Motorcyclist Arrested For Recording Cop Brandishing Gun

We won’t be crossing the Maryland State Police any time soon. As Anthony Graber recently found out, exceeding the speed limit and showboating on your bike can easily end with having a gun pulled on you, your personal property confiscated and a trip to the clink. Graber was enjoying the weather on his bike, admittedly speeding and popping wheelies, all the time recording his exploits via a helmet cam. When he slowed for a stoplight, a car pulled in front of the bike, and the driver exited the vehicle with a gun drawn, demanding Graber get off of his motorcycle.

Here’s where things go from bad to worse. Graber gets his citation and heads home, only to have the state police show up a few days later with a warrant for four computers, two laptops and his camera. Why? Turns out there’s a law against audibly recording someone without their consent. It’s a felony.

Full Story – HERE

The Video:

[youtube width=”560″ height=”340″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BHjjF55M8JQ[/youtube]

The problem I have with this:

  • The car is unmarked, has tint, and is not even a regular police car model
  • The officer not in uniform
  • The officer did not immediately display his badge
  • Took the officer a good 5 seconds to say “state police”.. and really why should that be believed?

I think it’s lucky the guy on the motorcycle didn’t freak out and take off, or else pull out a concealed gun of his own, because he probably would have got shot.

Also, I love how recording someone without consent is a felony… classic. :roll:

If the same thing happened to me, I would instantly think that the guy was some pissed off motorist that I cut off or something and that he was going to shoot me.  I definitely wouldn’t have stuck around to find out what was going to happen next.

Right at the end of the video you see a marked Maryland State Police car, but no siren or lights appear to be on.

UPDATE: there is a 2nd video HERE… it contains a bit more footage before and after, but the sound is cut out so we can’t tell if the siren was on.

Was it really necessary for the officer to pull his gun, rather than just flashing his badge and telling the guy to turn his bike off?  There doesn’t seem to be any sort of a threat that would warrant the gun coming out.

What do you guys think?

28 COMMENTS

JUMP DOWN ↓ TO ADD ANOTHER

Ikhlas April 20, 2010 at 01:14 am

they should suspend the officer for poor gun control or something..

Reply

Solomon April 20, 2010 at 01:33 am

I hope law enforcement is paying attention to this type of thing. Too many people have CCW’s for them to not identify themselves immediately.

This could have gone wrong so fast its not even funny. They’re probably both lucky to be alive.

Reply

claymore April 20, 2010 at 04:23 am

Driver was a jerk driving like that on a highway. The police officer did nothing wrong there is NO requirement for lights sirens or any other audible device when making a traffic stop. And so what if it had tinted windows????????

If you get off your high horse you will notice the weapon was never pointed at the biker and once the situation was under control it was returned to holster very quickly.

You don’t even know what was going on between the cops cars it could well have been a tactic used to get the biker stopped SAFELY as too many times they fly down the road to flee police and end up killing themselves or some innocent bystander.

So you get an unmarked to get close to the biker as they slow for traffic then pounce with the marked car. All in all good stop.

And it doesn’t matter what you think about the eavesdropping law in Maryland it’s on the books and has been for a long time if you don’t like it work to get it changed.

Reply

Raph84 April 20, 2010 at 08:27 am

Claymore…I want to give you the benefit of the doubt but that is just foolish. If this was a tactic to box him in the uniformed officer in the trailing car should have got out and interacted with the motorist (with or without the gun drawn). If an unmarked car forced me off the road and then pulled a gun on me I would likely take action (siren or not you can buy that stuff at any seedy spy shop).

An unmarked car should not be the primary on any traffic stop end of discussion

The eavesdropping law I’m sure was not passed to protect foolish police officers from embarrassment. Hopefully they will add an exception in the law allowing for recording of any publicly payed official be it cop or meter man.

