Court Tosses Bogus Wiretapping Charge Against Man Who Recorded Cops Who Raided His House

from the we'll-assault-you-and-your-house-in-public,-but-please-don't-record-us dept

For many years, law enforcement agencies used (mostly outdated) wiretapping laws to justify arrests and prosecutions of citizens who recorded them during their public duties. For a long time, they succeeded, with Illinois seeing a great many of these thanks to its (unconstitutional) law. That law has since been nullified by the courts, but there are still a few legacy laws out there being abused to shut down recordings of police officers.

Another win has arrived for citizens who play an key part in the law enforcement accountability process. Photography Is Not A Crime reports that New Hampshire native Alfred Valentin has had wiretapping charges against him dismissed. Incredibly, New Hampshire prosecutors tried to use another state's law (via an appeals court decision) against Valentin in hopes of getting the charges to stick.

In an attempt to convict the Manchester man, prosecutors tried to take advantage of the Massachusetts wiretapping law, which is different than New Hampshire’s law.

In Massachusetts, the wiretapping law criminalizes all secret recording of conversations, even those that take place in public.

The prosecution claimed that Valentin secretly audio recorded two Manchester police sergeants by holding his phone by his leg, although it apparently wasn’t so secret that the cops didn’t notice.
The events leading to the failed prosecution of Valentin began with a no-knock raid by Manchester's SWAT team. Valentin had taken in a roommate who, unbeknownst to him, was currently under investigation for heroin trafficking. While Valentin was at work, the police raided his house, firing incendiary devices through his windows and seizing his home security cameras.

Valentin was summoned home by a neighbor who had found his dog wandering the streets. When he arrived, he was greeted by plainclothes officers who refused to identify themselves. The officers refused to show him a search warrant, telling him to "come back in an hour" when a supervisor would be there. Valentin returned to see the supervisor (and warrant) and began recording his interactions with the officers. The officers responded by arresting him for violating the state's wiretapping law.

This arrest was followed up by the police department issuing a press release falsely stating Valentin had been arrested in connection with a heroin trafficking investigation. In fact, he was never a suspect and was never charged with any drug-related violations. Because of this bogus press release, Valentin lost his job. He is now suing the involved officers for over $1 million, citing a list of constitutional violations and libel-related complaints.

The prosecutors invoked Massachusetts law by way of the First Circuit's Glik decision -- one that found citizens have a First Amendment right to record public servants in any area that does not carry a "reasonable expectation of privacy." The New Hampshire court quotes this part of the Glik decision:
"[T]he First Amendment protects the filming of governmental officials in public spaces .... "

"Gathering information about government officials in a form that can readily be disseminated to others serves a cardinal First Amendment interest in protecting and promoting 'the free discussion of governmental affairs."'
The state prosecutors, however, focused on this part of the decision.
The State contends the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in Glik and Gericke "found that, in the absence of a statutory exception, the First Amendment to the Federal Constitution does not protect an individual who intercepts public officials' oral communications unless ... the act of recording is done openly."
The officers spotted the cellphone, leading to Valentin's arrest, so it seems unlikely he wasn't "openly" recording them. Valentin maintains he was holding the phone at chest level, which would have made it even more apparent he was holding a recording device. No matter which version of the events is accurate, the placement of phone bears no weight on the court's decision.
The State's representation of Glik and Gericke is manifestly incorrect. The question of "openness" did not enter into the First Amendment analysis in either case. In Glik, the plaintiff brought First and Fourth Amendment claims against Massachusetts following an arrest under Massachusetts' wiretap statute for recording police.

