Despite having to dish out a $19,000 settlement for arresting a man who videotaped police and despite an explicit memo from the city attorney stating that these arrests are bogus and won’t stand up in court, an Oregon police chief insists that these types of arrests will continue to happen.
It all boils down to each officer’s interpretation of the state’s wiretapping law, stated Beaverton Police Chief Geoff Spalding.
In other words, it all depends whether or not the officer chooses to make up the law on the spot as we’ve been seeing in so many recent cases.
Police charged with him the state’s wiretapping law even though they had no expectation of privacy as the law requires.
Vang was even narrating the scene, making it obvious that he wasn’t secretly recording them.
Nevertheless, they kept his camera for two months and when they finally returned it, the video had been deleted.
The incident prompted the Beaverton City Attorney to issue a memo to all officers stating that the wiretapping law requires an “expectation of privacy” in order for the arrest to be valid.
The attorney stated that because Oregon is a one-party consent state, the person doing the recording does not even have to inform them that they are being recorded. He advised that officers should just assume they are being recorded, especially when somebody is pointing a cell phone in their direction.
But Spalding believes his officers have the legal expertise to twist this law into their favor, which no doubt will result in even more settlements being dished out.
Send stories, tips and videos to Carlos Miller.