There has been considerable controversy over BP preventing journalists and activists to film in public areas — showing the damage of the recent spill on animals and the environment. BP has no authority to do so, but it continues (as in this video) to prevent filming at various locations.
The video shows Drew Wheelan, the conservation coordinator for the American Birding Association, was filming himself across the street from the BP building/Deepwater Horizon response command in Houma, Louisiana. He is approached by an officer (who we learn later is working for BP):
Wheelan: “Am I violating any laws or anything like that?”
Officer: “Um…not particularly. BP doesn’t want people filming.”
Wheelan: “Well, I’m not on their property so BP doesn’t have anything to say about what I do right now.”
Officer: “Let me explain: BP doesn’t want any filming. So all I can really do is strongly suggest that you not film anything right now. If that makes any sense.”
Wheelan says that he was later pulled over by the same officer and another officer named Kenneth Thomas with a badge reading “Chief BP Security.” He was allegedly questioned and Thomas confiscated his Audubon volunteer badge.
The deputy was off-duty at the time and the story below reports that Major Malcolm Wolfe of the sheriff’s office insisted that there was nothing wrong in an officer working for a private company to use his police car to pull over citizens. The story says Wolfe thought it was a proper use of a vehicle because Wheelan could be a “terrorist.” He should rest assured. With the possible exception of the 9-11 attacks, no terrorist in history has caused the type of property and environmental damage as BP.
If BP contests these facts, it should do so clearly and publicly. As it stands, this is a truly frightening story.
Source: Mother Jones