A man from San Francisco alleges a police officer in Arizona pulled a gun on him and his 7-year-old daughter during an Aug. 11 traffic stop.
Ken Walton gave his account of the incident in a Facebook post, which has been widely viewed, according to media reports.
“Tonight, I was arrested at gunpoint by an Arizona highway patrol officer who threatened to shoot me in the back (twice) in front of my 7-year-old daughter,” Walton wrote on Aug. 13, according to Arizona Republic. “For a moment, I was certain he was going to kill me for no reason. I'm alive, and I need to share the story.”
The unnamed officer stopped Walton because the front license plate on his rental car came from a stolen vehicle. The rental company failed to change it before Walton hired the vehicle to go on vacation with his daughter, Wren. according to the New York Daily News.
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After stopping Walton, the officer reportedly "tapped on the rear passenger side window with his pistol. Wren was just "inches away from the barrel of his gun," according to Walton.
The Arizona Department of Public Safety disputes Walton’s allegations.
“This happened at night, and our trooper could only see one person in the vehicle,” Capt. Damon Cecil of ADPS said in defense of his trooper. "He only noticed her after Walton rolled down his window and the girl leaned forward."
Walton also alleged that the officer threatened to shoot him.
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“Get your hands away from your waist or I’ll blow two holes through your back right now!” the trooper allegedly said, according to Walton.
Walton said he had is hands up during this exchange.
Cecil accused Walton of providing an account that was “exaggerated and inflammatory,” Arizona Republic reported.
“Mr. Walton is a writer and he makes stuff up to captivate a willing audience, and that’s what I think he had, a story and a captive audience made up of folks who don’t like police,” Cecil added, according to the Daily News.
The department said the officer involved is being investigated, but he remains on-duty.