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Videotaped traffic stop on I-95

Anthony Graber, 25, is facing charges for violating Maryland's wiretap law for taping a traffic stop in March along I-95. He was prosecuted after posting his video of the stop on YouTube.

By Terri Rupar  | June 15, 2010; 8:38 PM ET
 
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Please keep tabs on this story. From the video, both the rider and undercover officer look like buffoons. The bigger story is the application of the old wiretapping law, and whether or not this is a retaliation by the prosecutor for making an officer look bad.

Posted by: jerryravens | June 16, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

FOOL Might be alive because of the Police. He knew who they were he turned his head a marked car is on the scene. Police on the scene were pros. After that MARYLAND SUCKS. The people in this caes need to be fired. WHERE IS THE WIRE? Your in public you should be able to record. Idiot state attorneys should have a reasonable expectation of being fired for going after him and our rights.

1977 at the age of 16 this Virginian heading to the beach had a gun pulled him on a completely bogus ticket. My friend who was in the front seat is a police officer today. We joke how bogus it was. Being able to record is important. For one the Police in this case did nothing wrong. Marked car behind and unmarked cutting off escape. He was in a dangerous position and was very well mannered. Police did a good job. His command voice was tame.

Posted by: todd_ingberg_yahoocom | June 16, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

So you don't mind having a gun pointed at you Todd before I say who I am???? Interesting, If I meet you Todd I will extent my hand and say who I am as a means of introduction, I will not pull a F'n gun and be aggressive for no reason.

Posted by: MajorFacemask | June 16, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

todd You're all over the map on this thing. The guy admits to speeding. The issue hear is a clear case of "first admendment rights", something you apparently felt "I don't need to know this stuff", back in eight grade when the teacher lectured. It still applies "DUDE!", even in that particular case. Where you paying attention then to the Baltimoron?

Posted by: Clarkent1 | June 16, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

As a motorcycle rider, Graber is a jerk and deserves a reckless driving summons.
The officer in the unmarked car was out of his mind to pull a weapon without having a scintilla of police ID visible. No shield, no markings on the car, no uniform.
Any attempt to prosecute the posting of the video, is B.S.
Any decent judge should throw that out of court.. but then again.. this is.. Maryland.. so he'd better get a very good lawyer.

Posted by: Big2wheelr | June 16, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

I guess this story would have been totally different if the driver of the motorcycle would have KILLED SOMEONE! What an IDIOT! The Police Officer/State Highway Patrol had EVERY right to PULL him over and DRAW his gun. Like I said if he would have killed someone we wouldn't even be having this discussion and shame on him for putting this on YOUTUBE! Police Offices and Law Enforcement put their lives on the line Everyday for people like you and I! Hopefully he learns a lesson from this and grows up!

Posted by: ksr2364 | June 16, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Its amazing how people are quick to jump on the band wagon to try and defend the idiot on the motocycle. First of all, I'll bet when he obtained his license from the DMV, he didn't pop wheelies while being evaluated. Second, he was doing what he knew abosutely to be wrong, which is popping wheelies. Third, everytime you see something on TV, people's faces or license plates are blacked out or distorted because to show them would be a so called violation of someone's privacy. Yet this idiot wants to video his illegal actions and place them on YouTube. That is wiretapping (the Officer) which is illegal. Funny how everyone says "Big Brother" is watching them when security cameras are in place but when its evidence against the bad guy, its a violation of privacy. For convenience of buffonary its a violation of civil rights. What people don't realize is that most motorcycle riders are safe. The idiots who pop wheelies and speed are criminals who want attention. You also forget that these fools attempt to outrun the Police all the time. You also don't know if this idiot has guns, weapons, knives or is a wanted fugitive. These idiots are on meth, doped up, on alcohol and anything else that will give them a high. Last but not least, that fool on the motorcycle was attempting to back up (tip toeing) so he could flee. The Trooper did a heck of a good job and I salute him. Bottom line is if you don't want police attention, then abide by the law. Don't interfer with the police as you would not want yourself being videotaped on your job.

Posted by: jackbquick67 | June 17, 2010 7:41 PM | Report abuse

Todd & Jackbquick:
You folks are showing a lack of intelligence here. Do a little bit of thinking if you are able.
The officer did a whole lot wrong, Todd. Having had federal enforcement myself for over 10 years, and actually being federally trained in it, I was never, ever told to jump out of an unmarked car,immediately point a handgun in someones face before doing anything else, unless being shot at. This cop, or whatever he is, knows that himself. He was trying to be a bad-ass.Failed ! As for the cyclist "knowing they were cops",that is a false assumption. I have turned around myself to see what was behind me,& not looking for police. That proves nothing.
As for being videotaped doing my job: If you are doing your job well, and not branching out on your own, you have nothing to worry about.
Perhaps the cyclist was speeding, or doing wheelies, I need to ask: Did the cops stop for lunch before pursuit ? They weren't in VW beetles. If wheelies & earlier speeding were the crimes, why not blue-light him, pull him over, and issue a ticket,and carry on ? Why did it take 5 minutes for the cops to catch up??? Watching the footage failed to demonstrate the cyclist was speeding on the part we were shown. All the later stuff the various Maryland jerks did, is illegal. The whole crowd panicked. It will bite big in the butt.

