Motorcyclists encounter many threats while riding on the street. We’re accustomed to dodging inattentive car drivers, and we’ve seen several instances of road rage erupting into vehicular violence. However, we shouldn’t have to be afraid of a car driver pulling a gun on us.

Alex Randall, a resident of Washington state, was riding his Yamaha R1 on August 16 when he pulled to a stop at a traffic light. While waiting, his helmet camera recorded the scene as a plain-clothed police detective approached him on foot and pointed a pistol at him.

According to the video footage, the detective said Randall was riding dangerously, but he wouldn’t identify himself or show his badge. He also didn’t bother issuing a ticket, seemingly satisfied with himself for overtly threatening another human’s life.

Randall says he was able to identify the cop as a detective with the Kings County Sheriff’s department, and he has filed a formal complaint with the sheriff’s department and other agencies.

“That’s not the culture I want, that’s not the culture I will tolerate, and I will take swift action when I hear about it,” Sheriff John Urquhart told the KIRO 7 television station. “What I’m going to do with that video, is I’m going to show it to every single new recruit that comes into the sheriff’s office, and I have 70 or 80 a year. I want them to know specifically what they’re not allowed to do.”

  • Starmag

    Mr. R1 shouldn’t have been driving like an ass, but Mr. Insecurity shouldn’t have pulled his piece.

    I wonder if this played a part
    http://www.alternet.org/civil-liberties/us-police-get-antiterror-training-israel-privately-funded-trips

    • BDan75

      I’m of the opinion that in a situation like this, the “driving like an ass” part shouldn’t even be mentioned. We don’t know what the rider actually did (though it apparently wasn’t serious enough to merit arrest). We DO, however, know what the cop did.

      Qualifications like that give the appearance of equivalence where there simply is none. I’m not sure what kind of behavior on a motorcycle would actually justify blocking the roadway and pulling a gun on the rider. The public danger factor just isn’t there. I mean, when was the last time you heard of the car/truck occupants losing out in a car vs. bike situation?

      • Starmag

        Of course it’s relevant. This video wouldn’t exist if he wasn’t driving like an ass. Mr. Insecurity was riled up for nothing? Notice how Mr. R1 purposely edited out what he was doing before the stop. Or am I supposed to believe he had just turned his camera on? Poor saintly picked-on-for-no-reason open-class supersport rider. He could prove his saintlyness by releasing the rest of the video, but I doubt we’ll see it. There’s a high probability he was doing something dumb.

        Of course the cop pulling his gun for a traffic stop was wrong, I did call him Mr. Insecurity after all. I had a cop pull a gun on me for forgetting to buckle up in a Toyota Echo doing the speed limit which is way more of an injustice. I used a lot of “yes sirs”. Ridiculous. I think it has to do with the link in my first comment. Either way, anyone who challenges a cop these days has a death wish, because they’re on edge. And mostly, getting away with it.

        • Jeff S. Wiebe

          You have gone with an assumption of the rider’s guilt, rather than an assumption of innocence.
          Your argument ignores multiple other videos available online of police overreaction, including to motorcyclists who were not in fact riding badly.
          Picked on for no reason is at one end of the spectrum; the alleged cop pulling a gun is a long way along the continuum in the other direction. I’m not aware that the rider made any claims of saintliness or ‘for no reason’. Not *sufficient* reason, perhaps.
          I want videos edited to begin with the point being made; far too many I’ve watched provide minutes of irrelevant context.
          Your own anecdote about the Echo is subject to the same skepticism that you showed this rider. Sure, just for ‘forgetting’ to ‘buckle up’. And sure, you were doing the speed limit. Where’s your video?
          A bedrock principle of western jurisprudence is innocent until proven guilty. A crucial innovation of the USA is the right to not incriminate yourself. The rider should be under no obligation to provide context. If the claimed officer has footage, that’s for him to provide and argue.

          • Starmag

            For the third time. The. cop. was. in. the. wrong. Given recent history, he likely gets a slap on the wrist unfortunetly. I remain sceptical on Mr. Innocent.

