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September 27, 2010

Motorcyclist wins taping case against state police

A Harford County Circuit Court judge ruled this afternoon that a motorcyclist who was arrested for videotaping his traffic stop by a Maryland State Trooper was within his rights to record the confrontation.

Judge Emory A Plitt Jr. tossed all the charges filed against Anthony Graber, leaving only speeding and other traffic violations, and most likely sparing him a trial that had been scheduled for Oct. 12. The judge ruled that Maryland's wire tap law allows recording of both voice and sound in areas where privacy cannot be expected. He ruled that a police officer on a traffic stop has no expectation of privacy.

"Those of us who are public officials and are entrusted with the power of the state are ultimately accountable to the public," the judge wrote. "When we exercise that power in public fora, we should not expect our actions to be shielded from public observation."

Posted by Peter Hermann at 3:06 PM | | Comments (84)
Categories: Breaking news, Courts and the justice system, Harford County
        

Comments

Fantastic! Great to see a judge who understands that government works for the people and not the other way around.


I applaud the judge's ruling, but it remains unclear as to whether this ruling will apply to other cases or will a similar situation be decided on a case-by-case basis.

It seems to me that unless this law is overturned, police will still try to confiscate any footage of them that they deem unfavorable or that citizens will be afraid to record them for fear of confiscation or arrest.

Will the officer be charged in pulling his weapon on a civilian without identifying himself as law enforcement?

Thank you Judge Pitt. I hope he also admonished the prosecutor for trying to bring these ridiculous charges to trial.

Excellent!

This is the smartest court decision I've heard in a while. I don't see how any official acting in the best interest of the public could possibly believe it was a good idea to file the charges in the first place.

I agree w/the Judge's decision, but the attached video only shows a portion of the sequence of events. The entire video shows Mr. Graber speeding at 90+ MPH and weaving in and out of traffic endangering himself and the public. If I had been police officer, I too would have stopped him. The plain clothes State Trooper had no idea if this was a felony fleeing from a crime or just one of the crazy motorcycle speeders that gives us law abiding and speed limit following m/c riders a bad name.

is it legal to tape sound and video in public areas, such as on the sidewalk in front of my home? I record video, but i wonder if people have the right to privacy on a public sidewalk? would be usefull in listening in on drug dealers or kids.

I wonder if a phone call to governement offices can be recorded?

I'd like to buy Judge Pitt a see-gar!

Good decision. Its nice to see some common sense prevail. In a free society, of course there should be no expectation of privacy for a public employee doing his/her job in a publc place. I hope this decision puts an end to this issue in all of Maryland. Now, why were charges filed for the recording, in the first place? Was there something to hide?

All the court costs and the costs for the defendant's lawyer ought to be the personal responsibility of the elected State's Attorney. These bullies need to be held accountable for absurd decisions such as this one. It should never have been charged and they wasted everyone's time with this trial

The traffic violations are not in question. It was the action of the officer that were being examined. Of course he should have pulled him over, but the gun? ridiculous. Judge did a nice job

bravo!

now I'd like to see some charges brought up against this cop. Ridic.

BFD,
Even taking into account that's true the m/c was speeding and weaving, the use or threat of lethal force needs to be take into account what is currently occurring and not what has occurred prior.

The threat of force in this case seems outrageous and I hope the state police retrain their officers to look for more peaceful resolutions.

"If I had been police officer, I too would have stopped him. The plain clothes State Trooper had no idea if this was a felony fleeing from a crime or just one of the crazy motorcycle speeders that gives us law abiding and speed limit following m/c riders a bad name."

Stopping him is one thing, but the trooper didn't identify himself until well after pulling and aiming the gun at the motorcyclists. Considering that he was plainclothes, the vehicle unmarked, and there was no siren, the officer is lucky that the situation didn't escalate.

The m/c rider had no idea if this was someone jacking him and threatening his life, or just one of the crazy troopers that give the law abiding police officer a bad name (and get the honest ones fired.

Is there a statement from the HC States attorney on why he thought this would not be the outcome?

@BFD

I think everyone here does understand Mr. Graber recorded himself breaking the law and he recklessly endangered the public by doing so.

