Man faces jail for videotaping gun-waving cop

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180 Responses to “Man faces jail for videotaping gun-waving cop”

  1. Anonymous says:

    All police cars have video camera and they record there traffic stops. You are not notified of these recordings at the time of the stop.

    So I would say that the police would be guilty of the same “Crime”.
    The city decided to go forward with this legal maneuver.

  2. Dave H says:

    I think the bottom line is this: There probably is no law in MD that comes close to what Anthony Graber did. Is there a statute making it illegal to intentionally act like an idiot to provoke a cop on video? The charges were the closest thing they had to the actual situation.

    Graber probably cooked the whole thing up for his 15 seconds of YouTube fame. I wonder how many cases of exterme motorcycle a$$holiness they found on his computers. They should nail him on every traffic violation they find on his hard drive. Essentially each one the cops find is a confession. But they probably can’t because it would violate his civil rights.

    Uhler did draw his weapon, but Graber KNEW he was being pursued by cops not some road-raged NRA member. With the patrol car’s lights on close behind him he would have had to be blind not to know. Graber did try to back up, and it looked to me like he was considering bolting between the two cars. Not an unlikely case given his recent behavior.
    Uhler did not show a badge, but to do so at the time, would have required him to lose full control of his weapon. His identifying himself as a cop was maybe late, but Graber knew the cops were there.

    Too bad this shite-for brains will probably walk with only a traffic ticket.

  3. JavaMoose says:

    “You wanna know what is only ever used exclusively as a deadly weapon?

    A gun.”

    Really? Exclusively? Funny, since I like to skeet shoot and enjoy target shooting and plinking. So, what exactly am I killing when I do those activities, since guns are exclusively a deadly weapon?

  4. frozenfowler says:

    Watching the video and zooming in on this guys speedometer you can see that at times he was going upwards of 130 MPH on a crowded road. he was a danger to all of those around him. The officer did the right thing. when he saw that the situation was under control he holstered his weapon. of course the issue here is the charges he is facing for the video taping and posting. everyone knows that these charges are not going to stick. the motorcyclist was being a prick driver and then whining about how unfair he was treated by posting the video. they only want to make him jump through some hoops.

    • AdrenalineSleep says:

      The officer did the right thing.

      No. No he did not. I understand why the cop did what he did. The defense will say that the perpetrator was backing away in such a way that could have enabled him to escape and or run him down. There’s essence of the problem with that defense is that his ego centric viewpoint assumes that everyone knows what he knows; That he is a cop and that this is a traffic stop. I’m sure the cop will say, he knew it was a traffic stop and exhibiting behavior that was potentially aggressive with full knowledge of the situation. If the moto-douche knew that the unmarked car with tinted windows was a police officer and the officer drew his weapon AFTER seeing what could be construed as aggressive behavior, then in that VERY limited definition of the altercation, the cop did the right thing.

      Two major problems. The man in the unmarked car is not identified as a police officer. To the point of a police officer “reacting” to a potentially dangerous situation; If you watch the video, you’ll notice that the cop has his hand on his gun on the way out of his car. By the time the door is pushed open enough for the man to get out, he is unholstering his weapon. He is not reacting to a dangerous situation on his way out of the car. (One could argue that he is creating one)

      He is reacting to his anger over the situation. He is angered that someone is flouting the law in his powerful presence. Think about the speeds of the motorcyclist, he was driving way too fast be caught easily by the cop. They must have been behind him seething with rage that they couldn’t catch up. While this might be understandable for regular folks, this is a person we have hired to be in control in dangerous and difficult situations. Clearly, this guy is incapable of setting his emotions aside while doing his job. If he identified himself immediately and had WAITED to see indicators of what could be the start of an escape or aggressive behavior, then one could accept his rationalizations. That guy did absolutely none of those things.

      …everyone knows that these charges are not going to stick.

      Might not stick now because there will be national attention (and more expensive lawyers) involved.

      …then whining about how unfair he was treated by posting the video

      That’s like saying that he was “whining” if the cop shot him. I am a big fan of punishments fitting the crime. The moto-douche has no right to complain about his punishment for the speeding, and he is not. The police officer can get away with being an aggressive dick because he can find some (flawed) reasons for behaving like a power hungry lunatic but that doesn’t also mean the court has the right to threaten you with 16 years in prison for documenting his behavior.

  5. SKR says:

    Maryland’s law covers more than just electronic communications. It also cover the recording of oral communications. Although they do have an expectation of privacy clause. I can’t imagine how there is an expectation of privacy here. One way to get around all these wiretapping laws would be to disable the audio on the camera as video isn’t an issue.

    If I don’t get an expectation of privacy working on a laptop at an open-air cafe, someone charging around on a public road DEFINITELY doesn’t.

    But they are police not people.

    • tizroc says:

      If as you say “But they are police not people.” then there would be no expectation of privacy since they are not people. It has been determined by the supreme court that only people, corporations and some animals have right… and the rights of each vary.

  6. JavaMoose says:

    “here probably is no law in MD that comes close to what Anthony Graber did. Is there a statute making it illegal to intentionally act like an idiot to provoke a cop on video? The charges were the closest thing they had to the actual situation.”

    Except, you know, the felony speeding they can (and are) charging him with. Along with reckless driving, etc etc.

    No, charging him with wiretapping is purely a revenge tactic for the local PD in response to him putting the video up on youtube.

    I don’t think the cops really did anything wrong on the stop, the undercover/off-duty didn’t even have his finger on or in the trigger guard and never pointed it at the rider. But, they clearly don’t like the attention that they are getting from the video being posted. IF he had never posted the video of the stop, we would have never heard of this story because it would have been one of a million traffic stops and been no big deal.

  7. Unfair Robot says:

    America, I am so sorry for you. Your country was founded on great and admirable ideals of freedom but somewhere along the way you got screwed.

  8. millrick says:

    just watched the video

    -the motorcyclist was backing himself away from the dude with the gun
    -it took the officer 7 seconds to identify himself
    -the gun was never pointed at the motorcyclist
    -the officer re-holstered his gun 15 seconds after he pulled it out
    -there was a marked police car stopped behind the motorcyclist

    i can only imagine how frightening it must of been for Anthony Graber, which was, i assume, the whole point of pulling the gun.
    Graber deserves an appropriate punishment for speeding, but wiretap charges are intended to frighten us all into being obedient little sheep who never confront authority.

    • Felton says:

      Graber deserves an appropriate punishment for speeding, but wiretap charges are intended to frighten us all into being obedient little sheep who never confront authority.

      I agree with that assessment.

    • loraksus says:

      Exactly. And if this video had shown something that wouldn’t be embarrassing to the police, it would have never been an issue.
      But it was, and the police used extrajudicial punishment.

      Even if he gets off, they still had the opportunity to raid his place and take his things. A “win” for the regular citizens.

  9. adamnvillani says:

    This seems crazy… on the one hand I feel like the Supreme Court needs to come down and rule that we have an absolute right to record police activity, and on the other hand I fear that Scalia, Thomas, Roberts, Alito, and Kennedy would rule in the OTHER direction, permanently damaging civil liberties in America.

  10. Razzabeth says:

    Oh, so AT&T can warrantlessly wiretap our private phones all they want with NO repercussions, but a guy videotapes a cop obviously and publicly get 16 years? WHAT. THE. F*CK.

  11. Michael says:

    Typically, expectation of privacy covers hospitals, your own bedroom, and barely anything else beyond those. If Maryland has its own wonky privacy laws, though, then so be it.

  12. Anonymous says:

    When I was cop, I knew that everything I did was public; I had no privacy. Guys like this give the rest of us a bad name.

  13. witczak says:

    Did I miss something? I don’t see a badge or any form of ID. I’m assuming there were flashing lights on the car, but they didn’t appear in the video.

    So it seems to me this is a guy video taping a gun wielding guy that claims to be a cop.

    …Is it any wonder that people get raped/robbed/killed after being pulled over by phoney cops.

  14. MRKiscaden says:

    It is my opinion, perhaps radical opinion, that the plain-clothes police officers should only be used for undercover investigations, and NOT used for normal law enforcement. Why on earth is it nessesary for police officers to be riding around in an un-marked car, wearing street clothes performing traffic enforcement. To top it all off, the officer pulled his firearm on the citizen.

    If this officer was off-duty, then he no longer has the power to perform arrests or the right to draw his firearm in public. In short, he is NOT ON DUTY and becomes a normal citizen.

    The police department know Joseph Uhler screwed up, and they are closing ranks to protect him rather than see justice served.

    • Anonymous says:

      Care to cite a single case or proposition of law to support your assertion that an off-duty cop is “just a normal citizen.” As long as a cop is within his jurisdiction, he has the power to effect an arrest, regardless of whether he is “on” or “off duty.”

  15. dculberson says:

    That guy did not run from the cops. He sped early in the video but then drove a reasonable speed and pulled over toward the end of the video. If you think he “ran” from the cops, you have never seen a motorcycle run. 120mph is the speed they slow down to when a turn comes up. A modern sport bike can go 160mph (600cc little guy) to 200+mph (1300cc Hayabusa) and those speeds come on in seconds.

    This guy was going 60-70mph through most of the video. Maintaining lanes, not passing on the berm, etc. Clearly not attempting to run in the least.

  16. Anonymous says:

    I don’t get it, have we lost all of our rights? It’s o.k. for the police to record us and in many cases edit the recording before anyone sees it, but we are not allowed to record them. Isn’t that our rights? I mean if every thing was on the up & up there should be no problem, Right, How ever most of us know that there are not to many Real Police out there any more, most of them enjoy abusing other people & or other peoples children, The Gov. tells us we can not correct our own children, But if they feel the need they can kick,smash into the ground, throw around,Tazzer and in some cases Kill our children and anymore the children don’t even have to be over 18. How Messed Up is that, we are the only ones who can & should do something to STOP POLICE from ABUSING US….JUST DO IT…Everyone should carry a camera with them at all times and record each and every police stop that does not look right, and if this man gets any charges for recording this out of control officer well then I for one will KNOW that even JUSTICE is Gone..

