Some NFL players are using video to record traffic stops

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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.

38 responses to “Some NFL players are using video to record traffic stops

  1. How about acting like a citizen, obeying traffic laws and not carrying drugs and/or concealed weapons in yer whip. Is that asking too much?

  2. Anyone who does not record any and every interaction with the police is a moron. I have been doing this for years, it keeps them in check.

    Everyone should also have a dash camera, don’t understand why most don’t.

  3. Well, maybe some NFL players ARE unfairly targeted, I do not know, however mentioning KENNY BRITT in conjunction with an article on the subject of “targeting” is laughable!! Any trouble that comes this chump’s way is either deserved or payback for the times he DIDN’T get caught!

  4. You have to nowadays. There are some cops out there have have an agenda or will abuse their power.

    These cops will always defend their transgressions even when things are recorded from their own dashboard cams may prove otherwise.

    I don’t blame anyone for having a back-up plan.

  5. Don’t have to video the stop these days. Just get the one from the nearest lamp post, or the convenience store across the street. Or look for it on You Tube from a passing motorist.

  6. Videotaping police encounters is almost always a good idea. The only caveat is that you know the law. For example, in Maryland, the police are allowed to order you to step out of your video and it’s not usually considered an arrest.

  7. Every interaction with the police should be video documented. The police have shown time after time that they are not always serving the interest of the people and sometimes are just power tripping.

  8. It is a smart move. I was arrested once for refusing to take a breathalyzer/blood test (automatic DUI), even though I requested to take a breathalyzer test at the scene. When I went to trial, the officer claimed I never said that, and when my lawyer subpoenaed the cops belt recorder, he claimed “the batteries on the belt recorder had burned out” so there was no record. If I had been recording it on my own, I would have gotten off as I should have. Pigs can’t be trusted!

  9. Can’t trust cops with an agenda. Always record interactions. Great advice from a friend who is a lawyer. If the cop is straight then nobody has anything to worry about.

  10. Nothing wrong with videotaping a run in with the law. Never trust a cop. NEVER. Even when innocent of any wrongdoing, it’s very likely you will be under suspicion for something.

  11. @ trubblman

    Very good point. I would also add you should carry a copy of the appropriate law, ordinance or whatever in your glove box. Also if possible try to get a letter from your local LEO confirming this law.

    In my travels I have found that cops generally are ignorant to rules and regs and often just try to make up their own.

  12. All cops have cameras on their dashboards anyways. And I love the people who interject personal stories like anyone cares about how some cop busted you for pot and you are still bitter about it.

  13. Anyone who does not record any and every interaction with the police is a moron. I have been doing this for years, it keeps them in check.

    Exactly how many run ins with the police have you had? And perhaps you should make a change in your life?

  14. Paranoid but smart too. Agree with the fact these guys need to man up and do the safe thing for other victims that potentially may get hurt and themselves.

  15. All cops have cameras on their dashboards anyways. And I love the people who interject personal stories like anyone cares about how some cop busted you for pot and you are still bitter about it.


    are you serious? i hope not.

    WE ALL KNOW THEY HAVE CAMERAS IN THE COP CARS. everyone knows that. but are you supposed to just TRUST that the footage won’t “accidentally” be “lost” or “stolen”?

    By the way, I’ve never been arrested and have never even had a speeding ticket before. so BOO YAH to your judgmental self.

  16. The cameras in cop cars are a good step but it doesn’t tell what is said between an officer and driver. Better is the “cop-cam” where police wear a camera that shows exactly what they’re seeing but also records the audio. Better policing via video/audio transparency.

  17. Some people may not believe it …but there are many police who can tend to embellish a few facts in order to conduct a search and/ or make
    An arrest. An American citizen has the absolute right to refuse an
    Officer’s request to search a vehicle. Just say no. Don’t believe the officer’s assertion that he or she will go easy on you if you cooperate.
    Once you give permission they now have a valid reason to search.
    Recording the encounter is just plain smart. If the officer gets angry that’s too bad . Why would a person get angry when another is taping
    The encounter….unless they had an intent to do something illegal .

  18. I will never forget Danny Aiello talking to Eddie Murphy and Richard Pryor in Harlem Nights, “You people with your fancy cars and a nice houses and I live in a hovel.” it is no secret that there are many cops that hate millionaire athletes when they live on a much smaller salary. Whatever the ones that are in the right have to do to keep themselves from getting caught by a dirty cop on trumped up charges I agree with

  19. Check your state laws. This can get you in trouble. For instance in Massachusetts, recording audio without proof that ALL parties know they are being recorded is a felony. Easy way to go from a traffic stop to jail.

  20. I would do the same, regardless of whether I was famous/known or not. If I could afford to rum that and have it on — only to let them know after the fact that their abuse of authority was being recorded — I bet a lot of the nonsensical traffic stops would decrease. This is why you can’t get them to show up to an ACTUAL scene where their assistance is needed.

  21. romosmicrodongs says: Nov 29, 2013 3:43 PM

    you’re right pft, we shouldn’t exacerbate things by recording them. we should just trust authority and let them beat us behind the squad car gratefully

    hahahaha post of the day!

  22. Footballwest: the point of the article is that these people are pulled over for no reason. Some athletes actually do conduct themselves as proper citizens act. Everyone should record any interaction with police. Police love to search cars, houses, etc without probable cause. Point out that they cannot legal search and they switch into intimidation mode by telling you that you could be arrested. Clearly not all police act that way, however, recording the event will protect a person if they are unlucky and get an officer who does.

  23. Check YouTube and you will see a lot of Russian Chinese and Japanese citizens already do this because of the incredible amount of insurance fraud there.

    Now average Americans are doing exactly the same thing ,not to catch the police but for antitheft and crash protection reasons.

    These cameras can be bought for as little as fifty dollars online.

    Most come directly from China-airfreighted to you.

    These cameras use computer memory that rewrites the same five minutes over and over until a g-sensor saves a chunk or you save the recorded section.

    This is amazingly advanced tech that is changing the way we will all drive our cars.

    Five years from now-all business vehicles, police and taxis will have these as will a majority of privately owned cars-you will get an insurance break for having this in your car.

    I’m buying myself one for each of my cars-just makes sense to be able to say to the police-” I have what he did to my car on video.”

    No more taking someones word about anything.

  24. They pulled him over, detained him for more than 30 minutes, and weren’t able to come up with anything he did wrong or anything that would justify temporarily detaining him like they did.

    He’s lucky he had the video going. It makes it harder for the police to lie about what they did.

  25. The only way a videotaping will get you arrested faster than not is where judges have shown a propensity to deny citizens their civil rights. Making up charges is a conspiratorial endevor which includes prosecutors and judges.

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