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Journalist Striving for Accountability Faces Two Decades in Prison

Local journalist and police accountability advocate Adam Mueller faces 21-years in prison for publicizing comments made by public officials operating in their public capacity about an excessive force incident involving Manchester Police officer Darren Murphy and a 17 year-old student that occurred at Manchester’s West High School in October, 2011.

Another student filmed the interaction with his cell phone as his classmate was slammed to a table by School Resource Officer Darren Murphy. After viewing the video that public officials told the recording student to delete, Mueller called the Manchester Police Department and West High School seeking comment. Mueller publicized a video on about the incident which included segments of his conversations with the on-duty public officials.

Almost three months after the altercation at West High School occurred, Adam was indicted on three counts of felony wiretapping, each holding a maximum sentence of seven years in prison. Mueller is ordered to appear for jury selection at the Manchester Superior Court on August 6, 2012 at 9:00AM, and the trial is expected to occur within the two weeks following jury selection.

NH statute states that to be guilty of wiretapping, another party must have a reasonable expectation that their communications are not subject to interception. A public official who is on duty and in a public space has no expectation of privacy, as is reinforced by the First Circuit Court of Appeals in Glik v. Cunniffe in a ruling that states that the First Amendment protects the right to record police in public.

Individuals throughout the country have publicly expressed their support for Mueller’s actions and voiced their recognition of clear double standards. “No matter what, nobody’s child should be abused like that in school,” said the father of the student thrown to the cafeteria table.

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Hillsborough County Attorney’s Offices
300 Chestnut Street
Manchester, NH 03101
(603) 627-5605

Manchester Police Department
351 Chestnut Street
Manchester, NH 03101-2294
(603) 668-8711

West High School
9 Notre Dame Ave
Manchester, NH 03102
(603) 624-6384

Manchester City Hall
1045 Elm Street
Manchester, NH 03101
603.624.6500 (Ted Gatsas, mayor)

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