In some NFL cities, the players get preferential treatment from the police. In others, they drive around with targets on their backs.
Players who believe they’re being potentially selected by law enforcement have decided to do some targeting of their own — with video. As explained by Brent Schrotenboer of USA Today, some players are using smartphones to deter police officers.
“I’ve actually had cops let me go after they found out that I was recording them,” Titans receiver Kenny Britt said.
Cardinals defensive tackle Darnell Dockett has done the same thing, specifically in 2011 when he was stopped by police in Maryland.
“I had picked up my phone and put it on video,” Dockett told Schrotenboer. “I let it sit there and said loud and clear, ‘I don’t drink; I don’t smoke; I don’t have a weapon in my car. You didn’t tell me why you pulled me over. I asked if I was under arrest. You said no. I don’t see anything I did wrong or why I’m sitting here. I gave you my license, my registration; everything is legit.’ He knew I was talking to the camera.”
Dockett said police wanted to search his vehicle.
“I said, ‘The only way I’m stepping out of the car is if you are going to place me under arrest, and at this point you’d be arresting me for no reason,’” Dockett said. “He knew the video was going. They stayed there for about 30 minutes, and I guess they had to go. He said, ‘You can leave.’”
While the practice has some appeal, it could serve to inflame an otherwise innocuous interaction, compelling the police to dot i’s and cross t’s while exercising their discretion in a way that results in an arrest occurring. But if the driver believes something fishy could happen without video evidence, it makes sense to press the “record” button.