A video has emerged of a California police officer pointing his gun at a driver and a passenger for almost 10 minutes during a routine a traffic stop.
The clip shows the cop in Campbell aiming his weapon at a male passenger, telling him to keep his hands in view. Meanwhile, a woman films the entire exchange on her phone.
There are two versions of the incident, though.
As seen in the officer's body camera footage, the Campbell Police Department maintains the cop noticed a car driving at 85 mph in the far-right lane on a highway and stopped the vehicle "out of safety concerns."
The police department claims the video clip, now doing rounds on social media, does not include the first five minutes of the traffic stop during which the cop had a friendly conversation with the driver and passenger.
It was only when the passenger reached under his seat that the officer pulled out his gun, police say.
"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," Campbell police said in a statement.
Meanwhile, a Facebook user named “Feo Mas,” who uploaded the clip on Facebook and identified himself as the male passenger in the video, claims the cop "pulled out a gun cuz I reached for paperwork he asked for.”
In the video, he repeatedly asks the cop to lower his gun.
"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.
“I understand,” the officer responds.
“No, you don’t understand,” the passenger says. “No, I’m not going to relax. Get the f--king gun off me.”
Like other similar incidents across the United States, the Facebook video has fueled public outrage and debate about the appropriate use of force by law enforcement particularly against minorities, which include high-profile cases like that of Philando Castile, who was shot five times and killed during a traffic stop last year.
Banner/Thumbnail Credit: Reuters