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Facing 16 Years In Prison For Videotaping Police

kdawson posted about 4 years ago | from the we-are-watching-you dept.

The Courts 878

krou sends this snip from the Maine Civil Liberties Union: "The ACLU of Maryland is defending Anthony Graber, who faces as much as sixteen years in prison if found guilty of violating state wiretap laws because he recorded video of an officer drawing a gun during a traffic stop. ... Once [the Maryland State Police] learned of the video on YouTube, Graber's parents' house was raided, searched, and four of his computers were confiscated. Graber was arrested, booked, and jailed. Their actions are a calculated method of intimidation. Another person has since been similarly charged under the same statute. The wiretap law being used to charge Anthony Graber is intended to protect private communication between two parties. According to David Rocah, the ACLU attorney handling Mr. Graber's case, 'To charge Graber with violating the law, you would have to conclude that a police officer on a public road, wearing a badge and a uniform, performing his official duty, pulling someone over, somehow has a right to privacy when it comes to the conversation he has with the motorist.'" Here are a factsheet (PDF) on the case from the ACLU of Maryland, and the video at issue.

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If you've nothing to hide... (5, Insightful)

Gordonjcp (186804) | about 4 years ago | (#33041140)

... you've nothing to be afraid of. So, I wonder what it is they're afraid of?

Re:If you've nothing to hide... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33041166)

I have nothing illegal to hide - but I still want to. That's what privacy is.

Cops on duty shouldn't have any privacy. Everything they do should be recorded (except when cost would prohibit recording). As a tax payer, and therefore, the employer of all police officers, I want to make sure my employees are behaving.

Re:If you've nothing to hide... (-1, Flamebait)

sumdumass (711423) | about 4 years ago | (#33041216)

You are not the employer and they are not your employees- even if you are a tax payer of that state. They are employees of the government not you. You can't tell them what to do, you can't tell them when to show up to work or leave, you can't tell them what their pay is or what their benefit packages will be, you can't even tell them where to do their jobs. They are not in any way your employee and you are not in any way their employer. Public servant does not mean working for the public, it means working for the government. Public in this sense has no direction to the public in general, it's meant to denote the sector in which work is duplicated as in Private verses Public and has no bearing concerning tax payers at all.

Re:If you've nothing to hide... (5, Insightful)

Mattcelt (454751) | about 4 years ago | (#33041396)

You're right in a way, and wrong in a way. Law enforcement officers hold an office of Public Trust. While it's correct that they are not *employees* of the Public, insofar as any member of the Public cannot order them about, they are still accountable to the Public (and all of its constituents thereof). Video recordings are a powerful means by which to ensure that accountability is retained. Thus it does have a great and necessary bearing on the taxpayers.

Re:If you've nothing to hide... (5, Insightful)

gd2shoe (747932) | about 4 years ago | (#33041262)

Most of the video is boring. Skip to 2:55. He did deserve to be pulled over, but not like that.

Cops on duty shouldn't have any privacy. Everything they do should be recorded (except when cost would prohibit recording). As a tax payer, and therefore, the employer of all police officers, I want to make sure my employees are behaving.

I agree, but it's more than that. They're authority to use force derives from our rights. We have every right to ensure that they are properly executing their duties (without interfering with said duties). The first amendment was specifically intended to allow for dissemination of information regarding improper use of authority. He has an affirmative right to post that video. At best the officer can claim the inferred right to privacy, which shouldn't be granted in this context.

Re:If you've nothing to hide... (3, Insightful)

Compaqt (1758360) | about 4 years ago | (#33041384)

Yeah.

What's funny is stupid/corrupt judges (in the sense of favoring expansion of the power of the government of which they are a part) have found some way to not apply wiretapping laws to warrantless Internet taps, yet recording a public servant right out in public is somehow a *wire*tap.

Re:If you've nothing to hide... (5, Interesting)

snorris01 (571733) | about 4 years ago | (#33041432)

I'm sure that the founding fathers would have had an amendment of the constitution that guaranteed against what is going on right now.

People should also focus on how unnecessarily dangerous that traffic stop was.

Why did off-duty officer feel it was necessary to endanger his own life, the motorcyclist and the life of the motorists in the nearby vehicles? His weapon was drawn before he announced that he was a police officer. Somebody who would have chosen fight over flight could have caused a serious altercation. IANAPO, but why couldn't the officer have recorded the details of this obvious lawbreaker and reported it to a marked unit to take care of traffic violations?

I'm hoping there are other details I don't know about, but the video evidence seems to indicate an investigation of the officer's conduct would be prudent.

Re:If you've nothing to hide... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33041210)

... you've nothing to be afraid of. So, I wonder what it is they're afraid of?

They are afraid they'll be prosecuted next time they treat someone like a king.

Re:If you've nothing to hide... (1, Offtopic)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about 4 years ago | (#33041250)

By that logic, you wouldn't mind if we went ahead and aired some of your private conversation as well, right? I really hate when your argument is used in situations like this one. If you want to argue that they have no right to privacy because they're civil servants doing their job in a public space, that's fine, but don't try to argue the whole "if you've nothing to hide" line, because it can just as easily be turned around towards us.

Re:If you've nothing to hide... (1)

Zakabog (603757) | about 4 years ago | (#33041266)

By that logic, you wouldn't mind if we went ahead and aired some of your private conversation as well, right?

It depends on the conversation, I've never said anything at work that I wouldn't want being aired, and I deal with customers all day. Not to say that I want everything I say at work to be recorded, but I've never had a conversation where I thought "What if this gets out!" I especially wouldn't want someone to face 16 years in prison for airing ANYTHING I've ever said at work. Even extremely private conversations with co-workers, 16 years is HARSH.

