A Massachusetts man who was arrested on wiretapping charges for videotaping a cop during a traffic stop had his charges dropped last month.
Eli Damon was stopped on March 20 after he was riding his bicycle in the middle of the street. He had a video camera strapped to his helmet, not unlike Anthony Graber did when he was stopped on his motorcyle that same month.
Graber’s case was thrown out last month as well, indicating that judges are not buying into the mentality that videotaping police in public constitutes illegal wiretapping.
However, authorities still have not returned Damon’s confiscated camera, even though the charges were dismissed on September 14.
This is how he explains it on his blog:
The district attorney’s office is holding on to the possibility of appealing. It has thirty days from when the decision was issued in which to file for an appeal. That means that the appeal period will expire on 10/14/2010. The district attorney’s office will not give me my camera back until the appeal period expires.
We can also see cell phone footage that the officer recorded of Damon riding his bicycle in the middle of the street.
Massachusetts law does not permit people to secretly record others in public without their consent, but Damon had the camera on his helmet, making it anything but a secret.