  17. abstract_reg says:

    But time-out a moment! How in the world could he know that this guy was a cop? There is no badge, no uniform, no car. I just watched the video and there is no way to tell that this man is an officer of the law. This is not how traffic law is supposed to be enforced. The guy was speeding, sure. But IMHO an off-duty cop should not be able to do anything with out at least flashing the badge.

  18. shannigans says:

    Judging by the amount of time between when the motorcycle passed the police car and when the stop finally occurred, and by the fact that a second patrol car was present when the motorcycle finally stopped (indicating backup was called in), it would appear that the motorcycle continued to go long after the party lights turned on behind him and even re-violated the speeding law with the cop behind him. That kind of behavior is pretty much guaranteed to get a gun pulled on you. As far as being charged with illegal wiretapping…total crap.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Otto Zehm in Spokane, Washington. This involved 3 in store cameras, where the city with held one camera footage for 2 months to manipulate the story. This murder involved 8 police officers and 2 emergency workers.
    The sad thing is some places have been so desensitized and damaged the people take this for a way of life. This community is predominantly European.

    ‘bookstore biff’

  20. Neon Tooth says:

    Great, now I have to feel sympathy for some uber-douche crotch rocket shithead who was endangering everyone on the highway with is childish *extreme* riding. Way to go Maryland.

  21. LightningRose says:

    What would really put a stop to this crap would be a constitutional amendment granting the right to use deadly force in defense against law enforcement engaged in illegal behavior.

    Now *that* would lead to a truly professional law enforcement community. Surely the “good apples” in law enforcement would never object to such a law – after all, the innocent have nothing to fear, right?

    • Anonymous says:

      What would really put a stop to this crap would be a constitutional amendment granting the right to use deadly force in defense against law enforcement engaged in illegal behavior. Now *that* would lead to a truly professional law enforcement community.

      Actually I believe this very legal defense was invoked, successfully, to keep the survivors of the Branch Davidian siege and massacre out of prison, and yet at the end of the day, things cannot really be said to have worked out well for them, all things considered.

    • nutbastard says:

      “What would really put a stop to this crap would be a constitutional amendment granting the right to use deadly force in defense against law enforcement engaged in illegal behavior.”

      The Constitution does NOT grant rights. It restricts government. Your rights are inherent in your existence. They are not granted to you by a piece of paper, and thus cannot be taken away by any piece of paper.

  22. Sionix says:

    Help me understand this? Cameras record me in restaurants, malls, convenient stores, retail stores, banks, at street intersections and along highways and streets. The police have dash mounted cameras with microphones. The republicans AND democrats passed legislation that protects communication companies participating in ILLEGAL wiretaps from ANY civil or criminal consequences. Yet, if I have a camera and record the government I may loose 16 years of my life behind bars? This is so wrong in so many ways and I can only hope that more folks find out about this nonsense and put the right people in office so that we as Americans truly have a government for the people that is by the people!

  23. kpkpkp says:

    Yet another example of a police office that believes that the law applies to others, not to the police themselves.

    It manifests in so many ways, the primary being the “professional courtesy” they extend one another in terms of traffic stops – cops DO NOT WRITE traffic summons’ to other cops.

    So if you’re a cop, you can drive like an asshole and unless you do something to damage or kill, you are pretty much unaccountable. Wanna turn on the flashing lights to sprint through an intersection – no problem – for example, to make it back to the office for a shift change – no problem.

    Now let’s say you’re a tow truck driver on the way to a crash – and turn on your lights and roll through a red light – no such luck, you can be stopped and ticketed.

    I realize there are all sorts of people and all sorts of situations, but I also believe that the wrong people sometimes get jobs in law enforcement, and in certain situations, they glow with the pure wrongness of their career choice.

  24. wylkyn says:

    He should just get a leather jacket with the words “By reading this, you consent to be videotaped.” emblazoned on both sides in various languages. Badabing! Instant user agreement!

  25. Anonymous says:

    “Murder is a crime.
    Unless it is done by a
    Policeman or an aristocrat.
    Know your rights.
    These are your rights.”
    - The Clash

    I’ve watched a lot of motorcycle videos, and this one is unique in that the angle makes the viewer ill at ease. In other words, excellent!

    The cop was definitely out of line. The motorcyclist was mostly a danger to himself only, and he was doing the very opposite of threatening the cop by moving backward. The charges will get thrown out, and then the rider will sue. He’ll then have enough to buy himself a nice green Kawasaki or a black V-Max. Red makes motorcycles and cars appear even faster than they already are.

  26. Tim says:

    Gun waving? I didn’t see any gun waving. I guess the headline reads better than “Man faces jail for videotaping officer during traffic stop,” but…no, actually it’s just fine that way.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Another issue is that the warrant to search Graber’s house was unsigned.
    As Grader put it, “They told me they don’t want you to know who the judge is because of privacy.”

    I know that the Fourth Amendment reads “no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

    And I know that this has been interpreted to mean that “law enforcement must receive written permission from a court of law, or otherwise qualified magistrate, to lawfully search and seize evidence while investigating criminal activity.”

    However, I’m also aware that this particular constitutional right has been heavily eroded over the years. My question is:

    What is the validity of an unsigned warrant under Maryland law?

  28. Anonymous says:

    This clown is a cop? Does not appear to be, could be a rogue, actually looks to be psycho!!!

  29. Rob Beschizza says:

    If they sent him to jail for speeding, I wouldn’t give a fart. The problem is the wiretapping charge. The cop’s behavior doesn’t bother me–the point is not that the cop should be punished or even criticized, just that his manner of interacting with the speeding motorist is a public spectacle, and that the charges were clearly punishment for exposing the officer to ridicule.

  30. Anonymous says:

    If the law says a police officer has to be on duty or in a uniform than this dude should not be charge the cop was off duty and not driving a police vehicle so this man should not get charge for taping a officer on duty because at the time the officer was just a citizen

  31. AirPillo says:

    The guy deserves overnight stay in jail for going 127 mph on a busy road, not 16 years for filming an angry cop.

  32. EH says:

    Nobody brandishing a firearm in public should have an expectation of privacy.

  33. humanresource says:

    Pulling a gun on someone who’s speeding would be normal behaviour on the part of a cop who’s been mainling testosterone into his goddamn eyeballs for 3 days, maybe. Reading the comments here, I can’t help thinking that growing up around these psycho’s has cowed at least half of you into having a grovelling inmate mentality. Your craven lack of empathy gives hope to all the little Hitlers of the world.

  34. delt664 says:

    ” In other words, in any public interaction between a police officer and a member of the public in Maryland, it is private for one of them but not the other.”

    Yeah that sounds about par for the course.

    No badge, no uniform – I haven’t seen the video but based on this picture, this looks more like a carjacking (bikejacking?) than being pulled over for speeding.

  35. ProfLewis says:

    This cop is typical of the corrupt, ignorant, self-important, moronic dopes we have allowed out on our streets. That fool cop should be removed from his post and never allowed to carry a pistol in public again. The imbecilic logic that affords him not only the right to behave in such a dangerous way, but gain support from his bud’s back in the corrupt court system is tragic. We must, as a people, start to try to fix this police abuse issue or it is going to only get worse. That fool cop is also going to get his dumb self killed if he actually encounters a real bad guy.

  36. Agies says:

    After watching the video and seeing the comments it’s clear that they are trying to send the message that they won’t stand for manufactured controversy. The officer was wearing a badge and brandished his sidearm for about 20 seconds before holsering it after the motorcyclist turned off his deadly weapon (the motorcycle) and yet he is being labled as an “out of control cop”. I don’t think that this is necessarily the best way of going about this, but there was absolutely no reason for the rider to publish this video to the web.

    • AdrenalineSleep says:

      If the rider had a reason that met your (or their) standards, would that have made it ok?

      HE DOES NOT NEED A REASON. That’s precisely the point. He does have a reason, and it’s to document an experience.

      You site the motorcyclist’s deadly weapon but in the video, you do not see any aggressive behavior on the part of the motorcyclist. You could say that he was backing away to escape but as I already posted, he could have been backing away from a guy waving a gun or you know, because a random car pulled up really close to him.

      As far as the deadly weapon itself is concerned. Does that mean that anyone who ever gets pulled over can get pulled over with a weapon drawn? By your logic every motor vehicle is a deadly weapon and when used a particular way, is. It is the behavior and manner in which it is used that makes it so. The moto-douche exhibited no such signs as far as I can tell.

      • Ted8305 says:

        Motor vehicles most certainly ARE deadly weapons. As a cyclist and responsible driver, I’d love it if the judicial system finally started treating cars for what they are.

        • Trotsky says:

          Motor vehicles are deadly weapons.

          However, they are primarily used to drive to the grocery store.

          Knives are deadly weapons.

          However, they are primarily used to chop tomatoes.

          Bricks are deadly weapons.

          However, they are primarily used to build houses.

          Rocks are deadly weapons.

          You find them in the forest.

          Being deadly.

          A shovel is a deadly weapon.

          Dig a hole, plant a tree.

          The entire freaking world is filled with deadly weapons. Most of which are used primarily and almost exclusively for non-deadly activities.

          You wanna know what is only ever used exclusively as a deadly weapon?

          A gun.

          • HD says:

            “You wanna know what is only ever used exclusively as a deadly weapon?

            A gun.”

            I just got back from the range, where I fired a couple of guns a few hundred times, and killed not a single thing (except my wallet, ammo ain’t cheap these days).

            Now maybe I’m just a really bad shot, or maybe guns are not exclusively used as deadly weapons.

          • Ted8305 says:

            Heh. I didn’t even want to touch that one. Thanks for stepping in where I bit my tongue, HD.

            Oh for what it’s worth, I went to the range today too. Killed some paper targets, that’s about it.

          • Antinous / Moderator says:

            The entire freaking world is filled with deadly weapons.

            You forgot a couple of deadly weapons in your list.

          • PaulR says:

            I’m not sure if I should admit that, back in the day, when that movie was playing in theatres, some friends and I went to see it.

            So I won’t.

            (But I have it on good authority that it was awful!)

          • Ted8305 says:

            Good points Trotsky. Bricks don’t kill people, though. People kill people. A brick becomes a deadly weapon only when it’s being used to assault someone in a deadly way. Same thing goes for all the other things on your list.