          • E-Nonymouse A

            People generally don’t get pulled over or accosted for being good citizens. So I’ll not assume this guy was innocent but we also don’t know what he actually did. So i’m right there with you on that.

    • DickRuble

      That cop, if cop he is, needs to go to jail.

      • Starmag

        If you’ve read the news in the last 16 years, (I think it’s worse since 9/11), you know that is unlikely. LEO’s fairly regularly unjustly KILL motorists, children, dogs, etc. and don’t even lose their jobs. It’s the type of thing banana republics are know for.

        That said, I think labeling all people by race, sex, occupation, etc. is unwise. All cops aren’t bad.

        • Campisi

          Eh. There are bad cops, and complicit cops. Good cops get burned up or pushed out.

      • E-Nonymouse A

        That “cop” should be riding a desk for the rest of his days at the very least. No more guns either.

    • Paragon Lost

      I’ve been saying for the past few years that when I’ve seen video I’ve seen video of police in action it strongly reminds me of how we operated in the armed forces. I’ve found it unsettling to say the least.

  • Sayyed Bashir

    I think that sheriff’s deputy had a hard time catching up to the Yamaha R1 in his car and figured the motorcyclist would take off again as soon as the light changed and he wouldn’t be able to catch him again. So he took the drastic measure of pulling out his gun and taking the motorcyclist’s wallet. It doesn’t pay to have a superbike because you can never use it properly on the street without getting into trouble. I have enough trouble with speeding tickets on the bikes I have.

    • Born to Ride

      Still completely wrong. You’d think with all the police shootings and the public disdain for excessive force that these assholes would know that keeping their weapons holstered is best for their career longevity. Not to mention that he violated this man’s 4th amendment rights by reaching into his pocket and taking his wallet at gunpoint. I hope the department gets their balls sued off and this “sheriff” gets shitcanned. The American people have no use authoritarian, power-abusive law enforcement officers.

      • Kurt Hahn

        Unfortunately, yes, it seems they do have a use for them, much to our chagrin.

      • BDan75

        Absolutely damn right. This blame-the-victim mentality–among motorcyclists even!–is disgusting.

        Sayyed, if you have trouble with speeding tickets, this could easily have happened to you–whatever the bike. All it takes is one A-hole, chip-on-his-shoulder cop having a bad day to decide that he’s gonna teach some motorcyclist a lesson. And as we’ve seen time and again, you make one wrong move in a situation like this and you’ll be dead. And if there’s no video, the department will close ranks behind the officer. And hell, even if there is video, odds are he won’t do any time.

        • Sayyed Bashir

          I am not defending the deputy pulling a gun, but the motorcyclist does not say anything about what happened before. The deputy accused him of going over 100 miles an hour in traffic which is a felony offense with license suspension, jail time, big fine and 2-4 points on your driving record. He had his lights flashing and probably had to drive over 100 mph to catch up to the motorcyclist.

          • RyYYZ

            Yes, I’m sure he had to drive over 100 mph to catch up to a bike stopped at a traffic light showing no indication of running (like lane splitting to the front of a line). Only in the US, or maybe Canada, out of the so-called civilized world, would approaching someone from behind with a drawn gun for what is at most a traffic offense (which apparently he had zero proof of, or he would have issued a citation, or arrested the rider as he threatened). It’s hard to make his apparent need to pull a gun to accost this rider with the ultimate outcome of no arrest or even a ticket issued.

    • Campisi

      Manufacturing blame for the victim out of thin air in defence of a sheriff’s deputy? I thought Harley riders were supposed to be rebellious badasses, or something.

      • Sayyed Bashir

        Hey I have seen my fill of law enforcement. I am just trying to understand why the deputy was so riled up. The motorcyclist is playing all innocent in front of the public but is not saying what happened before. He was speeding over 100 mph in fairly moderate to heavy traffic. The sheriff’s deputy was chasing him with his lights flashing but either the racer didn’t see him (which is entirely possible since he was going so fast) or was trying to outrun him. It is very difficult to chase a fast motorcycle in traffic. So when the deputy finally caught up with him, he had to run out of his car and confront the rider to keep him from taking off again I am not defending the deputy, just trying to understand his frame of mind.

