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Black marine vet claims police officer assaulted him for filming traffic stop from his porch

Edduin Carvajal
Feb 05, 2019
03:50 P.M.
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Adrian Burrell, a 28-year-old US Marine veteran, recorded how a Vallejo police officer was pointing his gun at his cousin in front of his house. Then, the officer assaulted Burrell.

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In the video that the veteran uploaded to Facebook, his cousin appeared sitting on a motorcycle with his hands up while Vallejo policeman David McLaughlin was walking to him asking why he had taken off.

When the officer noticed that Burrell was recording him, he told him to “get back” even though he was several feet away from him. McLaughlin repeated his order, but Burrell refused to move, so the officer told the biker to keep his hands where he could see them and walked to Burrell.

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INTERFERENCE?

"You're interfering with me, my man? You're interfering, you're going to get one from the back of the car," McLaughlin said, while Burrell, who was being handcuffed, responded, “that’s fine.”

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Then, the officer asked Burrell to stop resisting, or he would put him on the ground. Again, the veteran didn’t let McLaughlin intimidate him and said, “I’m not resisting. Put me on the ground.

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EXCESSIVE FORCE

Seconds later, the phone swung around and ended up on the ground. Burrell pointed out that the officer smashed his face into a wall and pushed him to a pole while handcuffing him. Apart from that, the cuffs were so tight that he ended up with his fingers numb and the skin on his right hand broken.

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Later, the agent placed him in the back of his car. Burrell asked McLaughlin if he could be handcuffed in front because of his injuries from being in the military, to what the officer allegedly told him, “Oh! You’re a vet? You sure weren’t acting like one.”

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THE OUTCOME

A while later, the officer told Burrell that he would let him go just because he was a veteran and even thanked him for serving his country. When the man went to the hospital, doctors found he had a concussion.

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When the incident ended, KTVU interviewed Burrell, who described the events and admitted that he had “never been in a situation as a grown adult where I felt someone had took my humanity away like that," [sic].

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At the moment, McLaughlin is under internal investigation for excessive force. However, it might imply First Amendment issues, too, as everyone has the right to observe and film the police as long as they didn't interfere with them.

STEPHON CLARK’S CASE

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Unfortunately, it is not the first time that police officers are involved in an excessive force case. 22-year-old Stephon Clark died last year after he was shot multiple times by two officers who thought he was armed when he was only holding a cellphone.

One of the most shocking aspects of the incident was that Clark was in his grandmother’s backyard. His family filed a $20M federal lawsuit against the officers involved and the city of Sacramento.

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