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
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Mar 2011 @ 9:20pm

    #39 I'll drink to that.
    This thing is turning into a stasi police state.

    The Weare police targeted this guy, plain and simple. Was he charged with any crime at the stop or given a ticket for any violation? Plus the police knew he was on the phone and knew someone was listening. The person on the other end could of been recording the call. I do know that the police had been targeting and harassing patrons of this establishment. This was seemingly an attempt to drive away business from the shop owner, which is why the libertarians were there supporting him. One could argue that the police had a grudge against people supporting a local guy, who is handicapped, I might add. And targeted one of the people leaving. Who also happens to be big on recording police.
    Popcorn? The Weare police also recently stopped an old lady that was leaving the same place. She blew a 0.0 but the police talked her into coming down to the station to blow again. She still blew a 0.0 at the station and somehow they impounded her car. Thats at least how I heard it.
    These police are thieves and deserve a night in lockup.

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