Jesse Bright had a run in with the Police while working as an Uber Driver. The results were unexpected.

Jesse Bright is an Uber driver and like anyone that has worked for the ride sharing service, he understands that each passenger is unique. You never know what type of trouble a passenger may bring. During a routine stop, the passenger wasn’t the problem this time, it was an officer of the law. Little did Officer Kenneth Becker know just how this interaction would turn out. The whole event was recorded, which led to most of the problems between Bright and Becker, and after watching the entire video, which has been split up across multiple outlets, it is somewhat shocking to see just how poorly things were handled.

It also shows that one bad apple does not ruin the entire police force. Though, it is a telling sign that power can change people and make them make mistakes they likely wouldn’t have if they didn’t have the badge on their shirt. Read through to learn what happened during the stop and the results of the actions.

 

1. Driving for Uber

 

The gig economy has become a great option for individuals that are looking to earn some extra cash. Some use the ability to work on demand as a way to pay off debts, save up for events, or make some extra cash for a big purchase. As an Uber driver, you generally meet nice people that appreciate the service, but you also find that not all passengers are created equal.

2. Officer Becker Stops Bright

During a traffic stop, Officer Kenneth Becker approached Uber Driver Jesse Bright. The passenger was pulled from the car related to drug violations. Mr. Bright started recording immediately, which set Officer Becker off. The resulting days and weeks would play out in a way that he couldn’t have expected.

3. Officer Becker and the New Law

When Officer Becker noticed that Mr. Bright was recording the stop, he told Bright that he could not record the stop. When Bright protested, Officer Becker took the request a step further.

4. Becker Threatens an Arrest

Bright told Becker that he knew his rights and he would continue to record the stop. Becker then made the threat that if the recording didn’t stop he would take Bright to jail. This is when Bright revealed that he was an attorney at the local court house, later to speak to other officers that recognized him from room 317 among others. After revealing his day job, Becker stood stoic and said nothing more while he waited for additional officer to arrive.

5. Frustration Sets In

Becker stopped communication with Bright as Bright continued to explain that he was just driving for Uber. He had shown his waybill and his license and registration had already been taken. He had no intention of stopping the recording, but he was cooperating to the best of his ability. It was at this point that Becker seemed to believe Bright had drugs in his car and called for a K-9 unit to come inspect the vehicle.

   6. Patience and Uncertainty

Bright was left in his car without any further information as his passenger was arrested and he waited for the K-9 unit. Throughout the recording he shows frustration by shaking his head at the camera, spinning the recording around, showing all of the police officers that had arrived, and growing increasingly annoyed by the whole situation.

7. Other Officers Were More Level Headed

With only one more communication left with Becker (discussed later), other officers approached Bright and answered his questions. While most of the conversations were tense in nature, the other officers handled the situation professionally, but still supported what Sergeant Becker had started. If one of these officers would have pulled Becker to the side and called it quits on the stop, the rest of the story may have been more mundane.

8. Surrounded by the Police

As Bright waited for the next command from the officers, he showed how he was surrounded on all sides and that his passenger was no longer around. It would seem the passenger had been hauled off, but Bright was still being held to be investigated further. This is likely due to Becker feeling slighted that Bright would not turn off the recording, but regardless of the reason, the rest of this story is unbelievable.

  9. Uber Protects Drivers

It is important to note that when someone drives for Uber they are protected under Uber’s insurance. This waybill shows that they are insured, their passengers are insured, and Uber is protecting both in case of an accident. Even thought his information was already shown to the officers, it did not deter them from continuing to pursue an investigation to try to find something on Jesse Bright.

 10. Jesse is in for a Long Afternoon

As calmer officers explain what is occurring with the traffic stop and subsequent investigation, Bright asks questions and complies with commands. He makes sure to tell any officer that will listen that Becker told him there was a new law in regards to recording police officers.

11. Doubling Down on False Information

When Bright asks about the law that was implemented, which, as an attorney, he should be aware of, another officer informs him that it was just passed. Jesse Bright is well aware that this is not the case, but another officer doubles down on this lie and explains that he can’t record police officers any more. He also asks Bright if there are drugs in the car, to which Bright replies, that if there are they are from the passenger.

