If you ever feel bored and decide to test the law, don’t do it in Florida. A Floridian woman decided to use her phone to record a traffic stop cop. Her punishment? Jail.
The Sun-Sentinel reports that 33-year-old Brandy Berning was stopped for entering the high-occupancy vehicle lane at the wrong time. Allegedly. Berning decided to record the conversation with the officer. That is when things took a turn for the worse.
In the audio recording, Berning clearly states that she is recording the conversation. The officer proceeds to tell her that she “just committed a felony” and that she hand her phone over as evidence. Berning refused to hand over her phone, saying that she knows her rights.
The officer proceeded to force the phone out of her hands, try to take her car keys, and then try to force her out of the car through the passenger seat. According to Berning, the officer injured her wrist.
“All I knew was I was trying to keep my phone,” said Berning. “I knew I couldn’t give him my phone, because I didn’t know why he was acting the way he was if he didn’t plan on doing something wrong.”
Berning ended up spending the night in jail last March. As a result of the events, she decided to sue. According to Broward American Civil Liberties Union co-legal panel chairman Barry Butin, Berning has a reasonable chance of having the law on her side.
While Florida is a two-consent state, meaning that both parties must know about the recording, third parties are allowed to record video of police performing their duties. According to one of Berning’s attorneys, Mike Glasser, police have no “reasonable expectation of privacy” while performing their duties, which is reflected in the law.