Photography Is Not a Crime, a blog that advocates for citizens’ rights to record public officials. They called the city to complain about the officers’ behavior.
One of the callers was a journalism student named Taylor Hardy. He spoke to Boston public information officer Angelene Richardson. Hardy recorded the call and posted a portion of it to YouTube. According to Carlos Miller, author of Photography Is Not a Crime, Richardson responded by filing an application for a criminal complaint against Hardy for wiretapping, a charge that could carry penalties of up to five years in prison.
(In a Facebook comment captured by Miller, Hardy claims he obtained Richardson’s consent to record the call, which if true would nullify the wiretapping issue.)
An outraged Miller blogged about the incident. “Maybe we can call or e-mail Richardson to persuade her to drop the charges against Hardy considering she should assume all her conversations with reporters are on the record unless otherwise stated,” Miller wrote, providing readers with Richardson’s work phone number.
That produced still more calls to Richardson’s work phone. Apparently, the calls alarmed Richardson, because last week Miller received notice about another application for a criminal complaint. This one accused Miller of witness intimidation, a crime that carries a sentence of up to 10 years in prison.