Marine veteran says he was assaulted for filming, Vallejo officer investigated

VALLEJO, Calif. (KGO) –The Vallejo police department has launched an internal investigation. A man claims an officer used excessive force and placed him under arrest– until the officer realized he was a veteran. The man shared a partition of the incident on social media, and the video has now gone viral.

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Adrian Burrell told ABC7 News he walked out of his home last Tuesday afternoon to a Vallejo police officer pointing a gun at his cousin in the driveway. His cousin can be seen in a cellphone video with his hands up sitting on his motorcycle.

“I had both hands up kind of like this and said, ‘He can’t hear you. He has his helmet on,'” Burrell said. “Kind of like chill out. He (officer) tells me to go back inside of my house.”

Burrell did not go back inside his home. Instead, he pulled out his cell phone and started recording the incident. The exchange between Burrell and Officer David McLaughlin can be heard in the video.

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Eventually, the recording stops, but Burrell explained to ABC7 News his account of what happened next.

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“He handcuffed me and threw me into this wall here,” Burrell said. “Swung my body into that pole there, where I knocked my head. He took me to the car and detained me and told me I was going to jail.”

Then, a turn of events. Burrell said Officer McLaughlin let him go once he realize Burrell was a veteran. The 28-year-old was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps in 2012.

“I felt violated,” Burrell said. “I felt like my humanity was taken away from me.”

A civil rights attorney is representing Burrell and the Vallejo Police Department has ordered an internal affairs investigation. The department released a statement that read in part, “The entire incident was captured on the police officer’s body camera and will be reviewed in connection with this investigation.

Full Statement from Vallejo Police Department:

On January 31, 2019, the Vallejo Police Department became aware of a video circulating on social media involving a traffic stop by a Vallejo Police Officer. After viewing the video, Chief Andrew Bidou ordered an internal affairs investigation of the incident even though we have not received any citizen’s complaint regarding the traffic stop. Chief Bidou has ordered that this investigation be conducted in an expeditious manner.

Internal Affairs Investigators have already contacted one of the subjects in the video to gather further information. The entire incident was captured on the Police Officer’s body camera and will be reviewed in connection with this investigation. Upon completion of the investigation, Chief Bidou will thoroughly review all of the facts and make the final determination.

Source: ABC7 News