However, the outrage is that he was charged with extraordinarily serious felony wiretap charges and was subject to having his equipment confiscated in what strongly appears to be a retaliatory measure in regards to his posting of the cop's behaviour.

The proper response would not to have drawn very questionable charges against Mr. Graber and execute a search and seizure based on extraordinarily shaky grounds but instead not respond or have a spokesman relate the circumstances surrounding said video.

The fact that retaliatory charges of questionable legality were used as a reprisal creates a chilling affect on public disclosure of police malfeasance. We are not outraged in any way by Mr. Graber's traffic charges. In fact, the police officer certainly could have justified his actions by saying in the heat of the moment and he never pointed the weapon directly and it was immediately holstered after assessing the situation. The outrage is again, the retaliatory charges trying to chill public recording of police.

I think that the decision is fantastic!
If you are out on the street, police can video you from their cars, street cams, traffic cams and such. The ones in the cars are audio equipped which you know is admissable in court. Now the tables have turned and the cop is citing sour grapes.
Oh well. Whats good for the goose...........

Good decision by the Judge. Next question, based on video how can cyclist be sure cop was legit? I can sign off on unmarked car but no uniform is just wrong in this situation. A guy with otherwise no markings pulling his gun and claiming he is a cop is a problem, especially since recently others have reportedly been impersonating cops in Harford County. Law enforcement needs to do more to ensure their own integrity and stop trying instead to be tough guys all the time.

OUTSTANDING outcome. The rash of "wiretap" arrests in Maryland should be of great concern. I am glad this is no longer an issue for the citizen. On another subject, I wonder if the trooper who pulled his out his weapon and only identified himself as a trooper on the third "get off the bike" was following prescribed police protocol? There are too many good officers who take the heat for silly mistakes.

Great to see a Judge with common sense.

Can the paper find and post the text of the actual decision, thank you!

pulling a gun on someone at a traffic stop while in plain clothes is careless.

This court case is a great waste of tax payers money.

This cop should get parking duty for the remainder of his career :)

The bad cop should be fired, arrested, and jailed for assault with a deadly weapon and failure to identify. Cassilly should be fired, arrested, and jailed for malicious prosecution.

It's been crystal-clear from the instant the charges were filed that this was a transparent case of police intimidation designed to punish Graber for showing a bad cop, and to warn everybody else not to expose bad cops. Cassilly has been prosecutor for a long time and doesn't give a damn about the citizens. He only cares about his position and his "buddies" in the Good Ol' Boy Network in Harford.

I moved from MD to New mexico 12 years ago due to this kind of crap. HooRay Judge Pitt, you give me hope for our judicial system. As a longtime MC rider this man is a danger to the public and should be ticketed or arrested for for reckless driving. He'll die sooner or later I just hope he doesnt take some innocent with him. But this cop would be in danger of me shooting him out here in the old west where I carry a pistol every where I go, the good guys still have rights here.

Shouldn't the "State Police" have to present some form of identification?

All I see is some civilian with a handgun ordering a guy to get off his motorcycle.

Too many people are missing the point of this dismissal. The motorcyclist was being charged with "Felony Wire tapping" for the mere use of a video camera in public. This specific case wasn't about speeding or the cops actions, regardless of right/wrong. This case was about the government/police destroying lives and locking citizens in prison for filming their actions, in public.

1. The trooper was absolutely correct to pull the moron over.

2. He was a wee bit too enthusiastic in whipping out his weapon, Might want to check w/ his spouse to see what other areas he is lacking in.

3. Great to see a judge who knows that the plural of forum is not forums ... but I believe it is fori, not fora.

4. Slap the cop up side the head a couple times. Publish the fact that everyone has the right to record any and all encounters with any and all public figures/officials in the conduct of their public duties.

5. And we all live happily ever after.

wiretapping the judges newts!

Awesome! I am so glad the judge did what was right. This copy was lucky he didn't get run over.

America!!

All law enforcement should be on tape all the time.

Only criminal cops could object!

