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Driver Recorded Cops as He Claimed They Were Harassing Him. He Probably Wishes the Cops Hadn't Started Recording Him Back.


"I'm scared right now for my life because stuff are happening to black people."

Image via WCBS-TV

It's a simple recipe: Have a camera ready, and when a police officer abuses his power, record the abuse and post the video online to exonerate yourself.

Of course, the tactic backfires if it turns out you were breaking the law — and the cops have their own video to back up the charges.

When Leonard Cephas filmed his traffic stop in New Jersey and posted the video to YouTube, he presented himself as the target of racially motivated police harassment.

"I'm scared right now for my life because stuff are happening to black people," he tells the camera as he repeatedly yells to the officer through his closed window, "Am I being detained?"

But dash cam video captured by the police shows a different sort of scene.

Image via WCBS-TV Image via WCBS-TV

As WCBS-TV reported, police saw Cephas' vehicle blow through a stop sign.

Then, during the traffic stop, a police officer said he smelled marijuana coming from the car — and then Cephas reportedly rolled his window up all the way.

Cephas reportedly refused to roll his window back down, and police waited for 30 minutes -- remaining calm -- before finally breaking his window and arresting him.

Image via WCBS-TV Image via WCBS-TV

Cephas, appearing a little subdued, spoke with WCBS and contested police claims.

"I'm tired of getting out of my car every time," he said.

Police said they found two bags of weed in Cephas' car, but he maintained his innocence.

Image via WCBS-TV Image via WCBS-TV

Cephas now faces charges of driving under the influence and resisting arrest, WCBS reported, and is due in court in October.

Follow Zach Noble (@thezachnoble) on Twitter

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