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Monday, August 15, 2011
Massachusetts Police Arrest Another Man On Wiretapping Charges
A Massachusetts man is facing five years in prison after secretly recording an argument between himself and a police officer who had pulled him over for a traffic infraction.
Robert E. Mansfield was charged with felony wiretapping after he walked into the police station asking police to rescind the citation for having an obstructed license plate because of a tinted cover.
At some point during his conversation with officers at the police station, he informed them he had recorded the argument between himself and the officer.
That was when they searched his car, found two cell phones and arrested him, according to thePatriot-Ledger.
Mansfield said he had no idea it was against then law in Massachusetts to secretly record somebody’s audio, even if that person is a public official conducting public business.
But ignorance of the law is no excuse for breaking it.
Unless, of course, you’re a police officer.
For example, a group of cops in Massachusetts who arrested a man in 2007 on wiretapping charges after he had videotaped them making an arrest in a public park are seeking qualified immunity against a civil lawsuit he has filed - claiming they had no idea it was legal to openly record cops in public.
The case is currently being reviewed by an appellate judge after another judge denied their motion to dismiss the suit on qualified immunity.