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Author Topic: illegal to film cops in public in at least 3 states  (Read 5409 times)
dead0man
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« on: June 03, 2010, 11:57:57 pm »
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In response to a flood of Facebook and YouTube videos that depict police abuse, a new trend in law enforcement is gaining popularity. In at least three states, it is now illegal to record any on-duty police officer.

Even if the encounter involves you and may be necessary to your defense, and even if the recording is on a public street where no expectation of privacy exists.

The legal justification for arresting the "shooter" rests on existing wiretapping or eavesdropping laws, with statutes against obstructing law enforcement sometimes cited. Illinois, Massachusetts, and Maryland are among the 12 states in which all parties must consent for a recording to be legal unless, as with TV news crews, it is obvious to all that recording is underway. Since the police do not consent, the camera-wielder can be arrested. Most all-party-consent states also include an exception for recording in public places where "no expectation of privacy exists" (Illinois does not) but in practice this exception is not being recognized.

<snip>

In short, recordings that are flattering to the police - an officer kissing a baby or rescuing a dog - will almost certainly not result in prosecution even if they are done without all-party consent. The only people who seem prone to prosecution are those who embarrass or confront the police, or who somehow challenge the law. If true, then the prosecutions are a form of social control to discourage criticism of the police or simple dissent.

A recent arrest in Maryland is both typical and disturbing.

On March 5, 24-year-old Anthony John Graber III's motorcycle was pulled over for speeding. He is currently facing criminal charges for a video he recorded on his helmet-mounted camera during the traffic stop.

The case is disturbing because:

1) Graber was not arrested immediately. Ten days after the encounter, he posted some of he material to YouTube, and it embarrassed Trooper J. D. Uhler. The trooper, who was in plainclothes and an unmarked car, jumped out waving a gun and screaming. Only later did Uhler identify himself as a police officer. When the YouTube video was discovered the police got a warrant against Graber, searched his parents' house (where he presumably lives), seized equipment, and charged him with a violation of wiretapping law.

2) Baltimore criminal defense attorney Steven D. Silverman said he had never heard of the Maryland wiretap law being used in this manner. In other words, Maryland has joined the expanding trend of criminalizing the act of recording police abuse. Silverman surmises, "It's more [about] ‘contempt of cop' than the violation of the wiretapping law."

3) Police spokesman Gregory M. Shipley is defending the pursuit of charges against Graber, denying that it is "some capricious retribution" and citing as justification the particularly egregious nature of Graber's traffic offenses. Oddly, however, the offenses were not so egregious as to cause his arrest before the video appeared.
Illinois, Massachusetts, and Maryland suck a little bit more than they did before. (and they sucked plenty before)
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IDS Judicial Overlord PiT
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« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2010, 01:03:05 am »
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     Yeah, these are messed up laws. It is already so hard to get many juries out there to actually consider that the police can do wrong in the line of duty, I can easily see more officers beating people up & getting away with it. As it stands, the videorecording is one of the best weapons there is against police brutality.
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Franzl
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« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2010, 02:19:05 am »
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Hope I don't get beat up by the police Smiley
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dead0man
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« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2010, 05:22:12 am »
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Isn't this basically admiting to the public that the police in these three states are up to no good and the political powers in the state know it and sanction it?
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Franzl
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« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2010, 05:56:46 am »
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Isn't this basically admiting to the public that the police in these three states are up to no good and the political powers in the state know it and sanction it?

Yes, not that these three states have a monopoly on police brutality, of course. (Is this even constitutional? Seems like it'd be easy to challenge, doesn't it?)
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dead0man
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« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2010, 06:12:05 am »
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Yeah, that's what I was thinking too. Why haven't the Supremes seen this yet?
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Grumps
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« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2010, 07:45:02 am »
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Yeah, that's what I was thinking too. Why haven't the Supremes seen this yet?

Probably because it hasn't even gotten to the point where he's been tried in the lower court yet.  It might make its way up the food chain, deadone.
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Grumps
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« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2010, 12:31:21 pm »
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Actualy I'm surprised the ACLU isn't all jumpin' ugly about this.........
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« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2010, 02:34:30 pm »
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Actualy I'm surprised the ACLU isn't all jumpin' ugly about this.........

Because it's the liberal states that are doing it! Tongue
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« Reply #9 on: June 04, 2010, 02:43:42 pm »
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Actualy I'm surprised the ACLU isn't all jumpin' ugly about this.........

Because it's the liberal states that are doing it! Tongue

Damn, I'm a dumb old.........thanks, friend Wink
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Senator Libertas
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« Reply #10 on: June 04, 2010, 04:11:32 pm »
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Isn't this basically admiting to the public that the police in these three states are up to no good and the political powers in the state know it and sanction it?

Police in all 50 states and DC are up to no good. Of course they don't want to be caught on camera lest the world see what criminal pieces of trash they really are.
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Franzl
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« Reply #11 on: June 04, 2010, 04:43:55 pm »
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Isn't this basically admiting to the public that the police in these three states are up to no good and the political powers in the state know it and sanction it?

