Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Motorcyclist Wins Taping Case Against State Police

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the development-on-camera-tasers-continues dept.

Privacy 485

stevegee58 writes "Slashdot readers may recall the case of a Maryland motorcyclist (Anthony Graber) arrested and charged with wiretapping violations (a felony) when he recorded his interaction with a Maryland State Trooper. Today, Judge Emory A. Pitt threw out the wiretapping charges against Graber, leaving only his traffic violations to be decided on his October 12 trial date. 'The judge ruled that Maryland's wire tap law allows recording of both voice and sound in areas where privacy cannot be expected. He ruled that a police officer on a traffic stop has no expectation of privacy.' A happy day for freedom-loving Marylanders and Americans in general."

cancel ×

485 comments

Alright! (5, Insightful)

chaboud (231590) | more than 3 years ago | (#33717684)

Let's hear it for a sudden outbreak of common sense from the judiciary!

Now, of course, this judge is going to get pulled over every day, even if he walks to work.

Re:Alright! (3, Interesting)

pjfontillas (1743424) | more than 3 years ago | (#33717726)

Thank goodness. Lately all I've been reading about is how we're getting screwed by court decisions left and right. Good to hear something done right.

Re:Alright! (5, Insightful)

ICLKennyG (899257) | more than 3 years ago | (#33718018)

The problem however remains that the judge did not sanction the DA or AG who decided that this obvious abuse of the law was a good idea. This is easily rule 11 territory as any first year law student can tell you there is no privacy expectation in a public place. The fact remains is that this guy had to fight to get his rights vindicated and too often, fighting is too expensive.

Re:Alright! (2, Funny)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | more than 3 years ago | (#33718036)

Good to hear something done right.

Don't worry, they'll get another judge and fix this.

Re:Alright! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33717758)

Oh, right, so Slashdot suddenly loves activist judges when they make decisions Slashdot agrees with ... :P

(Seriously, as a Marylander myself I am extremely pleased that Judge Pitt has made the right decision, but not impressed: anyone with half a brain could see that the police have no right to privacy when they are standing by the side of the road holding a fucking gun, and this merely proves that Judge Pitt is not retarded.)

Re:Alright! (5, Insightful)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 3 years ago | (#33717846)

so Slashdot suddenly loves activist judges when they make decisions Slashdot agrees with

"Activist judge" has always been code for "judge who made a ruling we didn't like" for as long as I've been hearing the term. So "activist judge making rulings you like" is nonsense. It's a bit like saying "An enemy of mine who is my ally." Unless you're proposing a change in the meaning of the term "activist judge" to "A judge who does anything." Which I guess makes more sense than what it means now.

Re:Alright! (5, Insightful)

CajunArson (465943) | more than 3 years ago | (#33717904)

This is not a case of judicial activism. Judges are supposed to interpret the law, which is exactly what this judge did... the existing wiretap laws in Maryland were (quite rightly) found to NOT cover a police officer who is on duty on a public roadway. An "activist" judgment that Slashdot would agree with would be where a judge rules a computer fraud law unconstitutional because someone that Slashdot approves of (like say.. Wikileaks) breaks the law with a "morally correct" motive (meaning the plebes on Slashdot agree with the ends so therefore any and every means are justified). That is judicial activism, not what the judge did here.

Re:Alright! (2, Informative)

bigspring (1791856) | more than 3 years ago | (#33718182)

Agreed. If you carefully read the Maryland laws in question (which my IRC channel did, accompanied with a good deal of argument) it becomes clear that this the correct decision. It could only have been considered interception ("wiretapping") if the person recording the interaction was not a participant and did not have the consent of either of the parties to distribute the recording. Since Garber was the one who had the gun pulled on him and he was also the one who willingly posted the video, he is not in violation of the laws in question.

Re:Alright! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33718222)

"Break the law" is a very loose definition. Since you brought it up, I would like to point out that wikileaks isn't breaking the law to the slightest. It may sometimes (always?) be in violation with US laws, but US laws do not apply on Swedish soil.

