CNN’s iReport: Journalist Takes Wiretapping Charges to Trial: “Bring On the Circus!”

This post, by SalWigginOut and posted August 4th, 2012 to CNN iReport, is currently the second-most popular post made to that forum, and for good reason.

Jury Nullification Supporters Rally Behind CopBlock.org Founder, Who Faces 21 Years in Prison for Reporting Police Brutality

Keene, New Hampshire – August 4, 2012 – The controversial felony wiretapping charges journalist and CopBlock.org founder Adam ‘Ademo’ Mueller is facing will go to trial, a situation that has stirred up a hornet’s nest of free speech advocates in New Hampshire. The “Free Ademo” supporters are planning to show their support en masse at Hillsboro County Superior Court when jury selection for the trial begins at 9 a.m. Monday, August 6. This will be the first time an activist has taken a case this serious to trial since the state passed HB 146, a jury nullification law that ensures the defense’s right to inform the jury of their right to issue “not guilty” verdicts when they disagree with the application of the law in question.

According to court documents, the three wiretapping charges stem from a vlog Mueller posted on CopBlock.org, which featured recordings of on-duty public officials being interviewed about alleged police brutality at a local school. Mueller was reporting about a video recorded by a Manchester West High School student’s cell phone, depicting Officer Darren Murphy slamming a handcuffed student’s face into a cafeteria table. The video later went viral.

“Why am I in jail with a guy who beats up his wife and gets a one-year sentence from the state, but I’m facing 21 years for filming somebody?” Mueller told Judge Kenneth Brown in court last week. “I am confident I can show a jury, with facts and logic, that I shouldn’t be caged for my actions. My mind is free and my conscience is clear. I haven’t harmed anyone and I’ve done what I feel is right. I’ll be an activist of freedom until the day I die,” he later wrote in a blog posted to CopBlock.org.

Muller’s case (docket #216-2011-CR-01055, State V. Adam Mueller) is not a unique one. There have been many similar stories in the media over the last couple of years, with police hiding evidence of misconduct by threatening people with wiretapping laws and other catch-all charges, such as refusing to obey a lawful order, interfering with a police officer, disorderly conduct or obstructing an arrest. More frequently, police won’t make arrests but they will illegally confiscate cameras, delete videos and photos or incorrectly tell citizens that filming is not allowed.

“A public official who is on duty and in a public space has no expectation of privacy. The First Circuit Court of Appeals has already ruled on this in Glik vs. Cunniff,” said Ian Freeman, co-host of the nationally syndicated radio show Free Talk Live. “The person who should face consequences is the officer who threw that poor kid into a table during lunch at the school cafeteria, not the journalist who reported about it.”

Although free speech activists are planning to pack the streets near the courthouse at Monday’s jury selection in Keene, many are already participating in a phone call and letter writing campaign to Judge Kenneth Brown and Michael Valentine, the prosecuting attorney for the “Live Free or Die” state. A full list of ways that the public – including those who live outside of New Hampshire – can participate in CopBlock’s “Free Ademo” campaign can be viewed on their website.

“Bring on the circus!” Mueller told the judge in anticipation of his trial, which is scheduled to begin August 13.

For more: CopBlock.org/FreeAdemo

EPN

Pete Eyre

Pete Eyre is co-founder of CopBlock.org. As an advocate of peaceful, consensual interactions, he seeks to inject a message of complete liberty and self-government into the conversation of police accountability.

Eyre went to undergrad and grad school for law enforcement, then spent time in DC as an intern at the Cato Institute, a Koch Fellow at the Drug Policy Alliance, Directer of Campus Outreach at the Institute for Humane Studies, Crasher-in-Chief at Bureaucrash, and as a contractor for the Future of Freedom Foundation.

In 2009 he left the belly of the beast and hit the road with Motorhome Diaries and later co-founded Liberty On Tour. He spent time in New Hampshire home, and was involved with Free Keene, the Free State Project and The Daily Decrypt.

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  • jerry

    ademo is right. this is a circus. a kangaroo court trying to condemn an honest person and cover the criminals with badges.

  • al

    where is the video is it posted? this is just wrong wiretapping is really dumb you should be able to video record ANYWHERE you are doing NO HARM to KNOW one..This is to protect the police and HELP them hide behind there bagdes if they made this illegage I would have no other choice but to carry a gun to protect myself from the police what do they prefer??

  • al

    And good luck I know you will stay strong win this Sock it to them bastards!!!

  • James Newport

    The statute is facially unconstitutional and as applied unconstitutional violation of the US Const. 1st Amendment. The staute is not really about wiretapping it is about silencing people from debate of matters of public importance, the official performance by public officials of their public duties.

  • Bob

    @al – this is not about video recording someone. That’s not what the wiretapping charges are about at all. Before you make any more comments you need to find out what the charges are about. You obviously don’t know enough to be making any intelligent comments.

