You may have read about this 20 year old from the St. Louis area. His name is Brent Darrow and he drives around with his car wired for video and audio. Brent Darrow is polite. He knows his rights. And he is making some police officers look bad.
- In the first video, the officer acted like a self-important jerk who threatened to INVENT up to NINE criminal charges, after the kid had the insolence to ask why he was being stopped. Thankfully, this clown seems to have been fired.
- In the other video, the police stopped Brent at a DWI checkpoint. After asking for Brent’s license information, the officer said “Where you headed tonight?” and Brent answered, “I don’t wish to discuss my personal life with you officer.” That refusal meant that Brent would not be on his way for awhile. Not because he seemed intoxicated or was suspected of a crime, but because he drew a line at his privacy.
I’m not criticizing the police for asking the questions. They often ask questions knowing they have no authority to force answers. They will ask things like: “Can I search?” “Have you been drinking?” or “Where are you going?”
That’s OK. It’s their job to ASK. And the good ones do ask. But if the answer is no–and if they have no reasonable suspicion for holding you–a good officer is not going to get all bent out of shape about it. They are professional enough to hand back your license and say, “Thank you and have a nice evening, sir.” That’s what a good cop does.
Now I suspect this kid Brent is deliberately baiting the police. But as far as I can see, he is not loud or disrespectful, except that he refuses to give up any of his rights or privacy beyond what the law demands.
Most police officers that I know are not hyper-sensitive about their authority. They accept a refused request with grace; and endure a lot worse in the form of insults and profanity.
But some officers ought to behave better, but won’t, unless someone is watching.
- Cell phones
- Digital recorders
- MP3 players, etc
Get a clue, officer. Everybody is watched now, including you.