POSTED BY GEORGE PRENTICE ON THU, AUG 15, 2013 AT 9:42 AM
Big Loop Rodeo
(Editor’s note: You can see dash-cam and body-cam videos of the controversial traffic stop below)
The FBI has stepped in to investigate whether the Malheur County Sheriff’s Department was out of line when it pulled over an animal rights activist at a traffic stop.
The Associated Press reports that the FBI has asked for any and all records connected with the incident.
In May, Steve Hindi, president of a group called Showing Animals Respect and Kindness, got into some hot water when he began filming a controversial event known as horse tripping at the Big Loop Rodeo in Jordan Valley, Ore. It wasn’t SHARK’s first visit to the rodeo. In 2012, a SHARK video showed how a horse broke its leg during a bucking event. When Hindi returned this past May, he was told to stop shooting video and leave. Hindi returned the next day to shoot still photos because he said he had only been cautioned about video. Again, he was asked to leave.
But while leaving town, Hindi said he was stopped about 10 miles away by two Malheur County Sheriff’s Deputies who asked him for identification. He was not arrested.
Hindi garnered two videos of the traffic stop through a Freedom of Information Act request and posted the video online. The AP reports that the video also includes comments from lawmen that they expected to be sued. The traffic stop was reportedly ordered by the two deputies’ supervisor Lt. Rob Hunsucker of the Malheur County Sheriff’s Department.
An FBI spokeswoman confirmed to the AP that it had launched an investigation.