  • Common Sense

    Actually, based on the statute, Adam is clearly in violation of that law. His past, his inability to actually defend himself, and his misguided attempts at ‘accountability’ are all going to get him convicted. I think this 30 year old man child is finally waking up to the notion that simply because you think should be able to do something, you can.

  • James Newport

    This statute is dead meat to any fire breathing ACLU type “free speech” attorney. I am a fairly well versed litigation paralegal and would have a field day with this trashed up, fucked up Wiretapping statute..

    Ademo just has to man up and use the Constitution to protect his appeals.. Raise the issues in Motions to Dismiss, Motion to Reduce Bail, Motion for Bill of Particulars.. fight fight fight with some talent to it.. damn..

  • Common Sense

    @James

    you know where he’s at. I mean he’s not going anywhere, why not drop him a line, help him out. I bet, you could even with the case for him.

    I’ll be waiting to read about your victory shortly. Best of luck.

  • Bob

    @James
    Good luck to you and Ademo as you help him fight this trumped up charge. It’s good to see someone like you that is willing to do something to really help him than all these people that post and tell him how he should do things. You are a real American. Ademo really appreciates your help.

  • Just a regular guy

    B”H

    This is a clear violation of Ademos constitutional rights.

    G-d willing the court will realize this before it gets too far and takes too long.

    The government is getting out of control

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  • Tommy

    “A public official who is on duty and in a public space has no expectation of privacy. ” – Ian.

    This is a huge stretch when applied to Ademo’s case. Ademo was in a private home when the phone call was made, and Im assuming the recipients were in a place that would not be considered public, such as an office, places that “the public” cannot just walk into. Even if they werent in an office, they were in parts of the police station i would bet you cant just walk into. You cant just walk into the school administrators office either. You have to make an appointment, or minimally ask to be seen. Does the law need to be challenged? Sure, but not this way. Ademo’s circumstances are vastly different then the circumstances in Glik vs. Cunniff, and for Ian to make a comparison is either ignorant, misleading, or intellectually dishonest. In Glik vs. Cunniff, the video taping and audio recording of the police in question was literally in a public place, a place where the public can freely interact with. Sure, the cops were on duty, but remember the key phrase AND – and in a public space. It will take a huge twisting of common sense to persuade a jury an office in a police station is a public space, and remember, Ademo wasnt even in a public place at the time.

    How can Ademo claim that his actions were recording an event in a public place … when he was in a private residency during the recording. Im not a lawyer, but this shit is just simple.

    The Freestaters need to emotionally detach, and look at this case in the realm of reality.

    Somebody really needs to wake Ademo up. He is belligerent in court, while the judge is bending over backwards to accomadate him. Hell, Im on Ademos side, but even I was annoyed at his smugness. Sure, I understand the judge works for the evil oppressive state, and I understand all the technicalities that Ademo brings up to the judge, coersion, etc…, but buddy, this isnt a game. stop smirking, that is only going to alienate the jury. and perhaps you should dress up a little. it is human nature for people to make conclusions about you within 10 seconds based on personal observation. Ever read the book Blink? Wear something that doesnt make you look like you came off the streets, and get a damn lawyer. As soon as the jury sees how beligerent you are, you’re gonna be two steps behind the game already.

    sometimes in life, you have to play the game a little – to beat the game at the end. You are now in the arena of the court system, and bucking that isnt productive. play the game a little. suit and tie. shave. its in your best interests. It might be the difference between that one juror judging you based on appearances and going along with the mobs opinion, or holding out because they judge the case based on their gut feelings about the unfairness, instead of being swayed by their first instinctual judgement of you based on their first glance.

    I believe he will be found guilty, but receive a lesser sentence, perhaps 7 years (all 3 counts served simultaneously). and in 1 year, nobody in the media is going to care about him. his cause will not change the world. he will not become a super hero. he will not be remembered except for his friends.

    and the reason is because his actions are a crime. should it deserve 21 years, hell no. But he messed up. big time. he is playing the wrong card, a court case that doesnt even equate to his circumstances.

    take the plea, and stop doing stunts pretending that they are activism and posting them on youtube for personal attention, unless you know for certain all your i’s are dotted and your t’s crossed.

  • Just a regular guy

    B”H

    I respect Ademo for having the fortitude to persevere through this.

    I am worried that it may not go the way he hopes.

    The system sucks. It is broken.

    The violation of his rights in previous cases by cops who think they are above the law should be considered.

    Those cops like the jerks on that highway in the other video belong in jail.

  • Bob

    @Tommy – you hit the nail right on the head. Playing his silly childish games is not going to work this time for Ademo. His “friends”, such as Ian are giving him bad advice and he can’t see it.

  • Tommy

    Watch Ademo in the courtroom in the video.

    Now compare it to this guy representing himself: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R105H4eQ9yw&feature=related

    THATS how you represent yourself. Ademo, get a lawyer. Your in over your head.

  • Common Sense

    He can’t get a lawyer, he pissed away any/all donation money and, as of yet, no ‘activist’ lawyers have rushed to his cause. The clock it ticking.

    I’d hedge a bet, he’ll take a plea and fad away…