Dashcam video alleges police misconduct; video show patrol cars speeding without flashing lights
1:38 AM, Jan 12, 2014
9:19 AM, Jan 13, 2014
WESLEY CHAPEL, Fla. - A Wesley Chapel resident has taken it upon himself to record police and government vehicles speeding without flashing lights or sirens.
Using multiple cameras installed on his SUV, Eric Campbell said he is simply trying to call out the people who are supposed to be upholding the law, for not obeying the law.
Eric Campbell said it was a car crash that motivated him to install multiple cameras on his SUV after a lady changed her story to police about what really happened in the accident.
By having cameras facing every direction and recording constantly, there would be no mistaking what was going on around his vehicle.
It wasn't long before Campbell realized he was recording incidents of law enforcement cars speeding by his car without sirens or flashing lights. Campbell then posted those videos to Youtube, and filed complaints with local police agencies.
"I'm not out to get cops," Campbell said. "I'd just like to see the same rules apply to everybody."
Campbell uses a $300 device that records video and the speed he's traveling using GPS, as well as any police car he may be following.
In one case, he followed a vehicle that appeared to have no regard for the posted speed limits.
"I got up to about a hundred [mph}, at which point I didn't feel safe. I immediately slowed back down again," Campbell said. "And that was it. I had what I needed to make a submission."
His videos show alleged driving misconduct by a Tampa Police car, an unmarked Tampa Fire Rescue vehicle, a Pasco County Sheriff's cruiser, and a Hillsborough County Sheriff's car.
The Tampa officer was traveling 73 in a 55 mph zone, according to Campbell, while the Pasco Sheriff's deputy was speeding at 92 in a 55. Campbell said he clocked the Tampa Fire Rescue employee going 102 miles per hour in Pasco County, well outside that agency's jurisdiction.
"Once those enforcing the laws don't have to obey them, what point is there for the rest of us to obey them?" Campbell asked.
The Pasco County resident said it's useless to expect law enforcement to police themselves.
"There is this unwritten rule that they do not cite each other," Campbell said.
That's why he's taken it upon himself to publicize his videos in an effort to stop bad driving behavior by government employees.
So far, Tampa, Hillsborough, and Pasco officials declined comment about the alleged incidents, saying they are under ongoing investigation. No officers have been disciplined in connection to the videos.
Campbell is no stranger to challenging law enforcement. He filed a class action lawsuit in 2009 after he was ticketed by the Florida Highway Patrol for flashing his headlights to warn oncoming traffic about a speed trap. Campbell said that case was recently reinstated by the Florida Supreme Court after being dismissed by a lower court.
Campbell said he is not a vigilante, even though his Youtube videos have provoked reactions by both the general public and other law enforcement officers. He plans to continue trying to keep police and government officials honest.
"The law should be upheld by people who obey the law," Campbell said.