            Maybe I’m the one who’s nuts, but I sincerely wish every jackass who has ever clipped my shoulder with their mirror had to face assault charges.

  37. ill lich says:

    “Privacy” my ass, when a guy in a plain looking car and no uniform or even displayed badge points a gun at you, you SHOULD take his photo, to hand over to the police, even if he IS a cop, because that is just idiotic; how do we know he isn’t a criminal, because he says “I’m a cop!?” A criminal can do that too. Of course the police protect each other, and as far as they are concerned they do no wrong, hence the “thin blue line” stickers you see on cars (“don’t ticket ME, I’m one of YOU guys!”)

    • querent says:

      ‘hence the “thin blue line” stickers you see on cars (“don’t ticket ME, I’m one of YOU guys!”‘

      can we get some of those? hagbard celine all over again. “this car is full of dope….” shout out if you know what i’m talking about.

  38. Scott says:

    Clearly, when we’ve got a nationwide problem with people catching police officers behaving in crazy/crooked/violent/racist ways on videotape, the solution isn’t to train police officers not to be crazy, crooked, violent, or racist — the solution is to jail people who videotape crazy, crooked, violent, and racist cops.

  39. Anonymous says:

    Is it a matter of matter of implicit versus explicit knowledge of privacy?

    Example, if the motorcyclist happened to be wearing a large sign on his jacket (front and back) that stated:

    “Warning – Video Camera in Use. Approach to rider is consent to filming” similar to the way a government agency has to post a sign indicating CCTV recording?

    I’ve been curious about this for quite some time as I film track events with a vehicle for personal driver improvement reasons, however the camera is mounted in the car to and from the track. If stopped by an officer with the camera in the car on a public road, is it my duty to inform the officer that a camera is present or face similar prosecution?

  40. greermahoney says:

    “If this officer was off-duty, then he no longer has the power to perform arrests or the right to draw his firearm in public. In short, he is NOT ON DUTY and becomes a normal citizen.”

    Hmmm. I don’t think that is correct. I was under the impression that anyone can make an arrest, and you do not need to be sworn in as a police officer, never mind on duty, to do so. Whether the person you are trying to arrest will come quietly without the badge and gun is another thing entirely. The exception is apparently the state of North Carolina, where you can detain, but not arrest.

  41. W. James Au says:

    Whatever the case, that screengrab is an action shot worthy of “24″. Jack Bauer wants some of your civil liberties. I NEED THEM NOW! WE DON’T HAVE A LOT OF TIME!

  42. Ron says:

    Never expose the system. It will only try to conceal you.

  43. efergus3 says:

    On my Blog for the next THREE weeks. But don’t worry – no one reads it.

  44. teapot says:

    Now maybe I’m just a really bad shot, or maybe guns are not exclusively used as deadly weapons.

    Shooting on a range is practice for killing things. Guns: that’s what they do…. they either kill, present the fear of death or present a false sense of secuirty for the shooter. That’s it.

    • Kaden says:

      “Shooting on a range is practice for killing things.”

      Uh huh.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biathlon

      • teapot says:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biathlon

        Thanks for supporting my argument. You clearly haven’t figured out that winter biathlon is a sport which emulates the real-world activity of skiing around until you find some food, shooting said food, and returning home with it. That’s still about killing, bud.

        I love how the pro-gun nuts are so easy to troll.

        Anti: I thought it must have been you – you are Quick-Draw McMod, after all. Anyway, I appreciate your hard work. The only reason I reposted was to make sure my suggestion made it, even if not in image form. Thanks for keeping my rude ass somewhat in line.

        • Kaden says:

          So you realize they don’t actually kill things in Olympic events, yeah?

          Not in biathlon, not in javelin, not in hammer throw, nor when they fire the starter’s pistol at track events.

          Only in skeleton racing, but that was a mistake apparently.

          Man, gun arguments make people dumb.

          • teapot says:

            So you realize they don’t actually kill things in Olympic events, yeah?

            You f**k*ng moron. [Hey kids! Fill in the blanks to figure out this fun puzzle!!!]

            Did you miss the word “emulates” in my comment, or did you just ignore it because you don’t know what it means?

            Only in skeleton racing, but that was a mistake apparently.

            Apart from pointing out your primitive idea of what constitutes humour, I’ll also point out that many people have died at the olympic games over the years. But, I suspect you are young and ignorant or that you simply can’t store anything in your memory for longer than a couple of months.
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1964_Winter_Olympics#Prior_tragedies

            Man, gun arguments make people dumb.

            And HOW!

            Yet another one bites the dust. Don’t you trolls get tired of being made the fool?

  45. Rob Beschizza says:

    Update! Judge threw out the felony charge: http://www.boingboing.net/2010/09/28/wiretap-charges-drop.html

  46. Anonymous says:

    This is another step in taking away liberties from ordinary citizen and police brutality. Taping police behavior on public freeways is in no way subject to laws of privacy. Also, police is required to video tape any interaction with suspects anyway. This is just another way to stifle public monitoring of police behavior.

  47. efergus3 says:

    Look Ma – Rabies!

  48. spcfgt says:

    I’m surprised how many people are commenting without having seen the video…

    Here it is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7PC9cZEWCQ

    • duggo42 says:

      Wow, thanks for the link. After seeing the vid, the BB headline (and the carefully chosen vid-frame they used for the photo) are a complete joke. Trying to paint the cop as a “gun waving maniac” is as absurd as the wiretapping charges being brought against the cyclist.

      Rob, do us a favor and try not to mislead your readers. Thanks.

  49. teapot says:

    wow, the slander-nazis are quick on clean-up today.

    Jerks like Joseph Uhler deserve public ridicule, so they know that they cannot hide behind their crooked police unions and threats of prosecution.

    After spending all of 1min in photoshop to make that wonderful image suggesting he has a micropenis, my heart was broken to find it axed.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      Just think how you’d feel if somebody photoshopped him with a handle and a spout. He has enough real bad qualities to assail without having to assign him imaginary ones.

  50. Comedian says:

    I had the misfortune of living in Maryland for parts of 1995 through 2000.

    Stories like this not only make me happy that I got out of that hellhole, but also make me chuckle at Maryland’s old nickname, “The Free State”.

    http://www.msa.md.gov/msa/mdmanual/01glance/html/nickname.html

  51. JavaMoose says:

    “Shooting on a range is practice for killing things. Guns: that’s what they do…. they either kill, present the fear of death or present a false sense of secuirty for the shooter. That’s it.”

    Spoken like someone who fears guns or just plain outright doesn’t understand them. Possibly someone that has never been to a range with an experienced shooter. Shooting at the range is a test of skill (it ain’t easy to shoot well, it takes a lot of control and practice). Things like skeet shooting are downright fun and challenging – just like playing basketball or football or any other sport. Sport, that word applies to target and range shooting.

    Guns, yes, they can be used to kill…but that’s not all they can be used for. False sense of security? A practiced shooter can (and have) defended their home and family against violent criminals with their firearms. I wouldn’t call that a false sense of security.

    • teapot says:

      Way to give me an opportunity to rip your argument to shreds.. thanks!

      First, your comment starts with the typical line that most opinionated comments start with: “Spoken like someone who…” followed by a criticism of my intelligence. You then go on to assume things about me which you would have NFI about (never been to a range).

      Next, you argue at a tangent to my original point. I never said it isn’t difficult to shoot accurately, nor did I say shooting isn’t fun or challenging.

      Then you prove my point about guns being a false sense of security right there in your own comment: “A practiced shooter can (and have) defended their home and family against violent criminals with their firearms.”
      There are also hundreds, if not thousands of stories of people dying, or killing others by accidental discharge of a firearm. Kinda goes against your ridiculous point.

      “Oh, but I hide my gun where the kids can’t find it”. Yeah… thats what everyone thinks until something terrible happens. Also, what if the “violent criminal” has better weapons training than you? You could easily be disarmed or outgunned. There is this little thing called The Army that pays people to learn these skills, you see. Knowledge of gun possession can also make the owner complacent with other security measures (such as properly locking doors) because they have the gun safety-blanket.

      For the record: *I have been to numerous shooting ranges and shot at at least 3 of them.
      *I went to watch shooting live at the 2000 Olympic games
      *I will forever defend shooting as a sport because IT IS undeniably a sport.

      Finally, I love your insane shooter’s argument that anything that is “fun and challenging” makes it acceptable as sport. Thorwing the corpses of my enemies down a large cliff and hoping their bodies land on the 3m steel spike I installed at the bottom could be quite “fun and challenging”, but I don’t know if people would consider it a sport. Also: basketballs don’t have an auxiliary “kill” function.. guns, however – thats why they were created.

      PS – have fun with your right to bear arms…. I’ll take my country’s murder rate (and accidental firearm death rate) over yours any day.

      This is a right I can rally around:
      http://www.ibiblio.org/Dave/Dr-Fun/collections/1991/images/df1991-133.gif

      • JavaMoose says:

        Regarding the ‘false sense of security’ mis-information that you spout. Try some real numbers from the Nation Self Defense Survey done in 1994:

        “…conducted a national survey in 1994 (the National Self-Defense Survey) and, extrapolating from the 5,000 households surveyed, estimated that in 1993 there were approximately 2.5 million incidents in which victims used guns for self-protection, compared to about four hundred thousand crimes committed by offenders with guns.”

        Source: http://www.ncjrs.org/pdffiles/165476.pdf

        Also, regarding guns being locked up and accidental shooting deaths.

        “We found that 20 percent of all gun-owning
        households had an unlocked, loaded gun in the home
        at the time of the survey.”

        That means 80% of gun owners store their gun safely, locked, away from children. That’s pretty good. I would like to know the percentage of adults that speed with their kids in the car…bet it’s higher than 20% of car owners.

        “Of 1,356 accidental deaths by gunshot
        in 1994, 185 involved children 14 years old and
        younger.[11] For each such fatality, there are
        several accidental shootings that cause serious
        injury.”

        Really? Only 185 children got a hold of one of those 20% improperly stored weapons and accidentally shot themselves or another kid. Not quite as huge of a problem as you say it is.

