Man arrested for wiretapping after filming police officer

A Massachusetts man is arrested and has his phone taken from him. He was recording a police officer talking loudly and swearing. The recording has now mysteriously disappeared.

Chris Matyszczyk
3 min read

The alleged wiretapper CBS Boston screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

We're all hypocrites at heart. It's how we manage it that gets us through the day.

Take those who are charged with surveilling others. They don't always warm to being surveilled themselves.

Indeed, one police officer in Fall River, Mass., was allegedly miffed when a bystander, George Thompson, filmed him as he was talking on his flip phone.

Thompson says the officer was talking loudly and cursing. He also says the officer was on duty.

What happened next is that when the officer noticed Thompson had taken out his iPhone to film him, he allegedly stormed over and arrested Thompson on charges of illegal wiretapping.

As CBS Boston reports, the charges seem peculiar. The officer in question, Thomas Barboza, declared in his own police report that Thompson readily admitted he was filming. And according to Massachusetts state law, it's legal for someone to openly film a public official while the official is handling his or her duties in a public place.