Drunk Cinco de Mayo Reveler Tries to Record Cop on iPhone, Goes to Jail
While officer Brent Joseph was standing on the north side of Bar Louie, he noticed 23-year-old Joshua Mandel standing about two feet away from him, recording with his iPhone. The light on the phone was on and pointed in the officer's direction. Joseph approached Mandel, telling him that it's illegal in Florida to record an officer's oral communications without his permission.
"Upon making contact with Mandel he smelled strongly of an alcoholic beverage and his eyes were red, bloodshot and he placed the camera approximately one inch from my nose," wrote Joseph in his report.
He continued, "I repeated multiple times reference the illegality of his use of the recording device without my consent to which Mandel began to repeatedly chant FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS causing a crowd to gather."
Joseph arrested Mandel for disorderly intoxication as well as "interception of oral communications," based on Florida State Statute 943.02, which calls for the punishment of anyone who "intentionally intercepts, endeavors to intercept, or procures any other person to intercept or endeavor to intercept any wire, oral, or electronic communication" without consent. The law does not apply specifically to police officers.
The expanded legal definition of "oral communications" on the Florida books is "any oral communication uttered by a person exhibiting an expectation that such communication is not subject to interception under circumstances justifying such expectation and does not mean any public oral communication uttered at a public meeting or any electronic communication."
The law does not apply to video footage, only to audio recordings.
When Mandel was booked, officers demanded that he hand over his iPhone as evidence, but he refused to provide them with the locking PIN code, so they were unable to access the phone and review the recorded footage.
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