Re:If you've nothing to hide... (4, Informative)

Splab (574204) | about 4 years ago | (#33041330)

Anything you say, can and will be used against you - it's that simple. Spend an hour on this video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wXkI4t7nuc [youtube.com]

Re:If you've nothing to hide... (1)

h4rm0ny (722443) | about 4 years ago | (#33041544)


Well that's fine for you then. But what about the rest of humanity that has said things they don't want public at work? When you argue against something, consider its effects on others, not just yourself.

Re:If you've nothing to hide... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33041514)

whoosh!

Re:If you've nothing to hide... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33041288)

At what point does loss of liberty become tyranny?

Re:If you've nothing to hide... (1)

wisdom_brewing (557753) | about 4 years ago | (#33041340)

Once [the Maryland State Police] learned of the video on YouTube, Graber's parents' house was raided, searched, and four of his computers were confiscated. Graber was arrested, booked, and jailed. Their actions are a calculated method of intimidation.

Its unfortunate (4, Insightful)

Beowulf_Boy (239340) | about 4 years ago | (#33041144)

Its unfortunate that he will most likely win (atleast, we all hope) and will probably end up getting some money out of the state for his trouble. But the thing is, the people that made those decisions won't be punished, its the tax payers that will be punished because now the defecit due to the lawsuit has to be made up for.

Re:Its unfortunate (2, Funny)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | about 4 years ago | (#33041192)

Who cares about the money? At least one person is going to resign or get fired. I think the tax payers would pay like $0.07 each to at the same time fire whoever is behind this idiocy.

Re:Its unfortunate (5, Insightful)

Ami Ganguli (921) | about 4 years ago | (#33041236)

I seriously doubt anybody will get more than a slap on the wrist.

This is a problem pretty much everywhere. When law enforcement does nasty stuff they're rarely punished. If a private citizen pulled a gun on a motorist, then broke into his home, kidnapped him for 26 hours, and stole this computers, there would be serious prison time, but when cops do this there are no real consequences.

I think that it would probably help the majority of decent, competent cops to do their jobs if the bad ones (and their superiors) were fired and punished when they pulled this sort of crap, but whenever anybody calls for bad cops to be held accountable, police unions raise a stink.

Re:Its unfortunate (1)

shentino (1139071) | about 4 years ago | (#33041260)

What worries me more is the possibility that this charge will actually stick and simply be pled down on grounds of cruel and unusual punishment.

Re:Its unfortunate (5, Insightful)

popo (107611) | about 4 years ago | (#33041310)

The motorcyclist would have been 100% within his rights to draw a gun and shoot his attacker in the face. This police officer is extraordinarily lucky to be breathing.

Re:Its unfortunate (4, Insightful)

TheTurtlesMoves (1442727) | about 4 years ago | (#33041412)

but whenever anybody calls for bad cops to be held accountable, police unions raise a stink....

And "good cops" start bleating in the corner about why they didn't say anything. Some crap about don't snitch on your fellow inmates^W cops. Well if the "good cops" started actually being good cops --rather than an accessory after the fact (and probably an accessory before the fact), then my faith in the uniform wouldn't have been lost.

But when good cops bleet on about what would happen --ie are intimidated... where do we, who are not cops, stand?

Cop Killer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33041152)

I know your family's grievin'... FUCK 'em...

Cop Killer... 'cause tonight... we... get... even...

The problem is Maryland's two-party law (2, Interesting)

Valacosa (863657) | about 4 years ago | (#33041154)

If Maryland only required one party involved in a conversation to be aware for a recording to be legal, this bullshit charge would never fly. Such is the case in Canada, and the majority of US states.

Re:The problem is Maryland's two-party law (4, Interesting)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about 4 years ago | (#33041178)

Yep, if you live in a two party state, you need to get on your representatives to change the law. The problem is just as this illustrates: EVERYONE involved in a conversation has to be informed and often to consent to the recording. If not, it is illegal. While obviously it is the easiest for the police to abuse this, normal citizens can too. You see a gang banger beating the crap out of someone, you covertly film it, his attorney presses to have you criminally charged. Or you have a boss who screams racial slurs at people your record that on a tape recorder and then the boss find out and has you charged.

A one party system is a much better way to go. That means one person in a conversation , the person recording, has to be aware a recording is being made. Nobody else needs to be told. This means you can't just record anything, you can't sneak cameras in to your neighbour's house, but you can put them in your own. You can't place a tap on a random phone but you can record your own calls, and so on. You can record things you are involved in (such as having a camera on your person), property you own, etc.

Do that, and then police, or anyone else, can't pull this shit.

Re:The problem is Maryland's two-party law (1)

QuantumG (50515) | about 4 years ago | (#33041240)

Call me crazy, but I prefer the "I can record anything I want but the government needs a warrant".

Re:The problem is Maryland's two-party law (4, Insightful)

gd2shoe (747932) | about 4 years ago | (#33041354)

Yep. You're crazy.

You've forgotten about the law of unintended consequences. Do you really think it aught to be legal for anybody you've invited into your home to plant bugs or cameras? They're there lawfully, and you're proposing giving them the right to record without being party to the conversation. What about bed/bath rooms? What about corporate espionage? Messy divorces? Foreign agents?

One party consent seems to be a sane minimum without a warrant. I understand the desire/need for two party consent laws, but they too have unintended consequences, and needs to be fine tuned (as this incident shows).

Re:The problem is Maryland's two-party law (1)

totally bogus dude (1040246) | about 4 years ago | (#33041276)

I don't understand why it's okay to covertly film a gang banger beating the crap out of someone in a "one party system". Neither of the involved parties are aware they're being recorded. If the argument is that the person filming it is involved by virtue of the fact that they're filming it, then why aren't then they allowed to sneak a camera into your neighbour's house to record them? I mean, you're still aware that they're being recorded. I don't see how your lack of physical presence means anything, because in the former case (gang banger) nobody involved was aware of your presence then, either.

