Seattle, WA — Alex Randall was on his way to work earlier this month on his motorcycle when he was assaulted with a deadly weapon by a King County Sheriff’s Department detective. The detective was in the midst of a seeming power trip mixed with road rage when he held an innocent man at gunpoint and no one would’ve have known about it had Randall not been filming.
The stop, which happened on August 16, was just brought to the attention of King County Sheriff John Urquhart. As soon as Urquhart saw the video, he immediately put the detective on administrative leave and called Randall personally to apologize.
The Free Thought Project has reported on many videos of many cops needlessly assaulting people with firearms. However, this incident exposes one of the most brazenly ridiculous and dangerous cops we’ve ever seen.
“This video shows the boldness of the King County Sheriffs Deputies and lack of fear of repercussions in threatening and intimidating an unarmed citizen with excessive use of force,” Randall wrote on YouTube.
As the video begins, Randall is pulling up to a red light behind another vehicle and comes to a stop. All of the sudden a man in plain clothes sneaks up behind him with a gun.
“I turn and I am completely unprepared for what I see, which is a man with a gun in my face. And my first reaction is to simply put my hands up,” Randall told KOMO News on Monday about the encounter. “I’m not really able to hear because I’ve got my bike going, I’ve got my helmet on, I’m surprised at what’s happening.”
“What are you doing to me?” Randall said to the man holding him at gunpoint, who never showed him his badge.
“What do you mean what am I doing?” the deputy said. “You’re fucking driving reckless. Give me your driver’s license or I’m going to knock you off this bike.”
“I will pull over. I am unarmed,” Randall said.
“Take your ID out right now,” says the detective. “Move this bike and I’m gonna dump you,” he threatens again.
After their brief exchange, and while he is still assaulting the man with a deadly weapon, the detective, who conveniently remains unnamed by the department, then violates Randall’s Fourth Amendment right and reaches into his pocket and pulls out his wallet.
“I’m sorry. You have a gun drawn on me, so I’m a little panicked,” Randall said.
Only after he’d held him at gunpoint and illegally searched him did the detective identify himself.
“You’re right, because I’m the police,” the deputy said. “That’s right. When you’re driving and you’re going to place people at risk at 100 miles an hour plus on the God dang roadway.”
According to Randall, however, he was not driving 100 mph and that was a “fabrication and exaggeration.” Also, the detective never issued him a citation for the alleged speeding.
On Monday, Randall decided to file a complaint and this is when he found out that the detective never filed a “Use of Force” report for the incident—in spite of holding him at gunpoint.
Nearly two weeks after the incident, after having discussed the video with attorneys, Randall decided to file a complaint with the King County Sheriffs Department, Office
of the Ombudsman, and the Office of Law Enforcement Oversight.
According to Randall, he is conducting his own investigation after being given the detectives name. He is looking into his past complaints to see if he’s done anything like this before.
“I’ve only seen, heard one half the story. So, I’m going to caveat my statement with that,” Urquhart said Monday. “However, I’m not happy with what I saw. It’s very, very troubling. I can’t think of an excuse for it. But again, I haven’t talked to the deputy yet.”
“The fact that he had his gun out on a traffic stop. For a reckless driving. Allegedly reckless driving. Which is a misdemeanor. You don’t pull your gun out on somebody for something like that. We just don’t do that,” Urquhart added.
After the stop, Randall asked several questions which are undoubtedly warranted. One question is why did the detective escalate to deadly force immediately? Another question is why is he holding the gun in a way to seemingly hide it? How was Randall supposed to know that he wasn’t being held up by a criminal? And, if his driving was so terrible as the detective claimed, causing him to draw his pistol—why wasn’t Randall given a citation?
These and many more questions remain. As you watch the video below, think about all the incidents—not captured on video—in which we hear about unarmed individuals who are shot and killed by police officers. It is not unsafe to assume that some of those incidents could’ve happened just like this one.