Helmet Cam

Watch the video. Digest the situation. When done, comment on it and THEN read the spoiler section. Yes, I know some of you won't play fair, but do try :)

So now that you've watched it from start to finish, this isn't the whole story. I didn't have the benefit of viewing this raw, I had the full context when I read about it earlier. Taken on the face of it, the motorcycle rider is an insane maniac, right? If you had the annotations still on, you might even be wondering why he's mentioning the charges being thrown out and wondering WTF the judge was thinking.

The charges he's talking about are not for the reckless driving or the excessive speed, or evasion or anything of the sort. This guy got charged with felony wiretapping for video taping the entire incident, up to and including the part where an unmarked car cuts him off at the offramp and a man jumps out waving a gun.

The rider paid his ticket for the excessive speed and reckless driving charges, but for obvious reasons he wasn't going to stand for having a bunch of cops raiding his home days later and seizing his computer equipment and other related material on the basis of some bogus charge. Fortunately the judge in Maryland sided with the defendant and threw out the felony wiretapping charges, but not before this poor guy spent 2 days in jail over it.

Big Brother is out there folks, and he doesn't like you making videos. The rider would have been fully justified to peel out of there upon first seeing the gun.

"It is pointless to resist, my son." -- Darth Vader
"Resistance is futile." -- The Borg
"Mother's coming for me in the dragon ships. I don't like these itchy clothes, but I have to wear them or it frightens the fish." -- Thurindil

Well. I guess that's that then.

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Posted on Oct 3, 2010 7:58 pm by Samson in: | 10 comment(s) [Closed]
Well...the motorcyclist decided to make a video of himself showing off and an unmarked police car with a copper inside arrested him. Right, I'm about to read the spoiler.

Say what! The guy was charged with making a video of it? So you're not allowed to take video wherever you want now? He's lucky that judge was levelheaded.

Well, even playing fair and ignoring the spoiler section til after I comment it's hard to pretend I hadn't read the comments posted above my own.

Ok, comments on the video itself:
Dude sure was flying for not really watching very far ahead of himself or giving us much chance to see any of the road signs, was somebody supposed to be surprised that a cop stopped him for driving so recklessly?

As for the cop pulling his gun until he dismounted, revealed his face, and had his hands clear of the bike, that's not nearly as surprising as you might think. This guy had been doing over 120 mph and there have been incidents where a bike was rigged with shotgun shells in the handlebars specifically to kill a cop before. I think the cop was just exercising reasonable prudence in that regard. If anything, I might have demanded that Mr. State Trooper show some ID before I complied even with the rest of the circumstances because there have been just as many instances, perhaps more, of people pretending to be cops for nefarious purposes and this cop was in plain clothes in an unmarked car with just a gun and some sort of badge on his belt.

Ok, comments about Prettyfly's comments:
Initial comment: On the surface, that's what it looks like. Nothing really unusual about it except that dude decided to video it so it's recorded and released publicly. Beyond that it appears to be a pretty routine traffic stop for acting stupid "behind the wheel".
Second comment: Guess I need to read the spoiler section, but you could've used spoiler tags on your response to the spoiler section, for the sake of the game, no?

Ok, comments to the spoiler section...:
I suspect the judge threw out the wiretapping charge because the video managed to not show anything which could be used to identify anyone except the cop who was performing his duty publicly at the time and could just as easily have been videoed by anyone who happened to see the incident, thus he wasn't actually invading anyone's privacy. Not because the judge was sympathetic. As stupid as it was to make this sort of a video in the first place, I do agree that the guy shouldn't have had to spend the two days in jail over it, but that's not really at all unusual in Maryland. (I thought I recognized the roads and such, but it was really hard to tell with the way he was avoiding catching any of the signs in the video and we never once saw a license plate either.) Maryland really is pretty hard core about their law enforcement and fairly slow about their judicial process. (I worked as a private investigator in Northern Virginia for a few years and dealt with Maryland a few times in that period.) As for being justified in peeling out when the guy got out of the car waving a gun, as I said initially, he certainly had a valid reason to demand to see ID from the cop before complying, but peeling out would've justified the cop citing him for evasion on top of the speeding and reckless driving (aside from the foolishness with the wheelies which the cop may not have even seen, the reckless driving is an automatic add-on for any speeding ticket in excess of 20 over the posted speed limit in that area).

