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Massachusetts Man Charged with Wiretapping for Recording Cop

A Massachusetts man cited for driving ten miles over the speed limit last summer is now facing five years in prison for secretly recording a Shrewsbury police officer who pulled him over.

However, while state law specifically states that secretly recording people in public without their consent is a felony, the landmark Glik vs Boston ruled that citizens have a right to record cops in public.

And considering that Simon Glik was arrested under the same state wiretapping law as Irving J. Espinosa, it just might make it more difficult for prosecutors to convict him.

Of course, that all depends on whether or not he gets a lawyer willing to make this argument.

I reached out to Espinosa on Facebook last night but he has not yet responded (although he did accept my friend request), so there are still many unanswered questions to this incident, specifically the whereabouts of the recording.

The Shrewsbury Daily Voice said Espinosa was charged after he posted a video of the recording on Youtube under the title, “Shrewsbury Police Bad Cops,” but that video can no longer be found.

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According to officials, Espinosa-Rodrigue repeatedly questioned an officer during a traffic stop and said he couldn’t have been speeding because he had cruise control set at 45.

The officer gave a sarcastic reply, according to records, saying “Yeah, like I’ve got nothing better to do than to stop you.”

The exchange between Espinosa-Rodrigue and Scanlon during the stop was secretly recorded by a female passenger, law enforcement officials said. The recording was in violation of state law, officials said.

Scanlon was later told by another officer that there was a YouTube video entitled “Shrewsbury Police Bad Cops” and showed the traffic stop, officials said.

The beginning of the video showed Espinosa-Rodrigue allegedly instructing the female passenger how to use the recording device.

Also in Espinosa’s favor, a Massachusetts district attorney last year determined that the wiretapping law does not apply in situations when police do not have an expectation of privacy.

About Carlos Miller

Carlos Miller is founder and publisher of Photography is Not a Crime, which began as a one-man blog in 2007 to document his trial after he was arrested for photographing police during a journalistic assignment. He is also the author of The Citizen Journalist's Photography Handbook, which can be purchased through Amazon.