On a side note the motorist needs to be charged with every traffic law possible…but finding a felony on the books to charge him with…drunk drivers get off lighter, that is just ridiculous

Reply

Freeman August 2, 2010 at 05:12 pm

The law itself was intended to protect communication when there is an expectation to privacy. It all falls under Maryland wiretapping laws, but aside from electronic communications part of the statute gives mention to interception of oral communication as well.
Graber is being charged with using an “interception device” to record audio of the conversation, in this case a helmet mounted camera.
The issue here, and the reason this will hopefully be thrown out of court, is that this exchange happened in a public place, involved a civil servant, and all traffic stops resulting in a citation in MD are in fact public domain.
At the end of the day there was absolutely no expectation to privacy in this matter, and hopefully a Judge will acknowledge that and act accordingly.

The largest issue here is that if you go by how the DA is attempting to interpret this law… it would mean anyone in the state who uses a video camera in a public place, and inadvertently capture ANY oral communication (without receiving permission to do so), is automatically guilty of a felony.
It would essentially make it illegal to use ANY device that was capable of recording audio… which is absolutely ridiculous. Are you supposed to go around asking every single person at your child’s little league game for permission to record the game prior to doing so? Wouldn’t that require having everyone sign a waiver in order to cover your ass in case there is ever an incident and you must defend your innocence?
It’s absolutely appalling any of this is even happening.

Reply

Pete April 20, 2010 at 10:15 am

So I guess your a sworn officer in Maryland then Claymore. Hey, if the guy wants to work off the clock for the public good go for it buddy, just last time I checked a traffic stop did not involve immediately pulling your weapon, if it is in Maryland, my bad…I’ll get my crabcakes somewhere else…

Reply

Mrphillyboy September 13, 2015 at 08:13 am

Are you an idiot claymore? The biker didn’t commit harm, loss or injury to a third party so no “crime” was commited! The idiot pig shouldn’t have drawn a gun at all for a simple traffic stop! I would have thought that I was being robbed if that was me and shoved that gun up his fucking arsehole! And the fact they tried to play the wiretapping law shows that there a bunch of bullys with very small dicks! Its scary to think there’s people like that cop and you on this planet who think its ok to abuse fellow human beings… Change will be coming for the better! Read up on common law… Its the only natural standing law people should abide by! Peace

Reply

Bryan S. April 20, 2010 at 06:00 am

I know in PA the statute says that one may record a conversation as long as there is no resonable expectation of privacy, ie, when in public, with a police officer (who is being recorded by dash cam at least) there is no reasonable expectation of privacy.

Reply

Rex April 20, 2010 at 06:21 am

This is why Maryland is the worst state in the union.

Hear me out. Maryland has all the shitty laws of California, but without the good weather and hot girls.

I mean, number 1 I should have the right to record any conversation I’m a participant of and number 2, police officers, like it or not, are public figures and should never have a ‘reasonable expectation of privacy’ when going about their official duties.

Finally, some guy in an under armor shirt and jeans, draws a gun and says “get off the motorcycle! get off the motorcycle!” the first thing I figure is I’m having my bike stolen. Had I been the guy, I would not have pulled over until the marked car (in the background) showed up. (Which, if I had to guess, is exactly what happened.)

To say “the police officer did nothing wrong there” is patently ridiculous.

I’m not saying the rider shouldn’t have been pulled over, or in fact defending the rider, but who will watch the watchmen, if not us? Especially those jackbooted thugs in the People’s Republic of Maryland.

Reply

Jesse April 20, 2010 at 06:53 am

I’d say you live in Maryland which as another Maryland resident call I can say is I feel your pain.

Also for those that say “What if he’d had a CCW” well he lives in Maryland, so he couldn’t. MD is not shall issue and the requirements to justify getting one are absurdly difficult. Police officers get denied all the time. They don’t have reciprocity with anyone so the MD police officer was fairly certain he wasn’t carrying… making the show of force even more unwarranted.

Reply

Solomon April 20, 2010 at 07:54 am

wow. cross Maryland off the list of states that i would consider living in. another Communist playground.

Reply

Will April 20, 2010 at 08:57 am

Well I’m glad the guy got pulled over by the cops. See shit like this all the time and pisses me off. Go find a track and pay to do stupid shit away from the general public. I hope they throw the traffic law book at him. As for the rest. Complete BS! The cop in the unmarked was being stupid and as you said, they are trying to cover his ass with this other BS charge. Cops need to be held accountable just like this guy needs to be held accountable for the actions he had control over.

