Police arrested Anthony Graber for speeding on his motorbike, the 25-year-old probably did not see himself as an advocate for police accountability in the age of new media.But Graber, a sergeant with the Maryland Air National Guard, is now facing 16 years in prison, not for dangerous driving, but for a Youtube video he posted after receiving a speeding ticket.The video, filmed with a camera mounted on Graber’s motorcycle helmet designed to record biking stunts rather than police abuse, shows a plain clothes officer jumping out of an unmarked car and pointing a pistol at the motorcyclist.It does not portray the policeman in a positive light.
After he posted the video on Youtube, police raided Graber’s home, seized computers and put him in jail.
“The case is critical to the protection of democracy because I don’t think you can have a free country in which public officials are able to criminally prosecute people who film what they are doing,” David Rocah, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union in Marylandwho is representing Graber, said. Wire-tapping, even though he had never been arrested before, Graber is being charged with illegal wiretapping and could face 16 years in jail.
“This is about shielding the policeman, a public servant, from journalistic scrutiny!” Is this freedom of Expression or is it tyrany?
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- Videotaping Cops Can Get You Arrested (abcnews.go.com)
- Scott Hall Sentenced Hall Sentenced to Jail Over Drunken Arrest (klqwrestling.com)