@Fuxu2,

If you actually watch the video, you'll notice that the plain clothes officer never actually "aims" his weapon at the rider. He pulls his weapon out, announces himself as state police, and immediately holsters it (but never points it at the rider). Also if you notice, there's a state trooper car involved in the traffic stop directly behind the bike. When was the last time you heard a story about someone getting threatened and jacked at gunpoint while in the middle of a traffic stop? Also, the clip is 0:24 long, how do you know there was no lights or siren? Basically what I'm trying to say is, stop being such a drama queen and go knit a sweater or something...... What I do think is really funny though, is that the state trooper is driving a POS Malibu. Those things couldn't catch a street cone

Right decision. But...
To all those saying the cop did something wrong: IF, as one person pointed out, in the complete video shows the m/c rider was driving 90+ mph and recklessly endangering himself and more importantly, the public, I applaud the State Trooper (as he identified himself) for getting this a-hole off the street. Once he assessed the guy backing his bike up wasn't going run him over or flee, he immediately holstered his weapon. We need more intelligent cops like this - except for the dumb felony invasion of privacy thing.

and @fuxu2, He never once pointed the gun at the m/c rider (go watch one more time). I would hope all officers had their guns ready if needed to stop someone from potentially seriously injuring or killing a member of the public which is exactly what he was doing weaving at such high speeds. And in the video it looks like he was about to try and take off again before he saw the cop had a gun. The cop drawing his gun may have saved somebody's life. I hope the m/c rider got a ridiculous stack of tickets and is riding a banana seat huffy now.

@John Thomas

Nah, it's "fora."

http://www.class.uidaho.edu/luschnig/EWO/1.htm

If the cops weren't breaking the law in the first place, none of this would have been necessary.

Who are the armed thugs, and their protectors in the District Attorney's Office?

You have to ask yourself how filing this case was in the interest of "public safety"?

Seems to me it was in the interest of keeping evidence of armed thuggery out of the news media.

The cop and the DA that filed this case should resign effective immediately, because they are obviously corrupt.

There was simply no excuse for that illegal, unwarranted, dangerous, ill-executed traffic stop. There was no legal, common sense reason for the off-duty, plain clothes policeman to pull a gun on a motorcyclist, when RIGHT behind the motorcyclist (not in the video) was a MD State Trooper. The motorcyclist must have been mortified. Here's a man, angy, getting out of his car with a gun drawn at the ready. This was disgusting, unwarranted, illegal, ill-conceived. What danger did the motorcyclist pose? Oh, he was stopped. See how dangerous that is?
What are we going to do now, start shooting people who don't pull over? The motorcyclist broke some laws, but here in liberabl safetycrat Maryland the only danger allowed is when our police pull us over for traffic stops. Otherwise oh my gosh, speeding and popping wheelie, Oh the danger, the Humanity of it all!!!!!

Wow, a judge with common sense. How rare, we ought to put him on the Supreme Court lol.

Hahahaha Stupid cops!

www.web-privacy.it.tc

Hey Guys, the judge is Emory Plitt, with an L.

@Dom, your reply actually goes to Paratrooper as it appears that the commenter's name is below the comment. Yeah, I was confused too.
And you are correct about the plural for forum.

Remind me not to drive through Maryland where angry cops pull guns on you for simple traffic stops. I thought the police were supposed to protect you, not scare the crap out of you. Is it some strange rule in Maryland where the cops are required to pull a gun on you for speeding? And an undercover officer can do the same? Are all drivers they stop in Maryland armed and dangerous? This just shows that there are lots of police officers who are more dangerous than the criminals.

@Longrod Von HugenDong
"Also, the clip is 0:24 long, how do you know there was no lights or siren?"

Well in that case how do you know that the motorcyclist was speeding and the officer had any justification to confront its rider?

The troubling thing to me personally is that the officer pulled his gun rather than his badge in the first place. I've been stopped several times always by marked cars and never has a gun been pulled on me. How does the officer know that this stop is that much more likely to be violent? Last I checked motorcyclists don't usually carry anything when they ride and are right out in the open (so they can't be pulling their gun from a glove box without the cop noticing.

