TUSCUMBIA, Ala. (WAFF) - A Tuscumbia police officer is on administrative leave after a viral video showed him brandishing a weapon during a traffic stop earlier this month.
The officer was placed on administrative leave last week, a couple of days after the video went viral. On Friday morning, Tuscumbia Police Chief Tony Logan confirmed that an internal investigation found the officer’s behavior was “not consistent with our training." Logan says the officer has been disciplined, but said that personnel policies prevented him from elaborating on what that discipline was. The officer will return to work at the end of next week.
Logan says the incident began when two women called police to report a man in a Jeep driving around the Keller Court apartments, honking his horn and sending messages to them. The man was a former boyfriend of one of those women. An off-duty officer nearby responded to the call and stopped a jeep in the area matching the description of the call.
Inside the Jeep was Ryan Williams. He began recording the encounter on his cellphone.
The video shows the officer telling Williams he witnessed him driving recklessly. Williams says he was sitting in a parked car. The officer motions towards his hip, unbuttons the holster of his pistol, draws the gun, and has it pointed at the ground. Williams asks why the officer drew his weapon, and says he’s no threat. The officer tells Williams he “doesn’t want to be blindsided”. Williams asks for a second officer to come over and help, at which point the video cuts out.
During the investigation, the officer told the policy review committee that he was concerned that he couldn’t see Williams’ hands during their conversation and felt his safety was being threatened. Logan told reporters that his primary concern with the officer’s actions was that he did not put away his weapon once uniformed officers arrived on the scene and took control.
It’s unclear how the situation ended, but Williams was not charged with any crime. On Friday, Logan confirmed again that Williams is not facing charges.
Logan said his department “seeks to maintain the highest standards of conduct in the performance of our duties”.