A police officer in the Northern California city of Rohnert Park was caught on video pulling his gun on a resident who was recording the cop on his cellphone.
The video shot by Don McComas quickly went viral on Facebook on Thursday. As of the publication of our blog post on Friday, it has about a million and a half views. That's a lot of views in 24 hours or so.
"The incident portrayed on the video is not a typical interaction between our public safety officers and the public," the city said in a statement released Friday.
The video shows the officer pointing his gun toward the man. After internet outrage spread, the city's Public Safety Department was forced to cancel a planned "Coffee with a Cop" gathering.
Don McComas says he was minding his own business at his own home (!), hitching up his boat to his trailer, and saw the officer driving around. The cop made a few turns, McComas says, then stopped to face him. The officer didn't say anything, but pointed at McComas and his home.
McComas then did something smart: he pulled out his phone and started recording.
The officer stops his police SUV. And it looks like the officer then begins filming McComas with a camera or cellphone.
How about having a gun pulled on you today. Love the RP Police.NOTE, I am not anti police however the lies and distrust I've encountered from the Rohnert Park & Petaluma Police over the last 15 months is something I wouldn't ever believe if I heard it from someone else. This is just a time I was smart enough to hit record as I was approached at my home.Backdrop: I was hooking the boat up when the officer pulled slowly into my court. When he rounded infront of my house he stopped yet did nothing, then crept forward and instead of leaving toward Snyder he rounded the court opposite of me, then stopped facing me for a few minutes, doing nothing but pointing straight at me/my house. After a couple minutes I was concerned enough to pull out my phone and hit record. Glad I did. The arragance he showed me shouldn't come from an officer of the law. They should de-escalate, not escalate or provoke….Very thankful my 5 year old daughter and the rest of the family were not home as well….
Posted by Don McComas on Wednesday, July 29, 2015
From the LA Times' transcript:
On the video, McComas moves in closer to record the license plate number on the officer's vehicle. The officer gets out of the SUV and tells McComas to take his hand out of his pocket.
McComas replies: "No sir, I've done nothing. I have done absolutely nothing. No."
The officer removes his gun from his holster, speaks into his radio and says, "Seriously."
McComas responds, "Put your gun down, really?"
The video shows McComas backing away as the officer moves the gun toward him.
McComas repeats he did nothing wrong and tells the officer not to touch him.
When McComas asks why the officer stepped out of his vehicle, the officer responds, "You're taking a picture of me. I am taking a picture of you." The officer then asked whether McComas was "some kind of a constitutionalist or crazy guy or something like that."
"Why are you doing this?" the officer asks McComas, who responds, "Why are you sitting here with your gun on me? This is why I am doing this. To protect myself from you."
McComas was not detained or arrested.
As the officer walks away, he tells McComas, "Go ahead, have a nice day and put it on YouTube. I don't really care."
Silly cop. Don't you know Facebook is where the video views are at these days?
[Northern California cop placed on leave after pulling gun on man recording him
, Los Angeles Times]