In its First Amendment analysis, the Glik Court wrote, "(i]s there a constitutionally protected right to videotape police carrying out their duties in public? Basic First Amendment principles, along with case law from this and other circuits, answer that question unambiguously in the affirmative." Glik later suggests that the First Amendment does not protect filming that interferes with police duties. The Court, however, explicitly declined to specify further limitations stating, "[t]o be sure, the right to film is not without limitations… We have no occasion to explore those limitations here, however." Likewise, Gericke allows for reasonable restrictions on the right to record police, but never discusses whether such recordings must be open.
The Glik decision's question of "openness" only applies to alleged Fourth Amendment violations. The state then argued that both issues must be tied together, because if a secret recording is permissible under the First Amendment then the resulting arrest would be a Fourth Amendment violation. The state argues that both cannot be simultaneously true. The court points out the flaw in this analysis.
If the First Amendment protects secret recordings, the State argues, there could have been no probable cause to arrest the plaintiff, and so the Court would have had no reason to decide whether the recording was secret. To the contrary, the fact that a criminal charge violates the First Amendment does not mean that the arrest underlying the charge violates the Fourth Amendment. Thus, the Glik's analysis about whether the recording was secret for Fourth Amendment purposes does not show that secret recordings are beyond the First Amendment's protection.

[...]

As such, absent contrary authority from the State, the Court finds that the First Amendment protects secretly filming police in public, for the same reasons that the First Amendment generally protects filming police. The public has the right to gather and disseminate information about the police.
Officers can secretly record citizens in public areas and vice versa. Public areas carry very limited expectations of privacy and any privacy protections that might be implicated are dramatically decreased for public servants performing their duties in public areas. No relevant court decision says otherwise. There is no statutory requirement that citizens inform public servants that they are being recorded in these situations.

With this out of the way, Valentin should be able to proceed with his lawsuit. Violation of his First Amendment rights has been determined by this dismissal. This will allow him to focus on the other constitutional violations listed in his suit, as well as the alleged libelous statements that cost him his job.



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Filed Under: alfred valentin, new hampshire, police, recording police, wiretapping


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  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 3 Nov 2015 @ 3:44am

    No Cameras Allowed

    While Valentin was at work, the police raided his house, firing incendiary devices through his windows and seizing his home security cameras.

    Between the bogus arrest and the fact that they went after his home security cameras, I'd say it's pretty clear that they really didn't want any evidence of their actions available.

    If I didn't know better, I'd almost suspect that the police had, or were planning on, engaging in activity that wasn't quite as legal as I'm sure they'd like to claim it was, but I'm sure their actions in making sure there was no video recordings of their activity was purely a coincidence, and had nothing to do with the legality, or lack thereof, of their actions.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Nov 2015 @ 8:24am

      Re: No Cameras Allowed

      It could be the case that the police were seizing the security camera system to look through the footage and find any potentially illegal activity that the suspect was engaged in. But for them to seize the cameras? Well ... cops aren't exactly tech literate but still, they should have someone on duty that knows where any recorded footage may be and that they're probably not on the cameras themselves. Uhm ...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Nov 2015 @ 8:50am

      Re: No Cameras Allowed

      Well, they didn't threaten to punch any wheelchair-bound amputees in the nub. So, they've got that goin' for 'em.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      nygrump, 3 Nov 2015 @ 10:47am

      Re: No Cameras Allowed

      And yet NH cops won't arrest the men who attacked and robbed the owner of Twin City Coin in Lebanon NH this year, even with video recorded faces - Mrs Beebe showed me the screen shots and they are identifiable. Maybe the cops would have shown up earlier in the home videos shooting up.

      http://www.vnews.com/news/16796923-95/victim-of-charlestown-home-invasion-recovering-from-attack

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Nov 2015 @ 11:11am

      Re: No Cameras Allowed

      add to the fact that they didnt have a warrant until an hour later, seems kinda suspicious to me.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Bergman (profile), 3 Nov 2015 @ 11:55am

      Re: No Cameras Allowed

      Given how often police target cameras, an idea I had years ago that seemed paranoid at the time is actually looking sane now.

      Put in an obvious data recorder, a second tucked away 'hidden' in a closet somewhere, a third cast into the foundation and a fourth off-site (even if just over the back fence with the neighbor's permission) and possibly a fifth somewhere in another state via internet.

      Good cops will subpoena a copy from the first recorder. Bad cops will make the first recorder disappear or destroy it in place, then go looking for a backup.