Ok, believe it or not, I played completely fair, I just didn't hit the "Post Comment" button til after I'd finished responding to each portion in turn.

Not sure what we're supposed to comment on. I haven't read the spoiler yet, but prettyfly did spoil it. :)

My first thoughts are; ok, so, jerk showing off on the highway gets caught, big deal. (I have little tolerance for ninja rockets weaving in and out of traffic) The plainclothes cop in the unmarked car - which I assumed was the car the guy passed several times with the strange paint job on the right side - drew his gun in an effort to identify himself as a cop. So what? The state trooper was right behind him. Honestly I have no idea what this guy is crying about. Going to read the spoiler.

Er.... I don't understand, maybe I'm missing something. He was taping a joyride down the highway. Just because a cop stopped him it's a grand jury case?

Well, technically, it's a grand jury case anytime that someone's charged criminally, so, yes, felony wiretapping charges do certainly qualify as a grand jury case. I think the term you were looking for was federal case, but it's not really at that level either. It's really much more a matter of some folks over-reacting: The cop/prosecutor about the "hidden" video camera and folks on the web about Maryland's routinely overzealous police force... ;)

We already know color/font tags don't work so well within quotes, now I'm going to test the spoiler tags within quotes on ya' Samson. :P

[Edit] Nope, spoiler and quote tags don't play nicely together either... hmm, no, I think it's more that spoiler tags don't work right when you use more than one set of 'em in a single post. :(

Edited by Conner on Oct 4, 2010 10:19 am
PetrusOctavianus [Anon] said:
Comment #6 Oct 4, 2010 9:21 pm
Looks like the cop, in plain clothes, didn't show any ID?

PetrusOctavianus [Anon] said:
Comment #7 Oct 4, 2010 9:25 pm
BTW, if I have understood US law correctly it's not the filming that is the issue, but the sound recording.

PetrusOctavianus said:

Looks like the cop, in plain clothes, didn't show any ID?

:lol: You know, that's the first thing I'd thought about too.

PetrusOctavianus said:

BTW, if I have understood US law correctly it's not the filming that is the issue, but the sound recording.

Actually, my understanding, particularly in the Greater DC Metro area where this took place, is that what's far more at issue is who/what the camera was pointed at.
Basically it's not an invasion of privacy if nothing was recorded (video or audio) that couldn't have been observed by anyone else present who wasn't trespassing or violating any "walls" to do the observing, therefore it's not really wiretapping, illegal or otherwise.

Hmm, well; I know how fun it is to drive a motorcycle, then filming the whole event will probably make you allot less attentive on the traffic around you. At least he was doing his stunt while it was daylights.
As for the cop pulling his gun; my, I would have shiate my pants - or at least my heart would have gone from normal beating to jumping around all over inside my chest. When he said Police I might have wanted to see the I.D.; on the other hand if it weren't a cop asking for I.D. might get you shot instead. So better play along. And trying to get out of there would most certainly get you shot!

As for the "tapping offence", yeah that was silly and for once a Judge was in contact with reality. One can make claims as to the legitimacy of him filming but as was already stated he did not record anything that could not be witnessed by people around. Might as well forbid people taking pictures on there holidays because you haven't asked everyone in the shot if they consent being there.

The idiots around here (small time gangsters) think that the police is the evil in society - they have yet to realize that it is they who are "evil" and destroying civilization with there crimes of violence :(

Pretty good picture on the camera, no shaking and good quality :D

Edited by Locksley on Oct 18, 2010 8:02 am
Well, there's gotta be something wrong with you if you don't at least have a bit of heart acceleration at anyone pointing a gun at you, but once he put the gun away again, I'd have definitely demanded to see an ID.

Exactly, you can't call it wiretapping just because someone took a picture (or even a video) or their own adventures.

I don't know where "around here" might be, but yes, the idiots who seem to think all the cops are evil incarnate are usually the real bulk of the problem. That's not to say that none of the cops are part of the problem themselves though either.

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