It is not easy being a cop today.
And it is not easy watching a few bad eggs from the bunch mistreat innocent people.
People like Jesse Bright, who was pulled over by officer Kenneth Becker.
Bright was pulled over while driving for Uber to make a few extra bucks when police surrounded his vehicle and arrested his passenger.
But he was flabbergasted when he was asked to get out of his vehicle so the officers could search it for drugs, so Bright grabbed his dashcam and began filming.
But when Becker saw what was happening, he told him to stop.
Bright asked him under what law and Becker responded with:
“Be careful because there is a new law. Turn [it] off or I’ll take you to jail.”
To which the criminal defense attorney hit back with: ‘For recording you? What is the law?”
Agreeing with Becker, an accompanying deputy chimed in – saying there actually was a new state law forbidding the filming of police officers.
Bright was then called a ‘jerk’ before he was ordered to get out of the car.
The officers then decided to order a few canines as Bright refused to have his car searched.
Bright told WECT he believes the officers knew they were giving false information.
“They should know, I’m sure they do know, that it’s legal to record police.”
Wilmington Police Department’s, Ralph Evangelous, additionally agreed with Bright, stating:
“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.”
Since the incident, Becker has since been demoted to corporal – which equates to a $1.38 an hour difference.
“I was mainly surprised because one of the officers who was there has had a trial in 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.”
As you can imagine, many were angry with the recorded interaction.
Comments from the viral video included one user saying:
“THE SERGEANT. The sergeant, the one who was supposed to uphold the law to the highest degree as the senior officer on the scene was threatening to violate his right to record and threatening to arrest him without cause. This is not, NOT what the law enforcement system is set up to be, should be, or should be accepted to be…these are the actions of a criminal gang, not a force whose primary objective is to protect and serve.”
After the huge backlash, the sheriff’s department stepped in and issued a statement stating, ‘not only does the Sheriff agree that it is legal to record encounters, he invites citizens to do so.’
To watch the full video, scroll on below.
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