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.

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.

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  • Josh

    When will these idiots learn? Judges and juries need to start awarding victims of this harassment some hefty judgments to make LEAs stand up and take notice of what can happen to them when they violate our rights.

    • AFV

      Agreed. The people who enforce the laws should know the law. That simple.

  • Tom Markham

    I live 2 towns away from this town. I will avoid if at all possible.

    • sfmc98

      Perhaps you should do the opposite and engage. Its the only way things will change.





  • DaveJo

    no party, person or otherwise (camera/recorder etc.), can violate the duty of policy enforcement, nor breach the peace of a peace officer for he/she has the expectation of being scrutinized in performing there function of the government upon the people.

    the party has the right to post review any interaction by understanding that at the time and without legal councel he has the right to expect to not be intentionally deceived and to have all right to evidence (limited to availability, you can not use their evidence) as to his defense, and therfore must have the right to gather his own. otherwise the justice system is specifying it’s patrol for the people guards can be immune from being prosecuted for committing a fraudulent act outside the color of law because the parameters conclude that he has no right to object due to the particular circumstances at hand at that time so enforced.

    the presumption by any agent that the party does not object to their act simply because he believes he is obligated to comply with any order given is based soley on the understanding that the party is by contract at the time employed and performing an act/function of government.

    demand proof of contract for liability.

    I am not a lawyer. common law supercedes ALL other law.

  • Guy Fawkes

    I believe part of the Glik decision was that the cops had to be aware of the camera, which they were in his case. It looks like Espinosa had his girlfriend hide the camera. While I personally believe you SHOULD be able to record cops via hidden camera, as the assholes so frequently try to bully the camera from people when they see it and sometimes arrest them on bs contempt of cop charges, the law in Mass may not permit it.

    • Michael Fera


      Glik would not have been guilty under wiretap laws even if he had hidden the camera. You do have the right (with few exceptions) to secretly record police, as they have no expectation of privacy while performing their public duties.

      But, remember that Glik was the plaintiff in this case against the City. The city’s defense was “qualified immunity”. So, the city may have been granted immunity from civil liability if the recording had been secret, but that fact would not have made the act of recording illegal.

  • Joshua

    It will be interesting to see how this turns out. The Glik opinion is distinguishable because in that case the defendant was openly recording. The constitutional analysis should not change — in either case the officer has no reasonable expectation of privacy.

  • DaveJo

    upon review of i have concluded that it pertains only to persons who are employee’s of the government. inorder to apply this, the defendant must be tricked or deceived into claiming citizenship as such must be proven by the plaintiff inorder to suffice proof of juristiction to the claim.

    this would prove without doubt that at any and all times a citizen is a slave who has no rights to lawfully defend himself against the government bully.

  • $22798478

    I sure wish I was nearby that Town because I would specifically target that cop for recording just to piss him off.

  • John Priest

    Asshole cops will always charge people with this law! If they do not want to be recorded, then they should get a new profession!

  • Mike

    Lou Ferraro, the officer pictured in your photo, is the police chief of Shrewsbury, NJ, not Shrewsbury, MA. Maybe you should do some fact checking before you post things to the web.

    • Carlos_Miller

      It’s been changed

  • Jon Quimbly

    Doesn’t Glik mean this is settled case law now? Yes the wiretapping law is still on the books, but the prosecutor should toss this.

    If that doesn’t happen, Espinosa’s lawyer should have no trouble getting the judge to drop the case.

  • Doug

    Town cops are scary. They all seem to have huge chips on their shoulders, especially short cops.