Re:Alright! (4, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 3 years ago | (#33717770)

And then suddenly, all of the traffic tickets issued by certain policemen are getting dismissed. I mean, if the police are going to play unfair, the judge is one of the people most capable of fighting back. Police VS Legal system = legal system win.

Re:Alright! (1)

chaboud (231590) | more than 3 years ago | (#33718068)

God, I hope you're right. Given what Sheriff Joe has done, I'm not sure that's true.

Re:Alright! (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 3 years ago | (#33718154)

What makes you think the judges in Arizona don't agree with Sheriff Joe? For a long time, he was fairly popular in Arizona, after all.

Ya you don't go an abuse judges (4, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 3 years ago | (#33718258)

They have the ability to make your life difficult. Not even spiteful things like "I'll throw out your traffic tickets." They know they law, they know when you are breaking it and with what you can be charged. Further, they have connections and sway with the prosecutors. They also make rather credible witnesses. If the cops decided to wage a campaign against a judge, good bet they'd wind up on the wrong side of criminal charges. While they may be used to people taking their word of a defendant, wouldn't be the case with a judge. Of course the judge in that case would probably also be sympathetic to their colleague and so on.

Going after a judge would be just about the worst thing the cops could do.

Re:Alright! (5, Interesting)

Whomp-Ass (135351) | more than 3 years ago | (#33717784)

It's usually a bad idea for the police to meddle in the affairs of the members of the judiciary and/or legislative body. For instance, near my hometown in Cleveland, a cop pulled over one of the members Of the state legislature and gave him a ticket. Said legislator introduced a bill, the next week, requiring that all municipalities in the state must have, in order to patrol the highways within their jurisdiction, x size of population and y amount of highway running through it (something like, greater than a mile or two). The town in question only had a quarter mile of highway. They also realized something like 75-85 percent of their income via speeding tickets...all gone...

Re:Alright! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33717842)

I don't see the downside....?

Re:Alright! (5, Insightful)

muridae (966931) | more than 3 years ago | (#33717940)

And this is different from the cop with a power trip, who issues you a speeding ticket just because you do something he doesn't like? Both of them are taking their personal grudges out of people, and doing so to the detriment of the people they are supposed to represent and protect. Garbage, all around.

I do know of a town with about a mile of highway and a ton of revenue from tickets. Seeing them unable to enforce the ones that are deserved would be just as distressing as seeing them creating ones that don't exist.

A sad sad story (1, Offtopic)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 3 years ago | (#33717942)

The fact that this is even a news.

Are we really, really much better off than the poor schmucks in N. Korea?

Re:A sad sad story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33718072)

Yeah, we are... Our cops are more handsome... And the weather over there sucks worse than Canada's

Re:A sad sad story (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#33718106)

Yes, we are. And it's not even close. The conditions of our prisons are superior to the conditions of most North Koreans. To even suggest that we're comparable requires a level of ignorance sufficient to land one a commentator position on Fox news.

OTOH I might have missed the forced labor camps where the US government sends dissidents to work themselves to death.

Re:A sad sad story (1)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 3 years ago | (#33718164)

You have any contact at Fox News? I can use the extra income.

Re:A sad sad story (2, Insightful)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 3 years ago | (#33718156)

Oh, the N. Koreans are fucked. No question about it! And while I understand your frustration, let's at least put things into perspective.

That said however, if we don't remain ever-vigilant, our current path will lead to absolute tyranny. Not today, not tomorrow. But someday it will happen if we collectively keep our heads in the sand by not holding our elected officials accountable.

Re:Alright! (2, Insightful)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#33717972)

No way, if theres a group that the police won't fark with, it'd the judges.

Re:Alright! (1)

nomel (244635) | more than 3 years ago | (#33718008)

Sadly, parent should probably be marked as insightful/informative rather than funny. :-\

Still...very good news for The Land of The *Free*!

