Intimidation, Pure and Simple

Since the Deepwater Horizon exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, media organizations have complained about how access has been tightly controlled by BP. But what if you were just in the area doing some filming, were then approached by a member of Law Enforcement and said Law Enforcement officer “strongly suggested” that BP doesn’t want you to do said filming even though you weren’t on BP property? What if you were then pulled over by the same Law Enforcement Officer later with a BP Security Officer in tow.

Yeah, that would be intimidation.

From the article:

The cop stood by as Thomas interrogated Wheelan for 20 minutes, asking him who he worked with, who he answered to, what he was doing, why he was down here in Louisiana. He phoned Wheelan’s information in to someone. Wheelan says Thomas confiscated his Audubon volunteer badge (he’d recently attended an official Audubon/BP bird-helper volunteer training) and then wouldn’t give it back, which sounds like something only a bully in a bad movie would do. Eventually, Thomas let Wheelan go.

“Then two unmarked security cars followed me,” Wheelan told me. “Maybe I’m paranoid, but I was specifically trying to figure out if they were following me, and every time I pulled over, they pulled over.” This went on for 20 miles. Which does little to mitigate my own developing paranoia about reporting from what can feel like a corporate-police state.

The media liaison for the government-run Deepwater Horizon Response Joint Information Center told me BP would would get back to me for comment on the incident. I’m still waiting.

h/t JoanVixen




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