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San Diego Police review complaint over traffic stop

San Diego police cruiser suv
Posted at 10:27 AM, Sep 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-02 13:27:10-04

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A cell phone video has emerged showing a San Diego Police Department traffic stop that is now under internal investigation.

The department's Internal Affairs Unit is reviewing a third-party complaint to determine if any policy violations occurred during the stop, which took place around 9:15 a.m. on Aug. 29 on the 1700 block of Vesta Street in Southcrest.

In the 2-minute-and-13 second video, a man identified as 38-year-old Columbus White gets out of his vehicle and demands to know why he's being pulled over.

The officer asks White if he is on probation. After White responds that he is not, the officer -- who identifies himself as "Officer Aguilar" -- said he "guarantees" that White is a so-called Fourth waiver, someone on parole or probation who can be searched with no probable cause without having their Fourth Amendment rights violated.

White insists he is not on parole or probation and demands to see a sergeant.

Several minutes into the stop, White was detained awaiting a sergeant and handed his phone to a passerby, who is a Black man.

The video cuts to Aguilar detaining White with no recorded struggle. As White is put in handcuffs, two additional squad cars report to the scene.

The bystander -- now recording -- is approached by a white officer who is saying, "You're gonna get away from my officers," into the camera as he exits from his vehicle.

"Stop touching me," the bystander responds, backing away. At this point, the camera shakes and lands aimed atop the police car.

"Call my grandma, she lives around the corner," the bystander is heard saying. There is an overlapped voice of a female officer telling him to, "Put your hands behind your back."

On Wednesday, the department released a statement that said, "An investigation was initiated, and a thorough review will be conducted to determine if any policy violations occurred. At the conclusion of the investigation, it will be turned over to the Commission on Police Practices for their review and analysis."

Police offered no further comment Thursday.

White was released once the sergeant arrived after being cited for speeding and outdated registration.

He told reporters he thinks he was racially profiled. In an interview with a local media outlet, White said that the officer "didn't want my license, registration. He started off by saying my name. He gave out my name saying I'm a Fourth waiver."

The woman who filed the third-party complaint identified herself to a San Diego TV station as Tasha Williamson.

"It's about them (police) having clear concise changes and accountability. It's about making sure that we are free to travel and we are not," she told the station.