A documentary filmmaker and activist, who is suing Trump for throwing him out of a rally, was detained for trying to record Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren in New Hampshire Tuesday.
Manchester police pulled over Rod Webber and asked him why he was following Warren while and her staff as they campaigned.
“I’m a documentarian, I’m making a documentary of the election. I was trying to get to the next event. It’s pretty simple. It is a standard tradition that has happened for decades,” Webber responded.
Manchester police did not believe Webber and decided to detain everyone in his party.
Webber and others went on Facebook Live after Manchester police forced them out of their vehicle. We have included the Live video at the bottom.
“It is our First Amendment right to cover the New Hampshire primaries, or any politics for that matter, but now they are performing a retaliatory towing because the officer down there who Vermin (Supreme) is speaking to says I wasn’t cooperative with him enough,” Webber says.
The cops eventually acknowledge that they were a film crew but then cited Webber for using an electronic device behind the wheel of a running vehicle. Police also had the car towed because they say he had a suspended license.
According to The State of New Hampshire website:
“265:79-c Use of Mobile Electronic Devices While Driving; Prohibition. –
I. (a) No person, while driving a moving motor vehicle upon a way or temporarily halted in traffic for a traffic control device or other momentary delay, shall use any hand-held mobile electronic device capable of providing voice or data communication, including but not limited to: reading, composing, viewing, or posting any electronic message; or initiating, receiving, or conducting a conversation; or initiating a command or request to access the Internet; or inputting information into a global positioning system or navigation device; or manually typing data into any other portable electronic device. An operator of a motor vehicle who holds a cellular telephone or other electronic device capable of voice communication in the immediate proximity of his or her ear while such vehicle is in motion is presumed to be engaging in a call within the meaning of this section.
(b) “Driving,” for the purposes of this section, shall not include when a person is behind the controls of a vehicle that has pulled to the side of or off the road at a location where it is legal to do so and where the vehicle remains stationary.
II. It shall not be an offense under this section for any person driving a motor vehicle upon a way:
(a) To make use of a cellular telephone or other electronic device capable of voice communication to report an emergency to the enhanced 911 system or directly to a law enforcement agency, fire department, or emergency medical provider.
(b) To use one hand to transmit or receive messages on any non-cellular 2-way radio.
(c) To use a Bluetooth enabled or other hands-free electronic device, or a similar device that is physically or electronically integrated into a motor vehicle, for such a purpose to send or receive information provided the driver does not have to divert his or her attention from the road ahead. As used in this section, “hands-free electronic device” means a mobile electronic device that has an internal feature or function, or that is equipped with an attachment or addition, whether or not permanently part of such mobile electronic device, by which a user engages in conversation without the use of either hand; provided, however, this definition shall not preclude the use of either hand merely to activate, deactivate, or initiate a function of the telephone.
(d) To perform any action required by an ignition interlock device.
III. Any person who violates this section shall be guilty of a violation and shall be fined $100 plus penalty assessment for a first offense, $250 plus penalty assessment for a second offense, and $500 plus penalty assessment for any subsequent offense within a 24-month period.
IV. No person less than 18 years of age shall use a cellular or mobile telephone or other mobile electronic device, whether hands-free or not, while driving a motor vehicle in motion or temporarily stopped in traffic upon any way, except to report an emergency to the enhanced 911 system or any public safety agency. A person violating this paragraph shall be subject to the fines in paragraph III and license suspension or revocation under RSA 263:14, III.
V. Nothing in this section shall prohibit a driver, regardless of age, from receiving aural routing information from a hands-free global positioning device or navigation service through a mobile electronic device; or receiving turn-by-turn routing information from the screen of a global positioning device or navigation service through a mobile electronic device that is integrated into the vehicle or mounted on the dashboard, windshield, or visor of the vehicle.”
It is unclear if Webber was using the device while driving.
Officers allowed Webber to get his possessions out of the vehicle, once the tow truck arrived. The video ends shortly after as Webber waits for his ticket.
A second Facebook Live video was started once police came back with his tickets.
Webber was cited for driving with a suspended license and using an electronic device while driving.
Webber suspended license was due to a ticket he received in 1999.
The First Amendment of the Constitution protects the freedom of press.
According to Think First Amendment:
“It protects the right to report news or circulate opinions without censorship from any form of government or law,” … “This right is not limited to major news programs and mainstream sources. It also protects you in obtaining and sharing information without penalty. Freedom of the Press exposes ideas and opinions based on facts, research and credible sources to inform ordinary citizens.”
Webber already has a pending lawsuit against the Manchester Police Department for throwing him out of a multi-candidate presidential rally in 2016, after he tried to ask Trump a question. The Trump Organization filed a motion to be dismissed from the suit which was mostly granted except the count on negligent hiring.
Webber was known as the “Flower Guy” during the 2016 presidential election because he would hand out flowers to candidates. Check out his YouTube channel where he attempts to interview all presidential candidates.
The documentary trailer can be found here.