- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 9, 2017

Video of a North Carolina cop lying to an attorney during a traffic stop has prompted an investigation into a Mobile Field Force.

Attorney Jesse Bright was driving through the Tar Heel State last month when he was pulled over by the Wilmington Police Department. Mr. Bright, who spends his spare time as an Uber driver, was threatened with jail for recording Sgt. Kenneth Becker’s behavior.

“Don’t record me. You got me?” the officer said. “Be careful because there is a new law. Turn it off, or I’ll take you to jail.”

“For recording you? What is the law?” the attorney asked during the Feb. 26 incident. He was never given an answer.

Linda Thompson of the Wilmington Police Department told a local CBS affiliate that an internal affairs began March 3 but declined to specify the officer involved.

“You’re being a jerk,” the officer added before calling for a K-9 unit. “You better hope we don’t find something in your car.”

“I’m scared right now. I’m not being a jerk. I’m recording in case anything happens,” Mr. Bright said.

“I knew that he was just trying to coerce me to not film him anymore,” Mr. Bright told another CBS affiliate on Wednesday. “I didn’t want to see anyone get fired or anything come of this. I really just want people to understand their rights. 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.”

Nothing illegal was found in Mr. Bright’s car, and he was eventually allowed to go on his way.

“Taking photographs and videos of people that are in plain sight including the police is your legal right,” Police Chief Ralph Evangelous said in a statement released Wednesday. “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.”

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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