Score one for the People

panopticon surveillance

A case that attracted nationwide attention has ended with the dropping of a felony wiretapping charge against a Carlisle, PA man who recorded a police officer during a traffic stop.

Cumberland County District Attorney David Freed said his decision will affect not only Brian Kelly, 18, but also will establish a policy for other police departments.

“When police are audio and video-recording traffic stops with notice to the subjects, similar actions by citizens, even if done in secret, will not result in criminal charges,” Freed said yesterday. “I intend to communicate this decision to all police agencies within the county so that officers on the street are better-prepared to handle a similar situation should it arise again.”

Freed’s decision came a week after the story caused a storm of criticism over Kelly’s May 24 arrest by a Carlisle police officer on the wiretapping charge, which carries a penalty of up to seven years in prison upon conviction.

What a relief : they can watch us but we can watch them, too. Good to hear “fair” is still somewhat fair.

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