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NH Man Arrested for Videotaping Police 1232

macinrack writes to mention a story about a New Hampshire man who was arrested for videotaping police on his doorstep, using a fairly standard security camera system. He was officially charged with 'two felony counts of violating state eavesdropping and wiretap law by using an electronic device.' From the article: "The security cameras record sound and audio directly to a videocassette recorder inside the house, and the Gannons posted warnings about the system, Janet Gannon said. On Tuesday night, Michael Gannon brought a videocassette to the police department, and asked to speak with someone in 'public relations,' his wife said and police reported. Gannon wanted to lodge a complaint against Karlis, who had come to the family's house while investigating their sons, Janet Gannon said. She said Karlis showed up late at night, was rude, and refused to leave when they asked him."
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NH Man Arrested for Videotaping Police

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  • by dakryx ( 646923 ) <> on Thursday June 29, 2006 @03:30PM (#15630333)
    Is it seriously to hard to atleast read the article summary to see signs were posted?
  • by konigstein ( 966024 ) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @03:35PM (#15630388) Homepage
    according to wcusurveillance [] on surveillance:

    "The laws of 13 states expressly prohibit the unauthorized installation or use of cameras in private places. In Alabama, Arkansas, California, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire , South Dakota, and Utah, installation or use of any device for photographing, observing or overhearing events or sounds in a private place without permission of the people photographed or observed is against the law. A private place is one where a person may reasonably expect to be safe from unauthorized surveillance. Alabama, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Kansas, Maine, Michagin, Minnesota, South Dakota, and Utah also prohibit trespassing on private property to conduct surveillance of people there. In most of these states, unauthorized installation or use of hidden cameras is a felony, punishable by a 2000.00 fine and up to 2 years in prison."

    Odd. bolding and italics are mine.
  • by alshithead ( 981606 ) * on Thursday June 29, 2006 @03:35PM (#15630391)
    There's a link at the bottom of the article to New Hampshire's wiretapping laws. I'm not a lawyer but the way it reads to me is that you must give permission in order to be audio taped. It will be interesting to see how it plays out. It could be that by posting signs then you give tacit approval if you choose to come on the property. Or, maybe posting signs isn't sufficient and you have to have someone agree to taping before starting. I did also note that the cops have exemptions that allow their patrol cars to tape as well as other law enforcement exemptions.
  • Slow news day (Score:5, Informative)

    by PCM2 ( 4486 ) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @03:35PM (#15630395) Homepage
    Being arrested, being charged, and being held guilty of a crime are three entirely different things. So far, I hear somebody got arrested.

    As for the why, this article seems a little short on details. But one thing I've heard several times (though it's totally hearsay and it probably varies from state to state anyway) is that it is illegal to record both video and audio without prior consent. Most of the surveillance cameras you see in stores and the like only record video.

    Similarly, it's illegal to record a telephone conversation without telling all parties on the line that it's being recorded. I think that's federal law.

    In other words, yeah the cops probably had a right to arrest the guy. Did the cops it done as a form of harrassment? Yeah, probably. Well knock me over with a feather. Cops, harrassing people? Never!
  • Re:Ugh! (Score:4, Informative)

    by alshithead ( 981606 ) * on Thursday June 29, 2006 @03:38PM (#15630428)
    New Hampshire law specifically allows law enforcement purposes. There's a link at the bottom of the article to New Hampshire's wiretapping laws.
  • by teklob ( 650327 ) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @03:38PM (#15630429)
    It appears as though he did have a sign stating exactly that. Bottom line in these sorts of scenarios is that the police are the ones with the guns. I applaud this guy, because the video tape will show exactly who was doing what and I have a strong suspicion that the cops are at fault.
  • by Triv ( 181010 ) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @03:41PM (#15630479) Journal

    You're thinking of the FreeState Project []. It was initially supposed to be Vermont, but New Hampshire Won out in the end [].

  • by Nukenbar2 ( 591848 ) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @03:41PM (#15630481)
    This is for activities such as installing cameras in the women's bathroom. I doubt much will come of this except a dismissal.
  • by malchus842 ( 741252 ) <> on Thursday June 29, 2006 @03:44PM (#15630523)

    Not only was this guy arrested, but the police tresspassed on his property and kicked his wife out for 5 hours while they tried to get a search warrant -- even though they were effectively already illegally searching the place!