Re:Alright! (1)

shoehornjob (1632387) | more than 3 years ago | (#33718210)

sometimes you just gotta take one for the team.

Flip side (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33717694)

A happy day for freedom-loving Marylanders and Americans in general.

But a sad loss for power tripping pigs.

What? (5, Insightful)

U8MyData (1281010) | more than 3 years ago | (#33717700)

A public employee's expectation of privacy? They are public servants and as such should never have an expectation of privacy while on duty. I'm happy about the decision. We need more like it....

Re:What? (-1, Troll)

Sonny Yatsen (603655) | more than 3 years ago | (#33717746)

Ah, so you're saying it should be okay to videotape the inside of government employee bathrooms and locker-rooms.

Re:What? (1)

bistromath007 (1253428) | more than 3 years ago | (#33717790)

Only if Agent Scully is real. :V

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33717808)

I don't expect them to be on duty while in the bathrooms. They can have their privacy anytime they are not doing anything work related.

Re:What? (3, Insightful)

Fjandr (66656) | more than 3 years ago | (#33717828)

Such things don't qualify as being "on-duty," but you probably actually knew that and chose to troll a perfectly legitimate comment anyway.

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33718126)

He must have gotten that confused with "on toilet, making duty"

Re:What? (2, Funny)

jamesh (87723) | more than 3 years ago | (#33717962)

I don't think he's saying that but you have the whole internet at your disposal - it is almost guaranteed that there are sites dedicated to watching middle aged men in bathrooms if that's what floats your boat.

Re:What? (1)

HermMunster (972336) | more than 3 years ago | (#33717970)

Department stores, clothing stores, etc already have cameras in the restrooms and changing rooms. Do you not expect privacy there as a customer?

If a cop goes into the restroom and takes drugs or beats up a civilian in the restroom, do you think they should be covered by privacy laws?

The point I'm making isn't to substantiate against your premise, it's just to point out that your premise fails on its face.

Re:What? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#33718144)

What part of the world are you living in where they have cameras in the changing rooms or restrooms? People can and do go to prison for putting cameras in those types of places.

Re:What? (1)

crow_t_robot (528562) | more than 3 years ago | (#33718118)

On duty != On doodie

Re:What? (4, Insightful)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#33717774)

I don't agree that they never have an expectation of privacy, but they certainly don't when they're interacting with the public.

Re:What? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33718020)

He qualified it with "while on duty." Reading comprehension. You fail it.

Re:What? (1)

U8MyData (1281010) | more than 3 years ago | (#33717818)

Sorry, not all instances of course. It's another story when acting in an official capacity.

Re:What? (2, Insightful)

Alwin Henseler (640539) | more than 3 years ago | (#33717826)

Ehm... 'public servant' need not automatically imply 'open for public view'. Examples: court cases behind closed doors (rarely, but sometimes for good reasons), public servants working with privacy-sensitive information (like your tax returns, medical records), etc, etc.

Location where it happens is the deciding factor IMHO. If it can be seen on/from a public road, it's fair game regardless who or what.

Re:What? (1)

HermMunster (972336) | more than 3 years ago | (#33717986)

Closed door court cases are rarely closed to protect the public servants. Generally, they are closed to protect either the defendant or plaintiff (or a witness such as a child, etc).

America! (-1, Troll)

ak_hepcat (468765) | more than 3 years ago | (#33717704)

Fuck Yea!

(suck my balls)

--
Yes, i realize this will be marked offtopic, blah, blah, blah. But I'm celebrating the victory in my own way.
And that includes naked puppets, thank you very much.

Of course the big irony here is... (2, Insightful)

Palestrina (715471) | more than 3 years ago | (#33717706)

... that cameras are not allowed in many/most court rooms.

Re:Of course the big irony here is... (3, Insightful)

caffeinemessiah (918089) | more than 3 years ago | (#33717772)

... that cameras are not allowed in many/most court rooms.