      Unless bad cops literally tear the entire neighborhood apart though, they won't get that fourth recorder.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 3 Nov 2015 @ 4:04am

    Why settle for just arresting them on bogus charges for contempt of cop when you can try to ruin his life?
    Making false statements is a crime when use little people say them to cops, why isn't it a crime when cops do it to try and crush an innocent who took them to task?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 3 Nov 2015 @ 4:14am

      Re:

      Because no judge has the guts to actually punish a cop for misconduct.

      They'll slam someone for lying to a cop without hesitation, but a cop lying to someone without a badge? Ruining someone's life with bogus charges? Suddenly it's 'just an accident' or 'not that big a deal', and if the impossible happens, and they actually 'punish' the officer(s), even then they're shielded by their badges, and the taxpayers, not those responsible, take it in the wallet.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Nov 2015 @ 10:40am

      Re:

      I am surprised they didn't try to murder him when that didn't work.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Whatever, 3 Nov 2015 @ 4:27am

    I understand "blame the cops for everything" is the standard narrative here, but just take a step back and think about it. It's a fact that citizens, armed with mobile phones and a deep-seated sense of millennial entitlement and selfishness, are now threatening cops at every corner with footage aimed at portraying them in the least flattering light. If the police have to constantly worry about lawsuits from less scrupulous elements how are they supposed to enforce anything?

    Of course, given that Techdirt supported Occupy Wall Street, I should have known that the site's operators would push out another piece of stinky troll-bait like this one. Too damn bad about the babies that get shot, but since you chose to shield the scumbags with your cameras, you should have seen this coming.

    (you can click report now... I don't care!).

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Nov 2015 @ 4:52am

      Re:

      Yeah, it's the Ferguson effect - right?
      Crime goes up because the police are afraid to do their "jobs", where jobs = beat the crap outta people unnecessarily.

      Because it is not the police violence that begets mote violence, it is the lack of police brutality that causes the uptick in crime - amirite?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 3 Nov 2015 @ 4:59am

      Re:

      What a surprise, the authoritarian defending those in positions of power, never would have seen that coming...

      It's a fact that citizens, armed with mobile phones and a deep-seated sense of millennial entitlement and selfishness, are now threatening cops at every corner with footage aimed at portraying them in the least flattering light.

      Oh those poor babies, having people watching them, and having the utter gall to record them, so it's no longer the word of a cop, which judges will, baring very rare exceptions always accept as true, versus the word of non-cops, which will, once again barring very rare exceptions, always be considered less reliable.

      Those poor, poor babies in uniform, how dare the citizens introduce actual verifiable evidence to the mix, showing when the police are lying or worse, however will they cope?

      More to the point, you know what a recording shows if a cop or several are acting within the law, and in a professional manner? Police acting within the law, and in a professional manner. For a video to show police in a unflattering light, the police need to be acting in an 'unflattering' manner. If they don't want to have to worry about cameras portraying them acting excessively or unprofessionally, don't act excessively or unprofessionally.

      If they don't like it, if people recording the actions of public servants in public places is too much for them? Quit. Let someone mature enough to handle it step in and do the job they're clearly unfit for.

      Too damn bad about the babies that get shot, but since you chose to shield the scumbags with your cameras, you should have seen this coming.

      So because people record police, that justifies people being shot. And you wonder why people don't agree with you...

      Just curious, but does the taste of boot leather grow on you, is it an acquired taste, or does it always taste pretty much the same?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 3 Nov 2015 @ 5:15am

        Re: Re:

        "So because people record police, that justifies people being shot. And you wonder why people don't agree with you..."

        Wow, I missed that bit somehow. Amazing. Babies getting shot = too bad. People filming it happening = unacceptable shielding. But he's OK with being reported for trolling now, so it's all good!

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 3 Nov 2015 @ 7:49am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Wow, I missed that bit somehow. Amazing. Babies getting shot = too bad. People filming it happening = unacceptable shielding.

          Incidentally, the other night in Baltimore, police killed a baby.

          Here's the story: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/baltimore-city/bs-md-ci-child-struck-20151101-story.html

          Th ere's a significant backstory to this involving the policies in place (or not) about car chases, both in Baltimore County and Baltimore City. That story includes another chase that ended in multiple fatalities not all that long ago. But let's put all that aside for now: the bottom line here is that a baby is dead because police were incredibly reckless and irresponsible.