    Number one rule - never let the police in your house unless they have a search warrant. Never. No matter what. Step out on your porch to talk to them. Or on the driveway. Or sidewalk. And really, don't talk to them without a lawyer present unless YOU called them to report a crime.

    This sounds paranoid, but the police are no longer the friends of the honest citizen - they view EVERYONE as a criminal these days.

  • flex your rights (Score:3, Informative)

    by ChristTrekker ( 91442 ) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @03:48PM (#15630565)

    In that vein, here's something [] a friend pointed me to just today.

  • by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <> on Thursday June 29, 2006 @03:50PM (#15630581) Homepage Journal
    Wouldn't it solve the problem just to have a small sign in the front window saying "This Area Under Video Surveillance" ?

    No, no it wouldn't.

    That's because, while it's legal to videotape people on your property where a sign is posted, or in any public place where they have no expectation of privacy (like out in front of your house) it's illegal to audiotape them without their express consent.

  • by catch23 ( 97972 ) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @03:51PM (#15630598)
    If you would like to give them a piece of your mind, here's a few phone numbers that are worth jotting down:

    Conley, Donald, Deputy Chief Executive Officer

    Hefferan, Timothy, Chief of Police

  • Re:Ask the President (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 29, 2006 @03:51PM (#15630601)
    That is a total load of crap.

    Madison -- the father of the bill of rights argued against them on the grounds they weren't needed because the federal government didn't have the right to make laws breaking those things anyway. Our consitution explicitly denies the president all powers and then grants him specific ones.

    It's not the other way around. Just because they feel like they can write a bill on whatever they want doesn't mean they have the right to.
  • Re:Ask the President (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 29, 2006 @03:52PM (#15630611)
    The Constitution says no such thing. Laws that are declared unconstitutional are considered unconstitutional from the moment they were enacted.

    "Innocent until proven guilty" applies to people, not to laws.
  • duh! (Score:5, Informative)

    by frovingslosh ( 582462 ) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @03:54PM (#15630635)
    What do you expect in a country where we discriminate against applicants to the police force because they are too intelligent []?
  • by Plugh ( 27537 ) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @03:57PM (#15630669) Homepage
    Yes, New Hampshire is the target of the Free State Project []; I am one of the First 1000 [] to move into the state.

    Keep in mind:

    • There are only ~400 Free-Staters in New Hampshire so far. The target is 20,000; over 7,000 have signed up but not yet moved.
    • NH was chosen just 2 years ago. You have to reside here 2 years in order to run for statewide office. This coming November will be the first opportunity to do so for the very earliest movers -- we have over a dozen people who will be running.
    • We've already scored victories -- we have people elected to local office (school board, city council, etc), we killed a proposed statewide smoking ban, we slashed the red tape around home-schooling, and more.
    • You're right -- in any other state, you're pretty much screwed. If this kind of thing bothers you, bothers you enought do do something, you should come join the rest of us who are not taking this shit lying down!

    Check out the grief we gave to the cops on a past case where they misbehaved here [], or see our fight against the National ID here []

  • Re:Slow news day (Score:3, Informative)

    by Hallow ( 2706 ) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @03:59PM (#15630703) Homepage
    "Similarly, it's illegal to record a telephone conversation without telling all parties on the line that it's being recorded. I think that's federal law."

    It's not federal law. Wiretapping statutes vary on a state-by-state basis. If the taping occurs in Virginia, for example, only one party needs to know and consent. However if the taping occurs in Maryland, all parties must give consent.

  • by rot26 ( 240034 ) * on Thursday June 29, 2006 @04:02PM (#15630745) Homepage Journal
    while it's legal to videotape people on your property where a sign is posted, or in any public place where they have no expectation of privacy (like out in front of your house) it's illegal to audiotape them without their express consent.

