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Old August 6, 2010, 09:12 AM   #51
ScottRiqui
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Would someone explain what laws might have been violated by video taping this incident?
As a former professional news photographer, I always believed, and lived and worked by, the principal that when in public there is no expectation of privacy.
I simply do not believe an arrest would survive the courts.
The "wiretapping" charges in this particular case have been dropped, but the only reason they *might* have passed the "straight face" test is that in Maryland, audio recording requires the permission of both parties involved. Of course, that was meant to apply to private spaces or telephone conversations, and the Maryland Attorney General has come out and said that it doesn't really apply to public interactions between the police and the populace.
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Old August 6, 2010, 12:53 PM   #52
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I am unaware of any successful prosecution of such a law in circumstances like this. I think the value of the law to the LE agency lies in it's use as an intimidation tool, and as a basis for seizing said video and equipment. I think any smart DA knows if they push this at all, then the law will be struck on appeal and they lose their bully stick.
That's what seems to be the case here. Like the classroom bully that takes care not to attract the attention of the teacher, the police seem to take measures to make sure this stuff never actually ends up in court. As long as they don't get told NOT to do it then they "can" continue to do it.
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Old August 7, 2010, 02:31 AM   #53
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This is USA, not communist China, or some backwater banana republic. There are laws and they apply to LEO too. This rotten apple stinks up the whole bunch IMO. I don't even get how people arguing or giving him so many passes. In fact am of the opinion that non uniformed or off duty LEO should not be allowed to make traffic stops. Its dangerous at best. If he was a murderer freeing, by all means do this, but we all have to wary of how far we allow the popo to push the envelope. As someone who has lived in totalitarian country in another life, I can tell you, this is how it all starts. Small seemingly harmless acts beget even more seeming harmless acts and until you have a police state where you can't go to the can without some guy monitoring you. You can't walk outside at 6pm without the authorities harrasing you. Before long, they just make up their own laws on the fly as they go. Before you know it.... well. Please do not confuse me with some arlamist or cook rightwing nutcase. I talk from expirience. Last I checked, the guys in the old country were 100% human, and didn't look all that diffrent from this Rambo guy or any American in general. Just a thought.

The freedoms and rights of this country are a big part of why people want to move here. It is what is beautiful and so unique about this great country, but some of yall take it for granted. Sorry if I insult anyone's feelings, its not my intention. A little time in some lessor country with weak laws and strong "security" aparatus will make you quickly appretiate and treasure what we got over here.

Last edited by dec41971; August 7, 2010 at 02:36 AM.
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Old August 7, 2010, 10:00 AM   #54
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If this guy is still a National Guard member who hopefully has been sent to a motorcycle safety class if he has not had one. We are able to schedule these classes for our part time reservists to take paid and with per diem if necessary. Hopefully, if he is still in he has a jacket full of counseling statements from his chain of command for being unsafe and an idiot. If I were his CO and on a military base he would be parking it at the front gate for a while and walking.

Yes the Police officer did not identify himself soon enough.

He did draw his sidearm from the holster for what two seconds? then reholstered it after he assessed the situation was safe. He never pointed it at anybody. Not going to armchair quarterback the officer in this area.

Now for the 1A issues.

The Police Department and the DA were not thinking with this charge it was probably going to get thrown out by the judge.. Was there a law against doing the filming in the state yes. The Maryland AG has issued an opinion that the filming was ok. Due Process has worked. The charges are dropped. I think the judge who released him said the charges were not right.

The police and the DA were not listening when the judge said that if they decided to pursue it further.

now for what should happen...

The officer needs a little refresher training or counseling.

The Head of the State Police has probably received a copy of the decision from the Maryland AG read it and distributed it to the field for review and training. The decison has been sent to the PDs in maryland for review and training.

The DA has hopefully recieved and read the AG Decison and has decided he was stupid for wasting tax dollars on this charge.

As pointed out this is two separate issues. The press and bloggers are mixing apples and oranges.

However, It was his disregard for the law that started this ball rolling. Hopefully, he has learned to obey the law after his 26 hour stay in jail.
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Last edited by Eghad; August 7, 2010 at 10:06 AM.
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Old August 7, 2010, 10:31 AM   #55
maestro pistolero
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First, I wouldn't stop for any stranger who I could not positively identified a a police officer. That include any unmarked vehicle.

Secondly, the officer is engaging in very dangerous and irresponsible behavior that could get him killed.