12. K-9 and Search

Once the K-9 unit arrived, Bright was moved away from his car as the drug sniffing dog started to inspect the car. On both sides of the car the dog seemed interested in what it was smelling, which led Bright to start to ask probing questions. The answers he received were a bit of a surprise.

 

 13. The Dog Found Something

As a reward, the K-9 unit handler played with his partner for a job well done. As Bright asked the officer he was standing with what the signs were that the dog found something, he was told to ask the K-9 officer. It seemed as if the dog found something and while Bright was not concerned, he did want to know more about the situation he may be facing soon. With few answers, he had no choice but to wait and continue recording. Luckily, the recording hit pay dirt as Officer Becker had one last thing to say.

14. Becker Becomes a Serious Antagonist

Walking past Bright, Becker mentioned that it was odd that the dog found something. This is in reference to Bright stating that he had nothing to hide. Becker made this statement as he passed Bright as if he were rubbing it in Bright’s face that he caught him in a lie. This would be the last time Becker was able to be so confident in front of a civilian.

15. The Search Continues

While this footage is from earlier in the search, it is a result of the suspicion that Bright was hiding something. While Becker was the only officer to overtly show any real suspicion, the other officers still searched the car high and low to see if the Sergeant may have been correct in his hunch.

16. All Hands on Deck

As Becker and other officers poured through Bright’s car, Jesse only asked the K-9 unit what the signs were that the dog found something. Was it a wag of a tail or a certain noise? He was given no answer and told to wait to speak to another officer. The run around that Bright was being given lead to obvious frustration. As he spoke to other officers he thanked them for being fair and kind, but used expletives to describe Becker and his actions.

17. Obviously Frustrated but Confident

For what must have seemed like forever, Jesse Bright stayed calm, simply asking questions and obeying directions from all officers except for Becker. When he asked for clarity about the K-9 signals, the new officer with Bright could not answer. Bright explained that he was told to ask one officer and that officer told him to ask another. Essentially, keeping Bright in the dark. This led to obvious frustration and this classic snarky image during the recording. Bright had had enough, but he knew he was not in a position to make matters worse by doing anything more than waiting.

 18. Not All Police Officers are Created Equal

While Sergeant Becker did not represent the Wilmington, NC police department in a way that most of his collegues would approve of, it is important to note that he was a single individual in a larger group. Most officers on the scene were stern but fair, trying to keep Bright at ease and informed enough, while not giving him more information than they could at the time. The actions of Becker, while not as extreme as some others throughout the United States, show that one bad day can lead to a PR nightmare for a police force. People responded to the video harshly as it went viral, supporting Bright and his calm demeanor throughout the entire ordeal. It is important to remember, though, that most officers do their job and enter the force to protect and serve. Unfortunately, they don’t get the same attention as officers like Becker.

19. Justice Served

Becker was able to return to his position after the internal investigation was concluded. While he did spend another 9 months, or so, working as an officer, it was in the spring of 2018 that he was separated from the police force. He would not get retirement, or any benefits outside of the medical that is required. It isn’t clear why he was able to return to duty for nearly a year after the investigation, but the end result was a career ending nightmare for Becker.

20. Vindicated and Validated

After the recording of the incident was released, Jesse Bright become an internet celebrity over night. His argument that he was aware of the law showed that people can exercise their rights when pulled over by a police officer. Once the tape reached the offices of Becker’s bosses, they confirmed that the police can, indeed, be recorded. This whole situation spiraled out of control due to one police officer acting in an unprofessional and threatening manner. Maybe he was a good Sergeant and sorely missed by his peers, but in a position of power, no matter how bad of a day one may have, it is the duty of the officer to stay calm and collected. The failure to do so ended up highlighting one of the issues that citizens face when interacting with officers. Jesse Bright showed that knowing your rights is all you need to ensure that you are as safe as possible and able to protect yourself if things get out of hand.

 

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