Single Mom Thrown In Jail For Recording Traffic Stop On Cellphone

A Florida woman was reportedly dragged out of her car and arrested merely for making an audio recording of a routine traffic stop.

Single mom Brandy Berning informed the officer with the Broward County (Fla.) Sheriff’s Department that she was recording their conversation on her cellphone after she was pulled over for driving in an HOV lane on I-95.

The deputy claimed she was committing a felony by making the recording and demanded the phone. “For more than four minutes, the two argue: [Lt. William] O’Brien insisting that Berning hand over her phone and that she is under arrest, and Berning insisting that she has done nothing wrong.”

The woman refused to part with her mobile phone, and they got into a tussle (see embed below in which you can hear her yelling at the officer to “get off of me”). Berning, 33, who claimed she was injured in the encounter, spent the night in jail for the traffic violation and resisting arrest. All charges were subsequently dropped, however. The Broward County Sheriff’s Office is now facing a planned lawsuit by Berning’s lawyers for battery, false arrest, and false imprisonment.

During the incident, the cop claimed he knew the law better than she did, but his legal research appears to be incomplete. “… in every state in America, you are well within your rights to record an on-duty police officer. There are a few limited exceptions, such as if while recording you physically interfere with an officer trying to perform his duties. But as long as you aren’t in the way, you’re protected by the First Amendment.”

Separately, as The Inquisitr previously reported, a woman who forgot to return a movie rental nine years ago recently spent the night in jail when deputies executed an outstanding warrant on the overdue VHS tape.

[image credit: Shutterstock]