          They didn't shoot him. They didn't have to.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 3 Nov 2015 @ 12:27pm

        Re: Re:

        won't take long before people start pointing guns not cameras at police.

        If taking a photo gets you shot why not start shooting back.

        Or you could get used to enjoying the feel of a jackboot on the back of your head

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 3 Nov 2015 @ 5:13am

      Re:

      "I understand "blame the cops for everything" is the standard narrative here"

      Only when they're in the wrong. Do you have evidence that they're not here, especially with regard to the following:

      "This arrest was followed up by the police department issuing a press release falsely stating Valentin had been arrested in connection with a heroin trafficking investigation. In fact, he was never a suspect and was never charged with any drug-related violations. Because of this bogus press release, Valentin lost his job."

      How are the police not in the wrong here?

      "If the police have to constantly worry about lawsuits from less scrupulous elements how are they supposed to enforce anything?"

      Is that before or after they've finished destroying a man's career, health and home? Remember, this is a lawsuit filed *by* the police department, and that only in an attempt to avoid punishment for their own wrongdoing

      "Of course, given that Techdirt supported Occupy Wall Street"

      Of course, someone interested in honest discussion would at least attempt to explain why the hell that's relevant, other than it offending your obsession with bowing down to any given authority. You're not that person, though.

      "(you can click report now... I don't care!)."

      Well, that makes a change from whining about "censorship" when we're laughing at your poor attempts at attacking others.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        identicon
        Whatever, 3 Nov 2015 @ 5:44am

        Re: Re:

        Stinky stinky PaulT. Decided to log back in after getting your Techdirt army to report me, did you? It's a shame your stinky bait isn't censored as quickly.

        Occupy Wall Street was just another sad attempt by entitled millennials to make demands, because they're too lazy to do anything worthwhile. Not surprising that Techdirt pounced upon the opportunity to fan the flames with more anti-police, anti-government bait. Naturally you choose to ignore this, because "fuck the police", right?

        (And of course, you can go ahead and censor me now, because you don't believe in free speech for anyone but pirates.)

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          That One Guy (profile), 3 Nov 2015 @ 5:49am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Yeah, nice try, but you don't get to lie like that and not get called on it. You get reported not because people on TD 'don't believe in free speech', but because you simply cannot act in a mature fashion, and people don't feel like dealing with your childish antics.

          Grow up, stop with the insults, and maybe your comments won't be reported so often.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 3 Nov 2015 @ 6:10am

          Re: Re: Re:

          If you feel like you're being censored, then why not just fuck off and post somewhere else?

          No one likes a whiny bitch, you know.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 3 Nov 2015 @ 6:52am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Stinky stinky PaulT"

          Wow, kindergarten's out again, huh?

          "Decided to log back in after getting your Techdirt army to report me, did you?"

          I'm flattered that you think that someone who merely logs in to exercise his opinion has an "army", but your idiocy was not reported (or at least not hidden" when I read it.

          I notice you chose to ignore the misdeeds of the police in favour of constructing another fantasy world for yourself, but that's really all you have, huh?

          "Occupy Wall Street was just another sad attempt by entitled millennials to make demands, because they're too lazy to do anything worthwhile"

          If true, what does that have to do with people having the right to film police in their duty? What does that have to do with their lawsuit against a man who by all accounts is only trying to get reparations for the career, healthcare and property he's lost as a direct result of police dishonesty? Assuming the article's correct and you don't decide to replace childish rants with reasoned facts to disprove it, of course.

          "Not surprising that Techdirt pounced upon the opportunity to fan the flames with more anti-police, anti-government bait."

          Which part of the article is not true? if it is true, why should people be supporting that. Not enough dead babies to care (by your words, anyway)?

          "(And of course, you can go ahead and censor me now, because you don't believe in free speech for anyone but pirates.)"

