Society

Online Journalist Adam Mueller Faces 21 Years in Prison for Recording Conversations with Police

| by Michael Allen

Adam Mueller is facing 21 years in prison for recording conversations with law enforcement officials that he says were on-the-record while investigating a police brutality case in Manchester, New Hampshire.

Mueller is an independent journalist and the founder of CopBlock.org, a web site that releases information about law enforcement officers, reports the New Hampshire Union Leader.

Last year, Mueller published a video of 17-year-old Frank W. Harrington being slammed face-first into a table by a police officer, who arrested Harrington for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

Mueller then attempted to interview a Manchester police captain, the Manchester High School West principal and a school secretary over the phone.

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Mueller used parts of those recorded phone interviews in a video report that he published to his website, reports the New Hampshire Union Leader.

Although he says he identified himself as a member of the media when approaching officials for an interview, he has been charged with felony wiretapping for allegedly putting those conversations on tape without permission.

Mueller has been offered a two-year suspended sentence as part of a plea deal, but refuses to cooperate.

He wrote on CopBlock.org: "Here's how I see the offer: it's a stellar deal if I actually thought what I had done was wrong. First, I can't go against my principles and sign a deal that says I acknowledge my actions as wrong or illegal. Second, I'm not a hypocrite. How can I advocate refusing plea deals and sign one myself?"

"I don't judge anyone who has taken pleas because each case/charge is different. Third, I am confident I can show a jury, with facts and logic, that I shouldn't be caged for my actions…. Let the circus begin!"

The New Hampshire Union Leader reports that supporters of Mueller told potential jurors reporting to the courthouse that, under jury nullification legislation, jurors can find defendants not guilty based on their own conscience rather than established laws.