CAMPBELL (CBS SF) — A dramatic Facebook video showing a Campbell police officer pointing a gun at a passenger and driver during a Highway 101 traffic stop doesn’t tell the whole story, the police agency said Tuesday.
The video has gone viral after being posted by Feo Mas — a passenger in the car with his girlfriend — and has been viewed more than 950,000 times, shared more than 12,400 times and has drawn more then 4,000 comments.
In a press release, the department said after a review of the motorcycle officer’s body camera there is a 9-minute gap in the Facebook video that explains why the officer has pulled his gun.
The agency has not released the body cam video, but explained what was allegedly recorded.
On July 28th, the officer was traveling on the freeway and noticed a vehicle pass by him traveling at 85 mph. Out of safety concerns, the agency said, the officer pulled over the vehicle even though it was not within his jurisdiction.
“All peace officers in the State of California have the authority to enforce the vehicle code throughout the state regardless of their jurisdiction,” the agency said in its statement.
After contacting the driver and passenger on the side of the highway, there was approximately five minutes that elapsed prior to the start of the Facebook video, the Campbell police claim.
During that time, there was a cordial conversation between the officer and the occupants of the vehicle where he explained why he had stopped the car and requested the driver’s license and additional paperwork.
Both the driver and passenger spent several minutes looking for the requested paperwork, the agency said.
The officer informed the occupants to wait in the vehicle as he prepared to walk back to his motorcycle to write a citation.
The Campbell police said it was at that point, the officer saw a passenger reach under his seat and felt threatened. He pulled his gun and approached the passenger side of the vehicle.
On the Facebook video, the passenger clearly tells the officer he was reaching under the seat to look for the paperwork and not threatening him. The passenger with his hands up, continues to ask the officer to put the gun down.
After several tense minutes, other officers arrive. Both the driver and the passenger were issued citations and allowed to leave.
“As an agency, we can understand the response to the Facebook video, and that is why we have and will continue engaging our community,” the agency said.
“We are thankful that this incident resolved itself with no one getting injured and hope that this additional information provides clarification.
KPIX 5 was attempting to reach out to the passenger and driver for their version of the events during the traffic stop.