Public Servants Doing Public Jobs Privately

So a guy is riding his motorcycle, speeding and popping a wheelie. He gets cut off by an off duty State Police officer in a grey sedan who exits his car with his gun drawn. The off duty officer identified himself as “State Police” then the cyclist complied and totally accepted his ticket. Now the motorcyclist has a camera on his helmet and was filming the exchange. He then placed the video on YouTube. Now he is being charged with wiretapping because the officer didn’t know he was being taped.

Ok, how does someone who has a public job have an expectation of privacy when he is doing it? Not even getting to the issue of the legality of him cutting off a guy when he was off duty to ticket him. But did he have a right to privacy while ticketing this motorcyclist? Because the DA says the officer had an expectation the motorcyclist is being charged with a felony! Oh and Maryland (the state where this happened) has dashboard cameras in their police cars. They claim that they tell suspects when they are being filmed so it is totally different. And apparently this isn’t the first such case.

Don’t get me wrong. I am usually very supportive of the police but only when they respect our rights. Just because an officer is beingĀ embarrassedĀ is not a reason to not allow something. This is freedom of, not speech but reality. This is a public position that takes place in public! He pulled this guy over to the side of the road in front of everyone. Where is the expectation of privacy there???


(HT: Washington Post)

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