NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The Davidson County Sheriff’s Department is re-training its deputies and changing policy after a woman recently recorded a confrontation with a deputy and put it online.
The woman is part of a group of individuals calling themselves “First Amendment Auditors.”
“I am protecting everyone’s rights. I examine the behavior of our public servants and the way they treat the public,” the woman told News 2 over the phone.
These individuals record themselves asking questions, confronting, even taunting law enforcement to test their behavior or provoke a reaction.
The local camerawoman said she doesn’t see herself as confrontational. She said she wanted to ask about the Davidson County Sheriff’s Mobile Booking Unit and if they had permission to be on the property where they set up.
In the video, the sheriff’s deputy pulls out his phone and starts to record her while she is recording him. She then asks for his name and badge number.
The deputy points to his chest but does not verbally confirm. After he walks away, the woman continues to shout at the deputy.
Sheriff Daron Hall told News 2 that after seeing the video, he plans on training his deputies for those types of situations.
“These are individuals, as you well know, that pull their phone out and they believe they’re the next journalist in America. They’re asking questions and we need to be prepared for that,” he said.
Sheriff Hall said the deputies on the scene could have done better but did not violate policy. However, he believes the policy that describes how deputies should interact with the public is too vague.
“The words have been pretty general so there was no violation of policy by what I’ve seen,” he said. “But I think there’s a better way we can explain, look, you’re gonna tell them who you are, you don’t have to just show them.”
The woman would not identify herself on the record to News 2 citing safety concerns.
Other videos on her YouTube channel show her interactions with law enforcement. Some are positive, others are negative.
“The way I carry myself should never interfere in the way they should treat the public because they are public servants,” she said.