    Maybe where you live. Where I live (Florida) it's legal to record video without ANY warning whatsoever. Recording audio requires notification, but a notice posted on the door is sufficient.
  • Re:Ugh! (Score:3, Informative)

    by TubeSteak ( 669689 ) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @04:06PM (#15630800) Journal
    The government should be held to a higher standard than citizens, not a lower one.
    That's true about the government.

    But this isn't the government, this is the police.
    The police aren't accountable to you.
    They're accountable to their boss.

    In simplified terms:
    Police --> Bosses --> Chief of Police (&/or Commissioner) --> Mayor

    Some places elect the Chief of Police, in other places the Mayor or a commission appoints them. Either way, a problem with the police has to be escalated through several layers before you deal with anyone publicly accountable.
  • Well... (Score:3, Informative)

    by DaSenator ( 915940 ) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @04:12PM (#15630867)
    ...IANAL (yet), though I am currently in law school. The law itself is not directly pertinent to the defendant.

    First, the definitions as listed in the law.

    570-A:1 Definitions. - As used in this chapter:

    V. "Person" means any employee or agent of the state or political subdivision thereof, and any individual, partnership, association, joint stock company, trust, or corporation.

    As early as the definitions section, it is quite apparent that 570-A is to be applied specifically to State, County, or City employees (i.e. Peace officers), or to persons involved in any business venture. The reasoning behind the law is so that the state, county, or local government cannot just start posting surveillence on their citizenry KGB-style. Same thing goes for business owners.

    Given the definitions listed within this law, and considering the fact that not once does the law prohibit the citizenry from placing their own private property (non-business) under surveillence, the defendant has nothing to be afraid of. At this point, without reviewing pertinent case law, it would be quite obvious that the defendant has nothing to fear.

    Of course, this could be slightly different when I finish checking all applicable court decisions. Updates will follow soon.
  • Re:Problem (Score:5, Informative)

    by I'm Spartacus! ( 238085 ) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @04:23PM (#15631023)
    A South Florida newsteam did an expose like this as well. tml []

    Out of 38 police departments, he was able to obtain complaint forms from THREE departments. On officer ran him out the office and actually threatened him by putting his hand to his gun.

    Nowadays, I wouldn't call the police to ever settle a dispute.
  • Re:sigh (Score:5, Informative)

    by multimediavt ( 965608 ) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @04:27PM (#15631064)
    Actually, if you read the statute [] the letter of the law was violated, but the spirit of the law may not have been. It's really going to be up to the courts to decide this one and may result in portions of the statute being revoked, or emended. IMHO, the law was meant to protect people from having their rights violated by recording devices or intercepts/wiretaps. But, there are many states where things like internal video surveillance cameras in businesses are illegal, or must be clearly marked to the outside as being present. It would seem, from the statute, that NH is one of the ones that prohibits such things except under very specific circumstances. The statute clearly states that *any* recording or intercept of telecommunication or oral communication without the express consent of all parties is at least a misdemeanor.
  • Re:Ugh! (Score:2, Informative)

    by ThomaMelas ( 631856 ) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @04:27PM (#15631067)
    It's not the video that causes the problem. It's the audio recording. NH is a two party consent state (ie both parties have to agree to the recording) as opposed to the federal standard of one party consent.
  • I signed up for the Free State Project too. You're leaving a few things out.

    • No one is actually obligated to move to New Hampshire until 20,000 people have signed up. This is the other side of the deal: if a critical mass is reached, then we all have to move within 5 years of member number 20,000 signing up. If a critical mass is never reached, no one has to stake their lives on moving to the middle of nowhere.
    • Membership only reached 5,000 a couple years ago. Member growth has hit a wall, and has no clear signs of picking up again.
    • The Free State Project has all but given up on the 20,000 target, and is instead trying to pressure the first 7,000 to move now so the project is not a total loss.

    New Hampshire is a beautiful state, and parts of the state are within commuting distance of Boston, allowing a few decent opportunities. It's a lot better than Montana or Wyoming, two other states that were highly popular in the voting. I was optimistic about the FSP, but if we don't reach 20,000, we are never going to get anything done. And we aren't gonna reach 20,000 anytime soon.

  • Re:sigh (Score:3, Informative)

    by flibuste ( 523578 ) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @04:34PM (#15631160)

    yeah, ok. now which way to canada?