It's not ironic because there is an expectation of privacy in a courtroom. Hypothetical: I accuse you of being a pedophile, procure tons of evidence against you, which I display in court. Sure, the case gets thrown out (maybe I face charges myself, but I'm reckless that way), but someone videotapes the proceedings, edits out the juicy bits and puts it up on youtube without context. Pretty sure your life's ruined.

If my fate's being determined, that's between me, the lawyers, the defendant/plaintiff, and the judge/jury.

Re:Of course the big irony here is... (1)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 3 years ago | (#33717906)

Isn't this the basic script for court cases now.
only the reporters just take a sketch book and take notes.

Re:Of course the big irony here is... (5, Informative)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 3 years ago | (#33717920)

No, there's no expectation of privacy in a courtroom (in the US) except in certain circumstances, usually involving a minor. The proceedings are open, anyone may attend, and transcripts are public record. The ban on cameras in most circumstances has more to do with maintaining decorum -- so people aren't playing to the cameras -- than with preserving non-existent expectations of privacy.

Re:Of course the big irony here is... (5, Informative)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#33717934)

there is an expectation of privacy in a courtroom.

No, there isn't.

Exactly the opposite, in fact.

Everything that transpires in a courtroom is public knowledge. It's against the law for the public to be excluded completely*. Reporters, sketch artists, and members of the general public can all sit in the gallery during a trial.

Technological means of recording are a tiny fraction of the age of the legal system, so the legal system does not yet (and probably never will) consider them necessary implements to be used in informing the public, so the use of them is at the court's discretion.

* - there are exceptions where there are statutory claims of privacy, such as when the evidence is classified or the defendant is a minor.

Re:Of course the big irony here is... (1)

HermMunster (972336) | more than 3 years ago | (#33718032)

The failing of your argument about editing out the juicy stuff is that most of the details about what was edited will ultimately be revealed. Your's is a pure hypothetical since it won't really ever happen that way.

Places like Slashdot.org (and the plethora of others) exist to discuss and reveal to others those things they miss. It has been my experience that if you keep reading you will ultimately uncover most of the points of view of others and there are a great many, most of which have merit (in some even tiny way).

We tend to uncover every pimple on every ass so to speak.

Re:Of course the big irony here is... (1)

T-Bone-T (1048702) | more than 3 years ago | (#33718108)

Already forgotten about Google getting charged with defamation in France? A man was convicted of rape but under French law is presumed innocent until the appeal says otherwise but a search for the man's name on google connects him to the alleged rape. It isn't exactly the same but it seems to me to be along the same lines.

Re:Of course the big irony here is... (2, Funny)

Kenja (541830) | more than 3 years ago | (#33717806)

Irony... you keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Re:Of course the big irony here is... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33718000)

Irony: the element shown between Manganesey and Cobalty on the standard periodic table (although alternate tables exist). A metally element in the first transition series, it readily combines in many oxidy states.
Am I doing okay so far?

Re:Of course the big irony here is... (1)

Palestrina (715471) | more than 3 years ago | (#33718048)

From the Oxford English Dictionary entry for "irony"

2.2 fig. A condition of affairs or events of a character opposite to what was, or might naturally be, expected; a contradictory outcome of events as if in mockery of the promise and fitness of things. (In F. ironie du sort.)

As in it is opposite to what might naturally be expected for the courts to rule that videotaping is not forbidden in public where there is no expectation of privacy, but forbid it themselves in a venue which they control which is also a public setting.

Any questions?

Re:Of course the big irony here is... (1)

DrugCheese (266151) | more than 3 years ago | (#33718076)

Good reference.

Re:Of course the big irony here is... (4, Funny)

The_mad_linguist (1019680) | more than 3 years ago | (#33718120)

I do not think it means what you think it means.

Like rain on your wedding day?