          Even if you pirate, I even support it for assholes like you. I would wish you'd not use that right to lie about people, but that's your choice. It's a choice that comes with a penalty, but you're free to use the same free speech to whine about those too.

          Now, are you prepared to enter the land of the mature adult, or is this the best you have?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Nov 2015 @ 5:13am

      Re:

      Do your knees ever get sore from all the copsucking you do?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Nov 2015 @ 6:08am

      Re:

      So are cashiers at the convenience store also impacted because the cameras are watching them constantly?
      How are they supposed to do their jobs properly when they're constantly being watched?

      How about bank tellers?

      Why do cops get sympathy about being filmed when there's plenty of other occupations that have been filmed constantly for years?

      If cops are being portrayed in a less than flattering light, then let me suggest that instead of blaming the camera, you address the behavior, and stop defending it as if they're the victims. They have the same options as the cashiers and tellers if they don't like being recorded - find another line of work.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Nov 2015 @ 7:03am

      Re:

      Whenever I hear the stock accusation of Millennial entitlement the first thing that comes to mind is "No that's you/your generation!" It has proven accurate. Since selfish and entitled sounds like a pitch perfect description of someone who considers violations of the rights of others, including infants getting shot an indispensable part of protecting their own feeling of safety.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        tqk (profile), 3 Nov 2015 @ 6:53pm

        Re: Re:

        Whenever I hear the stock accusation of Millennial entitlement the first thing that comes to mind is "No that's you/your generation!" It has proven accurate.

        It is accurate, up to and including when you substitute "boomers" for "millennials." They're both sweeping generalizations, and "sweeping generalizations are *always* wrong." :-)

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Gwiz (profile), 3 Nov 2015 @ 8:09am

      Re:

      This may not be the "real" Whatever. Whatever claims that he doesn't usually comment when not logged in. The last time Whatever claimed this, the possible impersonator also used a phrase similar too "(you can click report now... I don't care!)."

      https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20151024/13071032616/comey-sells-ferguson-effect-blames-sp ikes-violent-crime-citizens-with-cameras.shtml#c892

      You all might have been trolled on this thread.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        sorrykb (profile), 3 Nov 2015 @ 8:18am

        Re: Re:

        This may not be the "real" Whatever. Whatever claims that he doesn't usually comment when not logged in.

        The Whatever that can be named is not the true Whatever.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 3 Nov 2015 @ 9:07am

        Re: Re:

        "Stinky stinky PaulT" isn't even close to the real Whatever's style. I just can't decide if this a half-wit that idolizes him (doubtful), or someone trolling him (probably).

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 3 Nov 2015 @ 4:46pm

        Re: Re:

        Somehow, I doubt it. He covers the exact same bull that Whatever covers, and Whatever's posted the same sort of downvote martyrdom before.

        And, of course Whatever would claim that he doesn't comment when not logged in. He made the same claim in the previous Funniest/Insightful thread. He's obviously not going to own up to his own trolling; Whatever is bobmail from Torrentfreak who got banned after trolling there.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Anonymous Coward, 3 Nov 2015 @ 8:15am

      Re:

      “en·ti·tled
      inˈtīdld,enˈtīdld/
      adjective
      believing oneself to be inherently deserving of privileges or special treatment.
      "his pompous, entitled attitude"

      So, what is it that millennials aren’t entitled to? First Amendment expression of opinion? Is there another generation that did not express this same entitlement during their formative years? Are you entitled to deny their right to an entitlement expressed by the constitution? Are you entitled to be a constitution denier?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      a concerned citizen, 3 Nov 2015 @ 11:48am

      Re: (you can click report now... I don't care!).

      You can be very funny when you out a little effort into it. Good job.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    David, 3 Nov 2015 @ 5:45am

    What libel?

    This arrest was followed up by the police department issuing a press release falsely stating Valentin had been arrested in connection with a heroin trafficking investigation. In fact, he was never a suspect and was never charged with any drug-related violations. Because of this bogus press release, Valentin lost his job. He is now suing the involved officers for over $1 million, citing a list of constitutional violations and libel-related complaints.

    This slight mischaracterization was not "libel". The main point, namely that he is too stupid or stubborn to get out the way of U.S. police forces, remains fully relevant.

