“Young man, turn off your camera.”
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.
There is, of course, an exception in the law in order for police to record citizens during traffic stops. The most chilling part of the story?
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.”
Move along sheep, nothing to see here. You wouldn’t want to hold the police accountable by filming them because that would be very perilous for you.