        “PS – have fun with your right to bear arms…. I’ll take my country’s murder rate (and accidental firearm death rate) over yours any day.”

        What country would that be? I really do hope it’s the UK…you guys have some serious problems way worse than our ‘gun problems’.

        FWIW – Never attacked your intelligence, but I did make an assumption. Also, reading comprehension, just because it is fun and challenging is what makes it a sport – re-read and you will see that I was saying it is as much of a sport as basketball, football, etc.

        • teapot says:

          It’s always the gun-nuts who are the returning trolls. Pity for you that I have far too much time on my hands at my day job. (Boingers, sorry for taking up so much screen space)

          1) The article you linked to is 16 years old. I refuse to believe this is the most recent and pertinent data available, and I contend that you chose it because you thought it supported your argument.

          2) Gun purchases shot up massively post 9-11 and so those stats (1994) are nothing but an indication of times past.
          http://www.nytimes.com/2001/12/16/nyregion/nation-challenged-personal-security-steep-rise-gun-sales-reflects-post-attack.html

          3) The article to which you linked was conducted by phone, and only surveyed 2568 people. This is problematic. The sample size is borderline OK (but not good) for the US 1994 population of 265mil, the problem is that respondents must have a phone. Obviously the more dangerous situations would be in households with no phone (lower socio-economic conditions).

          4) The stats you dished up are conveniently pruned for your use (or completely contradictory to information in the very article you linked):

          Your BS:“conducted a national survey in 1994 (the National Self-Defense Survey) and, extrapolating from the 5,000 households surveyed”

          This may be the case for the “National Self-Defense Survey”…. but in the case of the article you linked, on P4, it clearly says the sample size was “2,568 noninstitutionalized adults aged 18″

          Your BS:“We found that 20 percent of all gun-owning households had an unlocked, loaded gun in the home at the time of the survey.” “That means 80% of gun owners store their gun safely, locked, away from children.”

          Article:”Slightly more than half of all privately owned firearms were stored unlocked
          [chances are the ammo is not far away, and it doesn't take a genius to figure out how to load a gun]

          Your BS:“in 1993 there were approximately 2.5 million incidents in which victims used guns for self-protection”

          Article:”Evidence suggests that this survey and others like it overestimate the frequency with which firearms were used by private citizens to defend against criminal attack.”

          If you bothered to do any research which wasn’t aimed at supporting your opinion, you may have stumbled upon this. It took some serious searching… so I can understand why you couldn’t find it. From Wikipedia:

          “The findings of the McDowall’s study for the American Journal of Public Health contrast with the findings of a 1993 study by Gary Kleck, who finds that as many as 2.45 million crimes are thwarted each year in the United States”

          “Hemenway, however, also argues that the Kleck figure is inconsistent with other known statistics for crime, citing that Kleck’s figures apparently show that guns are many times more often used for self-defense in burglaries, than there are incidents of bulgaries of properties contain gun owners with awake occupants.[72] Hemenway concludes that under reasonable assumptions of random errors in sampling, because of the rarity of the event, the 2.5 million figure should be considered only as the top end of a 0-2.5 million confidence interval, suggesting a highly unreliable result that is likely a great overestimate, with the true figure 10 times, or more, less.”

          Let’s see how that maths works out.
          2,500,000/10 = 250,000
          400,000 – 250,000 = 150,000
          So… more crime than self-defence.

          What country would that be? I really do hope it’s the UK…you guys have some serious problems way worse than our ‘gun problems’.

          If I lived in the UK, I wouldn’t be so smug about our low gun crime-rate. I live in Australia. This handy little page from The University of Utah should show you where I’m coming from:
          http://library.med.utah.edu/WebPath/TUTORIAL/GUNS/GUNSTAT.html
          Notice australia WAAAAY down the bottom there on the first graph? Notice on the second graph the US is up top with more than double the rate of firearm deaths in children under 15 than the next country on the list?

          FWIW – Never attacked your intelligence
          Ah, yes you did:
          …or just plain outright doesn’t understand them

          Which is false, plenty of other uses for guns. Pity the primary use is killing. The other ‘uses’ were created later (and most are simply practice for the gun’s primary use). Also I love that you couldn’t resist the ol’ car analogy. Cars, unlike guns, also have a multitude of constructive uses which is why the danger is worth it.

          Is there a more polite way to say burrrrrrrrrrrrrrrn?

        • JavaMoose says:

          “challenging is what makes it a sport”

          Bah, late night typo, that should read:

          ‘challenging ISN’T what makes it a sport’

  52. querent says:

    16 years?! just watched the video. fuck no.

    maybe the cop acted ok. i don’t think so. he didn’t point the gun, granted. and i’ve had cops pull guns on me for less. but guns are more scary than fast bikes. guy on the fast bike isn’t trying to hurt you. guy with the gun pulled maybe is. (is.)

    but 16 years for keeping the camera on his head rolling? what the ever living fuck? when was he supposed to turn it off?

    this is just the cops trying to punish people for pointing out potentially embarrassing behavior.

    the fucker was already stopped!

    (and fuck yes, i want a crotch rocket. i may look like a douche, but fuck it.)

    fuck the po-lease.

  53. Mitch says:

    So if you are in Maryland and want to upload a video of the police, park outside a cafe with wireless internet, set up an anonymous account from there, and upload away.

  54. Doug says:

    The charge for wiretapping is ludicrous and I think we can all agree on that. There is no reasonable expectation to privacy on public streets when you are acting in a manner that is visible and audible to everyone around you. To think so is ridiculous.

    However, the had a potentially deadly motor vehicle and was driving it recklessly. Of course when the police caught up to him they would respond with guns drawn for their own protection
    “The moto-douche exhibited no such signs as far as I can tell.”
    Assuming makes an ass out of you AND me. The officer got out of the car and drew his weapon because the motorcycle was ON. It’s pretty easy to hurt people by running them over with vehicles. Did the officer expect him to run him over? No, clearly because he didn’t point the gun at the motorcyclist nor did he wave it around in a threatening manner. However, there needed to be an escalation of force to keep the motorcyclist from fleeing. Drawing in this situation was the right thing to do with regards to officer safety.

    Police deal with lunatics and violent people every day all the time. Do you really expect them to give everyone the benefit of the doubt? People call cops a**holes, but in reality if you worked a job where you just wanted to help your community yet nobody respects you, everybody treats you like crap, and your life is in danger constantly how would YOU act towards people. It doesn’t matter how you or I are, the reality is 90% of people with whom cops deal treat them like shit.

    Also, we have a video and no other evidence. There is something fishy that there was not only a search warrant issued but also an arrest warrant. This tells us that there is DEFINITELY more to tell in this story. Warrants have to be specific as to what they’re searching for. You can’t just get a search warrant to “oh, just look around a bit”.

    Once again, all assumptions are just that right now. In my opinion the motorcyclist is innocent of all charges until proven guilty in a court of law (However, the evidence for speeding is here, so I guess he’s guilty of that… haha). We’ll see how this unfolds

  55. Anonymous says:

    Privacy in a public area. I think that’s what confuses me most…

  56. stevew says:

    In Utah driving like the motorcyclist was doing is a felony, 40 mph over posted or +100 mph regardless, cuffs, tow truck, go directly to jail. This guy “ran” from the party lights, big trouble. Reckless driving here is often worse than a DUI for the most part. A good lawyer can help in that case, but the wiretapping charge and 16 years is bullshit. Bravo for the ACLU.

    I’ve had the backup officer at the right rear of the car draw or place their hand on their weapon several times in traffic stops as the other officer makes initial contact with the driver. A few choruses of “Yes, sir! No, sir!” has always defused things for me and a verbal warning is often the outcome. Police are people too with wives and kids that they’d like to go home to in one piece. As soon as ‘control’ was established, the weapon was holstered.

    • Michael Smith says:

      #55,

      I just watched the video all the way through and it didn’t look like he was riding the bike in a particularly dangerous way. Some of the time he was moving with the flow and other times he was overtaking but it looked safe for me. Hard to tell what the speed was from the video but my guess is at most 30% over the speed of other traffic.

      He could easily be booked for speeding but it doesn’t look like a really big deal to me until they pull him over. There have been guys on motorbikes flashing past speed cameras at 200km/h in a 60 zone with a foot covering the rear rego plate in Melbourne. Thats on a road where I wouldn’t go 30 on my push bike. The surface is horrid. Now thats stupid. But this guy is doing it on a highway or freeway and traffic doesn’t look really heavy.

  57. keitmo says:

    “In other words, in any public interaction between a police officer and a member of the public in Maryland, it is private for one of them but not the other.”

    I hate to say it, but this wouldn’t be the first case of such asymmetry between police rights & civilian rights. For example, it’s perfectly legal for the police to lie to a suspect during an interrogation, but illegal for the suspect to lie to the police.

    I agree with adamnvillani’s comment (#18) that this will ultimately come down to a Supreme Court decision, but probably not in the people’s favor.

  58. Napalm Dog says:

    You know, there’s a camera on the dash of each of those cop cars.

    If the police hadn’t over-reacted to the taping of the police officer, this thread would probably not exist. A cop brandishing a weapon, even accidentally discharging it; These are not new things. Terrible, tragic things, but nonetheless it would not have gotten so much attention.

    No, they want the right to tape us when they pull us over but they don’t want any other witnesses. This is just blatant intimidation of the defendant and everyone else that thinks about videotaping the police.

  59. boingboingdave says:

    imagine how different the Oscar Grant shooting case may have been had there not been footage taken by the public.

  60. Trotsky says:

    I’m amazed at the astonishingly poor reasoning of those who suggest that “the motorcycle was a deadly weapon” or “the guy could be on meth.”

    Using that line of “reasoning” *EVERY* traffic stop should require a police officer to draw his weapon. And using the “guy could be on meth” argument means police should conduct all of their daily duties with their weapon never placed within it’s holster, since any person on the street could be on meth..

    Some very weak apologetics for the actions of an inept officer and the corrupt state system that backs him up at the expense of a citizen, whose life and livelihood mean absolutely nothing in comparison to the professional embarrassment of a cop.