    "Does not bother to understand the actual chain of command" is quite a disqualification for most jobs. If your boss, in this case the U.S. police, says "jump", you "jump". And if you don't get it after a gun, incarceration, and state prosecutors have been pointed at you, you are no material for a U.S. worker.

    Try returning to the Europe of your ancestors. Lacking slave labor and large-scale stealing of land and other natural resources from previous natives, they had to deal with some more focus on working class rights, including the right to affordable justice, in the last centuries.

    Whereas the U.S. more or less stopped the clock.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 3 Nov 2015 @ 6:06am

      Pick up that can

      And another authoritarian comes out of the woodwork to defend the police... I'd be more surprised if it didn't happen every single time police misconduct and corruption was mentioned on TD.

      This slight mischaracterization was not "libel".

      It was neither 'slight', nor a 'mischaracterization', it was a deliberate lie, and one with serious consequences. His bogus arrest had nothing to do with the drug investigation, it was solely because he attempted to film the cops on the scene, said scene being his house.

      "Does not bother to understand the actual chain of command" is quite a disqualification for most jobs.

      The police work for the public, not the other way around, so your 'chain of command' is dead backwards. They're there to enforce the laws, not make them up on the spot as was the case here, and people have every right to refuse an unlawful order, whether the one giving it has a badge or not.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Nov 2015 @ 6:47am

      Re: What libel?

      Unless you're a police officer, the U.S. police are not your boss. You say "show me the warrant", and the police show you the warrant or else they are conducting and illegal search and seizure. If you are in public, or on your private property, you record them however you wish and they shut up and take it, or else they are violating your first amendment rights.

      Do cops like to make trouble for people who exercise their rights? Sure, this is an example of that. That does not suddenly make the cops the boss. It means the cops are disobedient employees who need to be slapped down.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      beelzebud (profile), 3 Nov 2015 @ 7:28am

      Re: What libel?

      What makes you think Europeans didn't take the land from someone? Did you make up a rule of that ? Are you really going to be that ignorant?

      How long did the Romans, Franks, Spanish, Portuguese and British kept slaves? Am I suppose to trust your statement about Libel when everything else you stated was skewed?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        David, 3 Nov 2015 @ 7:44am

        Re: Re: What libel?

        Strike 3. U.S. citizens, you are out.

        What's wrong with you? That was not a curve ball. It was straightforward sarcasm, and you're the third in a row taking it at face value. How did all y'all get brainwashed into taking stuff like that literally?

        How did the authorities come to deserve model citizens like you?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          That One Guy (profile), 3 Nov 2015 @ 7:58am

          Re: Re: Re: What libel?

          If people aren't recognizing your post as sarcasm, it's because they've likely run across multiple examples where people make those very same type of arguments, except dead serious.

          Still, the sign of a good Poe is that you can't tell the difference, so if you really were going for a Poe there, I'd say you nailed it.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 3 Nov 2015 @ 7:51am

        Re: Re: What libel?

        The 3-8% of Neanderthal genes in all Europeans shows the land there also had natives.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          David, 3 Nov 2015 @ 8:27am

          Re: Re: Re: What libel?

          Sure, and there still is a yearly prize for efforts unifying Europe in the tradition of Karl the Saxon Slayer who had his own way of spreading Christianity.

          So we don't really need to go back to the Stone Age to find distasteful bits of history.

          But all in all, Europe is sort of happy to have left the Dark Ages behind. As well as the worst exploits of the Industrial Revolution.

          Whereas in the U.S. the belief that people should serve the money rather than the other way round is still a fundamental tenet of the citizen belief system.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      arnold palmer, 3 Nov 2015 @ 11:51am

      Re: What libel? slow clap

      Well done sir or madam, you win the prize over whatever.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Dan (profile), 3 Nov 2015 @ 5:55am

    This arrest was followed up by the police department issuing a press release falsely stating Valentin had been arrested in connection with a heroin trafficking investigation.

