Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Record the cops, go to jail

Ya gotta wonder if this is in response to the whole Rodney King thing.
Brian D. Kelly didn't think he was doing anything illegal when he used his videocamera to record a Carlisle police officer during a traffic stop. Making movies is one of his hobbies, he said, and the stop was just another interesting event to film.

Now he's worried about going to prison or being burdened with a criminal record.

Kelly, 18, of Carlisle, was arrested on a felony wiretapping charge, with a penalty of up to 7 years in state prison.
What a crock of hooey! Especially when you consider that the cops are wired for sound themselves. Now, the article mentions that the cop notified them that they were being taped by his dashcam, but it didn't say that he asked for their consent.
Kelly is charged under a state law that bars the intentional interception or recording of anyone's oral conversation without their consent.

The criminal case relates to the sound, not the pictures, that his camera picked up.
So what do you think the cop would say if you refused consent to be taped after he notified you that you were being recorded? Would he stop the tape, rewind it and erase what he had? Hell, no, he wouldn't. Oh, wait:
An exception to the wiretapping law allows police to film people during traffic stops, Mancke said.
How conveeeenient!
Carlisle Police Chief Stephen Margeson said allowing Kelly to plead to a lesser charge might be proper.

"I don't think that would cause anyone any heartburn," he said. "I don't believe there was any underlying criminal intent here."
Well, come on! If there was no underlying criminal intent, why should you expect him to plead to a lesser charge. He shouldn't have any charges without criminal intent.

A great number of cops wear recorders to protect themselves from potential complaints/charges. Why shouldn't the routine public have the same right?

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