New Hampshire Police Charge Man With 'Wiretapping' Because He Made A Phone Call During Traffic Stop

from the you-can't-be-serious dept

We've covered the disturbing trend of police, prosecutors and the courts to abuse wiretapping laws to charge people with "wiretapping" for recording police in public. The latest such case is even more ridiculous than most. Found via Slashdot, it involves a guy charged with wiretapping the police during a routine traffic stop, because he made a phone call, to which a voicemail system recorded the call at the other end. The guy who was arrested, William Alleman, had just left a gathering of libertarians, meeting in support of an arrest of a local restaurant owner. The police were apparently waiting outside, and Alleman claims he was followed. As he got pulled over, he called the phone number of an answering service for Libertarian activists who are "in trouble with the police" and then used that to record the call. The police claim this was illegal wiretapping.

This is, of course, patently ridiculous. Recording a police officer as he has stopped you is not and should never be considered a crime. The police in Weare New Hampshire should be ashamed of themselves for flagrantly abusing the law to intimidate people from exercising their own rights. All the more reason for laws like the one proposed in Connecticut that would punish police for preventing people from recording their interactions with the police in public.

Filed Under: abuse, police misconduct, wiretapping


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  1. identicon
    Dead Julius, 9 Mar 2011 @ 8:40am

    his blog is here. It should also be pointed out that the recording incident occurred in July 2010. Last month, Bill made a video recording of a NH State government hearing on making it explicitly legal to record public officials in the performance of their duties. It was only after this hearing, and after Bill released the video he made of it, that he was finally arrested.

    The Weare, NH police department is corrupt... so corrupt, in fact, that its boss made some baseless accusations of child pornography against one of political enemies, forcing the accused to ask the local DA to clear him (and he was indeed cleared!).

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