Re:Of course the big irony here is... (1)

milkmage (795746) | more than 3 years ago | (#33717944)

that's due to safety. how'd you like your mug recorded if you're testifying against someone and your pic ends up all over the internet as "the snitch" if you were ever in a situation where you were eligible for the witness protection program... your pic is the last thing you want taken.

probably not a good idea to take pictures of the jurors either.. (tampering/threats or worse) ..and cameras could be allowed if the judge says so.. cameras aren't illegal.. it's a rule, not the law.

OJ Trial?, Court TV? (before it was truTV, it was basically live coverage of ongoing homicide trials). nevermind the part where you, for the most part, can get a trial transcript just for the asking - it's public record for christ's sake.

Re:Of course the big irony here is... (1)

loki_tiwaz (982852) | more than 3 years ago | (#33718050)

if cameras and microphones were allowed in courtrooms defendants would thusly be denied the right of due process due to making it into a media spectacle. whoever modded up the parent is a retard.

a police officer on a traffic stop? (5, Insightful)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 3 years ago | (#33717716)

"a police officer on a traffic stop", or "a non-uniformed police officer on a traffic stop using a non-labeled vehicle, not identifying himself as police before pointing a gun like a crazy man"?

Re:a police officer on a traffic stop? (1)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 3 years ago | (#33717794)

"a police officer on a traffic stop", or "a non-uniformed police officer on a traffic stop using a non-labeled vehicle, not identifying himself as police before pointing a gun like a crazy man"?

We can only hope for the answer to be "both".

Re:a police officer on a traffic stop? (1)

jamesh (87723) | more than 3 years ago | (#33717984)

"a non-uniformed police officer on a traffic stop using a non-labeled vehicle, not identifying himself as police before pointing a gun like a crazy man"?

I'm not completely sure but I think that someone pointing a gun at you in a public place has already waived their right to privacy, be they police office or generic crazy person.

That said, if someone points a gun at you, hasn't identified themselves as a police officer, and asks you to put the camera away, i think it's probably best to comply. There are no outcomes in such a situation that are going to be a win for privacy.

Re:a police officer on a traffic stop? (1)

HermMunster (972336) | more than 3 years ago | (#33718040)

Hammer hits nail squarely on the head.

Re:a police officer on a traffic stop? (1)

DrugCheese (266151) | more than 3 years ago | (#33718044)

Yeah I'm curious if that asshole still has a job and why.

Re:a police officer on a traffic stop? (1)

loki_tiwaz (982852) | more than 3 years ago | (#33718058)

yeah, i'd say that'd be the next issue to come up for this guy, i bet the compensation for being threatened like that will cover the traffic fine HAHAHA stupid pig.

Re:a police officer on a traffic stop? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#33718206)

I could be wrong, but when it gets to that point, I suspect that they're required to identify themselves as law enforcement. In many, if not all, jurisdictions pulling a gun on somebody is a force able felony and as a result if they don't identify themselves as law enforcement you would have the right to pull out your own weapon and defend yourself.

I can possibly see the future (0, Troll)

al0ha (1262684) | more than 3 years ago | (#33717722)

The case finally ends up in the Supreme Court where the justices vote 5 - 4 that police in public arenas are entitled to an expectation of privacy due to the War on Terror.

Antonin Scalia writes the majority opinion...

Re:I can possibly see the future (3, Informative)

CajunArson (465943) | more than 3 years ago | (#33717786)

You obviously don't know anything about Antonin Scalia apart from what Moveon.org and the DailKos tell you to "think". Go read the wikipedia page for Kyllo v. U.S. [wikipedia.org] Then go read the full opinion [cornell.edu] and come back when you know a tiny sliver about the law instead of the Pavlovian emotional responses that are bred into you by your blogging "friends".

Re:I can possibly see the future (1)

HermMunster (972336) | more than 3 years ago | (#33718062)

I don't care much for anything coming from the US Supreme Court. They have been extremely disappointing of late. When a case can be determined due to the professionalism (or rather alleged professionalism) of the police, even after a long history showing police unprofessional conduct in all manner of cases, I loose faith in their abilities.

