Home / Crime / 16 Years in Prison for a Video of a Police Officer Acting Nutty
Print Friendly and PDF

16 Years in Prison for a Video of a Police Officer Acting Nutty

Written by Gary North on June 21, 2012

How would you feel if you had posted a video of a trooper’s improper actions in arresting you, and you are now in court facing a 16-year prison sentence?

Be patient. It may happen to you.

It happened to Anthony Graber, a Maryland Air National Guard staff sergeant. What did he do? He posted a video of actions by an arresting Maryland highway patrolman.

Here is what the trooper did. He was in an unmarked car. He cut off Graber, who was on a motorcycle. Then he approached Graber in plain clothes. He had pulled out a gun. He was yelling.

This was before he identified himself as a law-enforcement officer.

Graber had a camera in his motorcycle helmet. He posted the video on YouTube.

The police later raided his home. They seized his computers.

Then they locked him up for 26 hours.

Then they took him to court.

They have accused him of wiretapping. Maximum sentence: 16 years.

Wiretapping? What wires?

The video constitutes a wire. Here is how the government argues. The audio aspect of a video violates the wiretap law. Why? Because this is a private conversation. The person with the camera/smart phone must get permission from the officer before posting the video on YouTube.

Will this hold up in court? We don’t know.

Maybe if you get into a situation like this, you should not include the audio portion of the video. You can summarize what you heard. Do a voice-over.

We never heard what the L.A. police were saying to Rodney King as they beat him. Sometimes actions speak louder than words. Video is great for recording action.

The police are on the defensive. This will increase.

But they can threaten people in the meantime. They can bankrupt them with court costs.

Watch the video.

(For stories like Graber’s, click the link.)

Continue Reading on www.time.com

Print Friendly and PDF

Posting Policy:
We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, vulgarity, profanity, all caps, or discourteous behavior. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain a courteous and useful public environment where we can engage in reasonable discourse. Read more.

40 thoughts on “16 Years in Prison for a Video of a Police Officer Acting Nutty

  1. I guess that since the top cop in the U.S. doesn't have to obey the law that they don't either. Just another case of a cop that whigged out before his brain engaged and now they want to cover it up. Is it my imagination, or is this happening a little too often these days?

  2. Isn't that exactly what their video cameras do to us, except they turn them off when they want to.

  3. That would not happen in Texas, where any person may record any phone conversation (vocal recording) as long as ONE of the people in the conversation knows it is being recorded. This is a Northeastern mentality problem where the right to self-defense, ANY self-defense, is at the behest of the Police/Government and not the individual. I doubt seriously a jury of this man's peers will convict him, but the cost of his defense will be considerable. On the other hand, he should have submitted this to the proper LEGAL authority first, like it or not. Also, if the laws in Maryland are screwed up (and they are) get them changed. Isn't that what Mr. Obama's entire administration is all about? Hope and Change… or is it Hope THEY'LL Change?

  4. As a postscript, all the charges against Graber were not only dismissed, but the judge maintained that people have the right to videotape public servants.

  5. I dated a gentleman when I lived in Houston. He told me that he use to work with the PD when he lived in Maryland. He told me Maryland has the most corrupt police force in the US and Louisiana is the second most corrupt police in the US.
    So, nothing surpises me. My son is right, honest citizens have no rights. Only the criminals and illgal gangs and drug lords have rights. Either prepare yourself for what's coming or else we will find ourselves in one of the concentration camps already in place right here in the US.

  6. James Farrell says:

    That officer is lucky he was not SHOT by his stupid actions….I'd be damned if I would jump out of an unmarked car with a gun in my hand…I know people that would have shot his ass before his second foot hit the pavement…and rightly so thinking they were under attack by some vigilante. This police state mentality is going to come to a screeching halt at some point….don't these dumb asses learn anything after Rodney King? Live by the sword…die by the sword, what a sad state of affairs. As for Maryland…what a joke….AND broke.

  7. Ricky Raider says:

    Boy that FOOL officer would have had at least 6 —45 cal hollow -points in him by the time his second foot hit the pavement if he had pulled that stunt on me .. And right since the Obummer Klown is in control too mant swo -called law persons think they are in NAZI Germany LOL ignorant ghetto scum .

  8. oldgringo says:

    This is what is known as tactics of a National Police State….Most Americans refuse to believe someting like this could happen in the good old USA….However it is happening more and more on a daily basis no thanks to Homeland Security, the Patriot Act and the National Defense Authorization Act recently signed into law by Barack Obama…..The commies albeit fascism have taken control of the United States with the intent of irradicating the civil liberties of American citizens!…."When will They ever Learn"?….Peter, Paul and Mary.

