A Harford County Circuit Court judge ruled this afternoon that a motorcyclist who was arrested for videotaping his traffic stop by a Maryland State Trooper was within his rights to record the confrontation.
Judge Emory A Pitt Jr. tossed all the charges filed against Anthony Graber, leaving only speeding and other traffic violations, and most likely sparing him a trial that had been scheduled for Oct. 12. The judge ruled that Maryland’s wire tap law allows recording of both voice and sound in areas where privacy cannot be expected. He ruled that a police officer on a traffic stop has no expectation of privacy.
“Those of us who are public officials and are entrusted with the power of the state are ultimately accountable to the public,” the judge wrote.
“When we exercise that power in public fora, we should not expect our actions to be shielded from public observation.”
At 2:00 pm today, Sept. 19, 2010 the residents of Boulder, evacuees from the fire and well-wishers lined Pearl Street to publicly thank all the fire crews that worked the Fourmile Fire. I was there to record the event. Here’s the photos and videos I took. Please feel free to use any of this material any way you like. If possible, an attribution of ‘Courtesy of FreeRangeLongmont.com’ is appreciated but not required. There’s also a great poster available at FourMileHeroes.org. All proceeds go to benefit local firefighters.
I polled a number of firefighters with this question: “How does it feel to be a celebrity?” and got almost exactly the same answer in every case: “Not me.” These men and women risk their lives and don’t consider themselves heroes – just ‘glad we got to play that day’ – God Bless You ALL.
After Shari Malloy points out the partisan behavior of the new majority on Longmont city council, Mayor Baum wisecracks: “…we should all just get up and leave…” and the joke falls completely flat since that’s exactly what most of the audience wants. The mayor needs to learn to bite his tongue lest his wisecracks come back to bite him in the ass. You can read the entire text of Shari’s remarks here.