LAS VEGAS, NV – A couple of days ago Adam and I were walking across a pedestrian bridge on The Vegas Strip when we saw two vehicles being pulled over by the Nevada Highway Patrol. As advocates of holding public officials accountable we filmed the stop.
Overall I think we did well but we could have done a bit better. Specifically, I should have responded to questions with questions. Instead of explaining myself I should have asked “Am I legally required to answer that?” or just inform them that I choose to remain silent. But, knowing that the footage we captured may end up in a video online I decided to use the opportunity to explain why I believe that filming those with badges is so important, not just to the cops themselves but to those who would later watch the video. Also, in retrospect, it’s clear the cops were trying to bait us into saying that we may use the footage in court, for which they then claimed that they needed our information.
That said, we did well in a couple of areas – we spread out so the cops couldn’t corner us and when they demanded our ID Adam asked if we were being detained. We didn’t want to end up in another situation where the cops stole our cameras (see posts about Denver and Greenfield, MA) so we moved to different vantage points to better cover the traffic stop. And throughout the incident we remained calm, cool and collected.
What do you think? Did you learn anything? Do you have any recommendations for us?
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