Rockville Man Arrested While Video Recording Police During Traffic Stop

Jared Parr posted video of the encounter on YouTube.

A Rockville video blogger made news  last week after his attempt to record police officers who stopped him took a turn for the worse.

Jared Parr, the 25-year-old creator of the YouTube channel Rockville CopWatch, was pulled over by Montgomery County Police on Jan. 15.

Parr told WJLA on Thursday that the police officers tried to intimidate him after they learned he was recording the interaction. 

What’s in the video

Parr’s video was posted to YouTube on Feb. 15 and had more than 4,000 views as of Friday evening.  He has posted 12 videos on the channel since July 2011.

The first portion of the clip is blacked out and audio-only. There's actually no sound until about one-minute into the footage. It's not too long before the police officer in the clip notices he’s being recorded:

Police: You’re not allowed to do that. That’s against the law to audio record without my permission.”

Two minutes into the clip—after some verbal back and forth between the officer and Parr—two officers appear on the screen. Parr eventually gets out of the car and after some jumpy, incoherrent footage, the video clip cuts off abruptly.

Was Parr right?

Despite his pleadings and claims that police were infringing on his rights, Parr was arrested on charges of obstructing and hindering, according to court records accessed online.

A Montgomery County Police spokesman told WJLA that the police officer was wrong to tell Parr that he couldn’t record “because department policy tells officers anyone has the right to record them while in public.”

In 2010, a judge ruled that Maryland’s wiretapping law, “does not protect discussions between police officers and civilians that take place in public sight, such as a traffic stop for a making a right turn on a red light when it's not allowed,” according to DCist, which also picked up this story.

Speak out: Do you agree with Parr? Please post your comments below.

Richard Boltuck March 04, 2013 at 02:48 PM
I didn't say there were NO comments over the top -- that's pretty typical in comment sections to news articles. I said the vast majority of commenters did not say anything that suggested they believed all police officers are "the enemy". If there are one or two such specific comments, it would be helpful to reference them explicitly so we know what you mean -- otherwise, your original comment appeared, to me at least, to have intended much more general applicability to the character of the discussion and sentiment expressed overwhelmingly here than it in fact ought to have.
B. Sweeney March 04, 2013 at 05:37 PM
I'm not sure, but there seems to be a lot of Police cars with video cameras these days. Hmmmmm...........
fdelapena March 14, 2013 at 04:44 AM
I do know that it is illegal to record audio without the other parties consent, in which case Jared Parr was doing. So he was recording them illegally. However, video recording and photography is allowed by law as long as your are in public. So if anyone is in public, it is fair game to record or be recording/photographed or be photographed. Check this link out if it helps. http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Can_someone_video_tape_you_without_you_knowing_you_are_being_video_recorded
ilkunta June 11, 2013 at 02:06 PM
what was the initial reason that dan was puled over?
Rochelle Dunmore November 08, 2013 at 12:01 AM
Several people questioned why the activities should be able to be recorded and scrutinized by the public while those in other professions do not receive the same treatment. Police officers have the authority to inflict great bodily harm, up to and including the use of deadly force in the performance of their duties. They must employ a significant amount of personal judgment in carrying out their responsibilities, which can lead to the loss of liberty and countless collateral consequences for everyone involved. These men and women must then attempt to set aside the stresses from each incident so they are able to be effective at their jobs without carrying biases from case to case. There are few jobs, if any, that place as much pressure on an individual as being a police officer. Many departments cover up issues rather than dealing with them. Scrutiny is warranted to protect both the officers and the public. --From a law enforcement family


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