Cell phone video (below) reportedly shows police officer Munir Ayoub pulling a gun on black pizza delivery man Chris Jeffries in Bladensburg, Maryland, on Jan. 16.
“I felt like I was living the last seconds of my life when the man walked out of his car,” Jeffries, 25, told FOX 5.
“Seeing that gun just on my side mirror was a startling, frightening moment of, ‘This could be it,’ given the atmosphere and the time that we are in, in this country,” he added.
Bladensburg Police Chief Charles Owens said in a statement to the news station that Jeffries was driving "erratically" and almost hit another car while he drove for a "half mile ignoring the officer's attempt to initiate a traffic stop."
Jeffries’ lawyer, J. Wyndal Gordon, told The Huffington Post that Jeffries was eventually pulled out of his vehicle and beaten by Ayoub, but the video only shows the events that take place while Jeffries is in the car.
Gordon said Jeffries was originally cited by Ayoub for an "improper lane change."
Ayoub went on to charge Jeffries with fleeing and eluding an officer, assaulting an officer and resisting arrest.
"Given the limits of a YouTube video captured by the driver's cell phone, the driver is shown to be defiant to lawful orders to give the officer his driver's license and registration card," Owens told FOX 5 in his statement. "The driver continued his defiance by refusing to roll-down his window to communicate with the officer, thus escalating the incident."
Jeffries gave Ayoub his driver's license and had his window rolled down partially while calmly talking to Ayoub, who then screamed at him: “It’s going to go bad to really bad! Roll down your window! Roll down your window now! Roll down your window for my safety and your safety. Roll down your window!”
Attorney Camara Mintz, who used to be a police officer, told FOX 5, “There is no law that specifically says you have to roll your window down to a certain height or roll it all the way down.”
In the video, Ayoub demands that Jeffries step out of his vehicle, but Jeffries says he is afraid to do so.
"Dude, I'm telling you, this is going to go bad!" Ayoub yells.
A second officer arrives and tells Jeffries to get out of the car. When Jeffries asks what he has done, the second officer says, “We’re going to tell you, but you got to get out of the car.”
“The only thing that I think [Jeffries] did wrong, and this is just a technical thing I think, is he refused to get out of the car,” Mintz said. “Officers can order you outside of the car during a traffic stop almost for any reason.”
Jeffries has filed a lawsuit against Ayoub for civil rights violations.