A law enforcement officer at California State University San Bernardino (CSUSB) was caught on surveillance footage threatening a colleague with his gun.
San Bernardino police reportedly opened an investigation into the incident, which allegedly occurred during a dispute over the enforcement of mask wearing on university campus.
The incident occurred on campus on September 15, ABC 7 News reported.
On the footage, which contains no sound, officers can be seen gathered in a group talking as one suddenly pulls out his sidearm and holds it for about a second in the direction of another officer.
A Cal State University San Bernardino police officer on campus is under investigation for pulling his gun on a colleague. Was that just a joke? An investigation is underway. Report on @ABC7 at 6:00 pm. pic.twitter.com/SbO5XA5oQw
– Rob McMillan (@abc7robmcmillan) October 30, 2020
Before taking out the gun, the CSUSB officer apparently instructed his colleagues to enforce the mask obligation on campus, according to local lawyer Tristan Pelayes, who was hired by the alleged victim.
He told ABC 7 News that his client had questioned the legal authority for such an order before the gun was pulled.
A police spokesman for the San Bernardino police confirmed to the station that a complaint had been filed and that the incident was being investigated as a misdemeanor charge.
Tekk.tv has contacted the San Bernardino, Pelayes and CSUSB police departments for comment.
What the official’s lawyer said
Pelayes told ABC 7 News that his client had filed an internal complaint against his sergeant and filed a report with the San Bernardino police.
However, Pelayes added that the incident should not be investigated as a felony charge of assault with a deadly weapon and not as a misdemeanor charge.
The lawyer said he could not believe the incident had been filmed.
“My client challenged the authority for this. For example, if we were to arrest someone or escort someone off campus, what is our legal authority to do that?
“Apparently this conversation led to the sergeant losing his temper and eventually pulling a gun on my client.
Pelayes said that officers who pull their guns are a “last resort” and something they learn early in their career.
He said officers should not pull a gun because they are joking, having a bad day or having a temper.
“If you’re that kind of officer, you shouldn’t wear a badge, and you certainly shouldn’t carry a gun,” he said.