Reply

Dave April 20, 2010 at 10:00 am

I’m curious if either of the police cars had their videos recording the incident… Isn’t that illegal based on the same law that makes it illegal for the bike rider to record the incident? If the police get off because it’s on a public highway with no expectation of privacy, then so should the bike rider.

As for the gun part, yeah, it’s messed up and they are both lucky it didn’t get out of hand. Did you notice when the bike passed the cop he wasn’t even going all that fast? What made the officer so mad?

And as for the traffic law part, yeah, impound his bike and fine him as much as you can. He’s a douche. Unfortunately in the overall situation though I think the officer in front gets to wear the douche crown.

Reply

Josh April 20, 2010 at 10:34 am

This guy certainly seems like he was acting like a moron and deserved to be pulled over. So while I don’t feel sorry for him in that respect, it certainly seems like the police officer was a little too quick to draw a weapon and a little too slow to identify himself as an officer. I can’t even believe that they would try to pursue this nonsense about recording someone without permission. I would think it would hinge on, as someone else mentioned, whether there should be any expectation of privacy or not. Let’s see, you’re on a public roadway, performing your duty as a public servant… I don’t think a police officer in those circumstances should have ANY expectation of privacy. In fact, a police officer, while performing their duties as such, should always perform them as if he were being recorded. It’s been in the back of my mind to get some type of camera like that for my car. Not only would the audio be useful if you ever had to dispute the conversation with police after a traffic stop, but I can certainly imagine the video could be useful to determine fault in a traffic accident. With the proliferation of digital cameras, pocket-sized video cameras, cell phone cameras, etc., it’s hard to claim any expectation of privacy when you’re out in public if you’re a regular citizen, let alone a police officer performing police work in public.

Reply

Raph84 April 20, 2010 at 12:07 pm

http://www.oag.state.md.us/Opinions/2000/85oag225.pdf Check out page 11 the heading 2. Willful interception.

The context of this report is for officers not your average citizen…but it seems the same rational would hold here. He did not know the recording was unlawful, and he did not intend to record the police (he intended to record his joyride)

Way to go Maryland Police make a simple embarrassing traffic stop (that could have been handled w/ some simple disciplinary action against the plainclothes/off-duty officer) into what could turn into a large lawsuit, and national news that will definitely make the department look even worse.

Reply

John Doe April 20, 2010 at 04:33 pm

I ride a sport bike but don’t do wheelies on the freeway…yes on a back road with nobody around.. okay sue me… I also carry a Glock40 when I ride and I have a permit. I have it under my arm…if someone gets out of a car and walks up to me and I see a gun…I will unzip my jacket slowly like nothing is going on and grap that pistol and put it in his face with my finger on the trigger. Why because it is my given right to bare arms so I do.. and we all have watched enough news to know there are crazy people out there so how do we know this is not one of them. If your a cop and your going to do something stupid like that prepare some day that a gun will be back in your face. To make matters worst most cops only shoot there gun once a year if that… I shoot on a team 3 to 4 times a month always using hundreds of rounds. I doubt I miss my target if you know what I mean

Reply

Josh April 20, 2010 at 04:59 pm

LMAO, thanks for the laugh! But wouldn’t your shooting team miss you if it were you that got pulled over in this instance and shot, if not by the cop in the unmarked car, then by the trooper in the squad car right behind the motorcycle? I’m not sure, but I think that cop might notice you unzipping your jacket slowly and reaching inside it.

I’ve seen enough reckless motorcyclists tearing around the public roadways that one less isn’t going to bother me at all, so don’t let me discourage you though. LOL

Reply

Jen May 2, 2010 at 12:28 am

The sad part about your comment is that although you do have a permit to carry and you didn’t see a badge, that cop could still kill you and they would find that it’s justified because you were reaching for a gun. It’s sad that when they’re given a badge they’re also given the right to bypass laws and cover it up. It’s like organized crime but the criminals are also the enforcers of the law.

Reply

Henry Bowman April 20, 2010 at 11:24 pm

I bet if you made a list of all the states in which police officers can record you any time they want but if you record them it’s a crime, you’ll come up with a handy list of most if not all of the little anal-retentive tinpot tyrannies in America. And they will be “blue states” all.

