The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Conference Center > Law and Civil Rights

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old August 2, 2010, 04:40 PM   #26
Glenn Dee
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 9, 2009
Location: South Florida
Posts: 1,487
What did the motor cycle operator do to justify deadly physical force? Draw the firearm to prevent his escape?...escape from what?.. Traffic tickets?

There is no excuse... The Officer was wrong in just too many ways. I'm no COP basher... In fact I always give the individual officer the benifit of any doubt. But this was just wrong...
Glenn Dee is offline  
Old August 2, 2010, 06:09 PM   #27
CMichael
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 12, 2001
Location: MI
Posts: 1,516
Also, if we were carrying, and someone cut off us off, and drew his gun, how many of us wouldn't have drawn our own gun?

The first thing he should have done is identify himself and shown his badge, not drawn his gun, and some time later identify himself, and not show his badge.

Obviously, the motorcycle driver backed up, he was probably afraid. He probably should have driven off.
CMichael is offline  
Old August 2, 2010, 08:33 PM   #28
RETG
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 22, 2009
Location: Southeastern Utah
Posts: 247
I'll say the officer was wrong in drawing first and not identifying himself.
I willl say the tape should be allowed. It is a public place.
Hopefully, the child driving the bike hits a nice hard tree so he no longer puts innocent people in jeopardy for riding his bike like a child. One hundred plus, wheelies at around 60 plus. Just a death looking for a place to happen.
RETG is offline  
Old August 2, 2010, 09:21 PM   #29
ncpatriot
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 4, 2009
Location: Durham, NC
Posts: 350
I have to plead guilty to a heavy foot while driving. Yes, I have hit 80 more times than I can count (sorry, LEO's). 127? That was asking to be stopped. However, the cop was plainclothes, with unmarked car, no blues or sirens, unless we missed sirens from late audio. I'd like to see details of how he pulled him over. If video was accurate, he pulled in front and forced him to stop. Didn't identify himself or show a badge, didn't ID himself until 3rd time ordering him off the bike. Could have been a road rage incident. I hope the cyclist didn't doctor the video to show only part of the story. As well, do many people now routinely video their trips as they drive somewhere? No one I know does.

As is, looks like we have 2 idiots trying to outdo each other.
__________________
Remember the American heroes of Flight 93.
ncpatriot is offline  
Old August 2, 2010, 10:18 PM   #30
RedneckFur
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 14, 2007
Location: Sotheastern US
Posts: 1,421
Was the motorcycle rider an idiot for driving recklessly? You bet he was.

Was the cop an idiot for not identifying himself properly, possibly while not even on duty? You bet he was.

In the end, i think the biker deserves a whole sheaf of tickets. I think the cop needs to spend a few months behind a desk learning how to do his job again as well. Perhaps some anger managment classes?

How many of us would pull our CCW on an unidentified man who drew a gun on us? This cop put his life in danger, needlessly, and embarassed the profession of law inforcement. The average citizen would have no indication that this man was an Officer. He acts an apears like an angry average Joe with a bone to pick.

Idiots will always be idiots, but when your job gives you the right, and somtimes the duty to pull a gun on somone and fire it, you should be held to a higher standard. We're not talking about moping floors at McDonalds here.

As far as the wiretapping charge goes... Whatever happend to the first amendment? Police attemting to charge a man for filming something happening in public are abusing their powers, and they know it.
__________________
In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.
-George Orwell
RedneckFur is offline  
Old August 2, 2010, 10:45 PM   #31
dnr1128
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 29, 2010
Posts: 166
Quote:
How many of us would pull our CCW on an unidentified man who drew a gun on us? This cop put his life in danger, needlessly, and embarassed the profession of law inforcement. The average citizen would have no indication that this man was an Officer. He acts an apears like an angry average Joe with a bone to pick.
Somebody comes towards me with a gun you better believe I'll pull mine. Any of us would. If we wouldn't, why bother carrying?
dnr1128 is offline  
Old August 2, 2010, 11:41 PM   #32
JackL
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 15, 2008
Location: Franklin, IN
Posts: 187
If they're not doing anything wrong, they should have no problem with being videotaped.
__________________
Latinum malum ex rectum extractum.

A wrong note played timidly is a mistake. A wrong note played boldly is an interpretation.
JackL is offline  
Old August 3, 2010, 01:19 AM   #33
5.56RifleGuy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 9, 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 1,135
I looked into this because a motorcycle loving friend complained so much about it. The way I saw it, drawing the weapon was justified. He kept it at low ready and didn’t even point it at the driver. Maryland has a "shall never issue" policy for the normal citizen to CC. At least that was my experience and everyone else that was no LEO that ever applied for one. If the guy did have a gun and pulled it, I’m sure he would have been shot no doubt. I think MD has felony speeding laws, and if I remember correctly, most felony stops are done with the gun drawn. I don’t think the cop did anything wrong. The guy could have easily tried to hit him with his motor bike. Don't want to be treated like a criminal? Then don’t be one.

