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Woman Thrown In Jail For Legally Recording Traffic Stop

A Florida woman spent the night in jail this week after attempting to document her own police encounter.

The woman, Brandy Berning, was pulled over by Broward Sheriff Deputy William O’Brien after driving in the carpool lane on Interstate 95.

Berning immediately pulled out her cellphone and began audio recording the encounter, informing O’Brien several moments after he arrived to her driver side door.

“Oh, I forgot to tell you I was recording our conversation,” Berning says.

Although Florida currently has a two-party consent law, which dictates that both parties must consent to being recorded, the supreme court has upheld that police officers do not have an expectation of privacy while working in public, therefore can be recorded without prior approval.

“Ok, well I have to tell you that you’ve just committed a felony,” O’Brien says.

Confused at the false claim, Berning barely has time to react as the deputy begins demanding the phone, now heading towards the passenger side door.

“You are committing a felony. Hand me the phone,” O’Brien says.

Berning can be heard demanding O’Brien leave her vehicle as the deputy climbs in and begins physically attempting to take the device.

“I know the law better than you, believe me,” O’Brien says as Berning refuses to comply.

By the end of the altercation, Berning is arrested and dragged to O’Brien’s police car, left with scrapes, bruises and a strained wrist.

Despite the deputy continually claiming her actions were illegal, Berning was only charged with resisting arrest and minor traffic violations, leading many to believe O’Brien knowingly violated her First Amendment.

After being forced to spend the night in jail, all of Berning’s charges were quietly dropped, giving more credibility to the idea that O’Brien’s only goal was illegal intimidation. Berning has now filed suit against the Broward Sheriff’s Department.

“There was a battery that occurred, false arrest, false imprisonment,” Berning’s lawyer, Eric Rudenberg said.

Unfortunately, similar instances of First Amendment violations by law enforcement continue to appear on news feeds across the country.

Just this week, a New York man was assaulted and arrested for video recording a police encounter from 30 feet away. Although the offending officer believed he had deleted the man’s footage, a police report was soon called into question as the footage was recovered, contradicting the officer’s claims.

Officers from the Newark Police Department attempted to take a man’s cellphone last year after claiming it could potentially be a firearm, a strange new tactic officers have used to avoid being filmed.

Unsurprisingly, officers that defend the right to record government employees have become literal rock stars among the public, leading many to hope that other officers will follow their lead.

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About Mikael Thalen

Mikael Thalen is an investigative journalist covering foreign policy, information security and digital surveillance. His reports have been cited by sites such as the New York Times, Computerworld, International Business Times and the Drudge Report. How to contact Mikael securely: https://keybase.io/mikaelthalen

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96 comments

  1. I wish the author would research the law before titling this article. Moreover, I wish the author's links to the "supreme court" actually worked.

  2. Things will get worse before they get better. " How do you get rid of a bad law? You enforce it strictly and the people will resist it. " -Abraham Lincoln. Now as we are rats in the corner, are we going to stand up and fight for our rights or allow history to repeat itself.

  3. I am glad that in Australia [so far] we haven't got MORONS like that in our police force as i have said in other comments on other articles on the net I WOULDN'T GO TO THE USA EVEN IF I GOT A TICKET FOR FREE.

    • I live in Canada, where there is a legal system very similar to what's in place in Australia. And like Australia, most of the cops in Canada aren't morons (although exceptions exist), and they're generally well-trained and subject to a very significant degree of civilian oversight. In Canada, a scenario like the one portrayed in the article would be rare. The only time police in Canada would ever arrest someone for recording their activities would be in a case where the person doing the recording was genuinely interfering with their efforts to properly discharge their duties – in other words, intervening to the point of obstructing police.

      Unlike the US, police in Canada are increasingly being trained in de-escalation techniques to minimize the chances of either police or suspects overreacting in any interaction.

      Like you, I find myself increasingly reluctant to even consider visiting the US, given all the stories of serious police brutality emerging lately. Our American cousins really need to start getting a grip before things get worse.