Is it not that the one-party system prevents it, but because you need to break other laws (e.g. trespass) in order to do it?

But I still don't see why it's okay to film people without their consent under one-party, but not under two-party, unless you're one of the involved parties.

Re:The problem is Maryland's two-party law (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about 4 years ago | (#33041400)

Basic logic. If you are filming or recording what you are seeing or hearing it is legal. Why? Because you are there, you are a party. For that matter if you and a good memory you could simply remember it and then document it later. With a one party system, you can record anyone that you are present for, and generally anything you own (like having cameras in your house).

This is not hard to understand.

Re:The problem is Maryland's two-party law (1)

totally bogus dude (1040246) | about 4 years ago | (#33041522)

Fair enough; though I don't think the basic logic extends very well to having cameras in your house. What if I park my car somewhere and leave a camera recording whatever's out the window, is that okay?

If it is, then: a camera is something you own, so surely I'm entitled to record anything that's where the camera is?

It also doesn't address things I can e.g. see from my house. Can I put a camera on a tree in a house that happens to have a good view of the neighbour's bathroom or bedroom or whatever?

Re:The problem is Maryland's two-party law (1)

HeronBlademaster (1079477) | about 4 years ago | (#33041406)

But I still don't see why it's okay to film people without their consent under one-party, but not under two-party, unless you're one of the involved parties.

Well, it's not okay under one-party rules. However, if the gang-banger is doing the beating in a public place, that changes things.

If the gang-banger is doing the beating in his own house, then you have no right to film that, unless perhaps you can see it from a public place... like your own house's window... but then you're getting into "Peeping Tom" territory, I'm not sure what the laws are there.

Of course, I fail to see why the law should care. If I can see a crime happen, then I'm allowed to report it (i.e. if I see the neighbor couple physically fighting, I can report a domestic disturbance); ideally it should never be illegal to submit a video recording of exactly what I saw (assuming I wasn't trespassing or something in order to see it). That would cover the gang-banger beatdown and the domestic abuse you can see through your neighbor's window...

Re:The problem is Maryland's two-party law (4, Insightful)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | about 4 years ago | (#33041242)

I like to know when I'm being recorded, thank you very much. The problem here is the ridiculous idea that a police officer in a public place has the same right to privacy as two people involved in a private telephone conversation.

On a side note I can't figure out who is the biggest asshole involved in this: the motorcyclist himself for doing 127mph on a public road while weaving between cars and doing wheelies, the cop for briefly pulling a gun and immediately putting it back into the holster, or the Maryland State Police for going after the guy. I vote for the Maryland State Police, with the motorcyclist himself in close second and the cop in third place.

Re:The problem is Maryland's two-party law (1)

Ami Ganguli (921) | about 4 years ago | (#33041252)

I don't have a strong opinion on the one/two-party law issue, but it doesn't appear to be much of a factor in this case anyway.

The ACLU pdf says that, even in Maryland, you only need permission if there is an expectation of privacy, and the Attorney General gave a legal opinion previously that people who are passing an arrest that is being recorded by the police don't have an expectation of privacy.

If an uninvolved passerby doesn't have an expectation of privacy, then it's hard to imagine how somebody directly involved in the incident has an expectation of privacy.

USA - Police State (1, Insightful)

lena_10326 (1100441) | about 4 years ago | (#33041160)

It's growing more and more apparent every day. It's a shame that when we start doing something about it we'll be completely unarmed, defenseless, and powerless.

Then do something other than whining on /. (3, Informative)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about 4 years ago | (#33041196)

First step would be to learn about the laws involved. This is not a US wide law, this is state by state and the majority of states are not like this. If your state is affected, then set about trying to change it. You might discover that your state representatives don't even know. This shit was drafted up a long time ago in most cases. You make them aware they are a two party state and the consequences, maybe they work to fix it. If not, you continue the quest along other avenues.

However bitching about the USA being a "Police State" on a message board does no good.

And before you shoot back at me, I live in a one party state, so this particular issue is not one I concern myself with. My legislature has already made the correct choice, and we can record if we like.

Basil Marceaux will fix this! (1)

commodoresloat (172735) | about 4 years ago | (#33041274)

This is exactly why Basil Marceaux [freesitenow.com] has been running for governor [youtube.com] of Tennessee, so he can stop "slavery at traffic stops." Always wondered what he meant by that.

Re:USA - Police State (1)

GWRedDragon (1340961) | about 4 years ago | (#33041300)

It's not the US that's the police state, it's Maryland in particular. Along with a small handful of other states too of course, such as New Jersey.

Re:USA - Police State (5, Insightful)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about 4 years ago | (#33041348)

Oh, bullshit. I'm sure it's exhilarating to push the +1 Insightful moderation, but I live in an actual police state. If I went to city hall with a group of people waving signs, we'd have the People's Armed Police up in our grill faster than you can say "Jiminy Cricket". I just cringe when Americans make idiot statements like yours.

Re:USA - Police State (1, Informative)

evilviper (135110) | about 4 years ago | (#33041434)

I live in an actual police state. If I went to city hall with a group of people waving signs, we'd have the People's Armed Police up in our grill faster than you can say "Jiminy Cricket".

Peaceful protesters in the US are routinely hit with tear-gas, clubbed by the police, tazed, shot in the face with rubber bullets, etc.

Re:USA - Police State (1)

lena_10326 (1100441) | about 4 years ago | (#33041484)

Oh, bullshit. I'm sure it's exhilarating to push the +1 Insightful moderation, but I live in an actual police state. If I went to city hall with a group of people waving signs, we'd have the People's Armed Police up in our grill faster than you can say "Jiminy Cricket". I just cringe when Americans make idiot statements like yours.