I don’t think it was an issue of Cop baiting either. The idiot just wanted to film his ultra cool motorcycle ride.

What is outrageous and ridiculous is the charges for filming the police officer. That is what everyone should be upset about. Why worry about questioning the actions of this officer when the even greater issue would be prevention of taping potential misdeeds of the police enacted by a state government.

That is the way that MD works though. Do something that they don’t like, and they will find a way to mess with you. I hate that state gov. The local governments suck too. I'm so glad I left.
5.56RifleGuy is offline  
Old August 3, 2010, 05:59 AM   #34
grey sky
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 2, 2007
Posts: 324
video or audio

If I under stand it, Its OK to video tape where he is but not to audio tape? A technicality that should be changed. Still Some clown yelling , I am a cop. I don't know if thats clearly identifying. Anyone can yell I am a cop. See my earlyer post. BilCA is closest to right I think?
grey sky is offline  
Old August 3, 2010, 06:32 AM   #35
Retired15T
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 20, 2010
Location: Alabama
Posts: 175
1. The guy on the bike had no time at all to break leather even if he had been carrying a weapon. To of tried would to of been shot by the officer.

2. The officer in the gray car acted just like an officer. I wouldn't have feared for my life, I would have been thinking, "This guy has training, he looks like a cop and talks like a cop, hell, he even carries his weapon like a cop. I'm busted." Doing 50+MPH over the speed limit might be a felony in MD. If not, it sure as hell should be!

3. The guy on the bike was driving like an idiot. The cop has probably had more than one instance of a meth head, coke head, etc... driving very aggressively in traffic.

4. I've ridden motorcycles for 24 years. The one time I got caught popping wheelies when I was stationed at Fort Ord, CA. was enough for me to stop doing them on public roads. Even when I did, I was never in traffic like that.

5. The cop ID'ed himself in plenty of time. His first priority is to ensure his personal safety. IE....make sure the rider isn't going to pull a weapon, try to take off on him, etc.

6. Within a few seconds, the cop had ID'ed himself as State Police. Within just a couple more, his weapon was holstered and you can clearly see his badge on his left hand side belt.

7. I've seen cops stop bank robbers, rapists and one time, a murderer while they were off duty, in their POV. One of these instances, the murder suspect IIRC, damaged the off-duty policeman's POV. His POV was paid for by the county he worked for. Officers are officers either on duty or off.

8. There's absolutely NO reason what so ever that a citizen can't tape a public event. What if this guy had made it home, the off-duty cop made it to the guys house and in the guys house, he had security camera's recording. That's not a public place, yet should also not be considered wire-tapping. I disagree with this law.

9. The cop should get disciplinary action for making a stop and pulling his weapon. It's obvious the guy on the M/C didn't have a weapon in view or in his hands, so the cop SHOULD have come out of his car with his ID/Badge in one hand and his other hand resting on his weapon. What if a car had backfired and caused this cop to shoot the guy? Stupid decisions by the rider and the cop. Having said that, I do NOT disagree with a cop doing his job even if off-duty. He should have called the cops on his cell phone and allowed them to make the stop. If there wasn't anyone close by, the cop in the median could have been working for a local PD, then he makes the stop and waits for an on-duty officer to arrive. He shouldn't have pulled his weapon at all IMHO. But I wouldn't try to bring criminal charges against him.
__________________
Only a biker knows why a dog sticks his head out the window. -Unkown

"A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have." -Thomas Jefferson
Retired15T is offline  
Old August 3, 2010, 09:43 AM   #36
Al Norris
Staff
 
Join Date: June 29, 2000
Location: Rupert, Idaho
Posts: 9,315
Quote:
Originally Posted by BillCA View Post
But it wasn't until weeks later that he posted the video on YouTube. And that is when police decided to raid his home, confiscate computers, cameras and other equipment and re-arrest him on "wiretapping" violations.
....
The police cannot have it both ways. They cannot claim that their dashcams or other recording devices are legal, but the citizens recording the same event from their vehicle or persons is somehow a "violation of the officer's privacy" in a public place.
Quote:
Originally Posted by RETG View Post
I willl say the tape should be allowed. It is a public place.
Quote:
Originally Posted by RedneckFur View Post
As far as the wiretapping charge goes... Whatever happend to the first amendment? Police attemting to charge a man for filming something happening in public are abusing their powers, and they know it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DLiller View Post
What is outrageous and ridiculous is the charges for filming the police officer. That is what everyone should be upset about. Why worry about questioning the actions of this officer when the even greater issue would be prevention of taping potential misdeeds of the police enacted by a state government.
This is not about the cop. It is not about what he did or didn't do.

