• Apr 19, 2010
Anthony Graber meets the Maryland State Police – Click above to watch video after the jump

We won't be crossing the Maryland State Police any time soon. As Anthony Graber recently found out, exceeding the speed limit and showboating on your bike can easily end with having a gun pulled on you, your personal property confiscated and a trip to the clink. Graber was enjoying the weather on his bike, admittedly speeding and popping wheelies, all the time recording his exploits via a helmet cam. When he slowed for a stoplight, a car pulled in front of the bike, and the driver exited the vehicle with a gun drawn, demanding Graber get off of his motorcycle.

Talk about needing a new set of leathers. As it turned out, the gun-wielding individual was a Maryland state trooper, though he took his sweet time letting Graber know that little piece of information. Here's where things go from bad to worse. Graber gets his citation and heads home, only to have the state police show up a few days later with a warrant for four computers, two laptops and his camera. Why? Turns out there's a law against audibly recording someone without their consent. It's a felony.

We have a hard time imagining any judge standing behind the police on this one, especially considering the fact that Graber was in public and the officer in question was brandishing his firearm. Some might think the state police were simply trying to hush up the possibility of even more bad press after that whole severe beating of a University of Maryland student last month. Hit the jump for the video.

*UPDATE: New, longer video with more context added after the jump. Thanks for the tip, Zedex!

[Source: WJLA via YouTube]



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 222 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      I don't understand the need for a gun? The motorcyclist has both hands on the handle bars!!! No place to hide a gun? Maybe the back pack? Or somewhere on the bike? But you would see that? Exsessive uses of force on exsessive stupidity. The kid wasn't out to harm anyone, he's just ignorent of the fact he could.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The police filed a false charge. Since the rider was part of a 2 way conversation he can record legally and and all of it without consent of the other party. This was ruled on by SCOTUS many years ago. Even without that, there is no expectation of privacy in a public setting such as this and a third party could have recorded it legally. Cops are going to lose jobs and a lawsuit in this one.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Having experience as a motorcyclist and LEO in MD...

      Motorcyclist was wrong for his riding, no doubt and should be ticketed for his actions.

      Officer was wrong for...
      1. Taking the role of primary office when an on duty, in uniform officer in a marked car was there. You are supposed to yield to a uniformed officer always unless there is no other option... and here there were options. This guy wasn't being chased from the bank that was just robbed or whatever. Note: When off duty, be a good witness, note his license plate, person and vehicle description and call it in on your cell phone. NEVER pursue in an unmarked vehicle... visibility is bad enough in a marked car with lettering and lights as people still don't see you and at highway speeds your speed overruns the siren. It creates more danger to pursue without this much needed equipment... and for what 2 tickets?!

      2. Always identify the agency that represents you then the command.

      3. When in plain clothes, always show credentials... to the suspect/uniform officer.

      4. IF the motorcyclist was attempting to evade he probably wouldn't have stopped at the end before the plain clothes officer pulled in front, he could have gone around the cars and made the left or taken the exit to the right.

      5. Following through with some BS home raid for the guys computer because you look like an idiot on video is lame and will not hold up.

      6. I worked in a nearby county, not for state and for most there is a no chase policy for motorcycles... many don't follow the policy because their egos get in the way of public safety, just like in this video.


      "Use of force" (what to do and not do at different threat levels) and "show of force" (like when to pull your firearm on a traffic stop) exist for a reason... I guess he missed that part in the academy.

      I wish MD was a carry state, welcome to the Commie-wealth of Maryland.

      This is an interesting thread, amazing to see some of the posts.

