Woman Charged With Wiretapping After Filming Massachusetts Cop

| by Michael Allen

Pamela Petrino was arrested last Tuesday night after filming a police officer with her cellphone in Braintree, Massachusetts.

According to The Patriot Ledger, Petrino was charged with unlawful wiretapping for filming the officer. She was also charged with disorderly conduct and illegal possession of prescription drugs. Petrino pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Officer Blake Holt noted in his police report that he recognized Petrino from an earlier incident while he was outside a Victoria’s Secret store with a suspect in a local mall.

Petrino allegedly accused Officer Holt of inappropriately touching her daughter during the prior incident, which happened on Dec. 30, 2014.

Officer Holt claims that while he was walking away with the suspect, Petrino was holding her cellphone and recording their conversation.

Officer Holt believed that action violated the mall's rules and a state law.

However, in 2011, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit ruled in favor of a man who was charged with unlawful wiretapping for recording Boston police with his cell phone.

The court ruled that "the filming of government officials engaged in their duties in a public place, including police officers performing their responsibilities, fits comfortably within these (First Amendment) principles..," noted Cnet.

Sources: The Patriot Ledger, Cnet
Image Credit: Steve Lyon