All Charges Dismissed For Posting Video Recording Of Motorcycle Traffic Stop On YouTube

On April 10, 2010 I posted an article and video about Anthony Graber Charged With felony For posting Traffic Stop Video On YouTube. He was speeding on I95, had a camera installed on his helmet, recorded a police officer pulling a gun on him as he was stopped, was briefly detained in jail, then was accused of violating Maryland’s wiretap law for taping police and posting the video on YouTube. Anthony Graber was also charged with having a camera on his helmet, “a device primarily useful for the purpose of the surreptitious interception of oral communications.” If convicted on all charges, Graber faced up to 16 years in prison.

Judge Emory A. Pitt Jr. had to decide whether police performing their duties have an expectation of privacy in public space. He ruled that police can have no such expectation in their public, on-the-job communications. The judge stated that “Those of us who are public officials and are entrusted with the power of the state are ultimately accountable to the public. When we exercise that power in public fora, we should not expect our actions to be shielded from public observation.” Regarding the video camera on Graber’s helmet, he ruled that to prohibit a camera would render illegal almost every cell phone, and every similar device, including dictation equipment and other types of recording devices. All charges against Grabber were were dismissed except those regarding traffic violations. The State Attorney can still appeal the judge decisions. I repost below the video in question (with help of Washington Post report).

Zipper's

27 Responses to “All Charges Dismissed For Posting Video Recording Of Motorcycle Traffic Stop On YouTube”


  1. 1 Dave Blevins Sep 28th, 2010 at 9:28 am

    Absolutely agree with the judge. No one in public service should be exempt from being monitored or recorded while on the job.

  2. 2 Jeff Nicklus Sep 28th, 2010 at 10:47 am

    Dave,

    I couldn’t agree more!

    Law enforcement should have to return any moinies this kid or his family had expensed in legal fees as well!

    Over & Out,

    Jeff

  3. 3 Mike Greenwald Sep 28th, 2010 at 11:19 am

    Jeff,

    I agree. Different court. Civil matter. Civil court.

    Mike

  4. 4 Ken Sep 28th, 2010 at 11:43 am

    Reckless driving, speeding, passing on the right, failure to signal, OK, but what would possess a person to draw a firearm on a guy on a motorcycle. A simple flash of the badge would have taken care of the entire situation.

    I have yet to meet a cop of any rank who wasn’t a full blown nutcase. This guy is an example of the norm and not the exception.

  5. 5 DAHAMMER Sep 28th, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    typical NAZI behavior of our finest at their best

  6. 6 Michael Livingston Sep 28th, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    I think it is worth noting that the gun was pointed at the ground the whole time.

  7. 7 David Sep 28th, 2010 at 3:39 pm

    Gun….. why????dont get it.
    when your on a bike there is no hiding anything (except a camera maybe)

  8. 8 Jeff Nicklus Sep 28th, 2010 at 5:49 pm

    David,

    Running from the cops is a felony in most states, including Texas, therefore I am sure with any Felony stop from law enforcement guns would be drawn. Don’t kid yourself, this guy could easly have been armed and riding the motorcycle. We have already determined the rider was an idiot and then when you mix the posibility of the rider being armed into that equasion the cop was well within his rights to have a gun out and ready. Just my observation.

    Over & Out,

    Jeff

  9. 9 Chris Sep 29th, 2010 at 12:06 am

    Jeff,

    When did we determine that the rider was an idiot? He was going 80mph. If I were to go 80mph on the highway I assume the risk of having a gun brandished on me?

  10. 10 Gas Man Sep 29th, 2010 at 7:21 am

    The rider did nothing to warrent such a hostile reaction by the police. I don’t care if he was doing 100mph. Further, there shouldn’t be any official distinction on pulling a gun cause most bikers are armed. I myself am always armed and have never had a gun pulled on me.

    On the topic of the camera, trust me boys, that camera lens was big enough for the cop to see it if he was being attentive. Instead he was stuck on pulling his gun with blinders on. Posting said video on the web is not an offense. The judge did right by not letting those charges stand. Remembering that the police need to be the best representation of the law not above the law. With that in mind being under public scrutinty is part of the job.

