RCMP in B.C. have started an internal investigation into a tense traffic stop on a Kelowna road that was caught on video.
Shawn Michaelz was in a vehicle driven by his girlfriend this week when a Mountie pulled them over.
According to the Edmonton man, they had been waiting to turn left at an intersection, when a cruiser slowly approached in the oncoming lane.
"We had enough time to make the turn at the speed he was going, but he had the right-of-way of course, so we waited and at the last second he turns left," wrote Michaelz on Facebook. "I throw my hands up in the air in the passenger seat of the vehicle and the cop gets mad and pulls a U-turn in the intersection to pull us over."
In a video that Michaelz posted to Facebook, the unidentified Mountie walks up to the driver's window and refers to Michaelz' gesture, asking, "So what would you like to say to me, as a police officer?"
When the driver asks why they were pulled over, the officer says, "Anytime someone is going to go like that to a police officer they are obviously upset about something."
He continues, "I'm doing my job. I'm looking for a licence plate and I looked down at my screen and I may have lost track of where I was on the road. Fair enough, but that's my job as a police officer."
When Michaelz suggests that could be distracted driving, the Mountie retorts: "OK, well we'll have a look at your paint job, your rims, make sure that they're high enough on the ground." He then threatens to call a traffic officer to conduct a full road inspection.
Later, the officer disagrees with the driver that he's picking on them, saying that he stopped them to check for a valid driver's licence and insurance, and a road-worthy vehicle.
"You want to potshot me by saying I'm a distracted driver when I'm doing my job? I said, OK, you want to see my job, wait right here, I'll get a traffic member and we'll check your car. That's doing my job," the Mountie tells the couple.
"At the end of the day, you can agree or disagree all you want, but in 20 years of doing the job, I don't get mad. And you were able to make me mad."
Michaelz told CTV News that they didn't end up with a ticket or a road inspection. But he shared the video on Facebook because he believes drivers should defend themselves if they feel police are treating them unfairly, reported the outlet.
The RCMP's Professional Standards Unit is now looking into the incident.
“I do have some concerns, but we are going to conduct a full investigation to determine whether the actions of the member were appropriate,” said Kelowna RCMP Supt. Nick Romanchuk in a statement to KelownaNow.
He pointed out it's unclear what else happened during the 15-minute interaction based on the two-minute edited video.
Romanchuk told CBC News the veteran constable is new to the area.
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