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A North Carolina officer falsely told a lawyer he couldn't record a traffic stop

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An officer recently pulled over Uber driver Jesse Bright in Wilmington, North Carolina and told him there's a new state law that makes filming a traffic stop illegal. 

That was false and Bright knew it because although he works for Uber to make some extra cash, he's also a criminal defense attorney. 

When Wilmington police Sgt. Kenneth Becker told him to turn off the recording during a traffic stop, Bright knew he was within his rights to continue.

Wilmington PD asks Uber driver to turn off camera

WATCH  | A North Carolina officer falsely told a lawyer he couldn't record a traffic stop

"No, I'll keep recording, thank you. It's my right," Bright replied to the officer. 

"Don’t record me. You got me?" Becker replied.


"Look, you’re a police officer on duty. I can record you," Bright fired back. 


When Becker cited the new law, Bright asked him to be more specific and that's when Becker told him to step out of the vehicle. Bright continued recording as officers searched his vehicle.

Officers told Bright that the home where his passenger was picking up a paycheck was a drug house that had been under surveillance. 

“They said I should have known it was a drug house, and I tried to tell them I was an Uber driver,” Bright told The Washington Post. “They thought it was some sort of cover.”


Wilmington Police Chief Ralph Evangelous told WWAY the department has launched an internal investigation since the incident. 

"Taking photographs and videos of people that are in plain sight including the police is your legal right,” Evangelous said. "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.”

The American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina said it's going to monitor the situation, according to Yahoo.

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