Reply

bryce April 20, 2010 at 11:27 pm

Dumb rider, Aggressive cop. At least the cop didn’t tackle the guy bike and all I have seen it done.
They took the video and computers not for some law but to prosecute the guy for all the stupid stunts that he was doing
the dumb ass videoed his own guilty verdict. (no your Honor that’s not me doing a wheelie at 90mph) yea right

Reply

Henry Bowman April 20, 2010 at 11:39 pm

And oh yeah — whatever happened to “you have no expectation of privacy in a public place?”

Reply

Josh April 20, 2010 at 11:56 pm

It might be worth noting that the law is against making an “audio recording.” I don’t think that there are separate laws that deal with telephone conversations or recording audio of an in-person conversation. It seems that the intent of the law is to prevent “secret” recordings of conversations (incidentally, 38 states allow recordings with the consent of only one party, so you can record your own conversations with people in those states). Going back to expectation of privacy, if you encounter someone wearing a helmet-cam, you could reasonably expect that it’s recording (given these circumstances anyway). After all, this wasn’t a hidden-camera situation. It also makes me think that if the video hadn’t included audio they wouldn’t even have been able to use this law (in error) as justification for a search warrant.

Reply

Will April 21, 2010 at 08:51 pm

Put yourself in the motorcyclist’s shoes. A guy hops out of his normal looking car and comes at you with a gun in his hand. How many people would have pointed that 450lb motorcycle at the guy and cracked the throttle? I’m betting a lot.
This cop screwed up and could have caused himself to get injured and cost the motorcyclist years in jail.
At the very least this police officer needs additional training. He should have been yelling, “State Police” when the gun came out instead of taking his time about it.
I’ll be honest about it. If a guy pulled in front of me, stopped the car and jumped out with a handgun my first thought would be he’s a nut with a road rage problem. See the comment above about pointing the bike at him and rolling on the throttle.

Reply

Ken April 22, 2010 at 10:52 pm

Both fail. Stunt biker has no excuse. Cop for not having his badge in plain view is asking for trouble. Would I take someones word saying they are a cop with a gun drawn first?Eh..unlikely. Would I be a fool doing what the biker was doing?No.Would I consider pulling my piece out on “some guy” coming at me unidentified? Possibly.Both are screw ups.

Reply

Jen May 2, 2010 at 12:20 am

That’s ridiculous. I agree he should have been pulled over and ticketed, but the gun pulled out? You can tell by the way the rider started backing the bike up that the guy scared the hell out of him. He was at a red light with his hands on the bars, even if he did have a weapon he wouldn’t have had time to pull it so why did the cop pull his? He should have had the badge in his hand, not the gun. The sweatshirt covered the badge at first I would have thought I was being car (or bike) jacked. Plus he’s wearing jeans? The marked cruiser should have been able to handle this on his own. Let’s just say that instead of the biker this happened to the car in front of him. Lets say the driver pulled out a gun and shot at the cop, the biker’s helmet cam got it all on camera. Do you think the biker would be charged for that felony then or praised for getting it on camera? I bet it would be admissible then if it was helping instead of hurting the police. While there are tons of good cops that really do play by the book, there are also plenty of A$$holes like this one that only have any balls with a gun in their hands. This video should be plastered all over youtube with the cop’s name shown through the whole video. Someone obviously needs to challenge that law requiring consent to tape something in public where no reasonable person would expect any privacy.

Reply

law May 26, 2010 at 06:44 pm

If you are not allowed to record audio in maryland as it can be defined as a criminal act, then every single police officer who has ever recorded any audio has by definition commited a criminal act, especially if they have not got prior consent or given the other party the option to decline being recorded. Ooops, :)

Reply

Don July 10, 2010 at 05:48 pm

The entire video is on youtube, albeit without audio. So besides the pop and speeding while passing the bus the guy was pretty much just keeping up with traffic. He was travelling same speed as the car with the bad paint when he passed the trooper in the divider. The rest of the time he LOOKS like he is going fast, but really barely passing. When he exits it looks like he is going fast as well, but you’ll notice he is not gaining on the vehicle in front of him.

Reply

LEAVE A COMMENT:

Previous post:

Next post: