Louisiana police warned Wheelan to stop filming himself at the Deepwater Horizon response center. While the officer admitted that Wheelan wasn't breaking any laws, he warned "BP doesn't want any filming. So all I can really do is strongly suggest that you not film anything right now. If that makes any sense."
The intimidation tactics didn't stop there. After Wheelan started driving away, he was pulled over by the same cop, who was accompanied by a BP security officer named Kenneth Thomas. Wheelan was interrogated for 20 minutes about his motives for filming before being let go--but not before Thomas confiscated Wheelan's Audubon volunteer badge for no apparent reason.
It's disturbing to see the police aid BP with its bullying, but not all that shocking. Louisiana does still rely heavily on offshore drilling for jobs--so much so that a federal judge in the state struck down Obama's moratorium on deepwater drilling today, presumably because of the potential for lost wages and jobs. The Obama administration plans to appeal the ruling, but the Gulf region's reliance on drilling jobs obviously continues to cloud its judgment.