A California filmmaker is speaking out after he says he was brutally assaulted by a Vallejo officer for recording video as the cop allegedly pulled a gun on his cousin. Now the police department in the San Francisco Bay Area city is investigating.
Adrian Burrell, 28, detailed the harrowing incident in a Facebook post Thursday, claiming officer David McLaughlin threatened to take him to jail before roughing him up and throwing him in the back of a squad car.
“McLaughlin grabbed me, smashed my face against the wall [and] then swung my body, knocking my head into a wooden pillar causing a concussion,” Burrell wrote of the Jan. 22 incident. “He put handcuffs on my wrists so tight that they broke the skin and caused my fingers to go numb, all while telling me ‘stop resisting’ to my reply, ‘I’m not resisting.’ ”
Burrell also posted video of the incident, which shows the officer with his gun unholstered. He approaches an individual on a motorcycle, whom Burrell later identified as his cousin. The Oakland native alleges McLaughlin stopped his relative, who’d just pulled into his driveway, because “he ‘looked like’ someone the officer had seen speeding earlier.”
That’s when Burrell pulled out his phone to record. McLaughlin didn’t take too kindly to this however, and ordered Burrell to “get back.”
“You’re interfering, so you’re gonna go in the back of the car,” the officer tells Burrell, a Marine veteran, as he approaches the front porch. “Stop fighting! You’re gonna get on the ground.”
The video suddenly becomes shaky before going completely dark.
In a press release obtained by Atlanta Black Star, Vallejo police said they are aware of the incident and have since launched an internal affairs investigation. Authorities also noted the department has not received any complaints regarding the traffic stop.
“Internal Affairs Investigators have already contacted one of the subjects in the video to gather further information,” the release stated. “The entire incident was captured on the police officer’s body camera and will be reviewed in connection with this investigation.
It continued: “Upon completion of the investigation, Chief [Andrew] Bidou will thoroughly review all of the facts and make the final determination.”
It’s unclear if McLaughlin is on administrative leave while the department investigates. McLaughlin, who joined the department in 2014 and has twin brother on the same force, has been involved in two on-duty shootings since 2016, one of them fatal, and he and his twin both have been the subject of allegations of civil rights violations.
In the video, the officer is seen walking up the driveway and onto the porch to handcuff Burrell. The former Marine told the San Francisco Chronicle there was more than 20 feet between himself and McLaughlin when he started recording, as well as porch railing that separated them.
“I did not take one step off of the porch,” he said.
Burrell added that his back was pressed against the side of his home when the officer told him to “get back” inside the house, but he refused. Meanwhile, his cousin was still in the driveway on the motorcycle with his hands in the air.
After the takedown by McLaughlin, Burrell said he sat in the back of the patrol car for about 45 minutes while the officer detained his cousin, according to the Chronicle. He said he was finally free to go after the officer learned he was a Marine vet.
“Would I have gone to jail if I weren’t a vet with no criminal record?,” Burrell, who served from 2008-2012, wrote on Facebook. “When the officer realized I am a Marine, he told me if I wasn’t a vet I’d be going to jail. Does that mean that if I had not been a vet, he would have put me in jail for not breaking the law? Because I am a vet, does that mean my life is more valuable?”
He said the officer thanked him for his service and sent him on his way. His cousin was also issued a ticket and let go, the newspaper reported.
Burrell said the incident left him feeling “helpless” and “violated.”
Watch more in the video below.
I am a Black man born and raised in Oakland, California who was physically attacked by Vallejo PD officer David McLaughlin, last Tuesday. In researching my situation, I learned that Mclaughlin has been involved in lawsuits related to his brutality including the fatal shooting of on August 3rd, 2018. Mclaughlin grabbed me, smashed my face against the wall and then swung my body, knocking my head into a wooden pillar causing a concussion. He put handcuffs on my wrists so tight they broke the skin and caused my fingers to go numb. All while telling me “stop resisting” to my reply, “I’m not resisting.”I’m a Marine, and was honorably discharged when I completed my service. I have no convictions on my record; I'm not on parole or probation. I own my home, I was on the porch of this home when McLaughlin pulled his pistol on my cousin, saying my cousin looked like someone who he saw speeding earlier. My cousin was sitting on his motorcycle in front of my house. A gun had been pulled on him because he “looked like someone” the officer had seen speeding earlier. Obviously, the situation concerned me. From roughly 20 ft away, with a railing between myself and the officer, I started filming with my phone. You have the right to film a police officer in action as long as you’re not a threat or preventing him from doing his job. The officer told me to go in my house. I chose to stay on my porch and film because the situation was concerning. My camera panned and tilted, but I did not take one step off of the porch. At that point, officer Mclaughlin approached me as you see in the video. He said I was going to jail and detained me in the back seat of his car. Would I have gone to jail if I weren’t a vet with no criminal record? When the officer realized I am a Marine, he told me if I wasn’t a vet I’d be going to jail. Does that mean that if I had not been a vet, he would have put me in jail for not breaking the law? Because I am a vet, does that mean my life is more valuable? Military service does not warrant special treatment. Lack of military service does not justify mistreatment?Why holster your gun to come put your hands on me, if my cousin and I are a threat?This unfortunate circumstance put me in a situation where if I was to defend myself, then I would have been a hashtag. Or worse, my death would have been ignored or excused on the premise of Mcglaughlin’s irrational fear.Officer McLaughlin should not be allowed to continue abusing his power.This is a true story and I feel it's my responsibility to share it.Police need better training on implicit bias. They need tougher disciplinary actions taken when patterns of misconduct become frequent and are being reported from multiple sources.#Share #repostfamilyandfriends
Posted by Adrian Burrell on Thursday, January 31, 2019