June 23, 2017

Well, that’s the end of COPS!

…at least in these states.

In Pennsylvania:

Brian D. Kelly didn’t think he was doing anything illegal when he used his videocamera to record a Carlisle police officer during a traffic stop. Making movies is one of his hobbies, he said, and the stop was just another interesting event to film. […] Kelly, 18, of Carlisle, was arrested on a felony wiretapping charge, with a penalty of up to 7 years in state prison. […] Kelly is charged under a state law that bars the intentional interception or recording of anyone’s oral conversation without their consent.

http://blog.pennlive.com/patriotnews/2007/06/brian_d_kelly_didnt_think.html

In Florida:

(Police officers told Sharon Tasha) Ford that it is illegal to tape interactions with police officers, and then threatened Ford’s son telling him that he wouldn’t be able to go home and would be arrested because of his mother’s actions. When Ford refused to stop videotaping, both her and her son were arrested and taken to the police station. Ford was arrested for resisting arrest because she asked too many questions, and her son was arrested for trespassing.

http://www.aclu.org/free-speech/aclu-sues-after-mother-falsely-arrested-boynton-beach-police-officers

In Maryland:

In early April, state police officers raided Graber’s parents’ home in Abingdon, Md. They confiscated his camera, computers and external hard drives. Graber was indicted for allegedly violating state wiretap laws by recording the trooper without his consent.

http://patdollard.com/2010/07/growing-number-of-people-arrested-for-videotaping-police-with-video/

In each case individuals were arrest for videotaping an arrest.  Technically, this felony (!) occurs only when the audio part of the video is recording so it appears to my layman’s understanding that the law can be skirted if the sound is off.  Would the beatings of victims of police brutality be as apparent without the screams and moans following a taser or a club?  Would the abusive use of taser be less clear without the commentary of those administering the zap?

Watch this video with sound and without and then decide:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owhU35GtVn4

This incident occurred in Georgia which does not require the consent of two parties for recording audio.

But as a lawyer at the ACLU stated:

“Police and governmental recording of citizens is becoming more pervasive and to say that government can record you but you can’t record, it speaks volumes about the mentality of people in government.”

What happens if someone tapes a crime on a public street?  Is that now illegal?  Could the good Samaritan documenting the crime be charged with a felony himself?  Will the police make a decision to enforce the law only when it applies to them?   Would the videotape now be illegal as evidence since it is illegally derived?”

Laws of this type exist in twelve states and prosecutions are frequently dropped but only after the rights of American citizens have been abused.

Perhaps this is one area where I can agree with teabaggers about the abuse of governmental authority and intrusion upon our freedoms.  Somehow I don’t believe they will take up the cause… Also check out Pharma Watch Dog Drug Info to see if you or a family member is a victim of risperdal side effects.