    Was the press release (based on your characterization here) misleading? Absolutely. But false? I don't think so. Based on your description of the events, yes, his arrest was "in connection with" the heroin investigation. A somewhat lengthy and attenuated connection, to be sure, but a connection nonetheless.

    What was he arrested for? Recording the cops. Why was he recording the cops? Because they were in his home. Why were they in his home? To investigate heroin trafficking. Thus, he was arrested in connection with the heroin investigation.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 3 Nov 2015 @ 6:16am

      Re:

      Not really. His arrest had nothing to do with the drug investigation, as the 'justification' was completely separate from it, and instead stemmed completely from an action he had done, that being attempting to record them.

      For example, had they been in the area for some other reason, crime related or not(maybe there was a sale at a nearby store), he took out his camera when they approached, and they arrested him for that, would that mean his arrest was 'in connection with a shopping run'? No, they were just in the area. What if it had happened in a completely different part of the city, nowhere near his house? Would them arresting him near a fishing store mean his arrest was 'In connection with fishing equipment'?

      They didn't arrest him because of anything related to the drug investigation, they arrested him because he tried to film them, and yet they deliberately made it seem like his arrest was related to the drug investigation, most likely out of sheer spite.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 3 Nov 2015 @ 9:20am

        Re: Re:

        He was in a drug-producing city, and (inherent in the very act of returning to his own residence) had used a drug-corridor. They shouldn't just have arrested him, they should've seized everything he owns under civil forfeiture guidelines.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 3 Nov 2015 @ 6:58am

      Re:

      So, how many degrees of separation is acceptable?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Dan (profile), 3 Nov 2015 @ 10:08am

        Re: Re:

        I didn't address "acceptable" one way or the other. I just said that I don't believe the statement as reported in the article above is, strictly construed, false. I'll readily agree that it makes it sound like Valentin was arrested on drug-related charges, but it doesn't actually say that. The press release can legitimately be criticized for any number of reasons, but I don't think libel's going to stick.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 3 Nov 2015 @ 2:38pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Strictly construed" is not often necessary in libel cases. It is very easy to write sentences which are libelous, but are not "strictly construed," false. For example, rather than use a name, use pronouns that have unclear antecedents.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Nov 2015 @ 10:44am

      Re:

      In that case, the individual cops involved won't mind an international press release stating that the judge has sided against them (names listed) in a case connected with heroin trafficking, correct?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Nov 2015 @ 6:08am

    Police Officers do NOT have any kind of expectation of privacy unless they are in a police station in an area that is not deemed to be a public accessible area, in their own home, bathroom or locker room.

    The police officer doesn't even have the expectation of privacy in the residence of a civilian. The only person who can claim 'expectation of privacy' is the person or persons who are legal residents living in that home.

    The court was right in its decision. The cops were trying to bootstrap the charges against Valentin, in order to get something to stick, so they could arrest him. Police officers do not have the legal right to bootstrap charges in order to detain or arrest someone and the courts recognized that very fact.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    limbodog (profile), 3 Nov 2015 @ 6:42am

    I've got jury duty in Boston this month

    Oh how I wish it was going to be for a case like this.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      David, 3 Nov 2015 @ 3:27pm

      Re: I've got jury duty in Boston this month

      Juries decide on matters of fact, not matters of law. To deal with the harebrained legal theories of the state prosecutors is the privilege of the judge.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Nov 2015 @ 6:59am

    I would have sued for $50 million to make up for the fact that I lost my job.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Mason Wheeler (profile), 3 Nov 2015 @ 7:19am

    In Massachusetts, the wiretapping law criminalizes all secret recording of conversations, even those that take place in public.

    How does that make any sense at all? A wiretap violation has two essential components that are right there in the name. You must first have a wire, a technological device that establishes a communication channel between a limited number of parties, with a reasonable expectation of privacy. You must also have a tap, a technological device that breaches the privacy of the wire's communications channel. If a conversation takes place in the open air where anyone can listen in, there is no wire to tap.

