Floridans can record conversations with cops without their consent

A sunshine law for the Sunshine State: Florida's police have no expectation of privacy when conducting official duties, meaning the public can record them without their consent, an appeals court ruled last week. The court threw out five felony wiretapping convictions against Michael Leroy Waite, 63, who had taped conversations with cops from Citrus County Sheriff's Office.

Waite has been engaged in a lengthy dispute over access to his property with the Citrus County Sheriff's Office as far back as 2018. The situation escalated after wildlife officers – accompanied by deputies holding rifles – sprayed herbicides in a canal off the Withlacoochee River along Waite's property in west-central Florida. … Waite called 911 to report what he believed was a trespassing incident by the sheriff and said he wanted to have the call recorded for a complaint against the sheriff. That same day, Sergeant Edward Blair called Waite back – and Waite recorded the three-minute phone conversation but did not inform Blair he was doing so, the court said.

Waite emailed his recording of the call to the sheriff's office records department and requested an internal investigation. A month later, Waite was accused of five counts of illegal wiretapping for recording the conversation with the sergeant and four other calls with sheriff's employees.

On the other hand, Florida just banned being within 25 feet of a cop if they tell you to go away and neutralized civilian review boards, so don't be too happy! Not too happy, were you?

Previously: Florida sinkhole that swallowed a sleeping man in 2013 has reopened to feed again