July 30, 2015 - 10:01 AM
KELOWNA - Kelowna RCMP will investigate one of its own members after the officer stopped a vehicle because the occupants made him mad.
In a Facebook video, the unidentified Kelowna police officer admitted that he pulled over the vehicle and ordered a lengthy inspection only because the passenger reacted to the officer working on his computer while driving.
In a video now shared 1,421 times on Facebook and viewed 104,822 times, a passenger and driver are confronted by the officer. We attempted to reach the passenger who posted the video, but he was unable to respond due to work commitments.
Kelowna RCMP Supt. Nick Romanchuk told InfoNews.ca he has some concerns but needs to find out more information.
"I do have some concerns," Romanchuk said. "We are going to fully investigate all the circumstances of this matter to determine whether the actions of this particular member were appropriate or not."
The passenger in the video — his Facebook name is Shawn Michaelz — set up the video like this:
"We are waiting to turn left at an intersection with our signal light on and a cop is approaching us in the oncoming lane very slowly. We had enough time to make the turn at the speed he was going, but he had the right-of-way of course, so we waited and at the last second he turns left. I throw my hands up in the air in the passenger seat of the vehicle and the cop gets mad and pulls a U-turn in the intersection to pull us over. Here’s what happened."
Following is a transcript of the video:
OFFICER: So what would you like to say to me?
OFFICER: As a police officer what would you like to say?
DRIVER: Can I ask why you pulled me over?
OFFICER: Yeah absolutely anytime someone is going to go like that to a police officer they are obviously upset about something.
DRIVER: Go like what?
OFFICER: I am doing my job, I am looking for a licence plate and I look down at my screen and I may have lost track of where I was on the road. Fair enough that is my job as a police officer.
PASSENGER: Distracted driving a little bit, no? Officer.
OFFICER: Distracted driving?
PASSENGER: Wouldn’t it be? Considering.
OFFICER: Okay. Well we will have a look at your paint job, your rims, make sure they are high enough from the ground...
PASSENGER: Oh you are going to do that. Why is that?
OFFICER: yeah… I will come right back
CAMERA STOPS, OFFICER LEAVES, THEN RETURNS
OFFICER: A traffic officer is going to come down and have a look at your car. And you wanted to know… what was your question?
DRIVER: Why did you pull me over?
OFFICER: Yeah the original reason I pulled you over is because of the reaction of your passenger. Absolutely. We wanna make sure… the laws of British Columbia, the government says stop any motor vehicle and ensure it has proper and adequate insurance to operate in the province… and also ensure your driver’s licence is adequate. That, that is why I stopped you. I see you have valid insurance so I have confirmed that. But now I want to make sure your car is roadworthy. Okay?
DRIVER: Except you wouldn’t have had he not said anything.
OFFICER: Yeah you are right. Absolutely.
DRIVER: So you are picking on us.
OFFICER: No, no not at all.
DRIVER: I feel like you are.
OFFICER: At this point, I am making sure that your car is roadworthy.
CAMERA BREAKS, OFFICER LEAVES AND RETURNS AGAIN
OFFICER: If you are going to try to do that to uniform police cars, expect that response. I am just telling you, flat out. If you want to be that way and you wanna draw attention to yourself…
PASSENGER: I am not saying anything. The thing is when I am driving I don’t like it whenever people come up to an intersection and they are actually going slower than the speed limit and they don’t signal. We could have made it, right?
OFFICER:… police car doing their job and everybody else on the street is completely different. I’ve got a job to do and sometimes my… Absolutely I am.
CAMERA BREAKS AND RETURNS
OFFICER: You want to pot shot me by saying I am a distracted driver when I am doing my job. I said okay you want to see my job, wait right here I will get a traffic member and we will check your car. That is doing my job.
OFFICER: What I said is nothing wrong. So at the end of the day, you can agree or disagree all you want. But in 20 years of doing the job, I don’t get mad. And you were able to make me mad.
This isn’t the first police complaint about police targetting for vehicle inspections. A small group of import-car fans told infonews.ca in March they felt police were unfairly targetting them.
To contact the reporter for this story, email Marshall Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 250-718-2724.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015