  9. The largest street gang in America. Remember when they were hired to protect and serve? Now we need protection from them. I good friend served some jail time for " attempting to run over a policeman" also "for attempting battery on a policeman". He had no video, but his parents hired a well known investigation group to look into it. They presented evidence, that the car was stopped when the police started shooting at it, the man was on the ground, and curled up into the fetal position when they shot him several times. The doctors letter stated that every shot had entered him while he was in that fetal position, witnesses told a very different story about what they had seen as compared to the police version. After his second trial he was released, and the police were ordered to pay him a handsom sum. Protect and serve??? Yea right.

  10. Bill McCroskey says:

    The Maryland State Police created a thousand times more 'publicity' for this video by harrassing the poster of it than by ignoring it. "It's not the crime ….it's the cover up" (pursuit of the poster in this case.) A.G. Eric Holder may soon find this out.

  11. Max Penn says:

    The 1st amendment guarantees freedom of speech. And that covers writen, photo, sound. Wire taping is only via phone. But with the Nazi's in control of our goverment anything goes..

  12. From The Policeone.com website: http://www.policeone.com/legal/articles/5686435-C

    The video quickly went viral.

    A few weeks later, a state’s attorney in Maryland charged Graber, a staff sergeant in the Maryland Air National Guard and a computer systems engineer, with violating the state’s wiretapping laws. Noted Judge Emory Plitt, a former prosecutor and popular lecturer on law enforcement legal issues, dismissed the charges.

    Judge Plitt observed: “Those of us who are public officials and are entrusted with the power of the state are ultimately accountable to the public. When we exercise that power in public fora, we should not expect our actions to be shielded from public observation.”

  13. Anonymous says:

    Cases like this are why everybody needs to know about the Fully Informed Jury Association, and nullification. If you think the law is a bad law, you can always vote to acquit, and if enough other people think so, nobody will ever be able to be convicted of breaking that bad law. This is yet another of the checks and balances to ensure that government doesn't become too tyrannical. We need a lot more jury nullification, and we need it in this case.

  14. submit, bow, scrape…. police are there to "protect and serve" citizens. WHY are they so sensitive about their actions being made more public? Seems they've either got something to hide, or something to prove.. both? Good idea, though, posting the video but without the actual original recording… voice over, subtitles, something…. in this case, the visual without audio would be even more incriminating. this cop had a burr under his saddleblanket, and a swelled head. No need to pull a gun…. consider how the "suspect" would take this…. unmarked car, no special plates, plainclothes individual comes roaring out of his car, gun drawn, and screaming… lethal force presented with no justifiable cause….. had the guy been packing, I could see him meeting lethal force with lethal force… was the guy trying to heist his ride, shoot him as a nutcase, what WAS his intention? Hard to say….

  15. Texas Chris says:

    If he's have pulled a gun and killed the cop he's have gotten less than 16 years, if he'd have even been convicted.

    A guy cuts you off in traffic, jumps out of his car waiving a gun in TEXAS and he's likely to get shot by multiple drivers.

  16. IGotAComment says:

    Hey … two questions.

    What happened to the policeman (I use the term loosely as I know a lot of good officers). Is he being retrained to properly work with society? Did they slap his hands? or pat him on the butt and say 'Do it again Buddy.'

    Also … has the prosecutor been been reprimanded or did he get a pat on the bottom also?

  17. Colonialgirl says:

    I think this police officer NEEDS to be either severely reduced in rank or completely fired for violating EVERY standard that a police officer should follow. #1 was pulling his gun in a traffic stop when there was no hint of ANY threat, #2 was doing a traffic "stop" in an UNMARKED vehicle while OUT of Uniform; #3 is NOT having a badge or other form of ID as a Law Enforcement Officer visible.
    I think the guy should find a good TORT Lawyer and sue for the violation of his rights and the illegal activities of that police officer. What a thug hiding behind a badge.

  18. Sylencer1982 says:

    How about this: It occurred in a public place (the street). There is no expectation of privacy. You can record anyone doing anything in public and there's not a lot they can do about it.

  19. Shouls read "What a wuss hiding behind a badge"…..

  20. AD Roberts says:

    Maryland is out of control. I have heard of other excesses occurring in that state. I guess being so close to DC, they are ahead of the game in violating our rights and liberties.

    JOin with me. BOYCOTT Maryland. Don't even buy ANYTHING in their state. Maybe money will get their attention. Probably not. They are after control. Absolute control.

  21. AD Roberts says:

    Guns and ammo. With the way things are now adays, if you talk to a friend or try to organize any group for self protection, you will wind up being accused of being a domestic terrorist. Our best hope is the the Oath Keepers continue to grow and they will step up and fight the corruptions of judges, police and Obama.

  22. AD Roberts says:

    Lawyers will not work without a big chunk of money up front. What would have happened if the parents had not had the money to hire that investigation group. He would still be in jail. If this continues, there will be people who start fight the police. And that is bad. Not all officers are bod. One such good officer was just doing his job and doing only what was allowed when he arrested a motorcyclist. But the other officer went bizerk. The black police chief fired both of them. After all, they were white and therefore deserved to be fired according to the racists in charge.