    Too many have forgotten that police are public employees who are tasked primarily with protecting citizens, not covering their own asses.

    • azaner says:

      >>>>I’m amazed at the astonishingly poor reasoning of those who suggest that “the motorcycle was a deadly weapon” or “the guy could be on meth.” Using that line of “reasoning” *EVERY* traffic stop should require a police officer to draw his weapon.

      Wrong. You should check your own remarkably poor reasoning. If the cyclist were merely speeding (or if the driver of a car were merely speeding), there’s no way the drawing of a gun would normally be called for.

      But in this case, the cyclist was very clearly and visibly performing incredibly dangerous high-speed acrobatics on a public roadway. No reasonable driver in control of his or her bike pops a wheelie in excess of 100 mph on a crowded freeway. That cop was right to assume there was either something wildly wrong with the bike or the driver was behaving with wanton recklessness and indifference. Since the bike seemed to stop just fine, the assumption naturally shifts to something being wrong with the driver’s head. And I’d argue there is, indeed, something wrong with that dude’s head, if he can so cavalierly endanger other people’s lives for grins.

      • Anonymous says:

        “When he showed up to the jail, they set his bond at $15,000, which is a little extravagant considering there is a maximum $10,000 fine for a wiretapping conviction.

        He spent 26 hours in jail before he was released upon his own recognizance. The judge who released him took one look at the report and said that it didn’t appear he violated the wiretapping law.

        “She said, ‘I have no idea why you’re charged with this’,” he said.”

        http://carlosmiller.com/2010/04/16/maryland-motorcyclist-spends-26-hours-in-jail-on-wiretapping-charge-for-filming-cop-with-gun/

      • Trotsky says:

        >> But in this case, the cyclist was very clearly and visibly performing incredibly dangerous high-speed acrobatics on a public roadway.

        “Incredibly dangerous high speed acrobatics,” huh? Boy, that does sound like it merits confrontation with a firearm. Good call, citizen! Actually, you should be arrested (with firearm unholstered, just in case you’re on meth) for Assault With Deadly Hyperbole and Intent to Mislead.

        Sentence: 16 years.

        Also, kids, please note that the police officer in the following order: 1) drew his gun, 2) rushed the cyclist, 3) told him repeatedly to get off the bike (gun in hand), and finally — FINALLY — when it occurred to him that he had badly botched the procedure 4) mentioned he was state police, though did not show any ID.

        This was a cop fuck-up and they’re just using the tried and true method of “the best defense is a good offense.” The police are trying to keep the focus on the cyclist and not on the gun-wielding officer.

        Having said all of that, CLEARLY the cyclist was riding recklessly and deserves a citation. I don’t think anyone is disputing that. The issue is: 1) the gun, 2) the video footage.

        But apologists keep trying to spin this up as a potential meth-addled serial killer on his murder-bike endangering kindly old ladies and adorable babies. All of whom were saved by the quick thinking and firearm waving of Hero Cop.

        And one more time, in case some miss the point: entirely appropriate to arrest this cyclist, entirely appropriate for this officer to apprehend. But our nation has statutes and procedures that the police are allegedly sworn to uphold — indeed that is the sum total of their entire profession — and these procedures and statutes cannot be cavalierly discarded when the officers decide they are an inconvenience.

        If you don’t like your gun waving to be curtailed by the laws of a civilized nation, you should seek employment in a third world free-fire zone with Blackwater. Then you can do whatever the hell you want without whomever the hell you want.

        At a much, much higher salary.

  61. Anonymous says:

    I would think it would have read very differently in Arizona Officer shot while attempting plain clothes arrest. Even officers had better have better judgement than this. If you come out of your car waving a gun expect to get shot. This could have been handled much differently. he is luck to be alive. His supervisors should read him the riot act and as far as the video, it should be used a training footage for recruits as how not to handly an arrest.

  62. ackpht says:

    That cop is just one more guy with something to prove.

  63. Anonymous says:

    This could have turned out very bad for everyone involved. A man, WEARING NO LAW ENFORCEMENT CREDENTIALS, comes scrambling out of his CAR towards my MOTORCYCLE with his semi-automatic pistol in hand.????? Sorry dude, this is 2010 and I would have pulled my personal sidearm because AT THAT MOMENT I would have been in fear of my life and I’m sure the outcome would have been worse.

    The trooper was wrong!

    Then again Maryland law enforcement has been making the news in the same kinda light recently….. 1.)Cop at a bar shoots and kills a marine (2nd time in 5 years!) 2.)Cops brutually beat an unarmed college student and attempt to frame him for attacking a police horse. Luckily someone nearby filmed the entire incident on camera and this saved the kids life. 3.)US Department of Justice is investigating some Maryland police departments for civil rights violations……
    I’ll vacation somewhere else besides MD this year!!

    • jacques45 says:

      So after you’ve popped wheelies on the highway and got at least two cop cars behind you with their lights on, once you’ve come to a complete stop you’d pull your sidearm on the douche cop? Try that some time; your family will find out how much funerals cost, since the cops behind the cyclist were probably popping open their holsters before the guy stopped and having you pull a gun would be more than enough to justify using deadly force.

      The biker’s an ass for driving that fast on the highway when there’s that may people (and for not stopping immediately when they tried to pull him over), the plainclothes is a douche for not identifying himself, and the state’s probably going to have their case thrown out.

  64. Anonymous says:

    this cop should be jailed for a year, 12 months should help him think about his actions. Maryland should be sued for that law.

  65. Anonymous says:

    There’s already history for this. People in LA’s black community were doing this in the 60s and 70s when LA’s cops were trying to show them who was in charge, so to speak.

    Bystanders would note the circumstances of the arrest, the name of the person being arrested, the badge numbers of the cop(s) involved, and any instances of “resisting arrest” or “attacking an officer” (read: the cops beat the crap out of the arrestee for pretty much no reason).

    This is the same thing, just with a video camera.

  66. jacepaul says:

    Well, my 2 cents. First, i own a gun, a car and a motorcycle. I have a 2 year old son. My gun is not locked in a cabinet, but it has a lock on it, and zipped in a pouch. The ammo is nowhere near it. As soon as my son has questions about said gun (a single shot 12 shot gun used only for trap shooting) I will teach him about guns, and the dangers in them. I own a car and I usually drive the customary 5 miles over…tell me you dont? I have a motorcycle that I wrecked doing 30 in a 55 when a deer ran out in front of me. Question…who thinks a motorcycle doing 130 is a danger to anyone other than the driver? imagine…a motorcycle doing a wheelie at 100 mph hits a honda accord from behind..what happens? Motor cycle rider DIES!!!! Honda accord wrecked. Driver lives. 2…says undercover was back-up (havnt watched video yet) but a cyclist with a helmet on, you can’t hear very well, and although bikes are quick, there is a thing called reaction time…you would see him lean and put his hands on the throttle…enough time to get out of the way. Cops do not enforce the law, the enforce their quotas and their own paycheck. I know this from experience. result? Judge should be fired, kid should lose his lisence FOREVER!!! and cop should be fired. Just my 2 cents…

  67. Anonymous says:

    So according to the logic of MD State Police, if I am standing naked on the side of the road, all passers-by are infringing my privacy and committing an offense?
    Or is the case just related to the fact that the cop obviously overreacted by pulling his weapon? And they have to protect their own, right or wrong, even by the most ridiculous schemes!

  68. Anonymous says:

    “IANAL, but, from what I gather, the premise behind the wiretapping laws in this case is two party consent. IE, both parties need to know they are being recorded.”
    “No need for consent if you can see the camera.”

    Actually, you are entirely wrong. Just stop and think: when you walk down a city street, has anyone asked your consent to be filmed by security cameras? Photographed by tourists? Obviously not. Can you see every camera recording you? Again, Obviously not. Is any of this illegal? Yet, again, obviously not.

    Wiretapping laws only apply when there is a “reasonable expectation of privacy”.

    A dozen states require all parties to consent before a recording is made if there is a “reasonable expectation of privacy.” Virginia and New York require one-party consent. ONLY in Massachusetts and Illinois is it illegal for people to make an audio recording of people without their consent. Not Maryland. In Maryland, the standard of “reasonable expectation of privacy” still applies.

    A cop waving a gun on public street does not apply.

    The law is clear. When “authorities raided Anthony Graber’s home, seized his computers” they clearly had no right to do so, no justifiable cause. The judge should have immediately rejected the argument of wiretapping, identified this as a blatant attempt at malicious prosecution, and instead opened an investigation into police harassment. The judge who signed the search/arrest warrant did so against all existing precedent and should be disbarred. No one has the right to ignore the law and use the resources of the police to harass and intimidate a citizen freely exercising their rights. There is nothing in this case to indicate a “good faith” interpretation of the law. This is clearly malicious.

  69. azaner says:

    The wiretapping charges are completely ridiculous, and I’ll be surprised if anything at all comes of them.

    However, any jerk who’s going to pop wheelies at 100+ mph on a crowded highway with a freaking camera strapped to his head to record the results consequences is, indisputably, the very incarnation of someone who is looking for trouble.

    I suspect the cop spotted the cyclist back during the wheelie–or maybe even before the tape we can see began–and it took the cop that long to catch up to him. I’d have pulled my gun, too, because my assumption would be that anyone driving like that, endangering innocent lives for kicks, might be insane or high as a kite.

    Again, the wiretapping charges are absurd, and should anger anyone who holds the Constitution dear. But equally absurd is the still-frame image BB chose to head this post, which was clearly chosen to make the cop look like the lunatic, instead of the cyclist.

  70. theawesomerobot says:

    Goddamn, if I were in the situation that produced this image I would be speeding out of there as fast as possible – that guy looks like he’s going to shoot someone in the face.

    This motorcyclist’s only defense in court should have to be “HOLY FUCK LOOK AT THIS GUY”. Remember when law was supposed to exist to protect the citizens?

  71. theawesomerobot says:

    Oh, also – I don’t care if he was going 500 on motorcycle he rubbed with cheetah blood, pulling a gun on a person who is only breaking the speed limit and no other laws is overuse of force.