      • Yeah cops are getting more and more moody lets just say.. They are turning into very bad people who think they are above the law.. but they are only to enforce the law and protect civilians at least that is the way it used to be.. now they are looking more and more like military and acting like it too…

  4. ALERT! We, "the awakened", I regret to say, have also been duped. Have you ever asked yourself, why all recent false-flag events have been so obvious? Especially 911. Have you ever asked yourself why we were given Internet, Youtube etc. at about the same time as 911? Precisely, so those of us capable of waking up, would wake up. And since then we have all been waking up others. Now, more or less, all those capable of waking up have woken up and we have all been identified. When the time comes we will all be rounded up and eliminated. And only sheeple will be left.

    • Sep 11, 2013 James Corbett of corbettreport.com presents this 5 minute parody of the official conspiracy theory of 9/11
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vrJiKbK0tVM&f

      • I love that link

        • I do too.

          We sure have sunk to new levels.

          A nation of imbeciles, wanting more free stuff.

          • What ever happened to being proud of what you worked for and being able to buy your own stuff? Everyone wants a handout.

            I am proud to say eveything I own is paid for except the truck I bought last year. My home is the biggest thing. I may not have a ton toys ( I do have some) but I have land, a home, a great family and I am not in in any hard core debt. IF I want something I buy it with cash. I see so many people now a days buying this and that on credit (I have never owned a credit card I have a company one) and they are so far in debt they can't see straight. I am proud to say I accomplished al lthat an I am stil lin my thirties.

          • The greatest desire that most folks have, is unlimited cable, two changes of camo, and a free Duck Kazoo.

          • Yep, I don't have cable. I have a digital antena, netflix, and vudu

          • Propaganda comes wrapped in many shapes today.

          • What is that suppose to mean? I don't have cable and can't justify paying $70.00 a month (after all the hidden fees) to watch BS and commercials

          • How nice to know you have been so successful.
            And it wasn't sharia style justice or the calls for revolution that did it. It was the things Reagan pushed as president.

          • Shutthephuckup you imbecile.

          • Still can't discuss or debate anything with a sane mannerism?

          • That would be nice

          • I'm not exactly surprised to see the troll patrol working together still.

        • Thanks' for viewing and commenting WTE! I attempt to provide the best stuff I can locate and will not settle for fear mongering, and or propaganda. I have standards that you are very aware of! Peace out!

        • 2.3 TRillion Dollars Missing from DOD The Day before 9/11/2001
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_rRqeJcuK-A

          • It didn't go missing the day before. That audit was started before Bush took office,

            The DoD loses that kind of money all the time.

          • And that doesn't make it right or any better.

            The people that earn that money worked hard and could have used it.

          • Do some research.

            From 1996 forward, approximately 8.5 Trillion dollars have gone down the proverbial black hole in the Pentagon. Never to be seen, or spoken of again.

            We are in some deep kimchee in this failing Country.

          • It did and I know all of the monies lost at that sink hole!

            SEPTEMBER 10, 2001 Defense Business Practices

            Secretary Rumsfeld and other officials talked with reporters about the need to refine the Defense Department’s business practices. An opening ceremony will kick off Acquisition and Logistics Excellence Week. They answered questions from members of the media
            http://www.c-span.org/video/?165947-1/defense-bus

          • Mr. Lincoln,

            Anyone who believes the 9/11 story and explanation, will also believe Snarlin' Arlen Specter' "Magic Bullet Theory", and also believe that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone, and there were aliens on the Grassy Knoll.

          • 140408
            “According to some estimates we cannot track $2.3 trillion in TRANSACTIONS,” (i.e. record keeping NOT lost or stolen) Rumsfeld admitted in a press conference Sept 10, 2001. The report that detailed the $2.3 trillion within $7.6T in accounting entries appeared at the end of February 2000 in a Pentagon Inspector general report (Pentagon finances in disarray where half a trillion dollars of it was just corrections of mistakes made in earlier adjustments). The DoD budget in 2001 was $291 billion (1/8 of the $2.3T of balances, transactions and adjustments that were inadequately documented).

