In early March, Anthony Graber was stopped at a traffic light by a state police officer for doing 80 in a 65 on his motorcycle (video below). The officer, in plain clothes and driving an unmarked car, pulled his and ordered Graber off the motorcycle before identifying himself as a police officer. (A second, marked car, arrived at some point behind Graber.) Graber then posted video of the incident on YouTube a week later. (Washington Post.)
Fast forward a month later, and six police officers are raiding his home, seizing his helmet camera and four computers. Graber has been indicted by a grand jury and charged with felony wiretapping for audibly recording the police officer without his consent and faced up to 16 years in prison.
But now, a Harford County Circuit Court Judge has dismissed the charges, ruling that police have no expectation of privacy in their public, on-the-job communications. (More Washington Post.) Excellent work from Judge Emory Pitt.
Graber could also have argued implied consent, given the obvious presence of the camera, though drawing attention to the awkwardly situated device could have brought an addition charge from the fashion police. Isn’t half the fun of riding a motorcycle that it’s really cool? Isn’t that negated by wearing such a dorky helmet?