    We welcome you to the country where home doors are opened, police officers are polite, and we don't need cameras to check our private parking spot. Click here to sign in! []

  • Re:Clarification (Score:3, Informative)

    by VAXcat ( 674775 ) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @04:39PM (#15631208)
    Yes, you're wrong. Supreme Court case Houston vs. Hill prety much settled this one...and the case of Ralph Duran proved it even further. These cases vastly reduced the number of people "taken downtown for mouthing off".
  • NH Statute 644:9 (Score:4, Informative)

    by Spritzer ( 950539 ) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @04:39PM (#15631211) Journal
    N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. 644:9 states:
    II. As used in this section, "private place" means a place where one may reasonably expect to be safe from surveillance including public restrooms, locker rooms, the interior of one's dwelling place, or any place where a person's private body parts including genitalia, buttocks, or female breasts may be exposed.
    This would suggest that a front porch is fair game as it is not private. . Unfortunately, paragraph I states:
    I. A person is guilty of a class A misdemeanor if such person unlawfully and without the consent of the persons entitled to privacy therein, installs or uses: ... (c) Outside a private place, any device for the purpose of hearing, recording, amplifying, broadcasting, or in any way transmitting images or sounds originating in such place which would not ordinarily be audible or comprehensible outside such place.
    This would imply that a CCTV camera with a recorder in another room is illegal. What I can't seem to find is any statute referring to a felony. I'm thinking we have another case of idiot cops on a power trip getting caught and digging their hole deeper trying to hide it.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 29, 2006 @04:45PM (#15631289)
    NH is a two-party consent state, where the two parties (or all parties, if more than 2) must consent to the recording (audio and/or video). The full text of the NH state regulations, along with penalties and exceptions, are in NH RSA CHAPTER 570-A
    WIRETAPPING AND EAVESDROPPING at -a/570-a-mrg.htm []
  • Not the First Time (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 29, 2006 @04:48PM (#15631324)
    This isn't the first time someone who has videotaped the police to show police misconduct was charged with wiretapping laws. In Champaign, IL (2004) a few black youth were trying to make a documentry about the treatment between the local police and the black neighborhood. Obviously, since it made the police look bad, they were charged with unauthorized audio recordings.

    article []
  • by Plugh ( 27537 ) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @04:58PM (#15631461) Homepage
    The smoking ban would have applied to all bars and restaurants. Places that are *privately* owned, where the owner can damn well set a non-smoking policy if he or she wants to, and where patrons can choose not to enter a clearly-marked "smoking allowed here" bar. Nobody has to participate -- th ewhole point is that the acceptable level of risk is for individuals to choose. Not the goddamn government.

    That's why in NH we don't have laws that require you to wear your seat belt, wear a motorcycle helmet, or wear your mittens. You want to be treated as an infant ward of the State? Go live somewhere else. You want to be treated like an adult, and take responsibility for your own choices? Come to New Hampshire. Simple.

  • by mlwmohawk ( 801821 ) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @05:07PM (#15631587)
    I called the Nashua Police and asked if the article was true. They said it was. I said that is outrageous that they would do that and that the wiretapping act has a very strong wording that implies that it is for the "interception" of communications.

    I asked if they had been contacted by the ACLU yet, at which point the officer hung up on me.

    They are a corrupt bunch of bastards. A guy installs a security camera on his property because of crime. A camera readily perchased from Walmart. Because he excersizes his rights to require a warrent and not just let them in, and has evidence that they were abusive to him, they loosely interpret a statute intended to protect the privacy of electronic communications to include home security.

    Bastards!!! Fucking bastards. What happened to the constitution? Jesus fucking christ, will someone step up and stop this shit?

    The Nazi's would have loved police like this.
  • Re:sigh (Score:3, Informative)

    by BigCheese ( 47608 ) <> on Thursday June 29, 2006 @05:10PM (#15631611) Homepage Journal
    Try I-35 north of KC. I make that trip a bit and most of the people I see are black or Hispanic.

    It's called a DWB - Driving While Black (or Brown).

    Hell, many years ago I was pulled over for driving a POS car in a affluent suburb.

