Alex Randall, a motorcyclist known as Squid Tips on YouTube, posted a video on Monday afternoon reportedly showing a plain-clothes King County Sheriff's detective pointing a gun at him during a traffic stop on August 16.
King County Sheriff John Urquhart responded to the video on Facebook, where he said that he was "deeply disturbed with the conduct and tactics" he observed and that he had ordered that the detective be placed on administrative leave as of this morning pending an investigation.
It's unclear what preceded the stop, but the three-minute video appears to show the detective approaching Randall from behind without warning, and with his gun already drawn and pointed at the motorcyclist.
"Oh shit, what are you doing to me?" Randall asks.
"What do you mean what am I doing?" the detective says. "You're fucking driving reckless. Give me your driver's license or I'm going to knock you off this bike."
"I will pull over. I'm unarmed," Randall says.
While Randall asks if he can turn off his motorcycle and remove his helmet to better hear the detective, the detective takes Randall's wallet out of his pants.
"I'm sorry, you have a gun drawn on me so I'm a little, I'm a little panicked," Randall can be heard saying in the video.
"That's right, because I'm the police," the detective says.
After the detective looks at Randall's ID, he identifies himself as part of the King County Sheriff's Office and tells him he can be arrested for driving recklessly and at "100-plus miles per hour." The video of the interaction cuts out shortly after that, and Randall, aka Squid Tips, writes that the detective's allegation that he had been driving "100-plus miles per hour" is false.
"I believe this man simply felt I was riding too aggressively and decided to use his authority to scare and lecture me," Randall writes.
The motorcyclist, who just a month prior posted a video on how to avoid attracting police attention while riding a motorcycle, said he filed a complaint with the Sheriff's Office, King County's Office of the Ombudsman, and the King County Office of Law Enforcement Oversight (OLEO).
"In every encounter I expect my deputies to treat others with respect," Urquhart wrote on Facebook. "Our manual requires that firearms not be drawn and pointed unless the deputy believes their use may be required. Generally that means the deputy believes the safety of him or herself is in jeopardy, or a member of the public. Drawing your weapon on someone when investigating a misdemeanor traffic offense is not routine. All of these issues will be covered in a full investigation. In the meantime, the detective involved will not be working with the public."
The Sheriff's Office has not yet released the name of the detective. I've reached out to OLEO for comment and will update when I hear back.