  23. The police are armed and dangerous. What business does this a–hole have, jumping from his vehicle weapon drawn, when no appearent threat exists. This is the kind of cop that will end up shooting someone for no good reason

  24. Willaim1 says:

    OK if this is true the n the kid who video his roommate having sex with another man OUGHT TO ALSO BE STILL IN JAIL!

  25. Hopefully both of them got a "pat on the bottom" from their supervisors- each one with a #10 Boot with steel toes multiple times…

  26. So does this mean we can sue them for the dash board cams in almost every police vehicle using the same argument that it is a private conservation ? ACLU needs to focus on real issues like this instead of most of the crap cases they stir up. On a public road there should be no privacy issues. This just shows you that we are heading for a police state if they get away with putting someone in jail for this. Everyone, including the police are responsible for their actions.

  27. PrincessPhilly says:

    I hope he turns around and sues the police department and the stupid police offficer who should be fired and jailed.

  28. PrincessPhilly says:

    We would be rid of one corrupt police officer then.

  29. RBCinTexas says:

    Our government is completely out of control – no ifs, ands or buts about it. The people MUST stand up against the tyranny that we have been placed under before we completely loose our freedom.

  30. Shocking! I'm surprise this is not bigger news for the main stream media.

  31. Why should the main stream media give this any attention? All they want are stories that teach us to kneel and submit, to forget our constitutional rights, to become obedient sheep, subservient to the almighty state. That's why the big eastern media moguls (remember, this happened in Maryland) back (c)bama almost unanimously. That's why the US communist party (yes, they're VERY alive and kicking) backs (c)bama too. And that's why the Chicago communist network set him up as its candidate to begin with.

  32. Only in America~! The 'Land of the Free' (and don't you ever forget it, Dude). Hell, you're so democratic in Amerika you even export your democracy—talk about forceful salesmanship—.
    Okay, so you have the occasional exception to the rules, no? Does one slightly bad (it all depends on viewpoint and perspective, doesn't it) egg ruin the whole box?

    Or: are you going to DO something about it?
    Good idea … let's post on WordPress. That'll scare them!!!
    Then we'll all end up in hoosegow for 16 years alongside ol' wossisname …

  33. Admiral America says:

    How can you have a private conversation with a public servant in public? Only in a Police State!

  34. The 'state gestopo in action.' Some of these goons are only on the police force because of their craziness.

  35. Abraham Obama says:

    You might be surprised to find out that a similar incident DID happen in Texas. A guy was riding with a helmet cam following a bunch of bikers. The cops pulled only this guy over and demanded his video because they wanted to use it as evidence. When he said no you need a court order to take personal property they arrested him. Don't think you are safe in Texas. The cops there can be just as corrupt.

  36. Abraham Obama says:

    Big talk from a little man. I hear that kind of crap all the time from redneck bozos like you. There was a Marked cop car right behind the motorcycle so no you or your buddies would not have shot anyone but would have likely been shot as soon as you brandished your weapon. You cannot fight the power of the police with violence it only gets you dead.

  37. Abraham Obama says:

    Yeah right Ricky BigMouth little Brain Raider. You would never have had time to pull your weapon because you would have needed to have it in your hands to be able to shoot him first and that cop coming up from behind would have taken you down. You think for a second you can get away with shooting a cop then you clearly are a moron.

  38. exactly correct. this officer had no lights, and did not properly identify himself, even if there was a marked car behind him. Did this officer think the piece of equipment on the helmet was a bird rest? did he ask him if he was recording? no, he didnt. and this was in a PUBLIC place, taping the actions of a supposed PUBLIC servant, so how would it be construed a PRIVATE conversation???? finally a judge got one right.

  39. No we have rights, but corrupt police and supposed public servants are used to getting their way with intimidation, and people let them get away with it. with todays technology (for those who can afford it) there is no reason, so long as you are not violating a valid law, that you should put up with this. they are there to PROTECT AND SERVE, and they dont do a good job at either in most large areas. we need to get people better armed so that punks wont be able to rule by intimidation, and police to do their jobs properly

  40. David weaver says:

    As a retired officer,I find this officers actions stupid. Also IF there was a marked unit behind the cyclist then THAT Marked Unit should have made the traffic stop. It's things like this and the fact that now they are trying to prosecute the man on a charge that seems trumped up that make all other Police look bad. The man was filming his own actions and the officer stopped him, there by injecting himself into the video. The man did not hunt th officer down to trick him into the film. I say make him pay the traffic fine for his stupid driving. drop the criminal case before they lose it and get this kind of videoing outlawed even for officers dash cam's.