Re:I can possibly see the future (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33718074)

The irony of this post is fucking STAGGERING.

Really? Really, this is what you want to go with, with that asinine flourish?

Okay, son, try this the fuck on for size: the reason we have no-knock warrants in this country is BECAUSE OF Tony Scalia. Who wrote the god damned opinion. And guess what, this didn't come out of a blog [cornell.edu] . Just in case you're so busy fantasizing that Tony is the Great White Knight Defender of the Fourth Amendment to read it, here's the Wiki link [wikipedia.org] .

You're the one who needs to be even passingly familiar with the decisions of the justices you defend, kid. Stop being a Pavlovian defender of the indefensible and wake the fuck up.

Incredible. Just incredible.

Re:I can possibly see the future (4, Insightful)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#33718252)

Antonin Scalia is a constructionalist obstructionist who yet again applied Alice-in-Wonderland thinking in interpreting the Constitution to rule incorrectly as part of a lifetime of putting "individual" rights over "collective" rights, something that he doesn't use to protect you and me, but to protect the few "individuals" (i.e. corporations) who are attempting to turn this country into even more of a de facto fascist state than it already is.

Stevens schooled him in that opinion, even quoting from the case Scalia cited, Katz v. United States, a demurral showing that the deciders of Katz knew there would be exceptions, under which Kyllo eventually fell. Privacy ends where your emissions enter the public air, whether you are emitting noise, radio waves, the odor of a meth lab, photons bouncing off your naked body through an open window, or thermal radiation. The police or your neighbors can receive those emissions passively at a distance and act on the information as reasonable suspicion or probable cause.

The hitch in this case is that having a hot garage is evidence of nothing in particular and gave the police no cause to do anything. Even if the garage is being used as a hot-house, there's no evidence it's a hot-house for illegal plants. They must have had other evidence. The opinion suggests they did the thermal imaging because of a prior suspicion. At the end it says it's up to the original courts to figure out if that evidence is still sufficient to have justified the search. Likely it wasn't, or the cops wouldn't have done the thermal imaging. And whether coupling a hot garage to the other evidence is sufficient is unknowable without knowing what the other evidence is. I get the feeling I'd come down on the side of saying it isn't sufficient and the cops should have just done some more surveillance.

No Wire (1)

Sonny Yatsen (603655) | more than 3 years ago | (#33717730)

How can you prosecute under a wiretapping statute if there is no wire involved where a conversation is being intercepted? Clearly, the judge got the right idea.

Re:No Wire (1)

chaboud (231590) | more than 3 years ago | (#33718114)

The law in question has to do with recording, so "wiretapping" is really a misnomer. Though I'm pretty sure you were just jokin'...

Re:No Wire (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#33718212)

Because it often includes other forms of discrete taping. Frequently the wire tap statutes will include provisions for wearing a wire, and I suspect that's what they based the decision on.

i am buying me (1)

observer7 (753034) | more than 3 years ago | (#33717748)

4 more cams to record everything

Consequences for the Cops (5, Insightful)

Concern (819622) | more than 3 years ago | (#33717764)

What about the asshole cops and prosecutor that put this sick joke of a "wiretapping case" on the taxpayers tab?

Anyone losing their jobs? Suspensions?

If this isn't malicious prosecution, what the fuck on earth is?

If we all just walk away from this without going any further, expect another case just like it next week, and another the week after. The point is intimidation, after all. Plus eventually they'll get some idiot judge who agrees with them.

Re:Consequences for the Cops (1)

loki_tiwaz (982852) | more than 3 years ago | (#33718082)

yeah, what i want to see is a lawyer who has a bit of a bee in their bonnet about police brutality and abuse of privilege doing him a lawsuit pro bono for having a gun waved at him without legal justification.

Re:Consequences for the Cops (1)

kaoshin (110328) | more than 3 years ago | (#33718138)

Never attribute to malice that which can be accounted for by a stupid cop. Seriously though, I think the issue there would be the burden of proving malice. I don't think either "he's out to get me" or "see, he's a big meaniehead" counts as proof.

