TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A Florida police officer is on desk duty after a video surfaced of him telling a Black driver “this is how you guys get killed out here” during a traffic stop, WTVJ reports.
The driver, Gerard Nicolas, told the news station he was on his way to work when he was pulled over for not wearing a seatbelt.
“When he asked me for my license, open the door, I started recording. I was looking for my stuff, my license because I didn’t see my wallet. I was looking for my wallet and that wasn’t my car, that was my mom’s car and I didn’t know where the registration was. I was looking, looking. He got mad,” Nicolas recalled in the interview.
In the video, the unidentified officer is seen opening the driver’s door. He asks Nicolas if he “wants to go to jail today” and then asks him to provide his license, registration, and proof of insurance.
“If not, you will not be going to work today. Simple thing man,” the officer warns. “This is how you guys get killed out here man.”
“What? Say that again? Say what you just said,” Nicolas asks.
“Registration and insurance. You want to give them to me?” the office replies before shutting the door.
“I was scared, I was scared. I didn’t think my life was going to make it,” Nicolas told WTVJ.
His video, titled “#Being black in American is a crime,” has been widely shared online.
The Miami-Dade Police Department confirmed it launched an internal investigation after learning of the video. The department said it was reviewing 30 minutes of body camera video along with other evidence, and that the officer had been moved from patrol duty to desk duty.
“Rest assured we are committed to transparency and community trust and will address all matters of public concern equitably, fairly, and in accordance with applicable laws,” the department said in a statement to WTVJ.