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.

Comments (4)
  1. I really support the law enforcement officers….. and driving past one at 85 mph is sure to get you stopped. But for an out of agency officer… maybe they could contact the governing agency? CHP or city pd. They have mutual assistance radio. Speeding is not generally criminal… so he could follow until governing agency is in position, let them make the stop.

    Now I understand what they call “the furtive gesture” But I am not sure LEO is threatened until a weapon is brandished. LEO could expect the vehicle occupants to be exploring for paperwork and if he feels sure he is in danger….. retreat, call for governing agency, hold position. The vehicle occupants did not have a weapon, displayed no threat? And LEO sticks a gun in the car?
    I support the police, the military… but not this prick, and not Campbell PD for taking this position. Entirely too aggressive, unfriendly, and sure to generate bad feelings among all who see it, hear about it, or ever get stopped in Campbell. Drawing a weapon on unarmed civilians who demonstrate no threat…. Shameful.

  2. i didn’t see the video on FB. But if an officer feels threatened, I see nothing wrong with drawing a weapon and I’m also pretty sure it is standard procedure. The officer did not shoot anyone, but merely held people at gunpoint until reinforcements could arrive, which would have been pretty fast, in the Bay Area. This seems reasonable. If a gun had been available under the seat and the passenger had been reaching for it, this could have ended in a dead officer, especially if he had put down his gun and then the passenger lunged for the other one. I don’t think we want LE to wait until they actually SEE a gun to begin drawing their weapons. Or we wouldn’t have any live LEOs. I’m not for militarization of police, or for military tactics, but let’s be smart and not get anyone killed, including the cops.

    1. Jack Walsh says:

      Well, then, why not have the cops always pointing their guns when they stop someone? And doesn’t the “furtive gesture” happen in every stop, when the passenger reaches into the glove compartment to get the papers?

    2. Lily Froman says:

      Standard Procedure where , in Afghanistan or Syria maybe, So we should be thankful he did not shoot? Do you see why someone would freak out if suddenly out of the blue some idiot is pointing a gun at you for no reason. And traveling at 85 is no reason get a gun you.
      Why does an officer with a gun need reinforcements against unarmed civilians?
      In this pathetic case reinforcements were not any cops, but cops from the same town twenty miles away.
      Hope the town goes bankrupt and the cop is reassigned to desk duties.whatever happened to the serve part of protect and serve?

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