College Student Arrested For Filming Traffic Stop

by Adrian Wyllie

1787 Network

TARPON SPRINGS, FLORIDA – William Kilgore, a student at St. Petersburg College, commonly engages in a practice known as “cop watching,” which entails video recording police officers as they interact with citizens in public, for example during traffic stops.

On Saturday, January 15, 2011, Kilgore and his friend Thomas Frain, a student at USF, were doing just that as Tarpon Springs police officers stopped a vehicle on E. Tarpon Avenue in what appeared initially to be a routine traffic stop. Kilgore filmed the encounter from a public space about 100 feet away from the officers.

When officers searched the unidentified suspect’s vehicle, they found a controlled substance and arrested the driver on a felony possession charge. After TSPD had the suspect in custody, and the incident appeared to be over, Kilgore began to put away his camera. But that’s when events took a strange turn.

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