        • sgray44444

          He should have just called it in. By trying to follow he was creating a more unsafe situation. I’m not for lawlessness and riding at excessive speed in traffic, but I really do think it becomes more about ego with some of these cops than protecting anybody.

        • RyYYZ

          Are you just making shit up, or what? Where do you get that he was speeding at over 100 mph through traffic? The cop’s word? The cop that pulled a gun for little apparent reason, and didn’t make an arrest or issue a citation? Do you always take cops at their word? My experience has been that for some cops lying and making shit up seems to be their first instinct. The bike was trying to outrun him? If he was doing that, would he be sitting stopped at a traffic light?

        • MyName

          The cops frame of mind is that he was angry and wanted to make a statement. He clearly had nothing on the rider, otherwise he would have ticketed or arrested him, so he wanted to scare him! In doing so he violates basically every gun safety rule. He is even trying to hide what he is doing from witnesses, by holding the gun close to his body, so he KNOWS he is wrong. Whether the rider was reckless or not is irrelevant. The cop is threatening his life, on purpose, with zero cause.

  • Brian Lumb

    I’d reserve judgement on the R1 rider until seeing ALL of the video he created. If he was able to capture the video of the officer in question he was filming his ride prior.

    However, as a rider that also carries a firearm, the officer is lucky he wasn’t shot himself. Pulling a firearm on a person without first identifying yourself as an officer of the law is a crime (I think) and the rider could have defended himself from what he thought could have been a robbery or car jacking.

    How long was the officer’s flashing lights on for?
    Was the rider unaware of the flashing lights? Again, as a rider, I ALWAYS watch my mirrors, especially traffic lights as too many people are distracted by their cell phones.

    I hope that the sheriff does use this video to train his deputies as a reminder of what not to do.

    • sgray44444

      If I saw someone approaching with a gun, not identified as an officer, not in uniform, my first tendency would be to duck behind something, pull my firearm and empty the magazine into them if they continued to approach. I don’t think there is a court around that wouldn’t see this as a legitimate perception of threat to the rider’s life.

      • DickRuble

        And you’d be dead. At 3 feet distance, a gun pointed at you, straddling your motorcycle,.. where would you duck? which gun would you pull out,your primary or the backup? You think you’d have time to squeeze anything?.. The false security of carrying a gun will get you killed.

        • Born to Ride

          Even if he had a knife and it was a robbery, at this point no amount of training would save you.

        • sgray44444

          I get it Dick. I was speaking in a general sense. Obviously watching the video he had no time to do anything, except take the chance and lane split away.

    • E-Nonymouse A

      You’ll notice the lights on the vehicle and the vehicle’s appearance are very discrete, if a person were not actually looking for police presence that could be easily missed.

  • Gruf Rude

    So what ‘swift action’ did the sheriff take regarding his out-of-control officer?

    • Malot1

      Sheriff put him on “Leave”. He’ll get shit canned w/ a full disability and full pay.
      You or I, jail w/o pay. Hope R1 sues the shit outta Police Dept and goes after the
      Deputy personally.

    • Campisi

      Likely a paid vacation and a firm handshake.

    • DickRuble

      He told you.. he’ll show the video to every new officer.. tell them “that’s not how you’re supposed to do it “.. and thank the officer for acting in the video.

  • SRMark

    Damn.

  • michael32853hutson@yahoo.com

    except for the cop pulling his gun really no harm done-yes the cop should have ID’d himself but one look back at the cop car would be good enough for me though i did hear about a guy impersonating a cop in Tx. for the purpose of assaulting women

    • BDan75

      It happens all the time. Just Google it. Not very hard for some psycho wanna-be vigilante to rig up some lights, unholster his Glock and claim he’s off-duty.

