thuggery by Maryland's forces for law 'n' order

Posted on: Mon, 04/19/2010 - 11:47 By: Tom Swiss

Two recent bits of thuggery by police in Maryland:

  • Prince Georges County police were caught on video assaulting an innocent UM student. The victim suffered a cut on his head that required eight staples to close, a concussion, a badly swollen arm, and various bruising. The scumbags cops them filed false charges against their victim.
  • Anthony Graber was apparently being a dangerous jerk on his motorcycle, and got pulled over by a Maryland state cop. Ok, so far, fine. Problem is, the cop was in plainclothes, and did not make a legitimate traffic stop -- he was in an unmarked car with no siren or lights showing, when he cut Graber off (there was a marked car behind Graber, but so far I as I can see in the video, no siren or lights). The cop jumped out of his car without displaying a badge or immediately identifying himself as a police officer -- and with his gun in his hand. That's outrageous behavior that would justify a civilian drawing a weapon on him or taking other defensive action that a reasonable person might take when confronted by an armed person who must be assumed to be a violent criminal.

    It should at least earn the cop in question a suspension until he's been sent back to training and learned how to behave himself.

    But the "best" past here is that Graber was wearing a helmet camera which caught the incident on tape. (Er, on memory card, presumably.) When Graber posted the video to Youtube, hilarity ensued when Joseph Cassilly, State’s Attorney for Harford County Maryland, threatened to prosecute Graber for violating Maryland's wiretap law, a felony carrying a penalty of up to five years. As the analysis at Popehat points about, there's not even the ghost of a legitimate case here, as the law only applies to private conversations, and an arrest occurring on a public street is not a situation where an expectation of privacy arises. Indeed, I'd have to say that no action taken by a police officer in the course of his duties ever has an expectation of privacy about it.

    This is pure intimidation for daring to embarrass a cop gone wild. Graber's computers and his camera were seized, and according to a comment on the Popehat story he was arrested.

    I'm sure that scumbag cops would love for it to be a crime to collect evidence against them, but we haven't reached that level of police state. At least not yet.