A policeman was filmed for totally making up a law that doesn’t exist so that he could prevent an Uber driver from recording him. The officer named Kenneth Becker, when pulled over Jesse Bright, had no idea who he was dealing with. Turns out, the Uber driver was a criminal defense attorney to be precise. Bright was pulled over and asked to get out of his vehicle so they could search it for drugs. Shocked at the request, he got his dashcam and started recording the encounter. When officer Becker told him to stop, Bright asked under what law. And that’s when stuff started to go down.
See the video below:
Be careful because there is a new law. Turn off or I’ll take you to jail.
Then Bright hit back by saying:
For recording you? What is the law?
Then, an accompanying deputy agreed with Becker, saying that there is a new state law that forbids the filming of police officers. Then, they called Bright a ‘jerk’ before demanding once again that he gets out of the car. They even brought the sniffer dogs to emphasize their point.
Talking to WECT, Bright explained how he at the time thought they were lying, saying:
They should know, I’m sure they do know, that it’s legal to record police.
Then, Ralph Evangelous, of the Wilmington Police Department, agreed by saying:
Taking photographs and videos of people that are in plain sight, including the police, is your legal right.
As a matter of fact, we invite citizens to do so when they believe it is necessary. We believe that public videos help to protect the police as well as our citizens and provide critical information during police and citizen interaction.
Becker has since been downgraded in rank, which is said to have cost him a slight $1.38 an hour. Bright said:
I was mainly surprised because one of the officers who was there has had a trial in the court with me and so he recognized me.
I’d think that once they’d recognized that I was a trial lawyer they would’ve changed their tone and stopped violating my rights.
The sheriff’s department also issued a statement saying:
Not only does the Sheriff agree that it is legal to record encounters, but he also invites citizens to do so.
Isn’t it great when it comes back to bite you back? Nobody got hurt, but everyone got a good dose of old-fashioned embarrassment.
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