      If the motorcyclist in this video reads this thread... go after the state and that trooper through the proper legal channels to ensure they actually follow up on this. Having spent much time in court this should be easy.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Okay, I've read a lot of stories like this. This cop's behavior, though technically inappropriate and probably against policy, wasn't as egregious as some. His adrenaline was probably up, perhaps chasing the guy at a high rate of speed for a while. He signaled the rider somehow, as acknowledged by the rider turning around to look. That's probably why the rider pulled off the exit. The cop should have identified himself and pulled out a badge instead of a gun, but it could have gone far worse. The cop didn't point the gun at the rider. It could be argued the cop thought he was behaving appropriately and with restraint. He did identify himself. It didn't look like a potential hijacking. And there was no further brutality. I give the cop a C- and the cyclist a D-
      Dave
      • 4 Years Ago
      Why is it all you TOOLS think the cop did wrong ? did you watch the vid? the first thing the cap said while exiting his car is "Get off the motorcycle STATE POLICE" ..Wreckless endangerment is an arrestlble and jailable offence not to mention the 50 traffic laws the kid on the bike broke ...Evertime you see a vid like this everyone jumps on the cops for doing their job
      • 4 Years Ago
      If it were me and some random dude with a gun came up to me with a gun and told me to get off of my motor cycle, I would think he was trying to car jack me.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Cops with no uniforms test the limits of safety. Shoot back or don't shoot back. At least put on the uniform hat that you always have handy for such emergencies. House standoffs should be handled ONLY by uniforms. We have too may Rent-a-cops pretending to be cops and sometimes felons just pretending.
      • 4 Years Ago
      you people obviously didnt watch the video where he knew there was a cop behind him.. watch it again... he looks back and sees the cop. the cop had every right to pull out his fire arm... he DID NOT point it at him! everyone who is writing something stupid about cops are the reason crooks get away with so much stuff!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Okay. I'll keep my ute in Australia because you US guys are fricken crazy.
        • 4 Years Ago
        LOL, that's ironic. Correct me if i'm wrong but doesn't someone hooning it in Australia faces much harsher sanctions under the law? If you did that would you get a citation and drive home? You might not expect the cop to draw down on you... but then no one in the US expects that either. It's just a crazy cop that needs anger management counseling and a reprimand.

        What's more disturbing is the whole "you can't record a conversation that takes place in public and your a first person party to it, unless you gain the consent of everyone present first" thing. Good lord WTF is wrong with Maryland that they need laws like this on the books!?
      • 4 Years Ago
      In fairness to the Maryland State Police, it was the Prince George's County Police (who have a long history of alleged misconduct) who were responsible for the beating at the University of Maryland.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "1. It only took him a 2-3 seconds to identify himself as a MD State Trooper: "Get off the bike. Get off the bike. Maryland State Police". "

        Big mistake. The FIRST thing you must yell very clearly is your identity as a police officer. The first thing I'm going to see is that an angry guy holding a gun just got out of his car, and is not in uniform at all.

        While the cyclist was in the wrong as well, the Maryland ST is lucky that was indeed Maryland. In a freer state he would've have a chance of being drawn on. Of course, cops in those states aren't usually as stupid as this guy is.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Correct. Read my post.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Incorrect, this is Rt543 exit off 95 in Belcamp Harford County.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Just read the Washington Post story that AB linked to. It WAS the Prince George County police - not the State Troopers. AB you need to do a better job - seriously. Don't misconstrue this fact as that I am defending the state trooper who pulled his gun on the motorcyclist - I'm not. He should have ID's himself as law officer right off the bat.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I think the Autoblog posting is more inflammatory than the officer's actions if you watch the ENTIRE video.
        1. It only took him a 2-3 seconds to identify himself as a MD State Trooper: "Get off the bike. Get off the bike. Maryland State Police".
        2. When he holsters his weapon, which was never pointed at the rider, you can clearly see his badge afixed to his belt.
        3. At the end of the video, you can clearly see the MARKED State Police cruiser behind the motorcycle - the rider knew he was being stopped by the police. A second UNIFORMED Trooper can be seen exiting the Marked cruiser as well. This video is only 24 seconds long, it's obvious that the marked cruiser was involved in the traffic stop.
        4. It was not the PG County Police - who have an awful civil rights record spanning decades. To link the MD State Police to PG County is like indicting the US Coast Guard for waterboarding in Iraq. Apples and oranges folks.
      Ralph
      • 4 Years Ago
      My, my. Everyone wants to condemn the police officer. Most of the statements I've read are pretty lame. These idiot bikers that do these stunts on crowded roadways are a menace to everyone else on that road. When they lose control and ' wipe out ' it's the other motorists that get into accidents trying to avoid them. I'd say just run the idiot over but instincts take over and you swerve to avoid hitting them. Everyone wants to critique the policeman for taking his weapon out as he exited his vehicle. He holstered it pretty quickly once he realized the operator of the bike was cooperating. He never pointed it at the biker or threatened him with it. As for you people who say you would have run once you saw a weapon...go ahead, he won't shoot you if you aren't a threat to him. As for the others who said they would pull their own weapon...good luck because if I'm the cop I'm shooting you right now! There is a lot of disrespect to authority and the law in this country lately and it's a shame that some of the people that feel that way are still going to call 911 when they hear someone in their yard in the middle of the night.
      • 4 Years Ago
      There is no good reason for this cop to have pulled his gun. The thing about all this is, it is creating a pattern and then becomes a normal behavior.

      The cops of last week video in Maryland should have been arrested, and thrown in jail, after their superior identified them, just like they would have done for you and I. They are not above the law.
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