    That being said there are a lot of fine people serving as police in many parts of the country. There are also a awful lot of corrupt, mean, racist assholes out there. Depends on where you are.

    If you think either one doesn't exist. You are mistaken.
  • Re:sigh (Score:4, Informative)

    by dukeisgod ( 739214 ) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @05:21PM (#15631725)
    Obstruction of Justice? Somebody needs to brush up on case law. I don't know about NH, but this is first week material at police academies in Florida. Parents are exempt when it comes to informing and harboring criminals. I also don't think the detective had much expectation of privacy there on the guy's porch. If he was actually inside then it'd be a different story. If the tapes were submitted as evidence in a crime outside, I don't think they'd be pushing wiretapping charges. Of course I'm not siding with these people, their sons may be scumbags, but the parents still have rights. It seems that the parents are whiny pricks as well, but that's one of the hazards of law enforcement. Overall, it sounds to me like this would be a good example of how NOT to conduct an investigation.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 29, 2006 @05:22PM (#15631740)
    Hm, by the look of it now his son is banged up they won't need to be so worried about crime in the locality ;)
  • Links to the law (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 29, 2006 @05:42PM (#15631942) -A/570-A-2.htm []

    There is the law (NH RSA A:2) cited in the police report.

    It is pretty broad, making any interception of "oral communications" without the consent of all parties illegal. There are a few exceptions, but mostly just for telco employees and police officers. Dashcams are excepted.

    There are no exceptions for home security installations.

    I do understand the need to prevent rampant recording of oral communications without consent, but there has to be exceptions allowing people to protect themselves in their own homes. Especially from police harassment. Otherwise what is to stop the development of a police state?

    "Live free or die", eh? Well, looks like a lot of NH residents are probably on a collision course with death.
  • To add to that (Score:3, Informative)

    by phorm ( 591458 ) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @05:58PM (#15632084) Journal
    A private place is one where a person may reasonably expect to be safe from unauthorized surveillance.

    The guy had signs posted. I wouldn't reasonably expect to be "safe" from surveillance in a place where there were actually signs stating surveillance was used...
  • by yndrd1984 ( 730475 ) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @06:49PM (#15632435)
    The argument of "the Democrats are worse" is pretty much run out. It can't GET worse than now.

    Yes, it can get worse - "President Ann Coulter".

  • Re:sigh (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 29, 2006 @07:36PM (#15632731)
    I'm not going to spend 18 years before I can reply to this post. So I'll just reply without spending 18 years being a cop.

    Go re-read the 4th amendment. Then explain to me why an armed official should expect to be allowed to enter and remain in my home without a warrant and without my consent. If I invite that official in, that's one thing. If I do not, then that's quite another. And your right to expect cooperation in the pursuit of an investigation does not extend to violating the Constitution. If it did, then there would be no need for things like warrants. You could just demand any cooperation you want, and proceed to punish anyone who refused it.

    Standing on my rights is not obstruction of justice. Furthermore if I do so and you disregard my rights, I would hope that the judge would come down on my side.

    Yes it becomes a game. And of course the people who insist on those rights are usually people with something to hide whom you (and I) have every reason to dislike. But as a private citizen I absolutely want those rights to be maintained, because eroding them is the path that leads from democracy to fascism.

    ObDisclaimer: The only crime I have never personally been charged with is a parking ticket. But I did serve on a jury that ruled a defendant not guilty. I'm sure that the police officers involved wound up cursing us. But when your only eyewitness (the victim) is severely drunk and has poor eyesight, make the guy you found 20 minutes later on a busy street be close to the physical description!
  • by Skapare ( 16644 ) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @07:44PM (#15632774) Homepage

    If police treat people like assholes, then you can expect people to return the favor. If cops behave incompetent, they deserve the verbal abuse they get.

    About 20 years ago, a friend of mine was visiting a nearby town. Maybe he was in the wrong place at the wrong time, but he was pounced on in a convenience store by 3 local cops, causing him several small injuries. These 3 cops were abusive both verbally and physically. It wasn't quite a Rodney King level of beating, but it did require a visit to the hospital, which was denied him for several hours. His "crime"? He opened one of the soft drinks he was carrying while standing in a long line at the register. How do I know his story rings true? My friend IS a police officer. He was just off duty, out of jurisdiction, and not in uniform.