You mean.. like this?

http://www.commondreams.org/headlines03/0407-06.htm http://brainz.org/30-cases-extreme-police-brutality-and-blatant-misconduct/ [brainz.org] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pbfA5q0QaNI [youtube.com] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vwN-t3A_044 [youtube.com] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mxRcvHqbIZc [youtube.com] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkBdOaR871o [youtube.com] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1vW36qt1SbE [youtube.com] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yeYg0qCn11U [youtube.com] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rwkVMT6m7zg [youtube.com]

The list goes on and on and on and I don't have all damned night to educate you (assuming you're capable of learning). Maybe next time you should keep your ignorant mouth shut. When it comes to America have no clue what you're talking about.

Re:USA - Police State (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33041494)

I just cringe when Americans make idiot statements like yours.

At least on Slashdot, comments like these aren't usually made by Americans, but by outsiders. It sounds as ignorant as claiming that a new Denmark law reflects poorly on the EU. When will they get through their skulls the vast divide between U.S. state and federal laws?

Re:USA - Police State (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33041516)

Yes. The fact that you live in a police-state makes it impossible for other nations to move towards being police-states. What an excellent observation. We can all just sit down, lean back and chillax now.

Thanks.

Re:USA - Police State (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33041526)

you and your 3 modders are clearly the idiot assholes here. by the way i love it how fuck twits like you blast away and quickly get smacked down in your place. stupid bitch.

Re:USA - Police State (1)

Digital Vomit (891734) | about 4 years ago | (#33041530)

And the switch to a police state just happened overnight, right?

Streissand Effect (3, Insightful)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | about 4 years ago | (#33041182)

When is anyone anywhere going to learn about the Streissand Effect? This would only even be slightly more idiotic or ironic if in they video, they're pulling over Barbara Streissand herself. Now millions of people and probably CNN if it's a slow news day will pick up this story and know what a bunch of assholes these morons are and there will be resignations and law suits and blah blah blah just because of a few arrogant jackasses trying to use scare tactics. Well, at least the good news is they're all going to get what they deserve.
Btw, since they're probably not above suing over comments about this story also, SUBPEONA THIS! *flips off the screen*
Lol, just try and take me to court to make me prove you're all jackasses as stated (and make it a jury trial.)

Re:Streissand Effect (1)

OverlordQ (264228) | about 4 years ago | (#33041230)

When is anyone anywhere going to learn about the Streissand Effect? This would only even be slightly more idiotic or ironic if in they video, they're pulling over Barbara Streissand herself. Now millions of people and probably CNN if it's a slow news day will pick up this story

It's been a story ever since it happened back in June.

Re:Streissand Effect (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 4 years ago | (#33041238)

Really? What will the Streisand effect state to the people? That two kids have been arrested and are facing 16 years in the "pound me in the ass" real prison for video taping some cops? I mean the only reason this story has legs is not because they attempted to get the video pulled, but because some teen is being represented by the ACLU in which he could face 16 years in prison for making the video in the first place.

No one is going to resign, if anything, they will be patting themselves on their own backs saying I bet no one will attempt to video tape us now because they don't want the long and costly court battle or the possible 16 years of their life tossed down the drain.

Lose lose situation (5, Insightful)

Stiletto (12066) | about 4 years ago | (#33041184)

We're all one traffic stop away from total financial ruin and potentially jail. If it's not for something illegal today, it'll be for something illegal tomorrow, or simply something the police think might be possibly illegal.

Whether he's found guilty or not, his life is basically over.

If he's lucky, the ordeal will cost him thousands (maybe tens of thousands) when it's all said and done, and he wont get any of his stuff back. He'll have an impossible time getting a job, a loan, a security clearance, etc. with an arrest in his background. Many (most?) employers now ask if you've merely been arrested, regardless of whether you were charged or found guilty, so he'll be making minimum wage at best.

If he's unlucky, he'll have a bunch of jack-booted "law and order" Americans on his jury who side with the police by default and just want to see more people put in jail.

Re:Lose lose situation (5, Insightful)

sqrt(2) (786011) | about 4 years ago | (#33041248)

That's why I hope he wins his case, and then turns around and sues the state and Police Department for millions.

Being "tough on crime" is a joke in an age where nearly everyone, everywhere in our country is guilty of SOMETHING that could land them in prison. There is something fundamentally wrong with our legal system. It no longer seeks justice, it seeks to create more criminals because criminals are now a product that the state can sell to industrialists who build and maintain prisons. You make more criminals by making more behavior criminal, and forcing segments of the population toward criminal behavior - our inner cities are crime factories, and that's exactly what the state wants because if the prisons are empty, then more won't be built.

Re:Lose lose situation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33041418)

You sound pretty "irrational" about this.

Re:Lose lose situation (4, Insightful)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | about 4 years ago | (#33041306)

If it's not for something illegal today, it'll be for something illegal tomorrow, or simply something the police think might be possibly illegal.

I think it's clear that riding a motorcycle at 127mph in traffic while doing wheelies is pretty fucking illegal. What the police department did about the recording is very wrong but that's a separate issue. The initial traffic stop was completely justified and the guy should lose his license if not worse. Don't make him into some kind of innocent victim.

Re:Lose lose situation (5, Insightful)

flimflammer (956759) | about 4 years ago | (#33041312)

As far as I'm concerned, he is a victim. He may have broken the law but that doesn't justify 16 years in prison or anything related to the video taping. Just because you break the law in some fashion does not mean you're free to have anything done to you. He should be fined, lose his license, or something related to his crime. All this wiretapping bullshit is getting a bit ridiculous.

There's a difference (0, Flamebait)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about 4 years ago | (#33041350)

Between a victim and an innocent victim. What the GP is saying is that yes, the wiretapping charge is BS and he's a victim in that way. However the guy was wildly and dangerously breaking traffic law. It isn't as though the police just found a guy at random and said "Let's pick on him!" The guy is a victim, but not at all innocent.