So in the probable situation that you are confronting a stopped unarmed motorcyclist, what justification would you ever have to use lethal force? Even if he tried to flee I don't think there is cause for that at this point.


The judges ruling on the case represent the current precedent and case law. The police and prosecutors were trying to re-interpret and extend the law to their advantage and to preempt future embarrassing and/or illegal behavior. Unfortunately , Hartford County needs to learn that to avoid future incidents like this, they will need to train/retrain officers, change policies and possibly remove some personnel from these types of jobs. But it is somewhat easier and a whole lot cheaper to try and use the courts to "erase" their behavior and subrogate the law to their advantage.

That type of foolishness would not fly here in Arizona. If I was on my bike and someone came out of an unmarked car and pulled a gun, there would be a gunfight. The Maryland State Police were obviously retaliating against this embarrassment.

As a lawful ccw permit holder, If this lunatic (off duty cop) approached me as he did this guy, waving his gun I would have excercised my right to use lethal force to defend myself.

this was decided before the judge opened his mouth;

http://www.rcfp.org/taping/states/maryland.html

State courts have interpreted the laws to protect communications only when the parties have a reasonable expectation of privacy, and thus, where a person in a private apartment was speaking so loudly that residents of an adjoining apartment could hear without any sound enhancing device, recording without the speaker’s consent did not violate the wiretapping law. Malpas v. Maryland, 695 A.2d 588 (Md. Ct. Spec. App. 1997); see also Benford v. American Broadcasting Co., 649 F. Supp. 9 (D. Md. 1986) (salesman’s presentation in stranger’s home not assumed to carry expectation of privacy).

