From the 2010 News Archive
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Prof. Graber Discusses Legality of Recording Police

Professor Mark Graber, a nationally recognized expert on constitutional law and politics, appeared on the Marc Steiner Show (WEAA-FM) on June 2 to discuss the constitutionality of videotaping police officers following recent high-profile cases. One case that Professor Graber discussed involved a motorcyclist who is being charged with violating Marylandís wiretapping laws after using a camera in his helmet to record a traffic stop, and posting the video on YouTube. The other, included the recording of an arrest of a woman at Preakness by a local bystander, who was ordered by one of the officers to turn off the camera.

"The real issue is whether it can be said that a police officer making an arrest has a reasonable expectation of privacy. Maryland can call, for statutory purposes, a police officer private, but it may not make the police officer private for constitutional purposes," Professor Graber said during the show. "We have case law in libel that seem to indicate that police officers are public officials whether or not theyíre labeled by state as public or private."

"Is there is some reason why a police officer has an interest in keeping the interaction with person they are arresting a secret? Obviously the reason canít be because we're doing something not quite kosher according to Miranda."

Professor Graber, who teaches Constitutional Law and a Constitutional History seminar at Maryland, is the author of Dred Scott and the Problem of Constitutional Evil (Cambridge University Press), Marbury versus Madison: Documents and Commentary (with Michael Perhac, CQ Press), Rethinking Abortion (Princeton University Press), and Transforming Free Speech (University of California Press). He has authored many articles examining constitutional law issues in leading academic publications including the Vanderbilt Law Review, Constitutional Commentary, Oregon Law Review, Maryland Law Review, Fordham Law Review, among others.


Posted by Carrie Oleynik

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500 W. Baltimore Street, Baltimore, MD 21201-1786 PHONE: (410) 706-7214 FAX: (410) 706-4045 / TDD: (410) 706-7714

Copyright © 2014, University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law. All Rights Reserved