Re:Lose lose situation (5, Insightful)

FrameRotBlues (1082971) | about 4 years ago | (#33041376)

My car is governed at 128, and I've previously been stopped for doing 94 in a 55. I received a hefty ticket and I paid it. The police did not get an arrest warrant, search my house, or seize my computers.

What the police department did about the recording is very wrong but that's a separate issue.

And that "separate issue" would be the issue at hand. The defendant has everything coming to him regarding speeding and/or reckless driving citations, but that's not why the ACLU is representing him, nor why he's facing 16 years in jail. In that respect, IMHO he is an innocent victim.

Re:Lose lose situation (1)

Great Big Bird (1751616) | about 4 years ago | (#33041542)

Where does it say '127 mph'? It would explain why he was pulled over (which looked reasonable), but I didn't see anything indicating speed (fish eye lens isn't a good indicator to me).

Re:Lose lose situation (4, Interesting)

TheTurtlesMoves (1442727) | about 4 years ago | (#33041346)

Many (most?) employers now ask if you've merely been arrested...

In all the countries i live in, you can answer no to such a question regardless (its also illegal to ask it in the first place). Only the police have the information and its not public and it will not be on your criminal record.

Ironically having a record in the countries i live is also not such a death warrant for jobs either. Generally people are prepared to believe you turned over a new leaf--even if its just about a book of new leafs.

But its not all peaches and sunshine. In particular if it goes to trial, that is a matter of public record. One guy got news headlines that he knocked up a little girl and was a dirty pedo, with a "unrelated" picture next to his mug shot of 5year old girl playing in a new playground on the front page. He was fully acquitted since the girl in question was 15 and he meet her in a bar (drinking age back then was 20) and she acted 20 claiming to have a office job etc. The Judge/jury said there was no way the defendant could have reasonably expected that she was underage.

It didn't matter. In the end the fully acquitted and innocent guy had to change his name and move countries.

So I do agree. There is a very real social cost with an arrest, one that cops generally don't pay. And they wonder why so many of us don't respect the uniform.

Re:Lose lose situation (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about 4 years ago | (#33041426)

Sorry but I'm not buying your mellow dramatic bullshit. In part because I know people who've been arrested and then gone on with their lives. Hell I know people who have gone to jail (remember jail is different than prison) and then gone on with their lives. Then let's go to your specific points:

1) Cost. Ummmm, no. The ACLU is representing him. They do pro-bono work. Also, in any criminal prosecution you are entitled to a public defender (or the state has to retain a private firm if the PD's office is swamped as happens some times). You needn't spend money on your defense. People choose to because you can secure better representation, but it is not necessary.

2) Job. Where I live, they can't ask about arrest records. They can ask about felony convictions in the last 7 years and that's all. While that varies state by state I have a hard time believing there's one where they check your arrest records simply because it isn't public information. Just because you "heard it on the internet" doesn't make it so. Check your local laws.

3) Loan. How do you figure? Nowhere, on any loan app, have I seen anything relating to criminal history. They are interested in one thing only: Credit risk. For that they want to know how much you make, how much you owe, what your FICO score is and so on. They aren't concerned with anything but if you are likely to repay the obligation.

4) Security clearance. Not even close. The SSBI has only one focus (as the name implies) and that is would you be likely to betray secret information if given access to it? An arrest for something would not disqualify you. They'd look in to it, of course, and depending on the circumstances it could, but only if they felt it could be used as leverage or indicated some bad judgment. It is just like they don't care if you are gay, they care if you care. If you are gay and open, no problem, no issue. If you are in the closet, well that's a problem as someone could use it as leverage over you.

So please, cut the fucking shit. I get tired of this "Oh they can ruin anyone's life!!!!1111one" No. People get arrested, they get released, life goes on. If he's convicted, then yes he's fucked because he'll go to prison for an extended term and few come out of that ok. However an arrest? Not even close. He can have a normal life after that.

Dashcams (5, Informative)

david duncan scott (206421) | about 4 years ago | (#33041190)

I can't speak for MD in particular (although I do live here) but beyond the pernicious "the public can't watch us do the public's work" aspect of this is those dashboard cameras we all love on America's Funniest Car Chases and whatever. I've certainly seen clips that include audio from the citizen as well as the police officer--are we to take it that these too are felonious wiretaps?

Mod parent informative (1)

Chrisq (894406) | about 4 years ago | (#33041268)

This is an excellent point. If they win this case a standard question on being stopped by the police should be "do you have a warrant for that wiretap?".

Re:Dashcams (2, Informative)

GWRedDragon (1340961) | about 4 years ago | (#33041362)

From TFC (the freaking code):

10-402. Interception of communications generally; divulging contents of communications; violations of subtitle.

...
(4) (i) It is lawful under this subtitle for a law enforcement officer in the course of the officer's regular duty to intercept an oral communication if:

1. The law enforcement officer initially lawfully detained a vehicle during a criminal investigation or for a traffic violation;

2. The law enforcement officer is a party to the oral communication;

3. The law enforcement officer has been identified as a law enforcement officer to the other parties to the oral communication prior to any interception;

4. The law enforcement officer informs all other parties to the communication of the interception at the beginning of the communication; and

5. The oral interception is being made as part of a video tape recording.

(ii) If all of the requirements of subparagraph (i) of this paragraph are met, an interception is lawful even if a person becomes a party to the communication following:

1. The identification required under subparagraph (i)3 of this paragraph; or

2. The informing of the parties required under subparagraph (i)4 of this paragraph.

So apparently, they are supposed to tell you you are being recorded by the dashcam.

Re:Dashcams (1)

gd2shoe (747932) | about 4 years ago | (#33041428)

A good question. I live in California (a two-party-consent state). I heard a presentation about a decade and a half ago by an officer who said that his favorite tool of the trade was his tape recorder. It made sense then, but I didn't know about the consent law at the time.

