(UPI) — Video of a California police officer pointing a gun at a passenger for nine minutes during a traffic stop has gone viral, leading some to criticize the officer’s tactics.
The video, taken in Campbell, Calif., in July, and posted to Facebook by a person who goes by the name of “Feo Mas,” shows the officer with his gun pointed at the passenger, who repeatedly asks the officer to lower the weapon.
“Why are you still pointing the gun at me, bro?” the man says. “My hands are right here.”
The man’s hands are visible, on his lap or in the air, throughout the video.
“Relax,” the officer says.
“No, I’m not gonna relax. Get the [expletive] gun off me,” the man responds.
The officer said he had become unnerved because he thought he saw the passenger reach for a screwdriver on the floor.
“You asked for registration. You asked for paperwork. That’s what we were looking for, bro,” the man says.
The incident ended without any injuries and the man was allowed to leave with a ticket.
The video has been viewed nearly 2 million times and prompted mixed reactions.
“He needs to be fired,” wrote one Facebook user, reported the San Jose Mercury News.
“A little excessive I think but who keeps their registration under the seat?” wrote another.
The Campbell Police Department said in a statement the first five minutes of the traffic stop was not caught on video.
“The officer informed the occupants to wait in the vehicle as he prepared to walk back to his motorcycle to write a citation. It was at that time that the passenger began reaching under his seat. It is not clear why the passenger chose to reach under the seat since the officer was not requesting any other paperwork,” the statement said.
The CPD also said that the reason for the lengthy amount of time he held his gun on the passenger was due to his location on the side of a highway.
“If this same situation would have occurred closer to back-up officers, it would most likely have been resolved much sooner. However, since this occurred on the side of Highway 101 during rush hour traffic, it took an extended amount of time until other officers could arrive and provide assistance in safely resolving the situation,” the statement said.
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