There is a development in the case of Officer David Rodriguez who was shown in the now viral video below pulling his gun on a citizen who was videotaping him. He was placed on paid administrative leave by the department in Rohnert Park (50 miles from San Francisco) but he was later restored to his position after a finding that he did not act improperly. Millions have watched the videotape and clearly disagree. Rohnert Park resident Don McComas is now suing the officer and the city of Rohnert Park for unspecified damages over the July 29 incident.
McComas says that he was in front of his own residence putting a trailer to his vehicle when Rodriguez drove up and he began filming him with his cellphone. What followed was the confrontation below. McComas objected to Rodriguez observing him from his patrol car and ordering McComas to take his hand out of his pocket. At one point, Rodriguez asks “Are you some kind of constitutionalist crazy guy?”
The problem for the department is that an officer is only allowed to draw his weapon when he is in fear of his safety or the public. The city commissioned an independent third-party investigator, Sue Ann Van Dermyden, to investigate the incident. She determined Rodriguez “reasonably exercised his right to stop and have contact with the resident and did so for legitimate reasons and not for the purpose of harassing or mistreating the resident.” The city says that Rodriguez was investigating complaints about parking code violations and he was checking a vehicle’s registration:
“The officer saw the resident quickly duck behind the truck after his patrol car came into view. The officer considered this suspicious behavior, and decided to investigate further . . . After the officer got out of his patrol car, he also noticed other unusual behavior, including the resident’s agitated demeanor and his initial refusal to comply with the officer’s instruction to remove his hand from his pocket, which had a bulge in it.”
The position of the city is that the combination of the bulge and the refusal to remove his hand was sufficient to draw the weapon.
What do you think?