by Jason Howerton
A police officer in Sidney, Neb., lost his temper while dealing with a defiant motorist he accused of circling his “crime scene” on Friday night. The video of the incident has since gone viral, though there is plenty of debate regarding who instigated the altercation.
The driver of the vehicle, identified as Steven Bell, began filming when Officer Scott Tobler pulled him over. The driver in the video has a police scanner in his vehicle that alerts him of the activity of law enforcement.
“Why are you circling my crime scene?” Tobler asks Bell, who refuses to answer any questions. “Why are you constantly following us?”
“I do not have to answer any questions without a lawyer present,” Bell says over and over.
The officer then instructed Bell to stop circling his crime scene or he would be arrested for obstruction. The cop accused the motorist of driving by at least five times.
Bell and his female passenger are heard arguing that they aren’t doing anything wrong by driving freely on the street.
A second officer, Curtis Hofrock, then appears in the video as Tobler starts to lose his patience.
That’s when things got out of hand.
“Stop following us around,” Tolber says in the video.
“There is no law against that–” Bell starts to argue.
“Stop following us around! That’s your last warning!” the cop screams in a rage, throwing what appeared to be the warning in Bell’s lap.
Tolber then shouts, “Just because you’re a chickens**t motherf***er!”
The other officer in the video quickly intervenes and says “that’s enough.”
Bell then told Hofrock he wants to file “assault” charges because the officer threw the paper warning at him. The officer complies and takes his information to file a complaint.
“I know my rights,” Bell told the Star Herald after the incident. “I was not committing a crime. If police officers can capture us on camera, they should expect us to turn the camera on them.”
Bell also told the Herald that he began carrying out a police scanner and camera to film police after they began “harassing” him following his arrest for felony child abuse. The charges were reportedly dismissed days after being filed. It seems clear that Bell has a rocky relationship with local law enforcement.
Since the video of the interaction has gone viral, many have accused him of “entrapping” the police officer, but Bell says police officers should be aware that they are under scrutiny and act responsibly.