Thirdly, if, God forbid, the citizen shot that armed man before he identified himself as an officer, that video would have had a good chance of vindicating him in court.

The officer said "get off the motorcycle" three times with a gun in his hand before identifying himself (only verbally) as a state police officer. If the cop were in that citizen's position, the bike would have become cover from which to begin shooting. And it would have been justified.

Last edited by maestro pistolero; August 7, 2010 at 10:49 AM.
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Old August 7, 2010, 11:37 AM   #56
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In response to dec,
I would hope an off duty officer would be willing to step in and stop a crime that is endangering lives. That guy was driving like jerk and easily could have caused an accident. If you have ever driven in MD you would know the roads are bad enough without some jerk on a motorcylce weaving in and out of traffic doing 120 mph.
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Old August 7, 2010, 02:01 PM   #57
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A public official or officer should be able to be video taped by John Q. Public. Any public official acting in accordance with the law should have nothing to fear from any camera.

Putting on a blue uniform does not make one immune to the standards of conduct of the rest of a community.

Bless all our police because they have one of the hardest jobs in the world....
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Old August 7, 2010, 02:07 PM   #58
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I would hope an off duty officer would be willing to step in and stop a crime that is endangering lives.
By endangering lives far more than the crime itself? Introducing violent to a non-violent situation?
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Old August 7, 2010, 02:15 PM   #59
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If the recording is done safely and doesn't interfere with me doing my job, record away. If I have a car load of bad guys stopped and somebody walks up and sticks a camera or microphone in my face and puts me in danger, thats not acceptable. Otherwise, record away.
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Old August 8, 2010, 05:11 AM   #60
maestro pistolero
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Check out this hypocrisy:

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/...s-spy-cameras/

Apparently, the government is not as constrained from the the use of video tape without permission.
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Old August 8, 2010, 10:30 AM   #61
animal
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By endangering lives far more than the crime itself? Introducing violent to a non-violent situation?
Pulling the gun isn’t any more violent than bookin’ it through traffic at 120. The average shooting is way less violent than the average wreck at that speed.

Stupid dude was brandishing his motorcycle like a weapon, Cop responds in kind with a pistol for 2 seconds. Big hairy deal. No wreck and no shots fired equal no violence.
Not zactly safe for the cop, and not too smart. imo …
Now for the really unpopular part … Out of uniform and off duty, cops are citizens and should have NO special consideration under the law. If what he did would have been illegal for Average Joe to do, he should have to face charges.

edit to add quote
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Old August 8, 2010, 12:30 PM   #62
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WOW! DON'T SPEED IN MARYLAND

Watched the vids but didn't read all the post's so if the questions I'm about to ask have been answered, my apologies.

1.What was the posted speed limit of the freeway this happened on?
2.Was the marked car in pursuit (lights and siren on) of motorcycle?
3.What was the life and death situation that gave the off duty officer the reason for pulling his weapon?

Unless something happened in vid. that can't be seen, I see three infractions. Speeding, driving irratically and wreckless op(popping wheely).

The film showed rider top speed at 82mph. If posted limit was 65mph, thats a whole 17mph over speed limit. Speeding yes, ticket yes,justification for LEO to pull weapon, hardly.
Can't see any justification for LEO to pull weapon as bike was stopped, rider didn't even take hands off bars till LEO was clearly out of car and almost to rider. Rider didn't look to make any threatening jesture's.

If marked cruiser was in pursuit and bike didn't pull over that constitute's fleeing which I could then see the off duty LEO pulling weapon.

Maybe the brass in MD are making a big stink out of the filming to cover up their off-duty officer pulling his weapon for no apparent reason. Mr. motorcycle rider, even though wrong for his infractions, may sue the MDPD.

Also, I'm for off-duty officer's assisting their on-duty fellow LEO's as well as assisting the general public. They just need to quickly/clearly ID themselves as this guy failed to do.

Last edited by shortwave; August 8, 2010 at 12:35 PM.
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Old August 8, 2010, 01:48 PM   #63
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Pulling the gun isn’t any more violent than bookin’ it through traffic at 120. The average shooting is way less violent than the average wreck at that speed.
Go start pointing guns on people and public and try and use that explanation at your trial. See how far such nonsence gets ya.
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Old August 8, 2010, 02:52 PM   #64
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Watch the video again and tell me exactly when he points the gun at that idiot.

