Massachusetts Woman Arrested for Wiretapping After Openly Recording Cop - PINAC News
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Massachusetts Woman Arrested for Wiretapping After Openly Recording Cop

A woman in Massachusetts was arrested on wiretapping charges after she openly recorded a cop, which once again shows cops are clueless about the laws they are supposed to enforce.

After all, the state’s wiretapping law makes it a crime to secretly record others, even if they don’t have an expectation of privacy.

However, holding the recording device in plain view, even if the person does not verbal state they are recording, is lawful.

That was settled in the landmark Glik vs Boston case in 2011, which stated the following:

The officers protest that Glik’s use of a cell phone was insufficient to put them on notice of the recording. They note that a cell phone, unlike the tape recorder used in Hyde, has numerous discrete functions, such as text messaging, internet browsing, video gaming, and photography, and thus the fact of an individual holding out a cell phone in front of his body is of indeterminate significance. The argument suffers from factual as well as legal flaws. The allegations of the complaint indicate that the officers were cognizant of Glik’s surveillance, knew that Glik was using his phone to record them in some fashion, and were aware, based on their asking Glik whether he was recording audio, that cell phones may have sound recording capabilities. The fact that a cell phone may have other functions is thus irrelevant to the question of whether Glik’s recording was “secret.”

Unfortunately, the reporter from the Patriot Ledger, who wrote the story about the woman arrested by Braintree police inside a shopping mall, took the word of police that it is against the law to record a person if they do not consent to it.

As Petrino and Distasio walked away, she was holding her cellphone in front, close to her chest, apparently recording the exchange, Holt said. That violates plaza policy and state law – which state that a person who is being recorded must know that it is being done and must consent to it.

The reporter is obviously a mouthpiece for the local police department, which is not unusual for the mainstream media. The fact that he mentioned that the woman was in violation of “plaza policy” shows that he is trying to paint the woman as guilty as possible.

A glance through the mall’s website indicates that it is unlikely they would try to have a person arrested for simply recording because they seem very tech-friendly if you read through their “services and amenities” section where they offer free wi-fi and charging stations.

Even then, they would have to ask her to leave, then have her arrested for trespassing. Violating mall policy is not an arrestable offense.

The reporter, Lane Lambert, is has been working for the Patriot Ledger since 1988, according to his LinkedIn profile, so there is no excuse not to know the specifics of the state’s wiretapping law.

The fact that the Braintree police officer arrested the woman for wiretapping before discovering she was in possession “illegal possession of oxycodone and other prescription drugs,” likely means those charges will be thrown out because the cops had no probable cause to search her in the first place.

Despite his efforts to paint her as a criminal, it is obvious the woman was arrested for contempt of cop. Not even Lambert could hide that fact.

A Wrentham woman was arrested at South Shore Plaza Tuesday night after allegedly using her cellphone to record a verbal exchange with a Braintree police officer.

Pamela Jean Petrino, 49, was charged with unlawful wiretapping, disorderly conduct and illegal possession of oxycodone and other prescription drugs. She was arraigned Wednesday in Quincy District Court.

The police report that is part of Petrino’s case file says the incident began shortly after 7 p.m. Tuesday outside the mall’s Victoria’s Secret clothing store.

Officer Blake Holt said in his report that he recognized Petrino from a Dec. 30 incident at a cellphone accessory kiosk at the mall. At that time, Petrino tried to keep shoppers from the kiosk because she “hadn’t gotten satisfactory service” there, Holt said.

Holt said in the report that on Tuesday night, Petrino appeared to recognize him, and that a verbal exchange soon began. He said that as the exchange got sharper, she accused him of inappropriately touching her daughter Dec. 30.

As Petrino and Distasio walked away, she was holding her cellphone in front, close to her chest, apparently recording the exchange, Holt said. That violates plaza policy and state law – which state that a person who is being recorded must know that it is being done and must consent to it.

The fact that the cop noticed she was recording automatically nulls the arrest.

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