Motorcyclist Faces Jail for Helmet Cam
Monday, August 9, 2010
A Maryland motorcyclist now faces up to 16 years in jail for filming a traffic stop with a camera on the top of his helmet and then posting it on YouTube. The Honda CBR1000RR-mounted rider was pulled over by an undercover cop while riding with a helmet camera on. The camera was left running during the stop, after which time the motorcyclist posted the video online for people to see. He was then visited by the Maryland police, who raided his home and confiscated all of his computer equipment. They are now charging him with breaking wiretap laws, which could see the man go to prison for over a decade!
Here is a link to the MSNBC News story: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/38621715#38607909
To say this is ridiculous would be the understatement of the century. Much of it comes back to the fact that the cop who pulled the motorcyclist over came out of his car in plain clothes, wielding a gun quite wildly and out of control, which the world got to see on YouTube. The Maryland police were obviously embarrassed by one of their own pulling a gun during a routine traffic stop, something that shouldn’t have been done, which they followed up taking out their frustration on the motorcyclist.
As it turns out, the wiretapping law he is breaking is due to the police officer’s voice being in the video, so had he posted it without sound or with something other than the officer's voice in it, there wouldn’t have been a law broken.
Moral of the story: Even if you get a cop on tape for doing something stupid, chances are they will still use it against you, so show the video to your lawyer before posting it on YouTube! Let’s hope a judge in Maryland finds this to be as ridiculous as it is and lets the motorcyclist off!