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Videotaping the Police

There is an interesting article in Time on a Maryland man who faces 16 years in prison 16 years in prison for videotaping and putting on YouTube his encounter with a Maryland state trooper who pulled him over for speeding on a motorcycle.

Why the interest? The plain clothed Maryland state trooper cut the motorcyclist off and yelled at him while brandishing a gun before identifying himself as a trooper.

If someone came into my office claiming this, I would assume he was not telling the truth. But in many cases, the video cuts through the he said/she said.

It is unlikely this man will ever spend a day in jail. The Maryland attorney general’s office has given the opinion that Maryland’s wiretap law does not apply to traffic stops because the conversation is not private.

This is one of those “I cannot believe this has not been conclusively resolved yet” type of issues.