Re:Consequences for the Cops (5, Insightful)

sjames (1099) | more than 3 years ago | (#33718172)

I would like to think the cop gets convicted of assault as well for brandishing a weapon before properly identifying himself, especially since it was supposedly a traffic stop. The police aren't supposed to make citizens fear for their lives over a traffic stop. They're actually supposed to stop other people from making citizens fear for their lives.

It's a Pyrrhic victory (4, Insightful)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 3 years ago | (#33717766)

He'll spend a lifetime in that county getting pulled over for crossing the yellow line and not signaling on lane changes.

Re:It's a Pyrrhic victory (4, Insightful)

dcmoebius (1527443) | more than 3 years ago | (#33717800)

He'll spend a lifetime in that county getting pulled over for crossing the yellow line and not signaling on lane changes.

Which still seems a helluva lot better than being convicted of a felony.

Re:It's a Pyrrhic victory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33717938)

To a point. He can always argue harassment.

Next step (4, Insightful)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 3 years ago | (#33717782)

Sue the city and the cops for malicious prosecution.

Seriously, what were the prosecutors smoking? (4, Insightful)

Haeleth (414428) | more than 3 years ago | (#33717792)

If their legal theory had held up, next thing we know we'd have had homeowners facing 10+ years in prison for "wiretapping" burglars' conversations on CCTV.

(Ooh, and the burglar was whistling "Happy Birthday", so you're liable for $160,000 in damages to the RIAA as well ...)

Re:Seriously, what were the prosecutors smoking? (2, Insightful)

virg_mattes (230616) | more than 3 years ago | (#33717894)

Ha! Shows what you know! He'd have to be singing the words for it to be a problem, since the tune matches "Good Morning To You" and therefore is public domain.

Take that!

In all seriousness, though, the prosecutor wasn't high, he was trying to make his job easier. With restrictions on recordings of traffic stops, it's harder to prove mistakes in procedure. Based on the ruling, more cases will show up with recordings, which makes it tougher to prosecute the violations. It's self-serving but at least there's method in his madness.

Virg

Re:Seriously, what were the prosecutors smoking? (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 3 years ago | (#33718194)

So, what is the status of the ever popular "you live in a zoo" variation?

Re:Seriously, what were the prosecutors smoking? (1)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 3 years ago | (#33717950)

If their legal theory had held up, next thing we know we'd have had homeowners facing 10+ years in prison for "wiretapping" burglars' conversations on CCTV.

(Ooh, and the burglar was whistling "Happy Birthday", so you're liable for $160,000 in damages to the RIAA as well ...)

CCTV doesn't come with audio recording precisely because in some states it is a violation of their wiretapping laws to record audio. It's not the BURGLARS that have an expectation of privacy in this case, but rather, employees and customers.

Scumbag lawyers! (1)

Degro (989442) | more than 3 years ago | (#33717802)

device primarily useful for the purpose of the surreptitious interception of oral communications

They would put an end to recording devices in public just to win one stupid case against a kid on a bike. And what about that redneck cop that bursts out with a gun and no identification? I hope he gets canned? No mention.

Re:Scumbag lawyers! (2, Insightful)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 3 years ago | (#33718024)

And what about that redneck cop that bursts out with a gun and no identification?

if that is his habit, eventually the natural consequences will take care of him, hopefully whoever is involved is not vilified as a "cop killer" but he probably will be. either that or he'll fall down the stairs and land head first on a bullet on the way to the police station

Why do I have to read this? (3, Interesting)

frovingslosh (582462) | more than 3 years ago | (#33717804)

Rather than read about the judge's amazingly sane and rational decision, I would have preferred to see the video of him handing down the ruling, but I guess cameras are not allowed in the court room.

In other news (5, Insightful)

emt377 (610337) | more than 3 years ago | (#33717816)

Idiot cowboy cop racks up tens of thousands of dollars in damages to be paid by taxpayers to issue a $125 traffic citation. Where do they even find inept morons like this?