16 years?! (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33041194)

You could kill someone and get less than that... (as long as the person you kill isn't a cop)

Wiretapping.... (4, Insightful)

Fallen Kell (165468) | about 4 years ago | (#33041204)

I love how video+audio = "wiretapping", which is by definition, tapping into the wires of a phone or communications system to record the conversation. So have the politicians been jailed for taking video of their child at school and happened to video someone else? Have people been arrested for using a digital recorder at the local college lectures? What about the new crew?

Re:Wiretapping.... (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 4 years ago | (#33041254)

They didn't say it was wire tapping, they said the wire tapping laws.

I havn't read the exact law, but under the name of wire tapping there is probably a clause about recording conversations in which all involved parties must be informed of the recording. This would be applied outside the wiretapping but still be in the wire tapping laws.

America (4, Insightful)

majorme (515104) | about 4 years ago | (#33041208)

Fuck yeah I am glad I don't live there. Would you like to import some of our (backward) European freedoms?

Right to profit (2, Interesting)

AHuxley (892839) | about 4 years ago | (#33041212)

Re "private communication between two parties"
Funny how when a multinational Internet search and advertising corporation gets caught doing a wifi traffic stop, its a mistake.
No servers confiscated :)

These cases catch hooks and miss exemptions (4, Interesting)

mentil (1748130) | about 4 years ago | (#33041218)

I actually read an article about issues like this, and it seems different states have different wording in their wiretapping statutes. In some states, the audio part of the recording is what's illegal (many cellphones and pocket cameras record audio when they record video with no way to turn the microphone off). In other states, there's an exemption if it's obvious to all parties that what's happening is being recorded (local Channel 5 reporters with 50-pound cameras talking into a huge mic.) or if it's taking place in a public area (no privacy in public, remember?) but it seems judges are ignoring the public area exemption in cases like these.

If you have such a video, submit it to your local news station with a note requesting anonymity, or use a Youtube account created and accessed via TOR. If the police confiscate your camera/phone, you can sue and successfully get it back.
One thing I do wonder: how is it not a violation for cops to have dashboard-mounted cameras that record audio and video constantly, yet a brief cellphone video of a pulled-over cop is a violation.

Re:These cases catch hooks and miss exemptions (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33041404)

The judges are not ignoring the public area exemption in cases like this. The ACLU factsheet indicates that they have not found a single court that says an officer has an expectation of privacy in a traffic stop. And indeed, considering that any aspect of the conversation is liable to end up introduced as evidence in court, it's hard to imagine how there could possibly be such an expectation of privacy!

dom

"Facing" and serving are very different things... (5, Informative)

droopus (33472) | about 4 years ago | (#33041220)

What Graber filmed was called a Terry Stop [wikipedia.org] and the cop is able to search you without a warrant within your "wingspan" to check for weapons that may threaten him or other people. There are a lot of laws that cops often break on Terry Stops. My car was searched on my own property under the guise of a Terry Stop, which of course is wildly illegal, but I digress.

What Graber is "facing" is a maximum..he will never serve it unless he decides to roll the dice with a jury, blows trial and the judge sentences him to the maximum. Since the ACLU is involved, you can bet that will never happen.

But States and more often, the Feds will indict you for offenses that carry insane sentences in order to convince you to plead out, as the vast majority of people do. I did. I was facing five life sentences plus 105 years for an offense no one had ever been jailed a day on before. If I went to trial and lost on one single count, I would have done fifteen years, mandatory. (No parole in feds, BTW...you do 87.5%) I signed for five years, did 52 months.

Now, would you have fought? Really? Many people say they would, but it's a lot different when you are considering giving your life to 12 people too stupid to get out of jury duty. When you realize that the whole system is set up to plead out 95+% of cases and do anything possible to convince you to not go in front of a jury, the average person has almost no chance in the system as it is set up. You didn't do it? That doesn't matter. It's what you can PROVE to a jury. And most of the time, the Government has much better lawyers and resources, so Graban is actually lucky...he won't serve a day, IMVHO.

CSI, Law and Order are worse than misinformation..they are propaganda, brainwashing us into thinking the system is fair and equal. It isn't. Graber is lucky that his case has publicity value. He may be "facing" sixteen years, but he'll never serve any.

But we aren't all lucky. We are indeed one Terry stop away from ruin. Be careful.

Re:"Facing" and serving are very different things. (1)

mark-t (151149) | about 4 years ago | (#33041318)

Now, would you have fought?

If I wasn't guilty of what I was being accused of, yes. If I was guilty, I'd probably opt to take the quickest way out rather than fight.

Re:"Facing" and serving are very different things. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33041466)

First thing you learn in a lawsuit (not criminal in my case, but same idea applies), is that the truth doesn't matter. Once you are in a lawsuit you are now playing a game and you have to do whatever it takes to win the game, whether that means maintaining your innocence when you are guilty or admitting guilt when you are innocent.

Re:"Facing" and serving are very different things. (5, Insightful)

droopus (33472) | about 4 years ago | (#33041532)

Really? If you were completely innocent, but had been indicted on Federal charges that would most likely put you away for life if you blew trial, or you were offered a two year plea deal, you'd actually gamble your life on twelve people who hear a very colorized version of the truth?

The cold facts: [alanellis.com]

93.6% of Fed cases result in a guilty plea.
75.6% of Fed criminal defendants are convicted following trial.
97% of Fed criminal defendants are sentenced.
82.8% of Fed criminal defendants receive a prison term.

That's not guilty defendants: it's ALL defendants.

Many of the people I met in Fed prison had either done nothing, or something so minor as to certainly not merit hard time. (I was a bit of a jailhouse lawyer..not much else to do.) I saw guys serving 20 years for making a phone call. I am not kidding.