  11. 11 Jeff Nicklus Sep 29th, 2010 at 10:13 am

    Chris,

    Let’s see now … why is this guy an idiot? Could it be the wheelie down the lanes of traffic at 80 mph, nah, how ‘bout the changing of multiple lanes of traffic at one time …. nah, how ‘bout the weaving in and out of traffic at “speed”, nah, OK I Have it …. how ‘bout because he was attempting to elude a cop, nah that can’t be it either.

    Did you notice, in the video, the cop pulled his weapon as he exited the car and never pointed it at the “IDIOT”? Did you likewise notice that once the cop determined that the “IDIOT” was not a physical threat he holstered his weapon, again without ever pointing the weapon at the “IDIOT” ?

    Just because this “IDIOT” was riding a motorcycle does not make him exempt from the law any more that the cop. The Cop was within his bounds to pull his weapon and defend himself if called for. Fortunately no one was injured in this incident and hopefully the “Law” about posting a video of cops in action will be over turned because of this traffic stop. Again, just an observation.

    Over & Out,

    Jeff

  12. 12 betty Sep 29th, 2010 at 10:35 am

    Jeff, I see all of your points, except for where he was eluding a cop? From what I saw he was backing away from a stranger who he had no idea was a cop at the time. I’d have been waaaay more freaked out that this guy! There’s also nothing there showing us he was running from cops that were behind him either. The plain-clothes cop should definitely have had his badge in the other hand or at the very least, identified himself as a cop. A gun is not a badge!

  13. 13 martin Twofeather Sep 29th, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    I hope the motorcycle rider get free of all of it!Cops are not above the law,it’s a double edge sword!This is not Russia and we are not peasants to a monarchy………

  14. 14 Jeff Nicklus Sep 29th, 2010 at 2:19 pm

    Betty,

    If you will pay close attention to the video you see the rider identify the unmarked police car in the center medium of the highway and he slows the motorcycle to 69 MPH (what is the speed limit on the highway he was traveling?????) ….. once the rider passes by the cop he increases his speed dramatically, shifts into the fast lane and fly’s by traffic …. then he hits the exit …. he then looks at the car behind him (one must ask them self what prompted him to look at traffic behind him when he has rear view mirrors … could it be a police siren or was he looking to see if he had lost his pursuer ?) Once he looked behind him he surely identified the car as that of the cop in the medium of the highway …. even then he did not pull over, rather he stopped in traffic like nothing was going on until the cop then pulled in front of him to block his exit …. The cop did not pull his weapon until the rider starts to back away from him like he was going to run again. Then the rider looks behind himself to see yet another cop car had pulled in behind him. Grant it, I may not be the brightest bulb in the pack, but to me given everything it says he was attempting to elude arrest ?????

    Again these are just my observations.

    Over & Out,

    Jeff

  15. 15 Lee H Sep 29th, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    The simple act of drawing a weapon from the holster and pointing it toward the ground is not considered excessive use of force in any situation. In fact, this is exactly the way he was trained when in situations involving a felony stop, which is what this was considered to be at the time. The instant the officer confirmed the situation was under control and no threat was present he holstered the weapon. To the average citizen it probably looks over the top, but it is not. The officer was just preparing for the worst and again, when he saw there was no threat he holstered.

    As for charging the guy for posting the video on Youtube THAT was excessive and completely un-lawful on the part of the government. Every dime he spent in legal fees ought to be reimbursed by the prosecutor.

  16. 16 alan Sep 29th, 2010 at 5:00 pm

    america use to be land of freedom

    the change in the last 10 years make me sick

  17. 17 gravey158 Sep 29th, 2010 at 8:04 pm

    is it that bad out here that every cop has to pull his gun out and start waveing it about. are you telling me that speeding warrents pulling a gun out. God be thankful the cop didn’t shoot the biker or hve the gun go off inerror. then what? the biker was risking his ad our lives by doing what he did, but again did it warrent having a gun pulled on him.

