Back in 2017, a Washington detective was placed on administrative leave following a controversial traffic stop that was captured on a motorcyclist’s GoPro. The biker, Alex Randall, was pulled over for speeding. The detective, Richard Rowe, is shown in the video pointing a Glock at him while wearing plain clothes and failing to identify himself.
Following the event, Randall filed suit against both Rowe and the county, arguing that the officer did not properly identify himself as law enforcement, made an illegal search and used excessive force. The filing argues that Rowe was not justified in drawing his firearm during the stop. The suit further argues that the police department was at fault for failing to administer adequate training.
Here is a partial transcription of the video:
ROWE: [Gun already drawn] How you doing?
RANDALL: Oh shit! What are you doing to me?
ROWE: What do you mean what am I doing? You’re fucking driving reckless. Give me your driver’s license or I’m going to knock you off this bike.
RANDALL: Why do you have a gun on me? I’m unarmed. I will pull over. I am unarmed. I’m going to–
ROWE: Take your ID out right now, if you move from this bike, I’m gonna dump you.
RANDALL: I’m gonna put my bike down, I’m gonna put it down and I’m gonna turn it off, okay? Is that alright? Can I take my helmet off? I can’t hear you very well, sir.
ROWE: Get your ID out please. I’ll take it for you. [Takes Randall’s wallet].
RANDALL: That’s my wallet. I’m not armed.
ROWE: Yup. That’s your ID, right? That’s what I’m a little worried about.
RANDALL: I’m sorry, you have a gun drawn on me, sir. I’m a little panicked.
ROWE: That’s right, because I’m the police. I’m with the King County Sheriff’s office.
“This was a terrifying incident for me,” Randall stated in a press release, “and I hope that this settlement will prevent this from happening to anyone else. I’m glad that something good has come from what happened to me, and I look forward to continuing to volunteer my efforts to improve community relations with our police.”
We’ll let you come to your own conclusions about whether the outcome of the law suit was appropriate.