Award-Winning Cop Pulls Gun on Man with Cameras, Claiming GoPro could be Weapon
An award-winning Southern Californian cop tried to use the "fear for my life" card when he pointed his gun at a man recording him from a public sidewalk making a traffic stop.
But his actions got him suspended.
The San Diego Community College District police officer has been identified as James Everette, who received an award three years ago for fracturing a fibula while making an arrest.
Everette, who works out of Mesa College, made a traffic stop Wednesday about a block from campus when the man with the cameras walked up while recording, not saying a word.
Everette wasted no time in confronting the man, who uploaded the video to the YouTube channel The California Citizens Watch.
"What are you filming for?" Everette asks twice – acknowledging the man was recording him – before pointing at the GoPro camera and claiming he has no clue it was a camera.
"I don't know what that is," he says. "Can you put it down please?"
"It's a camera, you know it is," the videographer responds.
But Everette continued to insist that he had no clue what the GoPro was, which is when he reached for his gun.
"Don't you unholster your weapon," the man with the camera responds as Everette unholsters his weapon.
Another cop pulls up and walks up to the videographer with his hand on his gun. The videographer places the camera down. Everette picks it up and places it out of the videographer's reach.
The videographer protests, accusing the cop of violating federal law, specifically 42 U.S. Code § 1983 and 42 U.S. Code § 1985, which respectively address civil action for deprivation of rights and conspiracy to interfere with civil rights.
"You can't delay me from doing my duties," Everette says when the videographer did nothing to delay him from doing his duties.
Eventually, Sergeant Saludares arrives, picks up the GoPro and returns it to the videographer.
"You're welcome to film what we're doing, just don't be in our way," the sergeant says.
But the videographer was still upset at having the gun pulled on him, berating the cops for several minutes as they just stood and listened.
A San Diego Community College District spokesperson said that “the officer involved has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of an internal investigation.”
“The SDCCD takes any incident like this very seriously. We will not comment on the incident until that internal investigation is concluded,” the district said, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.