A Wilmington Uber driver took a police officer “to school,” so to speak, and the officer didn’t appreciate it much. But the driver’s experience ought to be instructive to police and to those who encounter them. First, in that law enforcement officers should be up to date on the law and the rights of citizens, and second, that citizens themselves ought to know their rights.
The driver, working to pay off student loans, was pulled over after picking up a passenger at a house police were surveilling, the driver said. The passenger was told to exit the vehicle and submit to a search. The driver, Jesse Bright, was told by the officer to stop filming the episode. Bright refused, and the officer told him it was illegal for him to film. Bright kept filming, and ultimately both he and his car were searched.
The problem was, Bright was right and the officer was wrong. Bright happens to be a lawyer. Police officials later backed up, going so far as to say, why, of course, people can film and they’re encouraged to do so.
Police don’t need to be freelancing their opinions of what the law is. They need to know it when it pertains to traffic stops, searches, etc. This episode can be a valuable lesson in why motorists and all citizens should know their rights and why officers of the law need to know them, too.