VIDEO | Deputy under investigation after pulling gun on motorcyclist
WELLINGTON, Fla. (CBS12) —
A Palm Beach County deputy is under investigation for the way he handled a motorcycle stop. It was caught on camera. The implications are quite serious.
The biker had a GoPro attached to his helmet. The video clip shows the deputy immediately draws his gun, the whole thing is over in mere seconds. It happened where 441 meets Forest Hill Boulevard.
Adrian Mitchell contacted CBS12 News because he said, he was afraid for his life, he thought the deputy was going to shoot him right there at the stop light.
“There was no reason for that to happen-- and it was a very scary situation to be in,” Mitchell said.
Mitchell is 26 years old, an avid street biker who rides mostly on race tracks. But once-a-week, he says, he takes his favorite Kawasaki to the barber shop where he works in Greenacres. That’s where he was heading in the video. He said he was looking over his shoulder because he was about to get into a turning lane. He constantly worries about being rear ended.
He said he was doing between 50 to 60 in a 45 zone.
Stopped at the red light, a PBSO pickup truck pulled in front of him, a deputy in civilian clothes jumped out, with his gun out, and Adrian says he was terrified so he sped off.
“I replay it, and I see it in like slow-motion, all I see is his finger right on the trigger,” Mitchell said.
The next day, Adrian still shaken, decided to call the sheriff’s office to report the bizarre and frightening encounter.
“[A deputy] was supposed to get back in contact with me that night, he never did, so I got in touch with internal affairs,” Mitchell said.
And according to the sheriff’s office, internal affairs is now reviewing this incident.
We asked a list of questions, but no further details are being released.
We showed the video to our law enforcement consultant-- a former FBI agent turned lawyer, Stuart Kaplan, his assessment was that the deputy violating multiple protocols.
“It seems to be unprofessional, it seems to be unwarranted,” Kaplan said. “A vehicle pursuit or actually taking enforcement action-- by an off-duty deputy-- should only be done under the most extraordinary circumstances, basically, to save the life of someone else. By my looking at the video, I think, certainly, this is a deputy who allowed his emotions to get the better of him,” Kaplan said.