leaders in Hialeah harass and disrespect residents who go to council meetings with concerns. They repeatedly threaten and intimidate employees who dare ask questions or side with any opponent. Su alcaldito had his henchment Rice and Arnie "Botella" Alonso snap photos and video of every employee who wore Martinez t-shirts and supported the opposition at the polls. Their constitutional rights are also being violated as some have reportedly been asked to stay away from polls during the run-off.
But when they harass and intimidate Ladra in an effort to silence political speech, bueno, se las pasaron. And vinieron a bailar a la casa del trompo.
Boy, I hope a good attorney somewhere is reading this.