Police have been trained to handle almost all situations with extreme care and precision. Unfortunately, events arise where police need to make sure they are safe, and those around them are safe. However, a video circulating online has some claiming when does that go too far.
The video shows a police officer keeping his gun pointed at a passenger for over nine minutes while he waited for backup. The Campbell Police Department officer pulled over the vehicle for driving 85 mph. The Washington Post reports that the officer asked for the driver’s license and paperwork and then watched the driver and passenger search the car for the needed items.
As the events began to unfold, the driver “diverged” and apparently reached under his seat. At that moment, the officer pulled out his weapon and kept it level toward the two in the car. CNN has condensed the following video of the event:
After the officer received backup to secure the scene, the couple was allowed to leave. The following statement was released by the Campbell Police Department. The following excerpt describes the events:
“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.
Unfortunately, the passenger’s unexpected movement towards the bottom of the seat, caused the officer to perceive a threat and draw his handgun. The officer requested additional officers respond to assist him so that he could safely resolve the situation. The comments on the Facebook video bring up a lot of different viewpoints about how the officer could have responded differently or used different tactics. Our officers receive a tremendous amount of training on a consistent basis and that training is what dictates our response. This is intended to protect our officers as well as those they come in contact with. The unfortunate reality is sometimes people attack police officers, as tragically occurred in the City of Los Banos this morning when two officers were shot.”
The officer was in his full right to pull out his firearm and keep it where he had it. It wasn’t in an aggressive location nor did it look like he was aggressive with his questioning. He merely had his weapon out to keep the scene safe. HLN reported that the the passenger apologized for his interaction with the officer.