Moments after a fire truck flipped on its side while speeding, a Louisiana woman stepped out of her home with her smartphone while video recording, only for a firefighter to storm into her yard, ordering her to the camera off.
When she kept recording, another firefighter and state police officer ganged up on her, threatening to arrest her and confiscate her phone.
Tracy Dickens did as she was told, but still wasn’t convinced.
So she went to the local newspaper, which wrote an article about the incident, prompting the state police to offer her a personal apology, insisting they merely “misinterpreted the law.”
When she contacted the Maurepas Volunteer Fire Department and asked for an apology, they blew her off.
According to the Advocate:
Capt. Doug Cain, a State Police spokesman, confirmed Dickens called State Police about the incident and the trooper and his supervisors apologized to her.
Cain said the trooper simply misinterpreted the law and there should never be issues with people filming incidents from private property, or in public at all.
“When you’re wrong, you’re wrong,” Cain said. “That’s just how we do business.”
Dickens said she also called the Maurepas Volunteer Fire Department seeking an apology.
Dickens said the department’s chief, Samantha Breaud, came off as combative and informed her she would have to submit any complaints in writing.
She also contacted the Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office, asking them to arrest the firefighters for trespassing on her property, but they refused.
And I’m sure the Louisiana State Police also refused to cite the firefighter for speeding, which is probably why nobody wanted her to record in the first place.
UPDATE: The fire chief apologized, after all, claiming it was all a big misunderstanding and that they are now reviewing their policies to see if any were broken.
According to the Advocate:
Breaud initially declined comment about the incident, but she said Friday she was willing to speak after State Police finished its initial investigation into the crash.
Firefighters asked Dickens to stop recording the scene because they were worried about information leaking before the investigation was complete, Breaud said.
Breaud said State Police believe the driver was involved in a no-contact hit-and-run — meaning somebody may have swerved into the driver’s lane and did not make contact but caused the truck to crash.
State Police did not issue any tickets to the driver of the truck, Breaud said. Two witnesses confirmed to State Police that the driver was not speeding.
In other words, they needed time to conjure a story to protect the firefighter, who was initially reported as speeding in the original article, to blame a non-existant “no-contact hit-and-run” on the vehicle flip over, which is an oxymoron in itself.
If they did have witnesses as they claimed or if the firefighter did lose control of the vehicle after being run off the road, they would not have had a problem with Dickens recording because they would have wanted to get as much information out there as possible about the fleeing driver.
But there was no hit-and-run driver and there were no witnesses.
If there was any grain of truth to their claims, you can be rest assured there would have been a description of the car; a color, a make, a model, a partial license plate number, anything, but there was nothing.
Nothing but lies.
UPDATE II: Unlike the state police, Breaud could not find it in herself to offer Dickens a personal apology, issuing an apology in a media statement (which we can call a “no-contact hit-and-run” apology) as you can read in her husband’s Facebook comment on the Advocate article.
Also, another commenter stated that his friend witnessed the rollover and it appeared as if the firefighter had been speeding.