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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk
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    Video recording leads to felony charge

    Video recording leads to felony charge
    June 11, 2007


    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.
    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.” -- Gen. George S. Patton

  2. #2
    Atomic Punk
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    Quote Originally Posted by voivod View Post
    Video recording leads to felony charge
    June 11, 2007


    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.
    god forbid any more police get caught on tape harrassing, threatening or beating innocent people...

  3. #3
    Atomic Punk chefcraig's Avatar
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    Wait a minute...the police arrested him, then consulted with the D.A as to what to charge him with? Isn't that an illegal act, perpetrated by the police?

    This isn't the Soviet Union, nor Guantanamo for that matter...a U.S. citizen can not be arrested and held without charge. Then again, it is America in 2007.
    "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man."
    George Bernard Shaw

  4. #4
    Atomic Punk
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    Quote Originally Posted by chefcraig View Post
    Wait a minute...the police arrested him, then consulted with the D.A as to what to charge him with? Isn't that an illegal act, perpetrated by the police?

    This isn't the Soviet Union, nor Guantanamo for that matter...a U.S. citizen can not be arrested and held without charge. Then again, it is America in 2007.
    the police are running rampant all over people's basic human rights...the sad thing is, there is a culture of fear dominating our society right now and the courts and policy makers are supporting it...

    Simply put, the scales are tipped in favour of the police right now...and if you say anything against you either support cop killers or muslim extremists or you've forgotten about 911 or you don't respect our heroes in blue. Whatever, I don't trust the police or our court system right now.

  5. #5
    Atomic Punk Wruff_ajax's Avatar
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    12.14.17 @ 10:36 PM
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    There's no justice. It's just us. Blind justice screwed all of us. We need justice, for all of us!
    Roger Meret. Agnostic Front, "Blind Justice".


    That song always comes to mind when I hear about our incredibly fucked up justice system in America. What a sad and terrible joke it's become.
    Better watch your ass people. Freedom is an illusion. A mirage.
    _-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_

  6. #6
    Sinner's Swing! Wickett's Avatar
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    Did I read that right? He had the camera in plain view, then handed it over when told to turn it off?

    That doesn't sound like it fits the description of wiretapping..
    Don't drink the Jim Jones punch. They're called theToxic Twins for a reason...

  7. #7
    Atomic Punk
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    welcome to the beginnings of a police state, under the guise of national security...
    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.” -- Gen. George S. Patton

  8. #8
    Atomic Punk
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    Quote Originally Posted by voivod View Post
    welcome to the beginnings of a police state, under the guise of national security...
    this is how it starts...the state uses fear to convince the body populace to surrender some of its rights to privacy in exchange for greater protection from "the enemy" and to fascilitate prosecution...this coincides with a huge wave of nationalism and patriotism masking frantic and radical xenophobia, racism and the rumblings of racial and cultural purification. All the while, we point at the old Soviet Union and Nazi Germany and fascist Italy and celebrate that we're not at all like they were....well we're not...not yet anyway.

 

 

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