@Jeff re:
"The outrage is again, the retaliatory charges trying to chill public recording of police."

~~~

"Retaliation" is a felony offense in the state of Texas. The State trooper and County DA who filed charges against the motorcyclist better hope its not a felony in that state!

If you look closely, the officer clearly has his shield displayed on his belt right where his weapon is. The camera position provides a poor viewing angle.

Good on the judge for tossing out these bogus charges. There should be laws requiring all police encounters should be recorded. The transparency provided by recording devices ensures that corruption and criminal activity are exposed and dealt with for law enforcement and civilians alike. Evidence and justice go hand in hand, and any cop who opposes recording devices is working to conceal evidence, and therefore, should have no business being in law enforcement to begin with.

Glad to see the "video taping" charge was dismissed. However, being an [jerk], whether you are on or off a bike does not make you immune to guns being pulled. He was just lucky it was a leo and not someone who was pissed off by his reckless disregard.

Hey Professor....the so-called "bad" camera angle is exactly what the rider sees. So if the camera doesn't see the badge, neither can the rider.

"the officer clearly has his shield displayed on his belt right where his weapon is. The camera position provides a poor viewing angle"

The camera is only a few inches above the riders eyes: if the camera provides a poor viewing angle then likely so do the riders eyes, it is therefore likely he did not know his assailant was a police officer until the officer so identified himself. The officer should have stated "state police" BEFORE ordering the rider off his bike (certainly not AFTER drawing his weapon and ordering the rider off his bike _twice_).

I've seen the full 3 minute clip (it's widely available if you search a little) and there were no lights/sirens and no reason for the rider to believe he was being pursued. When traffic banked up, he stopped with the traffic instead of continuing as he would have were he fleeing pursuit.

Drawing a weapon at all under the circumstances was totally uncalled for and the officer absolutely deserved to have his conduct publicly exposed.

Last year in Ottawa Hills, Ohio, a cop shot a motorcyclist in the back because he was speeding. The cops video got the cop convicted. The shot got the 24 year old paralyzed for life.

Both cases are abuse of power. I hope this kid sues for a million$$$

I didn't see any badge or other form of identification. He could have been "impersonating a police officer". Could even been stealing the mototcycle, are there no charges that can be brought for this lack of procedure?

So glad to read this, I've stumbled on the video and the follow ups to the legal action over the past several months and was worried that the dude who videotaped would lose in court. There is hope for America yet!

Time for the civil rights lawsuit. Break the MOFO.

Anybody who thinks this isn't a self-evident outcome needs to be tested for latent fascism.

Shame on the Maryland State Police! Institute mandatory constitutional rights training for all of them.

Fora/forums=interchangeable. Period.

BUT. . . bad cops with wiener issues are NOT interchangeable with good, professional cops.

Too many athlete wannabes and power jockeys join the force to make up for . . . things they're lacking. ;=)

You know, if you'd been in the streets when that yahoo was whipping in and out of traffic, I'll bet you were saying" "Where's a cop when you need one?" And the people who witnessed the cop pulling that jerk over were probably applauding the policeman for getting that guy off the street on his time off from work! Now, if that MC rider had caused an accident and the policeman had done nothing about it, you bleeding heart liberals would have demanded his badge and immediate expulsion from the state troopers! So, make up your friken minds: do you want a safe place to live or are you going to base your actions on a short tape like everyone did about Rodney King? Of course, we never got to see that whole tape either. Just the pieces the liberals wanted us to see. Same thing in this case. Most police officers will just let things happen as we're making it harder for the police to do their job. That state trooper should be COMMENDED for taking action to get that yahoo off the streets as he was a menace to the other drivers on the road. I have three motorcycles and I sure as hell don't drive like a maniac even though two of them are Honda Interceptors that can go like bats out of hell. Drive responsibly and share the road or get the hell of the road and park it or sell it.

Really? Didn't identify himself? Don't you think it was obvious to the motorcyclist that he was an officer of the law when the Flashing Lights and Sirens indicated he should pull over? Having not seen the rest of the video, it is *possible that the cop could have inferred that the guy was a criminal and not just a traffic violator. I DO NOT think the cop was in the right, nor was the law suit justified. But, seriously...THINK before you type...

Let's not lose sight of a key issue with this story and that's Maryland heavy handed, punative, inflict harm, cause hardship, repress, deter by fear those who may give thought to recording actions of the STATE. Remember this guy's house was violated by the STATE. His personal property was confiscated. He was arrested and charged with a FELONY. He was intimidated and criminalized. And remember he was recording his own foolishness. There was no premediated thought to recording this event. He didn't decide after being pulled over to whip out his camera. A small camera was attached to his helment.
Did he break MD's traffic laws? Yep. Were those actions SO egregious it warranted pulling out a semi-automatic pistol by a plain clothes, off-duty officer, especially given there was a State troop right behind the guy?