  72. mikeyg says:

    Watch the video.
    The Cop was fine.
    The kid is an ass and needed to be stopped.
    The Cop probably did him a favor.

  73. JoshuaTerrell says:

    The idea that a plain clothes cop can order you around without showing his credentials first is sort of ridiculous. I’m sure it didn’t matter in this situation, because a squad car appeared to show up, but in a situation like this, drawing down on the guy is not a good way to defuse the situation.

    Other than that, nobody in the public sphere can expect privacy at any time. The ACLU will probably do a good job on this, and the rider will only face felony speeding charges (jeez!). It’s sort of ridiculous that they feel the need to do the whole wiretapping thing given that he basically provided concrete evidence of his own crime. They should be shaking his hand.

  74. Anonymous says:

    And unknown device, such as a camera mounted on a helmet, is a weapon ins most police handbooks. Police are trained to protect themselves in even routine traffic stops. We don’t know how much of an ass this guy was or how much he antagonized the police prior to the clip that was on you tube. However clearly the police were out of line for filing suit against Uhler. I hope they get what’s coming to them.

  75. cstatman says:

    i ride a motorcycle. I commute to work on mine. 2 less tires, much less gas and oil. light and nimble.

    the past 3 traffic stops, the officer has come at me with gun drawn.

    #1 ticket for 49 in a 45
    #2 warning for not using turn signals
    #3 warning for 47 in a 45

    granted, lucky, 2 warnings beats 2 tickets, but really, gun out? all three times they said they were afraid I would “run” so? running gets you shot? really?

    Really?

    civil liberties? gone. buh-bye. but I do not know where else to live.

    • azaner says:

      “Past 3 traffic stops”?

      Having a gun pulled on you sucks, and in your case sounds like it was uncalled for–no argument there. But how about focusing on–I don’t know–learning to follow the rules of the road, so you aren’t pulled over three times to begin with?

      I don’t understand the premise of this thread–people bitching about the cops not adhering to Constitutional law after they themselves have plainly demonstrated an inability to adhere even to simple roadway laws. You can’t just pick and choose which laws you’d like emphasized on a particular day.

      Do cops make mistakes in judgment? Of course. So does everyone. Are guns especially dangerous things to make mistakes with? Yes. So are 500-pound vehicles moving at 100+ mph.

      If I’m in the car with my wife and three-year-old and some jerk pops a wheelie on his crotch-rocket next to me so he can film it and get his rocks off later, he’s already threatened me, my well-being, and my future more than any cop pulling him over with gun drawn will conceivably threaten his.

      • adamnvillani says:

        I don’t understand the premise of this thread–people bitching about the cops not adhering to Constitutional law after they themselves have plainly demonstrated an inability to adhere even to simple roadway laws. You can’t just pick and choose which laws you’d like emphasized on a particular day.

        First off, almost nobody on this thread is defending the actions that led to this guy’s traffic stop. So that much is taken care of; he’ll get whatever’s coming to him with regard to the traffic violation, and there’s almost no controversy over that.

        But more importantly, violating a state law is a minor issue compared to violating the U.S. Constitution, which is the basis of the law for the entire country.

        And the reason why we care so much there is that while the motorcyclist is just a private citizen violating the law on his own, the police officer represents the law, i.e., society, i.e., all of us. We have a duty collectively to make sure that when the government acts in our name it does so in a legal, responsible manner, because it represents all of us. And reread the Constitution — by and large it’s written to define and restrict what the government can do, not what a private citizen can do.

        When a private citizen violates the law, that’s his own problem, but when a police officer violates the Constitution, it matters to all Americans. Or at least it should.

  76. george57l says:

    I laugh (hollowly) at your “expectation of privacy” – if this had happened in any UK city it would all have been on some CCTV or other. How much expectation of privacy would the cop have had THEN?

    (But I am not clear – is it the act of recording that is being prosecuted or the act of publication – via YouTube?)

    • Dave F says:

      “if this had happened in any UK city it would all have been on some CCTV or other. How much expectation of privacy would the cop have had THEN?”

      In the UK, the cop would have known that all footage would have gone to a police station where the material would have been carefully examined [...] and if there was anything embarrassing to the cop, it would shortly have become “lost” or “faulty”, never to be seen again.

  77. Anonymous says:

    The “body language” and contorted look on Uhler’s face is extremely frightening. This Uhler looks violent and totally out of control. A simple check — in just one Maryland court — of records for a “Joseph Uhler” shows 116 different items. This person has a very active and aggressive court presence — which is quite telling in itself. And the location of his holster in “plain clothes” or “off duty” dress while driving in an unmarked or personal passenger sedan indicates that this guy really has a very destructive or even sociopathic approach to the situation at hand. (This is just an apparent basic speeding offense and not something that justifies an on the spot execution!) But this Uhler is clearly at-the-ready and looking for trouble. Someday he’s is going to kill or hurt some innocent person real bad — and if the circumstances are right finally get tagged with a big civil claim. To be paid by the state. Here’s the most obnoxious part — this “dedicated public servant” with his normal overtime easily costs the state $100,000+ per year in direct cash compensation. And with the lavish benefits that police are given he probably has at total “employee” cost of $150,000++. That high level of compensation matched with carrying a gun fuels an already dangerous personality to look down on the average citizen as not worthy of very much respect.

  78. Anonymous says:

    @theawesomerobot Well said. Anyone outside of the states in nations where traffic police don’t even carry guns can appreciate this a good deal more. The BS charges to harass the citizen after the fact is also a horrible abuse of power.

  79. Anonymous says:

    Fun how you link biathlon, since it’s initially indeed practice for killing, the wikipedia article even mentions that it comes from the training of norwegian soldiers.
    As for the rest, the cop obviously far overstepped his bounds, and should have been treated as any would-be mugger until ID was shown.

  80. jungletek says:

    Idiots all around.

  81. Trotsky says:

    A gun’s raison d’être is killing.

    A car’s raison d’être is transportation.

    No comparison.

  82. Trotsky says:

    >> You cannot re-write the law to retroactively justify what is clearly police harassment.

    Are you living in the same America I live in?

    • AirPillo says:

      It’s America, we like to do the impossible. Winning revolutions against global superpowers, putting ends to world wars, sending people to the moon, allowing authoritarian rule in a republic…

  83. Anonymous says:

    I feel that a federal statute should be put in place once and for all ensuring that police and not entitled to privacy when performing their duty. This is for two reasons. First, they are public servants and need to be scrutinized, and second, this is a matter of safety of the public. If police aren’t held accountable, corruption ensues. And police can’t be held accountable if there is no record. This is a no-brainer in my opinion.

  84. knoxblox says:

    Just a reminder…the original thrust of the article was about 16 years for videotaping the police, not about the outcome of the traffic stop itself.

    Anyway, I love watching the television show COPS. I also wish there was a spin-off, like say…CITIZENS? That show would need bigger bowl of popcorn.

    • Ted8305 says:

      Funny how the TV show COPS would never have made it without dash cams in police cars and camerapeople following the officers around everywhere.

      Those in-car cameras work both ways, though. I was once stalked 5 miles from a traffic light back to my home by a local police officer. The cop pulled up my unlit private drive and attempted to detain me as I was going inside. He insisted I failed to signal at the traffic light, 5 miles back… yet somehow he didn’t think to turn on his lights and pull me over right away. Instead he tresspassed on private property and tried to strongarm me into confessing to who knows what, out of sight of the road, at 3 in the morning.

      Long story short, I signed a “warning” under duress, and then the cop literally peeled out and took off the wrong way down a posted one-way alley. I immediately called 911 and asked to be put through to the officer on duty at the township police station and insisted they recall the bad cop immediately and pull his in-car video. They did. He is no longer employed.

  85. Anonymous says:

    I just watched the video and it is obvious that many of the commenters have not.

    The cop identifies himself within the first 2 seconds of opening his door. He announces “state police” before he has his holster completely unbuttoned.

    He draws his firearm and puts a hand up, palm outward and calmly but loudly announced himself again and orders the bike shut off. This whole time the gun is aimed at the ground.

    He then puts a second hand on his firearm, still aimed at the ground. Once the rider is obviously compliant the officer holsters his weapon.

    This all as a result of a number of felonies.
    Reckless endangerment, exhibition of speed, felony speeding (130+ mph!) all while weaving through traffic, illegally passing, popping wheelies and more – in front of MANY WITNESSES

    So, the cop – didn’t do a damned thing wrong. His aggressive actions appear justified and even still he acted safely.

    The video recording = wiretapping thing is total bull$hit though. The camera wasn’t secret, the conversation wasn’t private or in a place where the could even be a reasonable expectation of privacy.

  86. reality hater says:

    Any law set up that makes it a felony to videotape a police officer is bullS%$%#. This law was specifically put on the books to CYA what some of these bad cops do on the job.Everyone who has a cell phone,potentially has a camera and now with this law in effect even if you videotape someone getting the beating of a lifetime by 5 or 6 bad cops it as evidence is inadmissible. welcome to 1940′s era Germany the Nazi’s are in charge unt you vill comply…….

  87. Anonymous says:

    why the gun? i guess the policeman happen to be the guy been pissed off, so he take some advantage as a law enforcement guy, and pull his gun to scare off the poor guy

  88. JavaMoose says:

    One last thought:

    I took issue with

    “You wanna know what is only ever used exclusively as a deadly weapon?

    A gun.”

    Which is false, plenty of other uses for guns.

    If the statement had been ‘guns are DESIGNED for killing things, even though that isn’t always what they are used for’ I would have had no issue. Guns are designed to kill, simple fact, that was the reason for their invention – thankfully, it is not what they are always used for.

    Cars are designed for transportation, sadly their use results in tens of thousands of deaths a year – doesn’t mean we should ban the use and ownership of cars. Guns are designed to kill, happily the overwhelming majority of them never get used (or are ever intended to be used) for that purpose.

  89. Rindan says:

    I think the cops way of handling the situation was maybe questionable, but just barely. The motorcyclist was clearly bat shit nuts. A reasonable cop may be nervous that the motorcyclist is going to try to run him down. The guy was blasting down a busy road at 130; is it so far fetched to think that he might be dumb enough to run down a cop?