As I said, it doesn't matter at ALL whether you did it or not. It matters what you can prove. And trust me, it's YOU that needs to do the proving, innocent till proven guilty is BS.

So, maybe you didn't do it, but you almost certainly will lose at trial. Yes, you''l be "right" and will have the moral high ground,..and wear khakis the rest of your life.

Re:"Facing" and serving are very different things. (2, Insightful)

91degrees (207121) | about 4 years ago | (#33041320)

Out of interest, were you guilty of any crime?

But regardless - the way plea bargaining works in the US is a travesty of justice. The whole system is weighted to encourage it as well. It requires much less work and no aditional staff costs (e.g. researches) for a DA to negotiate a plea bargain.

Re:"Facing" and serving are very different things. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33041334)

Great, and on an even more cheery note we are about to add "Pedro Stops" to the list of harassment tools here in Arizona.

Re:"Facing" and serving are very different things. (5, Insightful)

Vectormatic (1759674) | about 4 years ago | (#33041342)

I have an honest question for you: Why the fuck do you still live in that country?

Honestly, a place where cops are practically untouchable, the justice system amounts to "plea guilty and do a few years, or else...." and guilt is determined by your average group of mouthbreathers with an extremely mis-placed sense of justice on a power-trip. Why the hell would anyone want to live there?

Re:"Facing" and serving are very different things. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33041398)

I have one of many answers:
Once convicted of a felony, it is hard to get a visa much less an immigration status to any 2nd world country.

Re:"Facing" and serving are very different things. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33041436)

It's really not that easy to get OUT of this country either..

Takes cash for one. And someplace to go. Which may or may not have their own set of insane rules about moving to that country.

For the most part. America is still an 'ok' place. But it's about time to leave because it's getting worse.

And the pisser is the only people who could actually FIX how fucked up our country is..... Are the ones fucking it up.

Re:"Facing" and serving are very different things. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33041358)

>But States and more often, the Feds will indict you for offenses that carry insane sentences in order to convince you to plead out, as the vast majority of people do. I did. I was facing five life sentences plus 105 years for an offense no one had ever been jailed a day on before. If I went to trial and lost on one single count, I would have done fifteen years, mandatory. (No parole in feds, BTW...you do 87.5%) I signed for five years, did 52 months.

Lol. Yeah I hear ya.

>Now, would you have fought? Really?

Best time is before your in custody.

Re:"Facing" and serving are very different things. (1)

houghi (78078) | about 4 years ago | (#33041380)

Now I know where the music industry gets its ideas from.

Re:"Facing" and serving are very different things. (1)

TheTurtlesMoves (1442727) | about 4 years ago | (#33041450)

And what did they find in your car?

You have to forgive many of us if we are skeptics (1, Informative)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about 4 years ago | (#33041470)

I find it extremely hard to believe that you were charged with five life sentences for doing nothing. Not a whole lot of crimes carry a life sentence. What's more, to be charged with a federal crime, special circumstances have to apply.

Also there is the simple thing that I heard from a friend of mine who interns with the public defender's office "I've never met a guilty man in jail." What he means by that is that EVERYONE claims they didn't do anything wrong. It is rare almost to the point of non existence to find someone who says "Ya I did what they said, I should be here." They all think they are innocent and come up with justifications.

He, of course, sees the other side of that with people who are clearly guilty as hell that he helps represent.

Plus there's your disdain for jurors. This "people too stupid to get out of jury duty," thing is very tiring. I've twice been called for jury duty, neither time chosen to serve, but not because I tried to get out of it. I'd gladly serve on a jury, it is my duty. The people that did get to serve were actually roughly as educated as the public, which is to say several had university degrees. Hell look at the recent Terry Childs case where all the geeks cried about how "stupid" the jury was... Only to find out that a CCIE sat on the jury and had extremely good reasons for why they voted how they did.

So sorry, but I don't buy in to this "I didn't do anything wrong but somehow they managed to charge me with five life sentences!" thing. You have to go to something like committing a robbery using a gun minimum to qualify for a life sentence, and there has to be special circumstances that is a federal and not state matter.

Re:"Facing" and serving are very different things. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33041476)

I was facing five life sentences plus 105 years for an offense no one had ever been jailed a day on before.

You have made me extremely curious as to what this offense might be. Would you consider please telling us more?

Whistleblower? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33041222)

If the cop was doing wrong, wouldn't that make him a whistleblower?

I'm not a lawyer or anything, but it seems if he's exposing wrong doing, then couldn't he protected by those laws?

Re:Whistleblower? (2, Informative)

cappp (1822388) | about 4 years ago | (#33041304)

Nope - whistleblower laws protect employees from their employers' retaliatory actions [findlaw.com] . As there was no employment relationship the whistleblower laws are inapplicable.

What if he loses (2, Interesting)

OverlordQ (264228) | about 4 years ago | (#33041246)

While we can get all indignant about how asinine this is and how the laws are stupid. What can we do if he does lose this case and goes to prison. What is our recourse? There isn't one. While I'd love to be able to look back and say this was some landmark case that caused some sort of sane reform, I just dont see that happening, and I just don't see Maryland replacing the politicians that are allowing this farce to continue.

Re:What if he loses (2, Interesting)

TheTurtlesMoves (1442727) | about 4 years ago | (#33041440)

What is our recourse? There isn't one...

Martin L. King would probably disagree. Seriously. Begin part of a "democracy" means so much more than the right to vote. If enough can rally to the cause there are many *peaceful* things you can do. Don't forget that bad PR is a DA worst nightmare....

But motivating lots of people to hit the streets rather than get hot under the collier on /. is probably harder than it looks.

But then again flash mobs do happen.

Who watches the watchers? (4, Insightful)

gmuslera (3436) | about 4 years ago | (#33041256)

Definately, not you.