Posted by: nosmiley | June 18, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

My question is why did the police not ID himself first as procedure dictates. He is lucky that the man was not inclined to defend himself. What about the public right to tape events. Could this be construed as witness intimidation and suppression of evidence?That being said the motorcycle rider was a D-bag for endangering lives like that.

Posted by: paperburn | June 21, 2010 10:06 PM | Report abuse

@ jackbquick

I'm sorry, I'm going to have to agree with nosmiley -- The first thing the officer should have done was identify himself. It's completely understandable to see the cyclist start to back up "So he could flee" as you said, because he's getting a frickin' gun pointed in his face. The man getting out of the car with a weapon could have been mentally insane and could have done harm to Graber. If he really wanted to avoid this whole situation, the officer should learn a little professionalism.

And to assume that these "idiot motorcyclists" are all "criminals who want attention" and "idiots who are on meth, doped up, on alcohol and anything else that will give them a high," is incredibly moronic.

But, if it helps you sleep at night, then please, continue to think that the officer was in the right and the cyclist was in the wrong.

Posted by: malloryharn | June 21, 2010 11:28 PM | Report abuse

Regardless of what that guy did on his bike think about the position he's being put in. If someone in a normal gray car pulls in front of me, gets out with a gun and tells me to get off the bike, what is your first inclination? I think mine would be less "oh, yes sir random individual I'm assuming is a police officer despite the lack of reassuring identification to let me know you are actually in law enforcement" and a bit more "this guys wants to jack my bike, I'm going to get the he11 out of here!!!"

You see this all the time in other police activity, if you screw up procedure the guy walks plain and simple, i don't care if he did a back flip off someone's car on the freeway

Posted by: DClock1 | June 22, 2010 12:28 AM | Report abuse

(Jackquick) the reason faces or logos are blacked out on tv are for copyright reasons. If you use your videos for fair use then you do not need permission. If so anyone that has home videos better watch out of being sued by family or by bystanders at Disney Land. The motorcyclist had every right t o record for personal use. As long as youtube doesn't pay him, he is well within his right.

Posted by: MMAmadman | June 22, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Wow. To everyone up there trying to defend the cops, I have to wonder what exactly you think the issue of this video is. It's NOT whether or not the cops were right or the motorcyclist was right. The motorcyclist accepted the ticket because he knew he was in the wrong, and the police, I assume, understand that a unit did not behave properly otherwise they wouldn't have needlessly pushed forward with this case! Which, by the way, is the true issue of this video and in my opinion shouldn't be a case at all.

Posted by: nightdreamerms | June 22, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

The issue isn't even about getting a ticket, or getting pulled over. The issue is someone having their constitutional rights infringed upon. If this gets upheld in court, it calls into question the legality of shows like COPS, and the legality of video taping traffic stops from the police car. I mean, if it's illegal for a civilian to video tape something, it's illegal for the cops to do so.

Posted by: Daexion | June 22, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

This is an excellent story. First, the motorcyclist appears to deserve an arrest for reckless endangerment; whether the evidence is all admissible is a different issue.

I'm not sure how I feel about the officer drawing his gun; since the motorcyclist's intentions may not have been clear, I can't decide how I feel. Not identifying himself is a completely different issue. If he'd lead with "State Police" instead of finishing with it, I'd feel different.

Finally, for the prosecutor to charge the motorcyclist under wiretap laws for releasing the video is ridiculous and scary.

That alone is what really turns this into a story from my point of view. This was all in a public location, where there was no logical expectation of privacy. If the officer was acting within the rules, then the video does nothing but educate everyone on the rules. If the officer was not acting within the rules, then the appropriate responses need to be triggered, whether or not there was a video.

Posted by: rick79 | June 22, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Correct me if I am wrong the officer in the gray car did not see the rider doing the wheelie nor did the officer that pulled up behind them. The cyclist was maintaining speed with the traffic in most cases and upon nearing his exit he sped up and passed the cars to get over vs slowing down. I have driven in the DC/Maryland area and I normally speed up because of the way folks drive there.
For the officer hopping out of his car I have been car-jacked and let me tell you something the way he blocked the person in and came out with his weapon pulled would have caused me to start backing my bike up also.
There are so many thing wrong here from the cyclist riding rudely and then the officer playing some wild west gun man. If we as cyclist can not have a camera on our helmet or on our tanks then why are we as the public allowing cameras in squad cars, taffic lights, building corners and other places ............ it looks like the the officer saw he was wrong as well and did not like having his face all over the internet for his bone head mistake as well as the cyclist bone head mistake of videoing his illegal actions.
My 2 cents.

Posted by: tired116 | June 22, 2010 10:36 PM | Report abuse

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