COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- A video taken by a Colorado Springs man during a March traffic stop has gotten more than 30,000 views on YouTube and is the subject of a Colorado Springs Police Department investigation.
A local ACLU official said it appears to be a case of racial profiling. Police internal affairs investigators have completed the initial fact-finding after the man who recorded the video filed a complaint and shared the video with police, department spokeswoman Catherine Buckley told The Associated Press on Monday. She said the supervisors of the officers involved, who remained on active duty, were now reviewing the case.
Ryan Brown filmed the video when he and his brother Benjamin were pulled over, the Colorado Springs Gazette reports.
Brown's video show that Officer David Nelson didn't answer repeated questions about why the brothers were being pulled over.
It shows Benjamin Brown, who was driving, being patted down while in handcuffs. Then Officer Allison Detwiler opened Brown's passenger door pulled him out of the vehicle with Nelson's help, according to the video.
Benjamin Brown says he was sitting in the police car and watched police wrestle his brother to the ground at gunpoint.
"I was scared that the officer was going to pull the trigger," he said.
Ryan Brown told AP the reaction he's gotten from many has focused on why he didn't hand over his identification right away when the officers asked for it. But police, he said, "can't pull you out of a vehicle without stating a reason. They have rules and regulations they have to follow just like you and I."
"They work for us. They're supposed to serve and protect us, everyone, equally."
Ryan Brown also said that if he had not recorded a video, "I would have been convicted based on a police officer's word," adding one of the officers took the cellphone away from him, stopped the recording and threw the phone in the snow.
Among the reasons Ryan Brown said were noted in the police report for the traffic stop was "driving slowly in a high crime area." Ryan Brown said he and his brother were about to turn into the street where they live. The traffic stop took place four houses down from their home.
American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado legal director Mark Silverstein told the Gazette the encounter looked like "racial profiling, a case of police investigating what African Americans call 'driving while black.'" He said he couldn't come up with a legitimate reason for police to handcuff and search Benjamin Brown after watching the video and reading the police report.
Police spokeswoman Buckley told AP she could not immediately comment on the procedures citizens should expect to be followed under such circumstances.
Ryan Brown was ticketed for resisting and interference with a public official.
Benjamin Brown was ticketed for compulsory insurance and obstruction of view - a charge his brother believes is related to a cracked windshield.