On June 30, 2011, Robert E. Mansfield was pulled over by a Whitman police officer. Police say that Mansfield was stopped because of a prior refusal to remove a tinted license plate cover. During the traffic stop, Mansfield and the police officer had a brief argument which Mansfield recorded with his cell phone. At the end of the stop, Mansfield was issued a citation for license-plate obstruction.
On August 2, Mansfield went to the police station to ask the the police to drop the citation. Mansfield informed the police that he had recorded the traffic stop. Police then arrested Mansfield, searched his car, seized two cell phones, and charged him with felony wiretapping.
The Massachusetts wiretapping statute that Mansfield was charged under prohibits the “secret” creation of audio-recordings of others. It is not clear whether Mansfield’s recording was created in “secret.”
Mansfield’s next court hearing is scheduled for October 12, 2011 at the Brockton District Court.
Note: this page will be updated when more information becomes available
- Allan Stein, “Hearing set for man who used cell phone to record cop,” The Patriot Ledger, August 12, 2011