MA Woman Faces Wiretapping Charges For Recording Her Own Arrest

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

A 24-year-old Massachusetts woman is facing wiretapping charges after she allegedly recorded her own arrest on Sunday morning.

Karen Dziewit, of Chicopee, was reportedly drinking shortly before 2 a.m. on Sunday when Springfield Police were called to assist a security guard at 140 Chestnut Street.

Police say Dziewit was being loud and belligerent, disturbing tenants in the area. When they asked her to quiet down, she refused to cooperate.

Capt. Harry Kastrinakis said Dziewit activated Voice Memos on her phone, set it to record and then hid it in her purse to surreptitiously‎ record her arrest.

When Dziewit was taken to police headquarters and booked, police found the voice recorder as they inventoried her purse.

In Massachusetts it’s legal to record video or audio of a public official as long as they are performing their duties at the time and the recording isn’t hidden from the official, CBS Boston reported.

Dziewit was charged with unlawful wiretapping, an open container violation and disorderly conduct.

She is expected to be arraigned on Monday in Springfield District Court.

A similar incident earlier this year landed a Fall River man in jail. George Thompson told CBS Boston in March that he recorded video of an officer who was “out of control” and his cell phone was seized. He was arrested and charged with unlawful wiretapping, although Thompson said the officer acknowledged in the video that he was being recorded.

Thompson said the video was deleted from his phone while it was inventoried at the Fall River Police Department.

“If a Fall River police officer erased that video, he’s fired,” Police Chief Daniel Racine told CBS. “And I would suspect the district attorney would take out charges.”

“They’re investigating themselves and there’s a code of blue and everybody knows that,” Thompson argued.

Sources: Mass Live, CBS Boston