An open letter (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33041280)

Dear Judge ClusterScrew and Officer Ne'erDoWell:

We, the people of Maryland have

Congress getting interested - write and call (5, Informative)

Animats (122034) | about 4 years ago | (#33041284)

Support House Concurrent Resolution 298 [loc.gov] , "Expressing the sense of Congress that the videotaping or photographing of police engaged in potentially abusive activity in a public place should not be prosecuted in State or Federal courts." US citizens, click here to write your congressional representative. [house.gov]

Re:Congress getting interested - write and call (3, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 4 years ago | (#33041520)

"Expressing the sense of Congress that the videotaping or photographing of police engaged in potentially abusive activity in a public place should not be prosecuted in State or Federal courts."

Concurrent Resolutions have no force of law.
Even if this one did, limiting it to "potentially abusive activity" still gives the cops plenty of wiggle room to justifiably arrest you and let a judge sort it out later... exactly the king of chilling effect we should strive to avoid.

Imagine If The LAPD did that to R. King (5, Insightful)

Linux-Fiend (309073) | about 4 years ago | (#33041296)

Just imagine if LAPD pulled that on the person who filmed the Rodney King incident.

Re:Imagine If The LAPD did that to R. King (4, Informative)

1s44c (552956) | about 4 years ago | (#33041448)

Just imagine if LAPD pulled that on the person who filmed the Rodney King incident.

The police would have got away with it and those same police would be beating citizens to this day.

Rodney King is the reason police hate anyone to film them. The only films they want are ones that can 'get lost' in their evidence room if they turn out to be inconvenient.

There is a reason they are called 'filth'.

Hmm (2, Interesting)

Alioth (221270) | about 4 years ago | (#33041332)

While I would defend 100% his right to post this video, there is one thing I wouldn't have done (well, two things really) if it were me:

1. Put the 120+MPH bit on YouTube. That's just asking to attract more unwanted police attention. I'd have just posted the last bit (where he admits to 69 and 80 mph, probably what he got the ticket for) and not put the bit where he overtakes the bus.
2. Do 120+ on a busy highway in the first place.

There's a time and place to go hooning, and it's called a very quiet road where no other traffic is, and where you're reasonably sure there are not cops lurking. And if you do get caught and get a ticket for 80 mph, for heaven's sake don't then admit to 120 in a YouTube video!

Donations? (1)

Sean (422) | about 4 years ago | (#33041338)

Any way to donate to this poor guy to help him defend himself?

Re: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33041360)

The very second public officials -- be they law enforcement or not -- are legally protected from public scrutiny, our freedom is over.This officer, whoever he is, is *supposed* to be protecting the public, not operating as he or his department sees fit without the possibility of repercussions. This is BULLSHIT, plain and simple.

Are you sure this wasn't in the UK? (1)

clickclickdrone (964164) | about 4 years ago | (#33041368)

Just saying, it's the kind of crap our goverment pulls (well, the last one, mainly)

A letter to our "friends" in law enforcement (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33041370)

(Trying again, sorry if this is a repost)

To Judge StupidWhoSignedTheWarrant and OfficerNe'erDoWell:

We have studied your case, and we have determined two scenarios:

1. You will throw a productive citizen in prison for the crime of catching you breaking procedure. This will cost the state his future income tax, property tax, registration fees, sales taxes, and various other regulatory fees, in addition to his productive life while we pay for his room in board to train him to be an actual criminal, assuming that he survives being in a prison he doesn't belong it.

2. You will have cost the state several million dollars we have to pay him in a settlement because your ego couldn't stand that you got caught breaking your own rules.

In either case, your actions will have cost the state millions of dollars, when we could have given you a two week "suspension" at the outset with an admonition of "there are camera everywhere now, you never know who is watching." Instead, you had to make an anatomical compensation, and we are paying the price for it. As a result, you will find that we are adjusting your taxes accordingly. I'm sure you're aware of the Department of Revenue's stellar relationship with the citzenry, and we hope you look forward with getting to know Agent BallSqueezer for the rest of your life.

-The Citizens of Maryland.

People's Republic of Maryland (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33041438)

If you ever have the misfortune to have to travel to Maryland, be sure to bring your passport so you can get back into the United States. As any former Maryland resident can tell you, the Maryland State Police have a long tradition of fascist behavior. During the corrupt tenure of former Maryland Emperor Schaefer, the State Gestapo were frequently reported for following persons who spoke out during the governor's speeches back to their homes and harassing them, even arresting them on trumped up charges of threatening Herr Schaefer. Whatever you do, don't talk back to one of the stormtroopers during a traffic stop. You'll get worked over with a nightstick, get arrested for assaulting the officer, and have your car stolen and sold at auction to pay for it all. If you simply can't avoid traveling in Maryland, then at least practice saying "yes sir, officer" in a mirror and make it sound *sincere*.

And they call Karzai corrupt! (2, Funny)

kawabago (551139) | about 4 years ago | (#33041472)

Obviously that community needs someone to protect them from the police. Crack whores?

Meanwhile (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33041474)

In Soviet Russia, police wiretap you!

Funny, the detail that is left out (-1, Flamebait)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | about 4 years ago | (#33041506)

The way the story is reported you would think this guy was recording someone ELSES traffic stop, or at most that it was a non-sense traffic stop like a routine stop where they stop all motorists for an alcohol test.

NOT that this guy was seriously speeding and pulling stunts on a public road with total disregard for everyone elses safety.

Somehow, that tells me that there is FAR more going on. I never trust anyone who tells only HALF of a story. They always got something to hide. So since they hidden that this guy is an asshole, what more are they hiding?

ACLU and every other privacy nutgroup, learn that if you expect people to take you serious, you got to be more honest then everyone else. Because I personally think speeders should be locked up for life, I do not give a shit if this person goes to jail. what next, Amnesty complaining Hitler never got a fair trail? Cry me a river!

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