In 2010, Maryland was one of the most hostile states in the nation to people who recorded police. Thanks to Anthony Graber, the ACLU of Maryland, and the Cato Institute, Maryland is now one of the safer places in the country to record police.
Maryland used to be a wiretapping state. We have not received reports since the Graber decision of criminalization of recording police where the recorder is lawfully present. (If you are aware of any, please contact us.)
State Resources (courtesy of ACLU-MD)
State v. Graber, No. 12-K-10-0647 (Md. Cir. Ct. Harford Cnty., Sept. 27, 2010)
Defendant’s Motion to Suppress, State v. Graber, No. 12-K-10-0647 (Md. Cir. Ct. Harford Cnty., Sept. 27, 2010)
Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss, State v. Graber, No. 12-K-10-0647 (Md. Cir. Ct. Harford Cnty., Sept. 27, 2010).
J. Joseph Curran Jr., Maryland Attorney General, Wiretap and Electronic Surveillance, (August 11, 2000).
It is also notable that many encounters between uniformed police officers and citizens could hardly be characterized as “private conversations.” For example, any driver pulled over by a uniformed officer in a traffic stop is acutely aware that his or her statements are being made to a police officer and, indeed, that they may be repeated as evidence in a
courtroom. It is difficult to characterize such a conversation as “private.”
Maryland is part of the Fourth Circuit, which has yet to weigh in on the issue of the right to record.
Other Posts on the Case
ACLU-MD information sheet summarizing the issues.