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Anthony Graber, a Maryland Air National Guard staff sergeant, faces up to 16 years in prison. His crime? He videotaped his March encounter with a state trooper who pulled him over for speeding on a motorcycle. Then Graber put the video - which could put the officer in a bad light - up on YouTube.
It doesn't sound like much. But Graber is not the only person being slapped down by the long arm of the law for the simple act of videotaping the police in a public place. Prosecutors across the U.S. claim the videotaping violates wiretap laws - a stretch, to put it mildly.
In the Graber case, the trooper also apparently had reason to want to keep his actions off the Internet. He cut Graber off in an unmarked vehicle, approached Graber in plain clothes and yelled while brandishing a gun before identifying himself as a trooper.
Law enforcement is fighting back. In the case of Graber - a young husband and father who had never been arrested - the police searched his residence and seized computers. Graber spent 26 hours in jail even before facing the wiretapping charges that could conceivably put him away for 16 years. (It is hard to believe he will actually get anything like that, however. One point on his side: the Maryland attorney general's office recently gave its opinion that a court would likely find that the wiretap law does not apply to traffic stops.)
One point on his side: the Maryland attorney general's office recently gave its opinion that a court would likely find that the wiretap law does not apply to traffic stops.)
Originally posted by ~Lucidity
Gut feel here...but I'd say only if it puts an LEO in danger by, say:
1. Compromising an undercover identity or operation.
2. Interfering with the LEO's ability to perform the job.
3. Distracting or blocking to the extent that it puts the LEO and/or others in danger.
4. Compromising the privacy of people being detained/arrested/questioned.
That makes sense.
Originally posted by nh_ee
This guy needs a better attorney or legal representation because there is no way he should be penalized to this extent for the violations committed.
Granted he was driving recklessly, but ....
What law/statute states that owning and operating a video camera illegal on a vehicle ? Especially when:
1.) LEO use them and
2.) When a life threatening crime/threat, namely assault with a deadly weapon is about to be committed ?
Technically speaking, the LEO was unmarked and approached the defendant brandishing a deadly weapon, which is a life threatening act and could be deemed as an act or terrorism, kidnapping or a deadly assault.
As a common citizen as being alone, he has a right to continue to record with his legally operated camera for the use of documenting the event to be used as evidence in prosecuting his potential assailant in a court of law.
It's Ridiculous what the Bullies with a Badge gang can get away with in our corrupt injustice system.
Where's the Serve and Protect ?
Originally posted by Miraj
reply to post by buni11687
The police video tape themselves. SO no, it should be perfectly allowed.
There's no way to get around this, since I'll take free speech over a cops reputation, but I hope people wouldn't edit tapes to make it look like cops are doing something illegal or un-ethical when they arent.