Never, thats when.
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Old August 8, 2010, 05:38 PM   #65
shortwave
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Watch the video again and tell me exactly when he points the gun at that idiot.
I never saw him point the gun at that idiot the first time I watched it. The LEO handled the gun after he pulled it very properly.
Also unless there's circumstance's not seen in the video the gun shouldn't have been unholstered period.

What I did see is an LEO un-necessarily pulling his weapon and the possibility of him dropping it and having an accidental disscharge shooting one of the people sitting in one of the cars around him. It happens.

Again, from what we see in the video, just don't see the need for an unholstered weapon period.
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Old August 8, 2010, 06:22 PM   #66
5.56RifleGuy
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If the guy on the motorcycle were so inclined, he could have hit the officer with said motorcycle.

That would be why he pulled his pistol I believe.
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Old August 8, 2010, 07:14 PM   #67
shortwave
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DLiller

Any LEO that pulls any car over is subject to assault of some kind. Last time I got pulled over for a traffic violation the LEO didn't pull his weapon.
I think you may be grasping for straws.
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Old August 8, 2010, 10:31 PM   #68
5.56RifleGuy
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Last time you got pulled over he probably had lights, you pulled over due to them, and he probably didn’t approach you in a direct path in front of your vehicle.
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Old August 9, 2010, 02:32 AM   #69
animal
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Go start pointing guns on people and public and try and use that explanation at your trial. See how far such nonsence gets ya.
The only times I’ve pointed a gun in public where there was a real chance of me going to a trial, the SOB copped a plea and I didn’t get to testify.
Nonsense? Look up the stats … note "average shooting" and "wreck at 120".

The gun scary, rice rocket pretty attitude is nonsense. Both are dangerous as hell if you misuse them. Stupid dude handled the rice rocket well enough to not kill himself (or someone else) … that time. Cop handled the pistol well enough… other stuff that he should have and should not have done bothered me more.
Was stupid dude gonna run again? ... maybe
Could he have popped the clutch and sent cop sprawling ? ... if he had wanted to.
Now, I would say that the cop was on the razors edge of justified action, but barely falling on the side of justified.
The wiretapping charge was pure BS and some paper pushing monkey should lose his job if they try that again.
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Old August 9, 2010, 05:02 PM   #70
shortwave
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The last time you got pulled over he probably had lights, you pulled over due to them...
Yes, you're correct. The LEO that pulled me over for speed did it in an appropriate/respectful manor. I was in excess of 20mph over the speed limit and I didn't have some cowboy LEO pull a gun.

Look, there's no doubt the bike rider acted like an irresponsible jerk. He should have been pulled over by the marked cruiser and paid the price for his wreckless driving. Far as that goes, after the idiot rider popped a wheely, the off duty officer, given the fact the bike exited freeway and came to a stop due to traffic, could have done the exact same thing he did with one exception. Pull his weapon. You and I weren't there but as far as the video we watched, no call for a weapon.

If he felt the need to pull the weapon, his shield should have been in his other hand. He should have ID'ed himself immediately.
What the off duty LEO did by not ID'ing himself until he was almost back to the bike was dangerous to himself and people around him and you can bet he heard about it in Chiefy's office.

I saw what the Chief said in the press. He backed his officer like he's supposed to in front of the public. Behind closed doors was probably a different story.

At the very least, I bet when the off duty LEO's field training officer saw the video he probably shook his head and asked himself "were did I go wrong".

IMO, the biggest miscarriage of justice in this whole simple traffic stop is the fact that the MDPD goes back to the bikers house and pulls a raid of his personal property.

I hope that part goes clear to the supreme court if need be and the results are on the news. Doubt it will have to go that far and if the biker push's a lawsuit, the suit will probably be settled out of court.

Last edited by shortwave; August 9, 2010 at 05:39 PM.
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Old October 1, 2010, 07:49 AM   #71
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UPDATE:

The court has ruled that the police officer had no expectation of privacy, and therefore Graber's use of his helmet cam did not violate Maryland's anti-wiretapping law. Here's what the judge said:
"Those of us who are public officials and are entrusted with the power of the state are ultimately accountable to the public. When we exercise that power in public fora, we should not expect our actions to be shielded from public observation. 'Sed quis custodiet ipsos cutodes' ("Who watches the watchmen?”)."
Full story:
http://blog.washingtonpost.com/story...ropped_ag.html
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