VALLEJO (KPIX 5) — Police in Vallejo are asking that the public not rush to judgment about a video of a confrontation with a citizen that went viral.
The Vallejo Police Department has launched an internal affairs investigation into the actions of officer David McLaughlin.
A homeowner says McLaughlin roughed him up on his front porch for recording a traffic stop. The man also claims the officer used unnecessary force to detain him and caused injuries to his head and hands..
Officer David McLaughlin has fired his gun twice while on duty. The first shooting happened in 2016. No one was injured in that case. The second shooting happened in 2017. Investigators say McLaughlin is one of five officers who fired 41 shots at robbery suspect Jeffrey Barboa, who later died.
All five officers were cleared of any wrongdoing. McLaughlin also faced a civil rights lawsuit.
Frederick Cooley’s son Marceles sued McLaughlin in 2014.
“This is the same officer that jumped out the car and pointed guns at my son. Now, the same officer is doing it to someone else’s son,” said Frederick Marc Cooley, father of Marceles.
Cooley says McLaughlin pulled his son over while he was driving to Safeway to buy soup. The officer arrested him on drug charges but the district attorney dropped the case. Cooley says there were no drugs in the car. His son claimed McLaughlin violated his civil rights.
A judge dismissed the lawsuit after Marceles died in 2015.
“Anytime they see him, they pull him over. He wasn’t on probation or parole. He wasn’t wanted for anything. It was just that he was black. He lived in south Vallejo,” said Cooley.
The city of Vallejo reports Officer McLaughlin joined the police force in 2014. He came from the Oakland police department where he spent four years patrolling the streets.
McLaughlin graduated from the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office police academy in 2010.
“I know [Officer McLaughlin] in a professional capacity. I’ve been very confident in his professionalism,” said Lt. Kent Tribble with Vallejo PD.
Lt. Tribble is asking for patience. The department launched an internal affairs investigation into this incident and they believe Officer McLaughlin’s chest cam will provide even more clues on what exactly happened.
“Don’t rush to judgment,” said Lt. Tribble, “And if there is a problem, it will be addressed. As the facts are revealed, they will be made available to the public.”
Officer McLaughlin continues to work during this investigation.
The homeowner in the video, Adrian Burrell, has hired Attorney John Burris. They plan to the sue the police department and Officer McLaughlin.