Published: Sat, March 11, 2017
Life&Culture | By Ted Wilson

Lying cop unaware of Uber driver's law degree; released video prompts investigation

Lying cop unaware of Uber driver's law degree; released video prompts investigation

A North Carolina lawyer pulled over by police while working as an Uber driver has told an officer it was not against the law to film him while on duty - despite the man's claims to the contrary. I'm sitting here in my auto. First and foremost is the right to remain silent - "If you wish to exercise that right, say so out loud", the ACLU advises. "I'm an attorney, so I would hope I know what the law is".

He says: "I can keep recording you".

Bright's legal background unknown to the officer, Becker becomes insistent when the driver refuses to stop recording the encounter.

"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", he said.

A K-9 unit reportedly did end up coming, though it didn't find anything. "I hope so", replies the sergeant. In addition to being an Uber driver, Bright also happens to be a full-time criminal defense attorney, the Washington Post reported on Friday. Bright demanded to know what new law the officer was speaking of, but instead he was ordered out of the vehicle.

The cop still didn't believe him: "And an Uber driver?" He said he was pulled over on February 26 after picking up a passenger. Finally, the cops, without Bright's consent, intimidated him to the point where he was unlawfully coerced into conceding to a search.

When Bright asked him about the law, Becker did not have any answer, because he lied. We've heard reports of this but we've never seen It captured on video before'.

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"How's that amusing?" asks Bright as he points out this unprofessional officer's conduct. Another officer told me that me and my Uber passenger were free to go.

Part-time Uber driver Jesse Bright said he took his phone out to record the police after he was pulled over in his vehicle - but claims one of the officers told him it was illegal to do so. "As a matter of fact we invite citizens to do so when they believe it is necessary". The initial search indicated a presence of narcotics, which led police to conduct a search of the vehicle, according to NBC affiliate WECT.

"Taking photographs and videos of people that are in plain sight including the police is your legal right", a statement from Wilminton Police chief Ralph Evangelous said.

Police have confirmed that Bright was allowed to make his recording and that an internal investigation has been launched.

Becker said that he recorded the police interaction to protect himself, and he had video of the policeman lying to him about not being able to record the police as well as the subsequent search of his auto. They refused to tell me.

Because a deputy with the New Hanover County Sheriff's Department was also involved in the traffic stop, the Sheriff's office also released a statement reiterating the legality of recording police officers in public. Had Bright not pulled out his camera and filmed, this situation could have gone far worse.

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