Video shows California officer pointing gun at passenger

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CAMPBELL, Calif. (AP) — A video showing a Northern California police officer pointing his gun for more than nine minutes at the passenger in a car stop has drawn attention on social media.

The Campbell Police Department says the officer pulled over the car for speeding on July 28 on Highway 101.

Campbell police Capt. Gary Berg tells the Mercury News the officer asked for the license of the woman driving, the car's registration and proof of insurance. While the occupants were looking for those documents, Berg says the passenger started to reach under his seat.

The phone video shows the unidentified officer pointing his pistol at the passenger. The passenger holds up his hands and explains that he was looking for the requested documents, noting the papers on the floor and asks why the officer is pointing the weapon at him.

The Campbell Police Department is defending the officer's decision to draw his gun.

Berg says the recording is incomplete and does not show what led up to the interaction nor its conclusion.

"We are in a position to provide the context because we have reviewed the officer's body-worn camera, which recorded the encounter in its entirety," Berg said in a lengthy statement about the encounter.

The officer's actions were in line with his training, Berg said.

"Our officers receive a tremendous amount of training on a consistent basis and that training is what dictates our response," he said. "This is intended to protect our officers as well as those they come in contact with."

Berg said at the end of the footage, the officer explained his actions to the passenger.

"The passenger indicated he understood why it happened and actually apologized to the officer," Berg said.

Officials are reviewing whether to release the body-camera footage, in its entirety or through excerpts.

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