The King Co. Sheriff suspended a veteran detective after watching a helmet-cam video that appeared to show one of his detectives pointing a gun and grabbing a motorcyclist during a misdemeanor traffic stop.
Alex Randall, the motorcyclist who posted the video on YouTube and Reddit, says the plain-clothed detective approached him on foot while pointing a pistol, and he says the detective did not identify himself, or show his badge.
In the video, Randall says he stops at a red light at NE 145th Street and 5th Avenue NE, and the detective is seen on Randall's helmet cam pointing the gun while asking, "How you doing?" The detective told Randall he was driving his motorcycle recklessly, putting people in danger, Randall said.
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"I turned and looked, and he's there with a gun," Randall said. "I was totally unprepared for someone to be standing right next to me on the street like that."
Another driver sent KIRO-7's Gary Horcher a video appearing to show a reverse angle, with Randall with his hands up while the gun was pointed at him.
"It was hands up, don't shoot," Randall said. "That's all I could think of for the first 30 seconds, was just don't get shot!"
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At one point, Randall said the detective pulled his wallet out of his pocket. "At no point did he give me his name, at no point did he give me his badge," Randall said. "I didn't feel safe. I felt terrified."
The detective admonished Randall, but he never gave him a ticket. Sheriff John Urquhart said he was troubled by the video.
"That's not the culture I want, that's not the culture I will tolerate, and I will take swift action when I hear about it," Urquhart said, adding that the video will be a teaching tool.
"What I’m going to do with that video, is I'm going to show it to every single new recruit that comes into the sheriff's office, and I have 70 or 80 a year. I want them to know specifically what they're not allowed to do."
On Wednesday, the King County sheriff identified the detective as 53-year-old Richard Rowe.
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