Police in all 50 states and DC are up to no good. Of course they don't want to be caught on camera lest the world see what criminal pieces of trash they really are.

So all cops are criminal pieces of trash that serve no legitimate purpose?
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Torie
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« Reply #12 on: June 04, 2010, 06:30:14 pm »
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Someone should challenge this awful law. Cops don't deserve any privacy if performing acts in the line of duty. The whole world should be watching ideally, no?  I want video cameras in the Orange County jail, and plan to make my move in that direction soon. The campaign is about to begin!  Smiley
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Lunar
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« Reply #13 on: June 05, 2010, 08:53:13 am »
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What about security cameras?

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Since the police do not consent, the camera-wielder can be arrested. Most all-party-consent states also include an exception for recording in public places where "no expectation of privacy exists" (Illinois does not) but in practice this exception is not being recognized.

Um, really?  Is there an expectation of privacy when you pull someone over on a public road for a traffic stop?

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The courts, however, disagree. A few weeks ago, an Illinois judge rejected a motion to dismiss an eavesdropping charge against Christopher Drew, who recorded his own arrest for selling one-dollar artwork on the streets of Chicago. Although the misdemeanor charges of not having a peddler's license and peddling in a prohibited area were dropped, Drew is being prosecuted for illegal recording, a Class I felony punishable by 4 to 15 years in prison.

That's more of an injustice than being framed.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2010, 10:53:27 pm by Lunar »Logged

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officepark
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« Reply #14 on: June 05, 2010, 09:08:22 am »
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What about security cameras?

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Since the police do not consent, the camera-wielder can be arrested. Most all-party-consent states also include an exception for recording in public places where "no expectation of privacy exists" (Illinois does not) but in practice this exception is not being recognized.

Um, really?  Is there an expectation of privacy when you pull someone over on a public road for a traffic stop?

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The courts, however, disagree. A few weeks ago, an Illinois judge rejected a motion to dismiss an eavesdropping charge against Christopher Drew, who recorded his own arrest for selling one-dollar artwork on the streets of Chicago. Although the misdemeanor charges of not having a peddler's license and peddling in a prohibited area were dropped, Drew is being prosecuted for illegal recording, a Class I felony punishable by 4 to 15 years in prison.

That's most of an injustice than being framed.

15 years?

As if the recording being a crime in the first place wasn't bad enough....
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fezzyfestoon
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« Reply #15 on: June 06, 2010, 10:07:29 am »
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Wow, not the states I'd expect to do this.  Cops don't need protection, the people do.  I can't wait for this to be completely denied.
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« Reply #16 on: June 07, 2010, 04:40:38 am »
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The question I have is how long until these laws get challenged.
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Grumps
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« Reply #17 on: June 07, 2010, 08:01:37 am »
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The question I have is how long until these laws get challenged.

Well the ACLU usually doesn't wait for a lower court case to start litigating.........but other than them, there is a long process to make it up the line.......could be quite some time.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2010, 11:36:56 am by Grumps »Logged

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« Reply #18 on: June 07, 2010, 08:40:07 pm »
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For those questioning the ACLU, they are, in fact, providing legal counsel in the very case that the initial post was about:

http://www.aclu.org/free-speech/aclu-defends-rights-citizens-monitor-police-representing-motorcyclist-prosecuted-state-p
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Grumps
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« Reply #19 on: June 07, 2010, 08:59:45 pm »
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For those questioning the ACLU, they are, in fact, providing legal counsel in the very case that the initial post was about:

http://www.aclu.org/free-speech/aclu-defends-rights-citizens-monitor-police-representing-motorcyclist-prosecuted-state-p

Excellent, Schroeder!  Thank you for finding this....
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Lunar
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« Reply #20 on: June 07, 2010, 10:52:22 pm »
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And people bash the ACLU because they sometimes get silly about small stuff?

ACLU are ff's through and through.  If I were a wealthy man, I'd donate to them.
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Franzl
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« Reply #21 on: June 08, 2010, 04:22:31 am »
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And people bash the ACLU because they sometimes get silly about small stuff?

ACLU are ff's through and through.  If I were a wealthy man, I'd donate to them.

They can get annoying....really annoying......but they serve a noble purpose, and I'm glad they exist.

I'd rather people demand to many constitutional rights than not enough.
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change08
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« Reply #22 on: June 08, 2010, 05:56:03 am »
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This screams "unconstitutional" to me.
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Grumps
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« Reply #23 on: June 08, 2010, 07:20:39 am »
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And people bash the ACLU because they sometimes get silly about small stuff?

ACLU are ff's through and through.  If I were a wealthy man, I'd donate to them.

Yes, I'm a basher over the small stuff.......this isn't small.
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« Reply #24 on: June 08, 2010, 08:43:08 am »
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I find myself wondering whether or not there could be a jury stupid enough to convict on this.
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