            The Defense Secretary was indicating there was a huge ongoing issue with departmental accounting. Since there were multiple reports of this issue prior to the twin tower attacks, then, it is hard to see any significance to Rumsfeld mentioning it again on Sept 10. The news was not concealed by what happened the next day, in any event: it was already firmly in the public domain.

          • 140408
            “According to some estimates we cannot track $2.3 trillion in TRANSACTIONS,” (i.e. record keeping NOT lost or stolen) Rumsfeld admitted in a press conference Sept 10, 2001. The report that detailed the $2.3 trillion within $7.6T in accounting entries appeared at the end of February 2000 in a Pentagon Inspector general report (Pentagon finances in disarray where half a trillion dollars of it was just corrections of mistakes made in earlier adjustments). The DoD budget in 2001 was $291 billion (1/8 of the $2.3T of balances, transactions and adjustments that were inadequately documented).

            The Defense Secretary was indicating there was a huge ongoing issue with departmental accounting. Since there were multiple reports of this issue prior to the twin tower attacks, then, it is hard to see any significance to Rumsfeld mentioning it again on Sept 10. The news was not concealed by what happened the next day, in any event: it was already firmly in the public domain.

            edit previous post did not show up

    • 2013: HOW ALTERNATIVE MEDIA INFLUENCED THE YEAR OF AWAKENING by Mikael Thalen December 31st, 2013
      http://www.storyleak.com/2013-year-awakening/

    • he Internet and google were around way before 911.

  5. This happen last week to a black woman, but the phone recording was never posted on any conservative websites.

    This woman is white and pretty, so oh course they did a story about it.

  6. Or he might have written her a ticket for her infraction.

    The fact that you haven't suggested that in your many attempts to comment on this are an indication that you would be a good fit for a contemporary police force. You've already got the 'stache.

  7. Poor Roger.

    A regular Piers Morgan of the Internet.

  8. Roger the coward will delete this response…

    Roger, the appropriate action for the officer in this situation was to write a ticket. Everyone knows it. For some reason you feel he needed to go further by "having fun with her" or "ripping her a new one". Perhaps you ought to explore why you feel that way. It says some very unappealing things about you – things that everyone else sees plainly as a result of you online commenting.

  9. Let's face it. She's hot and he wanted to molest her

  10. Why is the cop not prosecuted for violation of TITLE 18, U.S.C., SECTION 242, DEPRIVATION OF RIGHTS UNDER COLOR OF LAW?
    Section 242 of Title 18 makes it a crime for a person acting under color of any law to willfully deprive a person of a right or privilege protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States.

  11. Oh, She's breaking the law driving in the car pool lane. and is more important than anyone else.
    Where's the audio of her giggling as she passes all those suckers who paid for "her" fast lane.

    Then she tries a little blackmail on the officer. I'm going to record you

    She dam lucky when she whipped out her cellphone the cop didn't think it was a weapon.
    maybe I mis read this or a lot of people like it when people say there going to record you.

    • YOU ARE AN IDIOT ,TO THINK YOU WOULD SAY SOMETHING ABOUT THE FAST LANE ARE YOU FRIGGIN KIDDING ME .YOU MUST BE A FRIGGIN COP ,AND IF SO YOU SIR ARE A ASSHOLE .

  12. Unfortunately, similar instances of First Amendment violations by law enforcement continue to appear on news feeds across the country

  13. Have you ever asked yourself why we were given Internet, Youtube etc

  14. I'm sure this incident is low on his list of violations. We know he's a liar, and lying about the law to a citizen. His "services" are no longer needed. Good job for her standing up for OUR rights! If we don't no one will.

  15. Dazzling post.This is important for you that we got like right-lane traffic, usually crosswords solution.Like right-lane traffic, usually. Like right-lane traffic, typically could be a crossword clue that we've got noticed one time.Thank you.

  16. Please post Berning's address and home phone number.

  17. Please look up the definition of the word "literal" – as in "literal rock stars".
    Then go back to 5th grade and learn how to properly use it in a sentence.

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