Sucks to be him, though (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33717856)

When the cop stopped him, he was given a ticket for a minor traffic infraction. When the video went viral, clearly showing him going over 128mph, they upped the charge. He could easily get his license revoked for that, and since he's pissed off the state I think they'll do their best to make that happen.

Re:Sucks to be him, though (1)

Degro (989442) | more than 3 years ago | (#33717868)

Yeah, but at least the 'authorities' were the ones getting rebuffed in the end. I think it was worth it for that, even if it wasn't the intention.

Happy day... sort of (4, Insightful)

i_b_don (1049110) | more than 3 years ago | (#33717870)

I'm happy to hear the verdict, but it always strikes me as sad how we only seem to win the most obvious of court cases these days. I mean, who in their right mind would think it is not OK to videotape in public, or that we needed to "protect" the police from video cameras?!

From the stupid fucken judiciary that hasn't outlawed torture yet (despite it being on the books), who let the government get away with warrantless wiretapping, assassinations of american citizens, and who thinks its ok for an $80,000 per song downloaded verdict....

I'm happy with this verdict, but overall I'm still massively frustrated.

d

Countersuit? (1)

rsborg (111459) | more than 3 years ago | (#33717926)

How much leverage does Graber have to go after this blatantly unjust perversion of police powers?

I would donate to such a cause... these proto-fascists need to be put in their place...

just the other day, a cop car pulled out wildly ahead of another motorist, turned on his siren and lights, zoomed past a few other cars, then shut off his siren... who's to bet there was no emergency other than the cop's inflated ego?

Re:Countersuit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33717964)

How much leverage does Graber have to go after this blatantly unjust perversion of police powers?

I would donate to such a cause... these proto-fascists need to be put in their place...

just the other day, a cop car pulled out wildly ahead of another motorist, turned on his siren and lights, zoomed past a few other cars, then shut off his siren... who's to bet there was no emergency other than the cop's inflated ego?

Where was this I would like to know

Re:Countersuit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33718170)

Or press charges against the cop for attempted murder.

"He pulled out that gun and I'm SURE he meant to kill me. If I hadn't been able to calm him down, I would be dead right now."

You mean the police are not above the law (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33717976)

You mean the police are not above the law... hmmm, i thought some of us are more equal than others. Heaven forbid the police have to act within the law :O

Is it "wire tapping" (4, Interesting)

dmomo (256005) | more than 3 years ago | (#33717992)

If the device is out in the open, and you disclose this to the other party? Can the other party actually require that you turn the device off even if it's on your own property? What about in your own car. I think that at some point, "recorded" is going to become more and more fuzzy.

What if I write something down as you're saying it? What if a robot hears and transcribes it for me into text? What if I commit it to memory? What if my memory is enhanced? Where does the line get drawn? Or does it?

No celebrating on forums.officer.com (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33718012)

Majority on that forum wished this stop would've ended in a not so favorable manor for the motorcyclist. That forum seems to hate 'civilians' for some reason.

Re:No celebrating on forums.officer.com (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33718084)

Holy crap, if ever there was a board in dire need of some epic trolling, it's that one.

Do away with thus judge! (1)

ZDRuX (1010435) | more than 3 years ago | (#33718042)

This judge supports personal freedoms and accepts that public servants work for us. He's clearly a tea party supporter or a terrorist, I can't be sure - better send him to Guantanomo and put him on the no-fly list.

Well, (1)

hellop2 (1271166) | more than 3 years ago | (#33718100)

Thank God(s).

Oh if only... (1)

NoxNoctis (936876) | more than 3 years ago | (#33718186)

Aside from this seriously being a sudden outbreak of common sense, it only affects residents of Maryland. In order to affect the whole of the United States this would have to be a decision made by SCOTUS. Should this go to them? It shouldn't have to. Our state and local governments should be bright enough to figure this out on their own.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...