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Oregon Deputies Caught on Dash Cam Acknowledging Illegal Traffic Stop


Here is a perfect example of why we should all learn the public records law in our respective states and use them to our full advantage.

Last May, animal rights activist Steve Hindi was kicked out of an Oregon rodeo for trying to video record after they had hastily posted up signs saying it was not allowed, then announcing on the loudspeaker that only locals would be allowed to video record.

Hindi, founder of Showing Animals Respect and Kindness (SHARK), had flown into town to bail out another animal rights activist who had been arrested at the rodeo the previous day for video recording.

That activist, Adam Fahnestock, was arrested by Malheur County sheriff deputy Bob Wroten – who happens to sit on the board of the Jordan Valley Big Loop Rodeo – which is an obvious conflict of interest.

Nevertheless, it is a private venue and many would agree that they can create their own rules, even if it means opening it to the public for an admission price, then selectively deciding who gets to video record.

So Hindi didn’t bother arguing with them about getting kicked out. But he also didn’t bother providing identification when they asked for it because he knew they had no legal basis to do so. He just got in his car and drove off.

But then he realized he was being followed by a Malheur County sheriff’s deputy, who pulled him over more than ten miles away from the rodeo on the basis that he had not provided identification back at the rodeo.

Anybody can see it was a bullshit traffic stop. Even the deputies themselves knew it was a bullshit traffic stop, according to a conversation between two deputies recorded on their dash cam as they pulled him over.

Hindi obtained the video through a public records request and posted it on Youtube, which you can see above. Here is a sampling of their conversation:

“I didn’t want to stop the man.”

“God, we’re going to get sued.”

‘We’re going to be in a world of hurt.”

It’s all because of that rodeo board.”

“DAMMIT, I was still recording.”

Call the Malheur County Sheriff’s Department at (541) 473-5510 or email the sheriff at  Malheur County Sheriff Brian Wolfe.

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And call Malheur County District Attorney Dan Norris at (541) 473-5127 or email him at Malheur County District Attorney Dan Norris.

About Carlos Miller

Carlos Miller is founder and publisher of Photography is Not a Crime, which began as a one-man blog in 2007 to document his trial after he was arrested for photographing police during a journalistic assignment. He is also the author of The Citizen Journalist's Photography Handbook, which can be purchased through Amazon.