      • michael32853hutson@yahoo.com

        yep i hope they nailed the bastard in Texas that was raping the women

    • DickRuble

      The cop had no business pointing a gun. Nor grabbing the license out of the pocket without asking. He could have pulled in front of the bike, with his lights on. Gotten out of the car and asked for papers. It’s not even clear this happened in his jurisdiction or that he was entitled to enforce traffic. A douchebag on a power trip.

      • michael32853hutson@yahoo.com

        agree,just sayin’ i’ve had much worse happen

        • ChevalierMalFet

          Presence of worse doesn’t make bad better. If you find yourself staring down a shit sandwich, the fact that I’ve at some point eaten a double-decker shit sandwich doesn’t make yours taste any better, you know?

          • michael32853hutson@yahoo.com

            well it wasn’t a traffic stop,it was trespassing about a hundred yards from a beach but a twelve gauge up against my head got my attention-i co-operated with the deputy

  • John B.

    Unless there’s more to the story captured in the video, the officer’s conduct was abhorrent and he may have committed an aggravated (involving a weapon) felony. The rider will need persistence and wherewithal (personal and financial) if he wants the officer punished and/or seeks monetary compensation. Among other resources, he needs a attorney.

    Among other things, the video serves as a great reminder as to how vulnerable we are on a motorcycle. While sitting on a motorcycle we are immobilized and exposed. If the person with the gun were a malevolent thug as opposed to a police officer the rider would have been in even graver danger. Moreover, even someone carrying a concealed firearm would not have been able to access it quickly enough in this situation.

    In Texas, CHL holders can open carry, but that creates other challenges.

    • RicU

      This viral distribution is exponentially more damaging than a lawsuit. It will be circulating for the next decade, ready for any lawyer or defendant to show a jury.

      • John B.

        Depending on the case, the video may, or may not be admissible at trial. The video may be more damaging in terms of tarnishing the department’s reputation, but lawsuits cause direct financial damage, which is what makes litigation fun.

        • Ric Hill

          John B.

          We are in total agreement. Our point is what the purpose of this video is. For now, the potential plaintiff has probably tainted any jury pool with 10’s of 1,000’s of views and exponentially more comments which will be available on line forever as opposed to a dusty, dingy law library or Lexxus-Nexxus (Spell??)

          Legal fisticuffs are very expensive. Also, the cops tend to be VERY bad bullies with their weapons, cars, “blue wall”, staffs of lawyers, judges who are petrified of what a crew of cops can do them and their family and more. Fight a ticket and be prepared to fight dirty. Go VERY public from the start.

          Personally, I get the idea “R1” has taken his case to the one the cops can’t win against a video like this, the Court of Public Opinion. This plain clothes and his department will be tainted by this for decades.

          • E-Nonymouse A

            I tried to contest a ticket and I knew I did not do anything wrong, I also knew the officer went on record in court making false statements but since I had no video proof of it (portable video of any kind was not common then) all I could do is say my peace and watch the judge walk all over me with a ruling that had no basis in law.

          • Ric Hill

            Look at it this way. It didn’t cost you any more to show up and fight. It also cost the township/city a bundle for the use of the court, Judge’s time, cop’s time, the Sargent’s and other staff time, vehicle time and and other expenses. You lost but they didn’t win either.

            Actually, if you show up, you have a 25-50% chance of a no-show win. If you ask the court to subpoena all recording devices for 2 hours before and 2 hours after the ticket was issued, the odds escalate into you favor.

    • E-Nonymouse A

      It’s apparent to me that the rider was doing something sketchy to warrant attention.
      Speeding was likely but in all the encounters i’ve had and talking to family members who have worn the badge over the years, this kind behavior from the officer is extremely irregular.
      By all accounts this is a non felony stop and the KC Sheriff even says this is not normal or acceptable behavior for a non felony stop.
      It makes me angry actually, because i’ve been caught off guard by stealthy officers behind me who didn’t understand why I didn’t see them or hear them. The majority of the ones who stopped me to discuss this weren’t even after me, but again didn’t understand why their downsized nondescript vehicles and not very loud sirens couldn’t be easily identified over vehicle noise and whatever insulation blocks all that out.
      This non-unformed officer has the same demeanor like “hey i’m a big effin’ deal you should recognize me” even though everything about his car, his clothing and behavior says “I don’t want to be identified or noticed”. He’s concealing his drawn weapon even after the encounter is fully ongoing and the rider sees him. This has every appearance of being a car jacking not a traffic stop, gun or no gun i’d be demanding to see his ID first, you do have the right to ask him to produce ID. Anyone can get a gun and some fake lights on a car..

