ROHNERT PARK, Calif. (KTVU) — The lawyer for a man who says he was unarmed and minding his own business when a Rohnert Park police officer pulled a gun on him on Thursday announced his client plans to sue the city over the incident.
The man shot cell phone video of the officer drawing his service revolver that will be central to the case.
Don McComas told KTVU he was hitching his boat to a vehicle on July 29th when a Rohnert Park police officer pulled a gun on him. At a press conference on Thursday, attorney Dan Beck, who is representing McComas, claims the officer abused his power when he pulled his gun out on his client.
All the while McComas was recording the incident on his cell phone.
“He thought he was going to die. He thought he was going to be shot. He thought there was nobody around, nobody can see this,” said Beck.
After the incident, McComas posted the video to his Facebook account. Since then, hundreds of thousands of people have viewed the five minute video.
It shows the officer leaving his patrol car and drawing his gun all the while repeatedly telling McComas to remove his hand from his pocket. According to Beck, his client complied with the officer. However, some say McComas sounded confrontational in the video.
Beck said the lawsuit will be for abuse of power and violation of his clients civil rights. Beck says because of this incident, McComas is receiving medical care.
In the video, McComas tells to the officer he’s done nothing wrong and to go away. He goes on to say “You guys have done enough to my family.” When asked about this portion, Beck declined to talk about his client’s past.
Rohnert Park city leaders said they are aware of the video and plan to conduct two separate investigations into the incident even though there hasn’t been a formal complaint.
“We’ve seen it and we’re concerned about what we have seen. We’re taking a real close look at this during a review and that will include a review of the interaction on the video as well as our policies and procedures,” said Don Schwartz, Assistant City Manager of Rohnert Park
Schwartz said the officer involved is on vacation, taking time off that was planned well before this incident.
On Thursday morning, Rohnert Park Police canceled a scheduled “Coffee with a Cop” event because they heard through social media that there was a threat to disrupt the event and could put the community at risk.