    How did a statute like this not get immediately shot down by the nearest court for being too ridiculous for anyone to take seriously?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Nov 2015 @ 7:20am

    A million ain't much I think he should have went for five plus , after attorney fees he'll end up with squat , and to hell with his employer for not having his back.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Nov 2015 @ 8:14am

    If cops must be informed when they are being recorded they will/can never legally get caught doing anything wrong.

    Also if a cop is in my house within the capacity of his authority then I should have every right to secretly record him. If they planned on doing something wrong they will either not do it knowing they are being recorded or seek to stop me from recording them. That's ridiculous. There should always be the possibility of a cop being legally caught for doing something wrong. It should not be made illegal for a cop to get caught on camera doing something wrong and if it's illegal to record a cop without them knowing under a specific circumstance then that's essentially a situation where it's effectively illegal to catch a cop doing something wrong. The law should make it illegal under no circumstances to catch a cop doing something wrong. That makes absolutely no sense.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Kevin, 3 Nov 2015 @ 11:57am

    Good Lord, why do I keep coming back to this site? I'm always so angry at our government by the time I leave.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Nov 2015 @ 12:32pm

      Re:

      Best to know what is happening to prepare for what will come. This has all happened before and is rather well documented thankfully. Sadly most prefer to think "it can't happen here" and stay willfully blind to the reality

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    INOC | Network NOC, 3 Nov 2015 @ 1:36pm

    Wiretapping

    Thanks for focusing on a topic that can offer valuable information for people. There are authorities who are abusive and it is good to know that there are laws that can spare their victims from further trouble. Wiretapping Law is an important issue and there are certain aspects about it that one must pay attention to in order to make sure that it will be put to valuable use.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    JT, 3 Nov 2015 @ 1:53pm

    What brave policemen

    They should be commended for not shooting the dog in my opinion....

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Justme, 3 Nov 2015 @ 5:44pm

    A bit off topic. . .

    What right do they have to seize his security camera's, he is not the suspect and it's his house. Can they also take his new 60" television or his new high end stereo equipment. They are all equally unrelated to the suspect, crime, or the execution of the warrant!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Nov 2015 @ 10:11pm

      Re: A bit off topic. . .

      they have guns and badges and a corrupt organization behind them. what does he have at that moment to protect him when the "protectors" are the ones assaulting and abusing him?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Nov 2015 @ 8:06pm

    The reputation of US police is going down worldwide by ...

    ... their own actions.

    Reported a couple of days ago here in Australia - the sexual predation of civilians (particularly women) by police officers across the US.


    When reports like that get noticed by foreign nations then one can only expect the reputations of the various US police forces to go down.

    It is often enough remarked here that even though the police here can be bad enough, we have to consider ourselves lucky we don't live in the US.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Nov 2015 @ 5:01am

    How dare you record us in our property......i mean your property!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Agent76, 5 Nov 2015 @ 9:56am

    How America Was Lost

    January 4, 2015 How America Was Lost: from 9/11 to the Police/Warfare State

    “Americans need to understand that they have lost their country. The rest of the world needs to recognize that Washington is not merely the most complete police state since Stalinism, but also a threat to the entire world. The hubris and arrogance of Washington, combined with Washington’s huge supply of weapons of mass destruction, make Washington the greatest threat that has ever existed to all life on the planet. Washington is the enemy of all humanity.”—Paul Craig Roberts

    http://www.veteransnewsnow.com/2015/01/04/513867a-review-of-paul-craig-roberts-how-america-wa s-lost-from-911-to-the-policewarfare-state/

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Agent76, 5 Nov 2015 @ 11:53am

    OCTOBER 19, 2015 The People’s Campaign: The Real Hastert Case- All in One Place

    OCTOBER 19, 2015 The People’s Campaign: The Real Hastert Case- All in One Place

    Let’s Counter the Complicit US Media with Our Own!

    Update: Dennis Hastert Pleads Guilty in Hush Money Case We have been singlehandedly covering The Real Hastert Case here at Boiling Frogs Post.

    https://youtu.be/pwQCf02aqI0

    http://www.boilingfrogspost.com/2015/10/19/the-peoples-campaign-the-real -hastert-case-all-in-one-place/#sthash.ufllH1Rt.dpuf

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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