This is about a law that MD prosecutors are using to stifle the first amendment rights of its citizens. BillCA said it best, in the portion I bolded, above.

So many of you are concentrating on what happened to cause the stop and that immediate aftermath, that you've failed to see the actual civil rights violation.

More and more, the citizens of America are being surveilled by governmental authorities, under the claim that it is a public place and you have no expectation of privacy.

More and more these same governments do not want the(ir) citizen(s) to surveil them in return, using often contradictory and circulatory arguments.
__________________
National listings of the Current 2A Cases.
Al Norris is offline  
Old August 3, 2010, 10:04 AM   #37
DogoDon
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 8, 2010
Location: Charlotte, NC
Posts: 368
^^Well said, Al. That really is the main point here.

What is the status of this? Are the MD prosecutors proceeding with charges under the anti-wiretapping statute, despite the MD AG's opinion that the law does not apply in this situation?
DogoDon is offline  
Old August 3, 2010, 11:39 AM   #38
Langenator
Member
 
Join Date: July 19, 2002
Location: WA
Posts: 84
If this is the same guy/incident that I think it is, it's been discussed at length on Reason.com and Radley Balko's blog, The Agitator.

I believe the cyclist's last name is Graber. There's also a Facebook page supporting him on the 'wiretapping' bit.

I believe MD is one of the few states to require consent of both parties for recording a conversation to be legal. The law was intended for telephone conversations, but is now being used to cover video recording of cops doing their public jobs in public places.

IMO, any citizen should be able to record, audio and/or video, any public employee, law enforcement or otherwise, while that employee is doing their job, especially if that job involves any interaction with that citizen.
__________________
"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be
the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under
omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep,
his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our
own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of
their own conscience." -C.S. Lewis

Happiness is a belt fed weapon. -unknown
Langenator is offline  
Old August 3, 2010, 11:44 AM   #39
JasonWilliam
Junior member
 
Join Date: May 9, 2009
Posts: 142
Al, I appreciate what you're saying but if you'll kindly reread my first post I make it clear there are two issues here. One, the one you'd like us to focus on, is the one that has caught national attention. As it should. I'm glad for that, and I agree with you 100% in your opinions on the matter.

But I posted this story here at TFL because of a secondary issue; a weapon was drawn and a potentially life threatening situation ensued. The point of this post was to discuss the secondary issue, with fellow responsible firearm owners and advocates.

In my mind, while you're absolutely correct at the first issue is far and away the most important, that doesn't necessitate an avoidance of the secondary issue... especially in a thread started for the purposes of focusing on it.
JasonWilliam is offline  
Old August 3, 2010, 07:39 PM   #40
BillCA
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 28, 2004
Location: Silicon Valley, Ca
Posts: 7,087
The Maryland A.G. has released an opinion that there is likely no expectation of privacy for police in a public area, such as a street, highway or similar areas.

See this link for the story

The A.G.'s opinion should carry some weight with the courts and/or at least cause them to examine the scope of the statute. One comparison is valid -- if the statute prohibits recording people in public without both parties consenting, then why are news stations not prosecuted for video taping protesters or routine police activities?
__________________
BillCA in CA (Unfortunately)
BillCA is offline  
Old August 3, 2010, 09:50 PM   #41
Al Norris
Staff
 
Join Date: June 29, 2000
Location: Rupert, Idaho
Posts: 9,315
I went back and counted the number of posts that talked only of the 1A issue. There were 8 posts. There were 10 posts that talked about both issues - counting them as a half point each, that means there were 13 posts, out of 40, discussing the 1A issue.... Even throwing out those 10 posts altogether, that means that almost 3/4 of the thread is focusing on the cop.

Jason, do you think that since 2/3 of the thread has discussed the issue of the officer pulling a gun, it may very well have been discussed enough? At what point do we talk about the 1A issue?

Unless you missed it, MD allows the dash cams - cops taping the public, but disallows the public taping the cops! I'm sorry if in my mind that constitutes the larger issue.
__________________
National listings of the Current 2A Cases.
Al Norris is offline  
Old August 3, 2010, 11:18 PM   #42
ronl
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 2, 2007
Posts: 775
The cyclist was an idiot, but so was the police officer. There is absolutely no reason a weapon had to be drawn. There was absolutely nothing that indicated the officer's life was threatened in any way, which should be the ultimate arbiter of the use of deadly force. This video amply demonsrates the "militarization" of our police force, and the lack of proper training. Officers should be taught to defuse confrontation rather than escalate it. If the police do not want to have a video camera focused upon them, then stop using them in the public arena focused on John Q Public. What's good for the goose is good for the gander. In my opinion the motorcycle driver should lose his license and the officer his job.
ronl is offline  
Old August 4, 2010, 02:10 AM   #43
maestro pistolero
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 16, 2007
Posts: 2,085
Quote:
Unless you missed it, MD allows the dash cams - cops taping the public, but disallows the public taping the cops! I'm sorry if in my mind that constitutes the larger issue.
That, and the lack of any presumption or reasonable expectation of privacy.

