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  1. #1
    Terminator's Avatar
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    Nosy man records friend being stopped by police...gets arrested on felony wiretapping charge

    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.

    His camera and film were seized by police during the May 24 stop, he said, and he spent 26 hours in Cumberland County Prison until his mother posted her house as security for his $2,500 bail.

    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.

    "I didn't think I could get in trouble for that," Kelly said. "I screwed up, yeah. I know now that I can't do that. I just don't see how something like this should affect my entire life."

    Whether that will happen could be determined during Kelly's preliminary hearing before District Judge Jessica Brewbaker in July.

    No one seems intent on punishing him harshly.

    "Obviously, ignorance of the law is no defense," District Attorney David Freed said. "But often these cases come down to questions of intent."

    According to police, Kelly was riding in a pickup truck that had been stopped for alleged traffic violations.

    Police said the officer saw Kelly had a camera in his lap, aimed at him and was concealing it with his hands. They said Kelly was arrested after he obeyed an order to turn the camera off and hand it over.

    The wiretap charge was filed after consultation with a deputy district attorney, police said.

    Kelly said his friend was cited for speeding and because his truck's bumper was too low. He said he held the camera in plain view and turned it on when the officer yelled at his pal.

    After about 20 minutes, the officer cited the driver on the traffic charges and told the men they were being recorded by a camera in his cruiser, Kelly said.

    "He said, 'Young man, turn off your ... camera,'" Kelly said. "I turned it off and handed it to him. ... Six or seven more cops pulled up, and they arrested me."

    Police also took film from his pockets that wasn't related to the traffic stop, he said.

    Freed said his office has handled other wiretapping cases, some involving ex-lovers or divorcing couples who are trying to record former partners doing something improper for leverage in court battles, he said.

    Such charges have been dismissed or defendants have been allowed to plead to lesser counts or enter a program to avoid criminal records, he said.

    The outcome hinges on whether the person had a malicious intent, Freed said.

    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."

    But Margeson said he doesn't regard the filing of the felony charge as unwarranted and said the officer followed procedures.

    John Mancke, a Harrisburg defense attorney familiar with the wiretapping law, said the facts, as related by police, indicate Kelly might have violated the law.

    "If he had the sound on, he has a problem," Mancke said.

    Last year, Mancke defended a North Middleton Twp. man in a street racing case that involved a wiretapping charge. Police claimed the man ordered associates to tape police breaking up an illegal race after officers told him to turn off their cameras.

    That wiretapping count was dismissed when the man pleaded guilty to charges of illegal racing, defiant trespass and obstruction of justice. He was sentenced to probation.

    An exception to the wiretapping law allows police to film people during traffic stops, Mancke said.

    Margeson said his department's cruisers are equipped with cameras, and officers are told to inform people during incidents that they are being recorded.

    First Assistant District Attorney Jaime Keating said case law is in flux as to whether police can expect not to be recorded while performing their duties.

    "The law isn't solid," Keating said. "But people who do things like this do so at their own peril."

    Kelly said he has called the American Civil Liberties Union for help in the case.

    His father, Chris, said he's backing his son.

    "We're hoping for a just resolution," he said.

  2. #2
    BEB
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    How is recording in public wiretapping?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by BEB View Post
    How is recording in public wiretapping?
    It is because the politicians say so. Government can record the people, but the people better not try to record the government.
    "I'm not a coward,
    I've just never been tested
    I'd like to think that if I was,
    I would pass"
    ~Mighty Mighty Bosstones~

  4. #4
    TheeBadOne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BEB View Post
    How is recording in public wiretapping?
    It all depends on your state law. Some states have "one party consent" which means only 1 party of the conversation has to be aware it's being recorded. Some states require all parties must be aware of any recording (which is sounds like is the law in the state in which the article is based).
    "When I'm driving along and I see a sign that says, CAUTION: SMALL CHILDREN AHEAD,
    I slow down, and then it occurs to me, I'm not afraid of small children"!

  5. #5
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    Well, the issue that I think they need to address, and prove is intent.


    Was he intending to record the conversation of the officer and the violator.
    No one has greater love than this, to lay down ones life for ones friends - John 15:13

    "The Wicked Flee When No Man Pursueth: But The Righteous Are Bold As A Lion".

    We lucky few, we band of brothers. For he who today sheds his blood with me shall be my brother.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~
    The opinions, beliefs, and ideas expressed in this post are mine, and mine alone. They are NOT the opinions, beliefs, ideas, or policies of my Agency, Police Chief, City Council, or any member of my department.

  6. #6
    TXCharlie's Avatar
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    I think anything said within earshot should be recordable on self defense and freedom of the press grounds.

    These days, everyone's an internet "investigative reporter", with their own blogs and such - That is "the press". "The Press" doesn't have to be a company with bricks and mortar anymore, and the Self-defense angle may come into play in legal courtroom defenses.

    It's a crazy law that needs to be challenged all the way to the Supreme Court.

    If the device were a long-range microphone or a clandestine bug that was planted where the person was out of earshot, then that's an entirely different thing.

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  7. #7
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    BulllSSHHIITTTTT


    this poor kid is getting reamed!

    WTF, you cant even record in the US now.
    give the kid a break, they took his damn camera for christ sake!
    YEAH, IM THE BERRIES, AND CHERRIES IN YOUR REAR VIEW MIRROR.

    Handle every stressful situation like a dog.
    Eat it, Play with it, or piss on it, and walk away!

    As smart as man is, we haven't been able to invent a machine that can smell drugs or tell us where a person has walked, Dogs are sophisticated investigative tools!

  8. #8
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    I agree- total BS.
    "If everyone is thinking alike, then someone isn't thinking." -Gen. George S. Patton

  9. #9
    Norm357's Avatar
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    These charges will be tossed.
    dlefdal said:
    Ummmm, what if I don't like thumbs in my butt?

  10. #10
    Kpdpipes is offline Master Officer
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    Pa has some of the harshest Wirtetap laws inthe country. Remember, that only the audio is covered, video is not. IIRC however, there isnt any double-standard in this, if a Pa LEO has a dash-cam he has to advise the stop that he's recording, and turn off his mic if they refuse consent to record.

  11. #11
    TXCharlie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kpdpipes View Post
    if a Pa LEO has a dash-cam he has to advise the stop that he's recording, and turn off his mic if they refuse consent to record.
    That's B.S. too

    Have any police officers been convicted of this horrible crime?

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  12. #12
    Jackalope's Avatar
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    The article says that police are exempt from the same law this kid is charged under.

    An exception to the wiretapping law allows police to film people during traffic stops, Mancke said.

    Margeson said his department's cruisers are equipped with cameras, and officers are told to inform people during incidents that they are being recorded.
    It also says the officer told the suspects they were being recorded 20 minutes into the stop.
    "I'm not a coward,
    I've just never been tested
    I'd like to think that if I was,
    I would pass"
    ~Mighty Mighty Bosstones~

  13. #13
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    Boy some people are out to fuck anybody and everybody. Just take the tape and move on.
    Just because your sign off after you're shift is done, doesn't mean that it's over and put blinders on. You're a cop 24/7 wether you like it or not. If thats something you can't handle, you should find a new line of work!

 

 

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