      As riders we’ve got ear plugs, vehicle noise, engine noise, insulation in our helmets; There are lots of things going on that require our attention and sometimes we miss seeing something.

    • E-Nonymouse A

      Im curious if this officer has a past history of aggressive behavior on the job.

  • CFLAP

    A gun is not a tool of intimidation. Especially in the hands of a law enforcement officer. Reckless driving or not, we don’t pull guns for traffic offenses.

    • Campisi

      Except for when y’all do, as documented in the video, hence the complaint.

      • CFLAP

        I’m not a cop. I was using “we” as we do with children when they are misbehaving.

        • Campisi

          Ah! Apologies. Carry on, then.

      • E-Nonymouse A

        I bet the vehicle has no recording devices in it to monitor this officers behavior either. If they do, the footage will curiously turn up missing later if a FOI request is submitted for the footage and any information related to the case.

    • There’s no proof of any reckless driving on the part of the rider. That officer has a history of road rage incidents that go all the way back to 2012. I’ve been doing some digging since that story broke.

  • Malcolm Turncoat

    land of the free

  • RicU

    Now can we hear about how only blue lives matter?

    The sheriff isn’t going to do jack to this Deputy Thug …. I saw armed robbery in the video. … This is probably going to be used as a good conduct video.

  • Rob Mitchell

    What is it with American cops? A fellow Aussie living in the states heard a woman in distress in her back lane. She called the cops and they shot her dead!!!.

  • Paragon Lost

    Freaking scary. This is why I’m always telling my kids to move slowly, keep their hands up and do as the law enforcement officer says, no matter how outrageous. I’d rather they live through the encounter and we can sue later.

    This officer is so unprofessional it’s mind boggling and unacceptable. Many in law enforcement ponder about the general hostility directed against them in society today, this would be a good example of why.

  • Bailagent

    Most of us have or know police officers. I’ve shown this video to 3 friends that are. Not one thought it was handled correctly, but, and I do mean but, they need more information on what had proceeded. They were in agreement that at this point, a cycle rider, with hands in full view at all times, it should not have been an armed stop.

  • JSTNCOL

    Yeah, never mind.

  • THE dude with a gun, imagine if he was a real man and could get through life without that crutch – perhaps with reason and a thought process; people with guns think they are tough, and when they have weaponry in their hands they can force people to do whatever they want – guess that can be described as toughness. But like this dude, they look like idiots – just 1/2 men who can’t reason through life so they gotta have a bang bang. the man on the bike should start a kickstarter campaign – i would donate to get a piece of shit like the 1/2 cop off the road

  • blansky

    Simply looks to me that the cop didn’t have anything to prove the speed of the motorcycle. He may have observed from a side street and then took off after him, and by the time he got there, the motorcycle had slowed down to stop.

    So the cop being a dick, thought this would be a good way to scare the guy into not driving so fast. A serious dick move, but this is the price we may be paying for motorcyclists stunting and speeding around and nobody including cops like it.

    The fact of the matter, when you are a minority of any kind, racial, religious, vehicle or any other way, you’re a representative of that minority to other people. If you’re a white guy and go to a predominantly black or Asian country the way you behave as an individual makes people believe that all of that race or nation acts that way, good or bad. Same with religions.

    If all people see is motorcyclists acting like jerks, loud noises, cutting in and out of traffic at high speeds etc, then they get of the mindset that all motorcyclists are jerks and a nuisance.

    This cop probably just hates motorcyclists and since they are hard to nail down, he finally had hit chance at a guy that stopped at the light after speeding. And the other problem is with helmets and dark shields they can’t see what we look like. Are we a kid, or a gray bearded pirate or a dentist.