  18. 18 Ben Sep 29th, 2010 at 9:57 pm

    Jeff,
    Two things; first, the center portion of the highway is call a M-E-D-I-A-N. A medium is some one who purports to speak to ghosts or a tee shirt size. Second, it’s obvious that you don’t ride, because if you did, you would realize that the rear view mirrior on a motorcycle shows you very little detail due to vibration. You can determine if there is a car in the lane you wish to ocupy, but little else. If this guy was evading law enforcement, it was a very half hearted effort. most of the modern sportbikes above 500 cc’s are capable of easily outpacing anything production on 4 wheels. So, before you start passing out idiot proclamations, you may want to take a look your own rear view mirror. This is just my observation. over and out.

    BTW, proper usage would be ‘ granted, I may not be the brightest….’ and we all agree!
    Peace out.

  19. 19 betty Sep 30th, 2010 at 10:52 am

    Jeff … Oh, I’m not saying he *wasn’t* (he very well could have been), I just don’t see from the video that it was obvious. I think it is safe to assume, however, that he was attempting to check his mirrors simply because he knows he was being stupid and didn’t want to get caught, but like Ben said, you can’t see much in those mirrors. The guy was just being a total squid. A wheelie on the freeway was proof enough for that …

    As for “just your observations,” I am completely willing to admit that yours and mine are different (can you?); and are so based on our differing experiences and due to the fact that I ride a sport bike (which I’m sure you hate) and you probably ride a Harley (which I can assure you that I hate). Both observations are valid, but I can tell you from personal experience (and from what all the old seasoned riders tell me) that you need to keep your head on a swivel.

  20. 20 Jeff Nicklus Sep 30th, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    Betty,

    I can respect your “observations” even though they are wrong. LOL. Second, I do not hate sport bikes, I hate dumb ass sport bike riders just as I hate any dumb ass motorcycle riders in general. For the record I do not ride a Harley nor will anyone ever see me on a HD. I am a motorcycle manufacturer, Desperado Motorcycles, I only ride bikes we build. Finally, yes you do need to keep your head on a swivel looking for traffic, however, where was his “swiveling head” when he was weaving in and out of traffic at speed? His “swivel”, a 180 degree swivel I should add, only took place when he was looking to see who may be catching up with him. In my opinion the “idiot” in the film was exactly that and deserved to go to jail. My only disagreement with anything that transpired on the film is the charges the “idiot” received in posting his video …. that, is my opinion, is a constitutional violation of the “idiots” rights.

    Ben,

    Three things,

    1: You are correct …. median not medium …. I hate it when my fingers lose their brains.
    2: Many, many motorcycles can out run anything on 4 wheels …. they have a hell of a time outrunning the police radios.
    3: Most likely I have been riding motorcycles longer than you have been alive.

    Have a plane to catch, have to run.

    Over & Out,

    Jeff

  21. 21 Tattooed43 Oct 1st, 2010 at 9:52 am

    If they can record us…we can record them….period.

  22. 22 vince Oct 4th, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    ok to address the issue that one of the posters brought up, the guy did not seek to elude the officer. he pulled over as he should. Also, the officer did not holster his gun once he saw the guy wasn’t armed. he never checked the guy. he looked over the guy’s shoulder, saw the arrival of another cop, and quickly holstered his gun so the other cop didn’t catch him with it out. that is the reality. i would suspect that anyone who posts in support of the offending cop has tiers to or is a cop. no one else could defend that.

  23. 23 vince Oct 4th, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    hey Tettoed43, that’s a very good point.

  24. 24 dragon Oct 4th, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    sorry people i have to side with the biker if it had been me and he came out of the car with a gun drawen they would still be tryin to get the rubber from my tires off his ass now if he had his badge in hand it might have been different

  25. 25 vince Oct 4th, 2010 at 2:04 pm

    exactly

  26. 26 betty Oct 5th, 2010 at 11:01 am

    Jeff,

    Good response. I’m glad we agree on a couple more things than this guy being an idiot. But then again, most people are, aren’t they? 🙂

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