Motorhome Diaries Crew Recover Deleted Video of Police Encounter

Friday, December 3rd, 2010

Last May, the crew of the Motorhome Diaries libertarian road tour were arrested in Jones County, Mississippi after a traffic stop. One of the crew, Adam Mueller, was charged with disorderly conduct, though Jones County officials then wavered about what exactly Mueller did wrong. They first said he was arrested for not putting down his video camera when ordered to do so. But it isn’t illegal to record police officers in Mississippi. They then said he was arrested for moving from the spot where police officers instructed him to stay.

Mueller recorded most of the encounter, but when his camera was returned to him after he was released from jail the video had been deleted. He has since been able to recover the video, which he walks you through in the video below. The video is choppy and fragmented, a result both of Mueller’s holding it during a traffic stop and the fact that it has since been deleted and recovered. Mueller says the recovered video shows the deputies lied about a number of aspects of the stop and subsequent arrests. You can watch and see whether or not you agree with him.

But here’s what now is indisputable: Mueller took video of the traffic stop, and that video—evidence in both the county’s case against Mueller and Pete Eyre and in their lawsuit against the county—was deleted while Mueller’s camera was in the possession of the Jones County Sheriff’s Department. I’m no lawyer, but I’m fairly sure that’s destruction of evidence. And I’m fairly sure it’s a crime. And it seems to me it’s a much more serious crime than anything Mueller or Eyre are alleged to have done.

The question is, will Jones County Sheriff Alex Hodge investigate, and will the person who deleted the video be charged?

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62 Responses to “Motorhome Diaries Crew Recover Deleted Video of Police Encounter”

  1. #1 |  SJE | 

    #50: the destruction of exculpatory evidence would not come into play if the case is dismissed.

  2. #2 |  Arthur | 


    Damn, it’s too bad it was a paper/temporary registration as that is essentially automatic PC for a stop. I agree it was a standard fishing expedition but I wish it could be proven in court.

  3. #3 |  K9kevlar | 

    Arthur, Arthur, why would you want that? What good can come of it? A bright line rule by the gang of 9, that gives carte blanche to seize vehicles with paper tags or out of state plates, would be the end result.

  4. #4 |  SJE | 

    The weak link here is the prosecutor. Faced with clear evidence of police misconduct, he declines to file charges.

  5. #5 |  K9kevlar | 

    Given what we all know about the environment we live in, does anyone really think driving to Jones County, Mississippi in a decorated motorhome with paper tags would NOT invite trouble. You people here act like the MHD guys are victims of circumstance as opposed to just plain fucking stupidity. They made a decision to taunt roadside bandits and they got fucked with. What do you folks think roadside bandits do all day? They steal other people’s shit in a punctilious fashion. They do not concern themselves with the victim’s version of the procedures.

  6. #6 |  SJE | 

    What evidence do you have that the MHD sought a confrontation with police? In any situation where someone is improperly arrested or, for that matter, beaten, raped, murdered, etc, we can always find some after the fact reasoning that shows how the actions of the victim led to the injury. This reasoning is logically flawed and, most importantly, shifts the onus to the victim. If a cop wants to act like a f*ing tyrant, he is the one at fault.

  7. #7 |  K9kevlar | 

    SJE what evidence do you require? They took a large vehicle, painted the most visible color known to man, and drove it around with non standard license plates. Do you think this will not garner unwanted attention from police? Add the black and you get the basic color scheme of a hornet. Humans are predisposed to perceive that as danger. Then add the FACT that anything not benignly normal will result in a confrontation with the police and you do not need to be a logicion to predict the score of that game.

  8. #8 |  K9kevlar | 

    SJE what tools do the police have? If you give a carpenter lumber, nails, and a hammer he will build you a house. Give a plumber pipe, solder, and a torch he will give you running water. Give a man the tools of tryanny and what do you suppose he will give you? Just because you want to think you are not living in a police state does not negate the fact that you are.

  9. #9 |  BoogaFrito | 

    The video is of questionable quality because it’s being recorded off a computer monitor (a copy of a copy).

    It would have looked better if they had just uploaded the original video (with the commentary soundtrack).

    Also, K9kevlar’s mother had it coming because of the way she was dressed.

  10. #10 |  BoogaFrito | 

    Aha! Here’s a link to the raw footage of the Motorhome Diaries arrests:

  11. #11 |  K9kevlar | 

    BoogaFrito you forgot to mention that my mom was holding a paper sign that said fuck me as she lay there on the side of the road.

  12. #12 |  Bergman | 

    Replying to Boyd, #14: In many places, simply being in a recognizable group with someone who commits a crime in your presence prior to the crime is sufficient for a conviction for that crime. It’s called being an accessory. The same case can (and should) be made for police destroying exculpatory evidence, since destruction of evidence is a felony.