    As for a plain clothes police office making the stop… again, the dude was pull 130. This wasn’t some guy who was pushing it over the speed limit a little. This motorcyclist was a menace who was endangering the lives of those around him. In this case, I think it might actually be okay for a plain clothes police officer to decide that with such a felony going on (and it most certainly was felony speeding) that put the public in danger, he was justified in intervening.

    So, police with a gun in this case really doesn’t bother me that much.

    The real horror is the wiretapping bullshit. Police should have absolutely zero expectation of privacy in the public. Frankly, I think all cops should have a GPS and camera leashed to their necks at all times. With the right to kill your fellow citizens and get them sent away to jail for all times comes oversight. If oversight scares you, don’t be a police officer. Any citizen should be able to record cops, especially when they are making an arrest.

    • Trotsky says:

      >> The guy was blasting down a busy road at 130; is it so far fetched to think that he might be dumb enough to run down a cop?

      Yes, completely far fetched.

      As the video quite unambiguously demonstrated. The cyclist was at a complete stop and complied immediately and without provocation or conflict with the man with the gun, who claimed finally, though showed no ID, that he was a cop.

      Please note that initially when the man with the gun jumped out of his car and moved toward the cyclist, the cyclist backed up a couple of feet. An entirely reasonable and prudent response given that the man with the gun did not identify himself as a police officer until he literally had his hands on the motorcycle.

      If a man with a gun jumps out of a car and tells you to get off your motorcycle, why would you assume it’s a cop? Most reasonable people would assume some sort of blossoming road rage assault.

      Also, note that just before the cop holsters his gun, he surreptitiously looks to the side as if realizing he overreacted and to gauge if anyone had noted his error.

      Little did he know, all was caught on tape.

      Surprise.

  90. Antinous / Moderator says:

    I’m starting to get the impression that I’m the only BB reader who’s ever gone 120 through LA.

    • TEKNA2007 says:

      I’m starting to get the impression that I’m the only BB reader who’s ever gone 120 through LA.

      Does it have to be limited to LA? If we could include West Virginia …

    • Marshall says:

      I’m starting to get the impression that I’m the only BB reader who’s ever gone 120 through LA.

      You’re not, I assure you.

  91. rotundo says:

    Whether the cops did act appropriately is certainly debatable, from our limited point of view it certainly looks a little unprofessional. However, this is not the point.

    The discussion here should be about the fact that police officers, who are publicly employed in a position of trust and should be accountable at any time, are protected by having the execution of their public duty somehow declared private to further remove them from what little is left of public scrutiny; while on the other hand, they are allowed to tape anyone they please and use any material, no matter how it was obtained, against anyone who happens to be in their cross hair. That’s the policy of an authoritarian state right there.

  92. Jack says:

    The comments here are utterly, jaw-droppingly fascinating.

    Unmarked car and un-uniformed cop jumps out of a car with a gun drawn. But the guy who videotaped this is getting his life wrecked for videotaping this abuse?

    Look, the cop is an asshole. And the Maryland Attorney General is upholding the cops asshole behavior by blaming the citizen.

    If that was a marked cop car and a uniformed cop it’s a whole different ball game. In this case, it’s just impunity and abuse.

  93. Anonymous says:

    I’m very concerned about suppression and about the reactive times we live in, times that now favor blind authority over justice.

    It seems that a clear message is being sent:

    - If you are not rich and well connected you MUST accept whatever the government chooses to do to you or to your next of kin.

    - If you try to complain or hold authority up to scrutiny, obscure laws will be twisted to jail you, bankrupt you and shut you up.

    - In this era, even the so called Supreme Court will not provide justice but will only reinforces the ruling powers and the forces in society with the most money (Corporations).

    - Note that in this case, the rider was almost certainly flagrantly in violation and deserved strong and cautious treatment from the police. Only in suppressing the video are the police are in the wrong here. Too bad they resorted to suppression in this case.

    - Finally all who care about these matters should spend effort supporting organizations such as the ACLU and others that could help the victims and pressure these misused laws to be correctly interpreted.

    Anonymous

  94. Anonymous says:

    Why do police have differnt laws than the rest of us? If someone wasn’t taping the unnecessary beating of Rodney King would the same result be the outcome. I use my camera/video camera almost everyday; Do I now have to be careful that I don’t video a police officer doing something inappropriate? Where are our rights as citizens of this great Country? I will be waiting for the outcome of this case and wonder why this police officer did not his badge instead of his gun.

  95. Anonymous says:

    Re #80: Gods, I hope so. Get off the road, please.

    I saw in the guy’s blog comments that he’s now afraid to ride his motorcycle. Having seen how he rides, hurray for that; the guy has no business having a driver’s license of any kind, he’s the poster child for reckless and imprudent driving.

    I would have felt a lot better about the cop in front if he’d had his badge in his other hand and visible from the moment he left his car, but other than that, it looks like a good stop, to me, considering that the guy was driving as if he didn’t care how many cops saw him break the law, driving as if he intended to make a run for it. I’m not surprised it was a gun instead of a Taser, either, as I doubt that even a police Taser will reliably penetrate motorcycle leathers.

    But yeah, the wiretapping statute is, aside from also being a BS statute, just flatly inapplicable to this situation, if for no other reason than that the “private conversation” he was taping was supposed to become a matter of public court record as soon as the cop filed his report. He’s being charged with a felony for recording a conversation that everybody in the world was going to be allowed to read the transcript of. (Partial, redacted, paraphrased, and almost certainly wildly inaccurate transcript, like every police report I’ve ever read, but transcript none the less.) That makes exactly no sense.

  96. Anonymous says:

    The gun matters because:

    If a cop with a gun pulls you over you do not reach inside your jacket to turn off any video recording, even if you want to.
    This means that the cop entered into a situation were a recording was taking place and the person doing the recording did not have any opportunity, short of risking getting shot, to remedy this (again, assuming he wanted to).
    Since he is being charged with “recording the event”, not with posting the event, he will be cleared because he had ABSOLUTELY no opportunity to remedy the situation.

    Again, the cop could have easily shot and killed him had he reached inside his jacket at all while being approached by a cop with his gun drawn.

  97. Trotsky says:

    And here’s the question no one is asking… What would the police officer have done if the suspect fled? Shot him?

    Is it legal in Maryland to shoot a fleeing suspect?

    The answer — and most people are unaware of this — is yes. A law enforcement officer (however that is designated) may kill a fleeing suspect anywhere in the United States at his sole discretion.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tennessee_v._Garner

    >> Law enforcement officers pursuing an unarmed suspect may use deadly force to prevent escape only if the officer has probable cause to believe that the suspect poses a significant threat of death or serious physical injury to the officer or others.

    The phrase “probable cause to believe that the suspect poses a significant threat of death or serious physical injury to the officer or others” is so completely ambiguous and subjective that literally anyone can be killed if the officer believes that that person can harm someone at that moment or some point in the future.

    A complete blank check and utter green light for law enforcement to do entirely as they please. The only recourse for citizens? Public pressure (since the courts will not generally support them). Public pressure as leveraged by video footage.

    Every citizen should endeavor to tape as many interactions with law officials as they can and upload the footage to as many dissemination mediums as possible. Anonymously to avoid persecution (and prosecution). The laws are not on the side of the citizens. Public propaganda and cop-and-lawyer television show assertions to the contrary.

    • Anonymous says:

      If you will read the case you cite, you will see that the outcome was that cops DO NOT have the right to shoot someone fleeng the scene of a crime. There are certain time when it is legal to do so. Ferinstance when something bad will happen if the person gets away. It is a great case because the a-h conservatives lost 5 to 4. There is also a memo that pretty boy Alito wrote about this case b4 he was a Subpreme judge. The person who was shot and killed was a 15 year old Black youth who was running from a purse snatching of $10.00.

      2) Any body who rides a bike like that is a fool.
      They will throw out the wire tap but the scmuck rider should do some time. He endangered people’s lives to give him self a buzz. The first bike I ever rode was a 250 Zundap, in 1956. It belonged to Von Dutch, the pin striper.

  98. Trotsky says:

    One final thing, this video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QNcDGqzAB30) says Graber is charged with wiretapping as a felony because of the AUDIO component of the video. This is an antiquated set of laws applied sporadically in different states which is actually an old civil rights protection implemented to secure phone conversations that is being applied erroneously. In many states it is legal to record video without someone’s permission, but illegal if there is audio.

    From a strict interpretation of the law, Graber is guilty of that crime.

    • Anonymous says:

      “From a strict interpretation of the law, Graber is guilty of that crime.”

      So you are also concluding that the Judge who released Graber does not understand the law.

      Even under a “strict interpretation of the law” for Graber to be guilty of wiretapping the police must have a “reasonable expectation of privacy”. That part of the law cannot be “interpreted” to not exist. You cannot re-write the law to retroactively justify what is clearly police harassment.

      So are you actually arguing that on a public street police have a “reasonable expectation of privacy”?

      If this is your interpretation, could you please explain where police would NOT have “reasonable expectation of privacy”?

      Read the law:
      http://www.ncsl.org/default.aspx?tabid=13492

  99. Trotsky says:

    Of course, without the audio component of this video, it changes the context of the encounter dramatically since you would not be able to tell when the man with the gun identified himself as a police officer or indeed if he ever did.

    Similarly, from the perspective of law enforcement, if Graber had yelled something provocative or confrontational, that would also be omitted.

  100. Chris says:

    When cameras are outlawed, only outlaws will have cameras.

    • Anonymous says:

      You can not expect the right privacy in a public place when you shout in that public place *United States Supreme Court*.

  101. xiandesi says:

    Not to take either side on the issue, since I don’t feel that I have all of the facts, but here are some excerpts from the relevant MD wiretapping law:

    Here are the basic elements of the crime:
    § 10-402. Wiretapping generally

    (a) Except as otherwise specifically provided in this subtitle it is unlawful for any person to:

    (1) Willfully intercept, endeavor to intercept, or procure any other person to intercept or endeavor to intercept, any wire, oral, or electronic communication;

    (2) Willfully disclose, or endeavor to disclose, to any other person the contents of any wire, oral, or electronic communication, knowing or having reason to know that the information was obtained through the interception of a wire, oral, or electronic communication in violation of this subtitle; or

    (3) Willfully use, or endeavor to use, the contents of any wire, oral, or electronic communication, knowing or having reason to know that the information was obtained through the interception of a wire, oral, or electronic communication in violation of this subtitle.

