The Associated Press

Mass. Woman Charged With Recording Her Own Arrest

CHICOPEE, Mass. — Police have charged a Chicopee woman with unlawful wiretapping after accusing her of surreptitiously recording her arrest on disorderly conduct charges.

The Springfield Republican reports that police accused Karen Dziewit of drinking outside a building at about 2 a.m. Sunday. She’s also accused of yelling and disturbing residents and refusing to quiet down.

When the 24-year-old Dziewit was about to be arrested, police say she activated her smartphone recording feature, hid it in her purse and recorded her arrest.

Police found the phone with its recording feature on.

Dziewit was charged with unlawful wiretapping, disorderly conduct and an open container violation. She’s due to be arraigned in Springfield District Court on Monday.

Her phone number is not listed and it wasn’t known Sunday if she’s represented by a lawyer.

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  • PassinThru

    I’m curious how this will play out. The courts have consistently said that recording the police in the execution of their duties is not illegal, and that the oft-used wiretapping charge is enormous overreach. I wonder how our state will fare on this.

  • dust truck

    If they’re doing nothing wrong, then they shouldn’t be worried. I’ve seen plenty of youTube videos of “Soveriegn Citizens” trying to record their arrests only to come out with more respect for the police. Seriously, it’s a lot of fun to watch these jerks get knocked down a peg.

  • Kate Hutchinson

    What’s not mentioned here is whether the police or Ms. Dziewit are in possession of the recording, or whether it’s been destroyed. I wonder if the content of the recording would make any impact on how this plays out. If it were to reveal wrongdoing on the part of police, that could change how the case is viewed–instead of wiretapping there could be a claim of–not sure of the legal term, but self-preservation?

  • gotham77

    If the district attorney even considers pursuing this illegal wiretapping charge then as far as I’m concerned he is a despicable human being that is unfit for his job.

    • Lawrence

      Then why not call his office and tell him that? It would do even more good then telling us here.

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  • E. Martin

    Government transparency is essential if a “free and democratic” society is to function as such – why is it illegal to record your own arrest (or any act of authority for that matter)? The fact that it’s illegal makes me wonder what the motivations are for such laws; whom are these laws meant to protect? Who protects the public from the abuses of authority? This sounds like a tool of oppression to me.

    If we are to assume that the authorities are doing their job in a legal, ethical and humane manner, than what’s the harm in recording any of it? No recording of any kind should ever put any action of authority into question – in fact, it should strengthen the legitimacy of the action. While there may be some resulting issues with a given recorded arrest, they ought to be minor and easily resolved if the arresting officer wasn’t doing anything illegal or even questionable in the first place.

  • Lawrence

    Did you know that it is the police officers who have a video camera attached to their cruisers? It’s standard procedure for them to videotape us.

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