So all parties concerned have some blame, but then do you condone the actions of the STATE in attempting to criminalize this citizen? Was a search and seizure really, really necessary? Did the MD State police and the chain of people in the prosecutors office REALLY, REALLY think this was a FELONY punishable with hard prison times? REALLY? REALLY?

This is government OUT OF CONTROL. This is government NOT of the people but a ruling aristocracy wherein all people who run afoul of the law aren't citizens; they are subjects.

Is this the kind of government you want for yourself, your family, your children, grandchildren, ...???

Cops wonder why they get such a bad rap. HELLO... this is why. I love watching videos where cops get upset because they are getting recorded. If you get upset you are doing something wrong.

Pigs suck.

Screw Mary-Land and the socialist-police state that it has become over the last 40 years. I was born at Maryland General in Baltimore and grew up in the east Baltimore suburbs. I got outta there as soon as could. When a normal law abiding citizen can't have his/her own personal firearm for personal protection, the STATE is out to get them and control them all.

Free State my a$$.

Yeah, that cop is lucky he didn't get shot. Some guy stops his car and pulls out a gun...

The law enforcement officer and the prosecuting attorney in this case should both be fired.

This is an obvious case of abuse of power and malicious prosecution.

If I were on any jury in the future where that officer or prosecuting attorney were involved, I'd vote not guilty; send a message. Those two are as great a threat to the safety of the public as any felon

As I read the comments left by the majority of you it certainly is clear why police departments in Maryland are under staffed. I wouldn't want to be a police officer in your state. I wouldn't want to put my life in danger listening to the majority of you complain. As I always say to my children don't do things wrong, then you don't have to worry about the actions of others. The motorcycle driver put himself in a bad position and those actions that followed are his own fault. The officer clearly was with-in the letter of the law for confronting the driver. He was well with-in the boundaries of the law by displaying his agency issued gun for protection. He never pointed the gun at the driver or any other civilian in a reckless manner, it was pointed down and then holstered when he felt the scene was controlled and the driver was no threat to him. I am sure most of you are aware more officers are killed on traffic stops than any other police related call. That's correct plain old traffic stops. I think the only thing this officer did wrong was care about the safety of the public. Imagine that a police officer who took it upon himself to stop this ___hole for doing 90+ mph on a m/c. Maybe next time your kid, relative or friend might be walking out in the street and this idiot or one of the vast majority of idiots who commented on the stop will be blowing down the road and hit them. You will be saying why wasn't a police officer around to see it. Well again if I was a police officer on or off duty or in a plain clothes position I would be visiting one of the many stores getting a cup of coffee or somthing else that would keep me out of the eye of the public. If I was a betting man I would have to say most of you who commented in such a negative manner have probably had prior contact with law enforcement in your past and of cource were victims of police wrong doing. How dare the cops for doing thier jobs, don't they know we pay them to sit in road crossovers and smile at us when we fly by them over 90 mph. Shame on them.

I am a motorcyclist.
I am 51 years old.
I understand the State Trooper pulling over the motorcyclist, and I understand the motorcyclist taping himself.
What I cannot understand is the Policeman drawing his gun without producing his badge (in many States this alone is a crime) and much less the motorcyclist's weaving at 90mph.
They are both guilty of something, but the real felon here is the motorcyclist.

Does the poster John speak for all police? Like the Milford, Ct officer who was discharged and later charged with vehicular manslaughter? Does he speak for the Lt. of that department who later ordered all police department video tapes erased in the face of a civil court suit and an order from a superior to preserve those tapes?

Who does he speak for?

Cops fall into three categories: People who want to save the world, people who just want a job, and thugs.

Recently, a lot more of them are thugs.

To combat the thuggery, it is essential to document the thuggery. That's why cops should be videotaped.

Poor decision by the motorcyclist to speed.

Terrible decision by the LEO to pull his sidearm.

STUPID decision by the department to press any charges for recording the incident.
I hope the judge sent a message to law enforcement. Power trippers will not be tolerated.

Most of you are forgetting the point.

Screw the video!

This idiot cop had the motorcyclists house raided & property seized on a FALSE charge of wire-tapping or some such. Who cares if the M/C rider did something wrong, he admits to it. That part is all taken care of.

The problem started when the SWAT team (or whoever) tore into the M/C riders house under false pretenses.

Thank God. Every once and awhile the slaves get thrown a bone.

Please remember the point of the article. That being it is not okay for the police to raid your house looking for a video taken of a traffic stop by a civilian in order to punish the civilian with obviously misapplied wiretapping charges. I personally think the LEO should have identified himself and I think his drawing the gun and sense of urgency wasn't because he thought the guy was a danger to him at that point, but he was hyped up on adrenaline (drug of choice for many thug cops) and angry at the guy for speeding. And then he and other LEO and the DA were mad at the guy for showing their poor traffic stop technique and for being an a-hole, dangerously speeding motorcyclist. So they thought "We'll show this sonafa%*%ch!"

