After video footage of a bizarre traffic stop in Florida surfaced on the Internet, the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office announced recently it has launched an investigation into the incident.
The Gainesville Sun reports the video (shown below) was recorded by 23-year-old Lucas Jewell after he was stopped by deputies who were driving a Lenco Bear Cat Armored Personnel Carrier.
According to The Blaze, the video was shot in Gainesville on Saturday following a University of Florida football game.
Jewell, who had recently run for a seat on the Gainesville City Commission, had reportedly made an obscene hand gesture to the officers.
As the video, which appears to have been shot with a cellphone, begins, Jewell can be heard remarking on the personnel carrier.
“I’m really getting pulled over by a tank right now?” he says.
“Yes sir,” the officer responds.
“Do you know the Supreme Court actually ruled that you are legally allowed to flick off police officers,” Jewell then says, in apparent defense of his hand gesture.
The officer goes on to explain that he pulled Jewell over for an “improper hand signal” and because Jewell’s female passenger appeared to be performing fellatio on him.
In the video, Jewell repeatedly denies the second allegation, saying that the passenger was asleep in his lap. He says that should have been obvious to the deputies, suggesting that they are using that as an excuse for the stop.
As the video continues, Jewell can be seen interacting with at least three deputies.
Jewell explains his hand gesture by saying he was offended by the presence of an armored vehicle in his neighborhood.
“I was surprised … that we needed tanks to drive down our streets,” he is quoted as saying by TheBlaze. “I thought this was a safe community, I didn’t know we were in Iraq.”
He was eventually let off with a warning for an improper hand signal, but the officers filed a report for “informational purposes” detailing their version of events.
Alachua County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Art Forgey told The Sun on Monday his department had just learned that a video of the stop existed and that an investigation was underway.
“It will look at everything from the stop, conduct and did (the deputies) violate any directives,” Forgey said.
University of Florida Police Maj. Brad Barber said the armored vehicle was called in on Saturday as part of the regular security detail for football games.
Jewell has said he doesn’t feel he should have been pulled over and plans to file a formal complaint against the Sheriff’s Office.
Photo Credit: The Gainesville Sun, Screen shot from YouTube