An Uber driver in North Carolina was stopped by two law enforcement officers who told him he was not allowed to record any portion of the interaction with his video camera. What the cops did not know was the Uber driver was also a licensed attorney and he was well aware of his rights to record interactions with police officers in the state.
Jesse Bright, the man who is an attorney that moonlights as an Uber driver, explained to a local news station that the officers told him he had just taken his passenger from a known drug house. Bright says he tried to explain to the officer that he was an Uber driver and he did not know his passenger, beyond information he received to pick him up at a certain location.
“They questioned me and what I was doing there,” Bright told WWAY. “Didn’t seem to believe I was an Uber driver.”
He said at the point the officer then noticed that he was recording the stop and that’s when things quickly turned confrontational.
“Sgt. Becker told me it was illegal to film the police and told me to turn it off or he would take me to jail,” Bright said.
But Bright knew better, and said as an attorney, he always advises his clients to record any encounter with police. He also told the news outlet he does not want to see any of the officers disciplined, but he is concerned that they may try to get away with such tactics with someone next time who is far less knowledgeable about the law.
“If he’s willing to directly lie to me, and tell me you know this is against the law to film police, then it worries me you know most people when they’re given an order by an officer they don’t know that it’s an unlawful order,” Bright explained.
Bright was eventually let go and he said he has since learned the departments of the cops involved in the incident have opened internal investigations. One of the departments also confirmed to the local news station that Bright did absolutely nothing wrong and was fully within his rights to record the encounter. A spokesman for one of the departments involved in the incident also reportedly confirmed that their officer would be counseled about how to handle such situations properly in the future.
Additional videos from attorney Jesse Bright are available HERE.
[image via screengrab]
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]