Big Fat Daddy: Congratulations on completely missing the point.

Be thankful you have a fair-minded judge. Here in Illinois, it is against the law to record BY ANY MEANS a cop performing his duties.

I've seen this entire video and was outraged by the officers reaction. He did not Identify himself until he tried to pull the key out of the bike. Simply put, if this would have been me I would have either ran his ass over with my bike (fearing the threat of hijack) or dropped the bike an ran like hell. I'm glad the judge ruled in favor of us the public! I respect the law and even though the bike ran over the speed limit and popped a tiny wheelie, he endangered himself a little but no one else. The officer had a clear case of road rage and was totally unprofessional.

I've been following this case since it broke in the media.

Here is my list of problems:

1-Officer in unmarked car.
2-Officer in civillian clothes.
3-Officer pulls gun on citizen without identifying himself.
4-Officers badge clipped to belt is difficult to see - especially if you are having a gun waved in your face - tunnelvision focuses on gun!
5-In the comfort of my home, I did not see the badge until about the 5th or 6th viewing of the video.
6-Officer did not holster his gun until a marked police car pulled in behind the bike. Perhaps to hide gun from on-duty officer.
7-After video hits YouTube, cops raid Grabor's parents home at 6AM.
8-Raid based on unsigned warrant. Do not identify the judge who issued warrant.
9-Cops prevent Grabors mother from leaving to go to work.
10-Cops sieze computer, camera, hard drives etc.
11-Cops talk Prosecuter into filing BS Wiretapping charges.
12-Grabor spent considerable time in jail over wiretapping charges.
13-Clear case of intimidation.

Judge got this right, but it should never have gotten to this point.

There should be a thourough examination of this case and charges should be laid against cops, prosecutor, and even the judge who "signed" the search warrant.

Grabor should sue in civil court - I hope he and his family win millions of dollars!

The more I hear about things like this the happier I am that I moved to Europe 9 months ago. It's hard for most Americans to see it, but the *all* of the US has become a police state where just about every right "guaranteed" in the Constitution has been "interpreted" away. I find it ironic that so many Americans get uptight when they feel that their 2nd amendment right are infringed on, but it doesn't seem to bother them one bit that their 1st and 4th amendment rights have become null and void. And btw, the US is NOT more free than any other country - it is in fact far LESS free than just about any country in the EU.

If this person was indeed driving in a manner that endangered others then this is why we have police in the first place.

It is because adults will not act in an adult manner but must have a parent to make rules and force them upon us.

It appears we are not adults but giant children in need of parents.

Still it should have been reckless driving and not wire tapping I agree.

YOU ARE ALL IDIOTS.
A. Motorcyclist has a helmet cam...i'm sure he has that to video tape himself driving 65. or terrorizing the roadways placing everyones lives in danger.

B. Motorcyclist was clearly trying to back up and run from the police. If the cop didnt get out and take charge of the situation he probably would have taken off and killed himself or someone else trying to get away.

C. Cop probably didn't NEED to pull his gun because he couldn't have legally shot the guy unless faced by threat of deadly force etc. anyway.

D. All of the people crying police misconduct are probably the same that would complain the police are never there when you need them if moron rode a wheelie past them at 1000000 MPH

E. all the police misconduct people are the same idiots posting about pot legalization and have been arrested(wrongly im sure) before

The officer in the videos name is Joseph Uhler.

Question: Why was the warrant not signed by a judge?

I was pulled over due to a misunderstanding. When you see the gun, the rest of the world disappears. It took 20 minutes, after yelling sirens and handcuffs, before I remembered I had left my camcorder on. And in my case, the recording proved me innocent.

The cops take control of the situation. You reach to turn off the camera - you get shot.

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About Peter Hermann
Peter Hermann started covering news for The Baltimore Sun in 1990, first in Anne Arundel County and, starting in 1994, reporting on the Baltimore Police Department. In 2001, he was assigned to Jerusalem as the Baltimore Sun's Middle East correspondent. He returned in 2005 as an assistant city editor overseeing crime coverage. In 2008, Peter returned to the beat as a daily reporter and blogger. A recent BBC report featured him in a segment on the harsh realities of covering crime in Baltimore.

Coverage will focus on crime trends, problems in neighborhoods in the city and elsewhere, profiles of victims and police officers and try to offer readers a fresh perspective on one of the most vexing issues facing Baltimore and its future.



Contributing to this blog is Justin Fenton, who joined The Sun in 2005 and has covered the Baltimore City Police Department and the criminal justice system since 2008. His work includes an investigation into Cal Ripken Jr.’s minor league baseball stadium deal with his hometown of Aberdeen, a three-part series chronicling a ruthless con woman, coverage of the killing of five Amish children at a schoolhouse in Nickel Mines, Pa., and a job swap with a British crime reporter to explore differences in crime-fighting. A special report looking into how city police handle rape cases led to sweeping reforms that changed the way sexual assaults are investigated in Baltimore. He was recognized as the best reporter in Baltimore by the City Paper in 2010 and by Baltimore Magazine in 2011.
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