    Police officers are (supposed to be) trained in dealing with abuse from the public, including physical abuse. Verbal abuse is something they are supposed to just shrug off as if it never happened. That I learned in a CJ class I took way back when I was in college. I wonder if it's still true.

    I think it's pretty clear the tape showed an abusive officer. They saw it and they reacted to it on the spot. If the tape had shown a police officer doing exactly his duty and nothing more, why would there be such a reaction?

    The police should have thanked Mr. Gannon for bringing it directly to them, and dealt with it as an internal matter. It was to their advantage that he went to them first instead of the local newspaper or TV station. Now, people will be watching the police and they will be taking their evidence not to the police department. The Nashua Police Department did all police officers throughout the country a major harm by this action. It's just plain disgusting.

  • Re:NH Statute 644:9 (Score:3, Informative)

    by kavau ( 554682 ) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @08:56PM (#15633156) Homepage
    Just read the paragraph carefully:

    "A person is guilty of a class A misdemeanor if such person unlawfully and without the consent of the persons entitled to privacy therein, installs or uses: ...

    The police officer's are not entitled to privacy in this guy's front yard, since they (hopefully) wouldn't expose their genitalia there. So they don't have to give their consent, and it's not a misdemeanor.

  • by MojoRilla ( 591502 ) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @09:16PM (#15633244)
    The US Surgeon General has just released a 670 page report stating that there are no safe levels of second hand smoke.

    From CNN []:

    More than 126 million nonsmoking Americans are regularly exposed to someone else's tobacco smoke, and tens of thousands die each year as a result, concludes the 670-page study. It cites "overwhelming scientific evidence" that secondhand smoke causes heart disease, lung cancer and a list of other illnesses.

    Of course, the US Surgeon General and overwealming scientific evidence are much less convincing about smoking dangers than joemawlma, so please listen to him.
  • Re:sigh (Score:3, Informative)

    by anaesthetica ( 596507 ) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @10:53PM (#15633702) Homepage Journal
    Redneck is a derogatory ethnic term used to refer to denizens of Appalachia and the South principally. Those areas were predominantly settled by Scotch-Irish (there are several studies showing how the modern Southern accent is derived from Scotch and Irish speech patterns). The racism of the English toward their Celtic neighbors carried over to the United States and continues in the long tradition of mocking "redneck" speech and culture. How many times have you used a Southern accent mockingly to demonstrate someone's stupidity? Happens all the time. When the United States first experienced mass immigration from Ireland, the Irish weren't considered "white" by the existing English settlers. So yes, calling people "rednecks" is a racial slur.
  • Re:sigh (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 29, 2006 @11:40PM (#15633885)

    So, even if you are EXTREMELY polite and VERY accommodating

    Actually cops take classes in how to handle people, control the mood and environment, and abuse any accommodation offered. My buddy who was a cop suggesteded a minimum respect rule, don't go out of your way to be rude, but don't go out of your way to be polite either, and never ever offer anything - because they will abuse that and turn into permission to search your home/car/person/bags. He also said cops will strongly imply that they have powers and rights that they do not have. He told stories all the time about people who allowed themselves to be browbeat or tricked into letting cops search their property when they didn't have to.

    Don't be a trash talking moron, but don't expect the cops to ever treat you as anything but an enemy.

  • Re:sigh (Score:3, Informative)

    by FishinDave ( 802556 ) on Friday June 30, 2006 @02:39AM (#15634524)
    No cop has a reasonable expectation of privacy regarding his conversations with citizens in the course of performing his public duty. He is required to file a full and accurate report of such conversations, which becomes part of the public record. So there is no expectation of privacy.

    Also, the courts have ruled that citizens have a First Amendment right to record the activities and speech of public officials in the performance of public duties. While this right does not extend into city council closed sessions, for example, it certainly extends to police interrogations conducted on a citizen's front porch.

    Mr. Gannon will not only escape these charges, he will get a large cash settlement from the police department.

"my terminal is a lethal teaspoon." -- Patricia O Tuama