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Friday, August 14, 2009

Lawyer/Prosecutor Afraid of Audio Recording Proof? Hmm, why?

ACLU Sues Prosecutor for Charging Kids With Recording Talk With Cops on Cell Phone
The Associated Press - August 14, 2009

PITTSBURGH, PA - The ACLU is suing the Allegheny County District Attorney's office, saying it wrongly charged a man with violating state wiretap law for recording police with a cell phone. The suit says Elijah Matheny, of Pittsburgh, and his friend had been looking for items discarded by University of Pittsburgh students leaving for the semester in April. School police asked Matheny's friend for identification as Matheny recorded the incident. An officer arrested Matheny for recording police without permission after checking with the prosecutor's office. A judge dismissed the charge in July. The ALCU says the First Amendment guarantees people a right to record police in public places. The suit was filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Pittsburgh.


ACLU says Pa. man wrongly charged in wiretap case / The Associated Press by Dan Nephin - August 13, 2009

PITTSBURGH, PA - The Allegheny County District Attorney's office wrongly charged a man with violating state wiretap law for recording police with a cell phone, the American Civil Liberties Union claimed in a federal lawsuit Thursday. The ACLU said law enforcement agents in Pennsylvania, Allegheny County in particular, have been misapplying the wiretap law.  "Unfortunately, many Pennsylvania law enforcement officers don't understand that the courts have said the state wiretapping law cannot be applied to punish people for recording police actions in public," Glen Downey, an attorney involved in the suit, said in a statement. The suit was filed on behalf of Elijah Matheny, of Pittsburgh, in U.S. District Court in Pittsburgh. It seeks unspecified damages, claiming police violated his civil rights.

According to the suit, Matheny and a friend were looking in a trash container for useable items thrown out by University of Pittsburgh students leaving for the semester in late April. A university property manager called police, who asked Matheny and his friend for identification. Matheny presented his, but when his friend said she didn't have any, police handcuffed her briefly while they checked her name. Matheny made an audio and video recording of the incident. An officer arrested Matheny for recording his voice without permission, the suit said. While Matheny was being held in a university holding cell, the officer checked with the district attorney's office, where an on-duty district attorney advised that Matheny had broken the wiretap law. In July, a judge dismissed all charges against Matheny, who also was charged with possessing an instrument of crime , the cell phone. Mike Manko, a district attorney's office spokesman, denied a claim in the suit that the office has a policy of advising officers to charge people who make audio recordings of police. But he said the office would have no further comment until it reviewed police reports from the case. Witold "Vic" Walczak, the ACLU's legal director in Pennsylvania, said the problem is surprisingly widespread, citing complaints in York, Philadelphia and suburban Pittsburgh. Walczak expects demonstrators at the Group of 20 global economic summit in Pittsburgh in September to use cell phones to record police. "Police have every right to arrest people if they destroy property or block passage, but police need to understand that they cannot arrest people simply for putting them on candid camera," he said.


Anonymous said...

You know, the truth (as in the REAL truth) really stings sometimes..... yes, most especially with dirty lawyers and prosecutors.

Anonymous said...

Some people don't like actual proof of the truth. He said- she said baloney, etc.

court watcher said...

Think about what the courts do. No one is permitted to take any recording device be it audio or video into a courthouse. Is it because the Judges et al. don't want citizens making a record of the corruption? What else could be the reason? I have asked Judges and court personel and all I ever get, if I receive any response is that's the rules! So what is the purpose of the rules? - self protection, no proof! Well what about it Judge Jonathan Lippman, what say you about these rules of your fiefdom?

Anonymous said...

you are so right, and if they think you may be recording them their demeanor is so much more pleasant, that is also why we do not get letters from our attorney stating what went on in pre-trial conferences, they keep cases ongoing in hope of settling to forego our rights, out of despair
continuing the cost of litigation would exceed any beneficial result......
bloodsucking bastards.........

Anonymous said...

the purpose-
to make clients settle os that no appropriate appeals can be made,
nothing in on the record and without out the record, no discovery, no hearings, no witness called, no testimony under oath, no evidence to put on the record
which results in no usable evidence in the record.......
if there is, it will be altered & not for your benefit.........
no usable evidence in the record
so an appeal without evidence is detined to fail............

oh our courthouse are so busy,
yeah right, altering records!

galison said...

Very important case!

We must all record every encounter with corrupt judicial thugs. When the swamp gets drained, we will have the tools to clean up the rancid tangled mess.

Make sure to keep copies of your recordings in separate places and with people you trust.

Check out how Alan Friedberg squirms like the eel he is when he thinks he's being recorded:

Thank goodness he WAS being recorded!

It was all too Surreal said...

After I had several conversations with Detective Arbuiso, I had to tape record him, because he kept telling me that "FAVORS" were getting called in and they (THE DA'S OFFICE) weren't allowing him to arrest Allen Isaac, who is clearly heard on an approx. One Hour 49 minute Audio/Video DVD tape admitting to his crimes!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

OCA and their judges and legal team do everything in their power to manipulate and instill fear into their employees and the public.
No cameras was a Kaye command that had NO PURPOSE ,but to keep the public from viewing the ANTICS of politically appointed supervisors...and there are way so many of those hostile and abusive people to ever describe here...judges who are abusive, screaming and disgustingly nasty to the public as well as the staff.....and also so the public could not know and report the judges that do not come to work... 6 months out of the year.
I know I worked there and saw it all...and watched Kaye and her "clan" subvert the justice system of NY state everyday from the time she busted into office.
The first witch to be punished at the stake...must be that hag!

Anonymous said...

To Galison @ 10:58 P.M.

So now we insult the eel??

I'm calling the A.S.P.C.A.... for animal rights...

The EEL ... Must not be slandered!!

Anonymous said...

so the law has to be changed that all courtroom activities can be recorded, all meetings with attorneys can be recorded and all telephone conversations with attorneys can be recorded......
but the real question remains even if you are able to prove corruption
who is going to respond and charge the suspects? who fines/prosecutes the corrupt?

Anonymous said...

As far as recording things, you all do know that there is no law which prohibits tape recorders, cameras or video cameras in a courthouse or courtroom?

This is something that Judith Kaye made up to violate everyone's rights. The constitution and the supporting law says (and has been upheld by the appellate courts and the court of appeals) that audio-visual recording for commercial broadcast is prohibited.

The courts have repeatedly upheld the right for everyone else to record all they want to.

That is until Kaye took over.

But Kaye and the OCA never let any minor detail, like a Constitution, stop them from doing whatever they liked.

Anonymous said...

Does it matter what the law is...? I had a Police Officer threaten to arrest me in my own house for taking a picture.....

Eliot Ivan Bernstein said...

They hate the light. Every phone call, every encounter with these corrupt officials should be covered with two or three videos and IN THEIR FACE. Let questions fly, record their arrogance and lies and then post it and then circulate it. They hate the light, so shine on. Love that guy from the New York State Bar at the Judiciary Hearings who tells Gallison he is giving him the finger, I mean, that should be linked all over his website, you tube, copies sent to every senator. Frank should start posting your videos and phone calls with the court clowns and jesters, etc. They hate the light.
Confront them in court houses, in front of their homes, to and from their cfr or federalist meetings, ask the hard, pipe hittin questions, and make them run, no comment or try to answer. Showing the public that these wizards of the courts of oz are nothing more than common criminals, is the key to destroying them, video them morning, noon and night, park outside their offices and video the whole debacle until they force you to turn it off. Of course have a backup rolling undercover style and keep rolling after that. They hate the light.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting works, glad you captured them to share with us!
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