SIDNEY, Neb. — Video taken Friday night of an encounter between an officer and a motorist has since gone viral, and shows an officer losing his composure after repeatedly asking the driver why he was circling an apparent crime scene.
The man filming, who is identified by dispatchers in the video as Steven Bell, was parking his vehicle when Officer Scott Tobler called in his plates to dispatch.
Tobler can be heard calling the vehicle ‘suspicious’ before he approaches and asks Bell for his license and registration.
“Why are you circling my crime scene?” Tobler asks Bell, who states he does not have to answer. “Why are you constantly following us?”
A second officer appears in the video and removes Tobler from the situation when he shows his frustration with the difficult motorist. Bell tells the second officer, who is not identified, that he would like to file a complaint against Officer Tobler, to which the officer complies and takes his information.
Bell told the Star Herald that he had not yet heard from acting Police Chief Joseph Aikens as of Monday. He claimed that the Sidney Police Department has been “harassing” him since his arrest for felony child abuse in 2012, and began carrying around a scanner and camera to film law enforcement activities.
“I know my rights,” Bell told the Star Herald. “I was not committing a crime. If police officers can capture us on camera, they should expect us to turn the camera on them.”