    (b) Any person who violates subsection (a) of this section is guilty of a felony and is subject to imprisonment for not more than 5 years or a fine of not more than $10,000, or both.

    Here’s the definition of “intercept” that they’d be using:

    “Intercept” means the aural or other acquisition of the contents of any wire, electronic, or oral communication through the use of any electronic, mechanical, or other device.

    and here’s the law enforcement exception:

    (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.

    …make of it what you will.

  102. Lastaii says:

    I’m confused, can anyone explain why an officer needs to draw his weapon while investigating a speeding offense?

    • lummels says:

      Because driving 127 mph, popping wheelies and weaving through traffic without using a turn indicator is likely a felony offense.
      This guy shouldn’t be facing charges for videotaping the pull-over, but for driving like an a–.

    • mdh says:

      because waving his penis in the air would be infantile.

    • Marshall says:

      I’m confused, can anyone explain why an officer needs to draw his weapon while investigating a speeding offense?

      It’s been my direct experience that police officers like to hold onto, draw or fidget with their firearm whenever they’re nervous, in the same manner that small children will hold onto or fidget with their genitals when they’re nervous or afraid.

    • pauldrye says:

      In order to intimidate the suspect into doing things he doesn’t have to do. Duh.

    • Nierd says:

      There are many reasons why they would have a gun out – if the suspect is wanted (and presumed armed.) If the officer suspects a weapon. In this case I believe the guy on the bike was doing lethal (to others) speeds – Given that a bike like that can go from 0 to 60 in a couple of seconds the officer might have felt the need to draw his weapon.

      I don’t like when police draw weapons – but there are plenty of reasons why they might. Given the dangers of their job most courts give them wide leeway in determining if they need to *draw* – firing however is (usually) looked at much closer.

      As long as you aren’t in Oakland CA…

      • Anonymous says:

        There are many reasons why they would have a gun out – if the suspect is wanted (and presumed armed.)

        >>
        FAIL – he wasn’t (are you suggesting all cops should do this for every traffic stop?)
        >>

        If the officer suspects a weapon. In this case I believe the guy on the bike was doing lethal (to others) speeds – Given that a bike like that can go from 0 to 60 in a couple of seconds the officer might have felt the need to draw his weapon.

        >>
        What the bike CAN do and what he was doing are totally different and your assumption that the bike CAN do so and so is irrelevant. If had been a car it could have been used to overrun the officer. 80 in a 65 (the charge) is not exactly as outrageous as you make it sound.
        >>

        I don’t like when police draw weapons – but there are plenty of reasons why they might. Given the dangers of their job most courts give them wide leeway in determining if they need to *draw* – firing however is (usually) looked at much closer.

        >>
        The guy was wrong for speeding but I’m sorry, you’re whining over a VERY small thing. Running a redlight is FAR more dangerous and I see it daily. So let’s not crucify this guy ok? The cop was an idiot and an egomanic. Let’s call a donkey a donkey.
        >>

  103. Anonymous says:

    if you’re going to attach a camera to your helmet turn it up so it shows more than ten feet in front of the bike. every time i watch it i want to tilt the screen so i can see.

  104. athensguy says:

    I think most of the people commenting here are missing the point.

    It’s not about the police officer assaulting the bike rider.

    It’s not about the bike rider driving dangerously.

    It’s about the fact that the rider posted a video of a public occurrence. The police asked for *AND RECEIVED* a warrant for his arrest and a search warrant based on their assertion that he was *ILLEGALLY WIRETAPPING* the officer. The officer was on a public street. There is no expectation of privacy. Every officer involved needs to be put in jail, and the judge needs to be removed from his position.

  105. Brainspore says:

    I hope everyone here remembers to pay their ACLU dues.

  106. Blackbird says:

    IANAL, but, from what I gather, the premise behind the wiretapping laws in this case is two party consent. IE, both parties need to know they are being recorded. Note, I’m basing this on the absurdity of the charge presented. The camera is mounted on the helmet of the guy…you see the camera, you assume your being recorded. No need for consent if you can see the camera. That’s just common sense. Since he uploaded to youtube, I’m surprised he didn’t get charged with “conspiracy”!

  107. johnphantom says:

    Welcome to the new USA.

    Both parties are trying to rip the Constitution to shreds.

    I bet we could power a large city with the bodies of our for-fathers, that are spinning in their graves.

    • Anonymous says:

      What do you mean the new USA. The USA has been screwed up for generations.

    • querent says:

      “I bet we could power a large city with the bodies of our for-fathers, that are spinning in their graves.”

      you win the interwebs for today.

      yeah, bust him for reckless. sure. also, the cop. and filming the police is usually legal. if you’re not interfering. see: copwatch (ixquick it…i forget how to use html). and expectation of privacy? really? what a stupid, dick cop.

      stupid dick cops will claim anything in the courts. their court behavior is quantitatively, if not qualitatively, different from their street behavior. I have been there.

      gl, dick motorcyclist. “This affects everyone Dude. Our basic freedoms!”

    • Trotsky says:

      How is the motorist with the helmet cam on par with the gun-wielding cop and the state that intends to destroy his life by incarceration for sixteen years shredding the Constitution?

    • imajication says:

      Though this is horrible, I don’t think you can pin it on either party at the federal level. This is state insanity.

      Also, does anyone know if there is a way to donate to this guys defense fund?

  108. Nimdae says:

    One thing to remember is this is a case about recording the video, not about speeding or riding recklessly. The kid was in the wrong for the way he was riding, and only a stupid person would disagree. However, his life is being put on the line for having a camera attached to his helmet and recording.

    I’m actually going to buy myself a camera that attaches to my helmet and also can be mounted in my car. I had been planning to do it at least for my riding, but this case really touches on a major problem. Thankfully Texas’ private wiretapping is a bit more sane, though.

    Police organizations have always been corrupt, and there have always been bad officers, it’s just more readily seen because of our more accessible information and our ability to share it so quickly.

    • Michael Smith says:

      #6,

      “I’m actually going to buy myself a camera that attaches to my helmet and also can be mounted in my car”

      How about this one?

      http://www.thinkgeek.com/gadgets/security/c3eb/

      Spycam Video/MP3/Camera Sunglasses

      Perfect disguise for a video camera

      * Sunglasses shoot video, take photos, play mp3s
      * No spy should be without these cool shades
      * Lots of storage and battery life for long missions

  109. GraemeM says:

    All criminal courts are open to the public (UK, I assume the same in the US), therefore the conversation/details are public as well if either party desires.

    I may have missed something but in the picture the Cop has no identification showing, just a gun. If it was me on the bike I would have been 10 miles away as soon as possible, how would I know who he is?

  110. CheshireKitty says:

    Sorry, something happening on public roads, outside private vehicles–and just to belabor the point, NOT over wires OR wireless transmission–does not meet the standard of expectation of privacy.

    If I don’t get an expectation of privacy working on a laptop at an open-air cafe, someone charging around on a public road DEFINITELY doesn’t.

    And Lastaii, your question’s simple to answer. On regular speeding pullovers, the officer in question has no way of knowing if the speeder is high on meth, possessing several firearms, and just hightailed it from gunning down his best buddy and girlfriend–unless of course they KNOW it’s likely to be highly dangerous because they’ve just run the plates and they come up indicating the vehicle was last known to be in the hands of someone very bad indeed.

    Not everyone’s as nice as we Boingers mostly try to be.

  111. Quaternion says:

    Here in Massachusetts, a cyclist was also charged with violating wiretapping laws for videotaping (with a helmet-cam) a police encounter. The local police have been harassing him for riding his bike.
    http://cycles.eli-damon.info/2010/04/02/charged-with-disorderly-conduct-and-unlawful-wiretapping.aspx
    I don’t know the text of the Maryland law, but the Massachusetts law states:
    “Therefore, the secret use of such devices by private individuals must be prohibited.”
    http://www.mass.gov/legis/laws/mgl/272-99.htm

    So, ostensibly, a big camera strapped to your head is “secret” and the conversation you’re having on the side of the road is “private”.

  112. Anonymous001 says:

    I know of someone who was arrested in Salem, Oregon for this same charge, although the DA decided NOT to prosecute.

  113. Counterglow says:

    This kind of thing seems to be an excellent reason why I should avoid Maryland like the plague next time I travel to the US. There’s better, saner places for me to spend my tourist dollars.

  114. EricHarley says:

    This is an action undertaken by the conservative Harford County State’s Attorney Joseph I. Cassilly (R).

    However, there’s this:

    Recording police likely OK, attorney general says:

    http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/bs-md-attorney-general-wiretap-20100730,0,1126908.story

  115. k88dad says:

    This is why I view the police as a necessary evil. It’s one of those professions that sometimes attracts the wrong kind of person.

    As for the matter at issue, there is no way that a reasonable person would view this as wiretapping, no matter how far you stretch the definition of wiretapping. The camera is not hidden and they are on a public road. Good on ya, ACLU.

  116. Anonymous says:

    Well if you look at the longer video in 720p, his speedometer DOES indicate 120mph when passing the bus, which is pretty fast. The guy needs to have his license suspended. But the discussion isn’t really about his behavior or that of the cop. It is about the police retaliating for him posting the videos. And THAT is assholery of the first order.

    While I CAN conceive of police actions that may well have an expectation of privacy, where we WOULD want there to be an expectation of privacy: say, interviewing a rape victim. This is NOT one of them.

  117. Blackbird says:

    IANAL, but, from what I gather, the premise behind the wiretapping laws in this case is two party consent. IE, both parties need to know they are being recorded. Note, I’m basing this on the absurdity of the charge presented. The camera is mounted on the helmet of the guy…you see the camera, you assume your being recorded. No need for consent if you can see the camera. That’s just common sense. Since he uploaded to youtube, I’m surprised he didn’t get charged with “conspiracy”!

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