Can there be any presumption of privacy whatsoever when filming a public servant in a public place, acting in his or her official, public capacity? How about when the agency is also filming without consent?

Answer: Not a chance.

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.

Last edited by maestro pistolero; August 4, 2010 at 12:31 PM.
maestro pistolero is offline  
Old August 4, 2010, 10:27 AM   #44
NJgunowner
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 13, 2009
Location: NJ
Posts: 1,086
Quite frankly the cop should have had the shield in one hand, firearm (if really necessary) in the other. He's just an armed lunatic unless he identifies himself immediately and verifiably (aka badge, some sort of ID)

The whole video taping wiretap thing is just BS, enough said.
__________________
Sig 1911 Traditional reverse two tone, Sig p226 .40, Sig 556 Swat patrol, Baby Eagle/jerico steel .45
NJgunowner is offline  
Old August 4, 2010, 11:14 AM   #45
Rifleman1776
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 25, 2010
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 3,309
The officer wasn't a patroman. He wasn't in uniform, he wasn't showing a badge and did not identify himself until well into the event. (I saw the video) I can't fathom how videotaping the incident could violate any kind of law or anyones rights. Only rights violated were those of the citizens present, including the one with the camera.
Rifleman1776 is offline  
Old August 4, 2010, 01:01 PM   #46
zukiphile
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 13, 2005
Posts: 1,646
I am relatively unconcerned by the PO drawing his weapon. He just kept it at the ready. I can tell you that I have had an irrate PO who couldn't keep his hand off his holstered arm, and I found that more disconcerting than a calm man just holding an arm.

Quote:
The officer wasn't a patroman. He wasn't in uniform, he wasn't showing a badge and did not identify himself until well into the event.
In my state, in order to pull a driver over and make any citation stick, an officer must be in uniform and in a marked car. We've had charges dismissed where the word "police" wasn't printed in large enough type on the car, and where a PO isn't wearing his cover while he writes the ticket.

Just being a fellow in jeans and a pullover with a gun is a bad idea.


I think the AG had the correct analysis on the wiretap issue. Without an expectation of privacy, you cannot violate an expectation of privacy. Sometimes what PDs and prosecutors appear to have is an expectation of non-accountability. That's different.
zukiphile is offline  
Old August 4, 2010, 01:37 PM   #47
BillCA
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 28, 2004
Location: Silicon Valley, Ca
Posts: 7,087
What this gets back to, for me, is why Maryland state prosecutors don't prosecute any media outlets for broadcasting video footage of public events - sporting events, riots, protests, people milling around after some crime or accident - without them obtaining a release from every person in the video. After all, if it was illegal for Mr. Graber to video/audio record a public officer performing a public safety duty in a public place, it should be equally illegal for the media to broadcast without a huge sheaf of release forms.
__________________
BillCA in CA (Unfortunately)
BillCA is offline  
Old August 4, 2010, 03:06 PM   #48
JasonWilliam
Junior member
 
Join Date: May 9, 2009
Posts: 142
Al, I don't know how to answer this question:
Quote:
Jason, do you think that since 2/3 of the thread has discussed the issue of the officer pulling a gun, it may very well have been discussed enough? At what point do we talk about the 1A issue?
My comments were directed toward your earlier statement:
Quote:
This is not about the cop. It is not about what he did or didn't do. This is about a law that MD prosecutors are using to stifle the first amendment rights of its citizens.
As the OP, I disagreed with that. "This" is about both issues, but specifically I was interested in what TFL members thought regarding the firearm usage and involvement. (and why I thought the TFL community specifically might have some good thoughts/comments/concerns) If all that was in question here was the 1A issue, I'm not sure that it makes much sense to bring up here at TFL.

Does that answer your question? I'm not saying don't discuss either topic; what I am saying is that "this" is not only about 1A. This thread was started for the purposes of discussing the officer and his actions.

And given the course of the discussion, it seems to me that opinion on his actions varies widely.
JasonWilliam is offline  
Old August 6, 2010, 05:59 AM   #49
stargazer65
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 6, 2009
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 761
Time magazine now has an article on this topic:

http://www.time.com/time/nation/arti...008566,00.html
__________________
"I assert that nothing ever comes to pass without a cause." Jonathan Edwards
stargazer65 is offline  
Old August 6, 2010, 08:40 AM   #50
Rifleman1776
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 25, 2010
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 3,309
Too many posts here to read all.
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.
Rifleman1776 is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:53 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.14667 seconds with 7 queries