A Massachusetts police detective has been suspended after dashcam video shows him threatening to shoot a man for a traffic violation while the officer was off-duty.
The dashcam starts after an apparent traffic incident with a red pickup truck cutting in front of the dashcam and a man getting out in a white wifebeater and t-shirt. That man, now identified as Medford police detective Stephen Lebert, quickly approaches the car without identifying himself.
As Lebert reaches behind his back in a gesture similar to someone pulling a gun, the driver of the car puts it in reverse to get to safety. That’s when he realized Lebert had pulled his badge from a back pocket.
Before even identifying himself as a police officer, Lebert threatens to shoot the driver.
“I’ll blow a hole right through your f*cking head,” the officer says, before the driver apparently notices that he is holding a badge and stops his car.
“You’re lucky I’m a cop or I’d beat the f*cking piss out of you right now.”
Patrol cars are called to the scene and the driver explains his actions to another officer.
“He was super aggressive at me, he was yelling and he jumped out of his truck and he yells that he’s going to blow my brains out, and so I got scared,” the driver says in the video. “I threw it in reverse, I’m like, What the hell’s going on — I don’t know this guy, you know. He’s got tattoos, he’s got a wife-beater. Where I’m from — I grew up in Lowell, Massachusetts — that’s a rough area. When someone says they’ve got a gun, they usually got a gun.”
After the video surfaced on social media, Medford police chief Leo Sacco suspended Lebert with pay.
“I am troubled by what I have seen on the video,” said Chief Sacco. “I was upset to see one of my officers involved in this kind of activity.”
Lebert told reporters he had not seen the video and declined comment.