A video circulating social media is stirring up some controversy. The video shows a young man arrested while filming a routine traffic stop in Lafayette last week.
18-year-old Alexander John Lege of Eunice is charged with "interfering with a law enforcement investigation."
It's not the first time Lege has recorded law enforcement, but this time, he got more than he bargained. It all began when Lege pulled into a parking lot off Ambassador Caffery Parkway and started recording a traffic stop. That's when the Lafayette Parish sheriff deputy on-site shined his light in Lege's direction and said, "(inaudible) here by taping this investigation. If you want, I can confiscate your phone, I will take it with me. I'll book it into evidence because you're interfering with my investigation."
Lege responded," Well, I didn't use my phone in the commission of a crime, so." The deputy said back, "You're interfering with my investigation, that is the commission of a crime."
The 15-minute video then shows what followed, a somewhat heated exchange about whether or not Lege was allowed to film. But the Lafayette Parish Sheriff's Office says recording was not the issue, it was safety, since it was unclear to the deputy why Lege was there in the first place.
"You don't know if that gentleman is armed, you don't know if he's an ally of the person being stopped," said Captain Kip Judice with the LPSO. "Certainly we know now after deputies investigated."
Judice say Lege was charged with "interfering with a law enforcement investigation" since the deputy's attention was diverted from the initial traffic violator.
A bad past experience has shaped Lege's desire to record traffic stops, which is why he says he was present the night this video was taken.
"I was hoping nothing would happen and I could talk to the officer and I could leave and delete the video afterward," said Lege. "However, I was there to film in case something did happen."
Lege says he meant no harm, but out of principal, he didn't leave when the officer asked.
"(I didn't leave) because if I pull away, it gives them the right to do it to someone else. It gives them the right of power. If everyone just listens to unlawful orders, they think they can do it all the time," said Lege.
The case has now been forwarded to the District Attorney's Office for further investigation.
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