16:24 GMT +323 July 2019
Listen Live
    California’s West Covina Police Department landed in hot water after an officer was recorded snatching a woman's phone during a traffic stop.

    US Cop Caught on Camera Snatching Cell Phone from Woman in Traffic Stop (VIDEOS)

    © Screenshot/EXPOMEX
    Viral
    Get short URL
    306

    California's West Covina Police Department landed in hot water this week after video footage showing an officer snatching a woman's phone was shared on social media on Tuesday.

    The recording was initially posted on Facebook Tuesday night by Eileen Aquino, who had filmed her encounter with officers after the car she was riding in got pulled over for having no license plates, NBC Los Angeles reported. The video, which gained some 75,000 views, has since been removed from Aquino's page.

    In the video, seconds after Aquino is told to place her purse on the driver's seat and step out of the car, things take a turn for the worse.

    "No, I'm going to hold my phone," Aquino tells the officer, who's already starting to lose his temper. "I am going to hold my phone because I have my rights. My mom works for the sheriff's department and she's still working."

    As Aquino refuses to hand over the device, the officer tells her he doesn't "give a f**k where your mom works."

    "Do you understand? I do not care. I do not want you to have that phone in your hand… I do not want you to use it as a weapon," the unidentified officer tells Aquino.

    With Aquino repeatedly refusing to hand over the phone and attempting to exit the car, the officer doubles down and stresses that he "is in control" and that he "will tell [her] when to get out of the car."

    "If you do not put that phone down, I will take it out of your hands," he said. Three seconds later, he reached for the phone but failed to get hold of it. The officer then opens the car door and tries to reach for the phone by climbing over Aquino. This did not work, either.

    The officer later obtained the phone after his partner came over and offered a helping hand. Aquino and her husband, Chris Moreno, who was driving the car, were put into handcuffs while officers searched the car. They were later released and only cited for having an open container that had marijuana residue.

    This altercation took place on April 12 at roughly 10 a.m. local time.

    According to a statement released Wednesday by the police department, responding officers decided to search the car after they realized that the driver was a convicted arsonist and was on parole.

    "The officer requested the female and male to exit the vehicle. The male initially complied but later became agitated. The female passenger delayed exiting the vehicle and was recording the incident with a cellular phone," the statement from West Covina Police Department's Lt. Travis Tibbetts stated, explaining that the request to hand over the phone was "for officer safety reasons."

    "When she refused to comply, a confrontation occurred between the female and the officer… a written complaint has been filed with the police department, which is currently being investigated," he added.

    Aquino's complaint alleges that officers assaulted her and her husband during the incident.

    However, dashcam footage that was released along with the department's statement "is not consistent with the [Aquino's] version of events."

    ​It's unclear if Aquino will rescind the complaint. Local station KTLA5 reported that Aquino and Moreno were in contact with lawyers on the matter.

    Tibbetts later told CBS Los Angeles that "some training points" may come out of the search.

    Related:

    WATCH: California Cops Muted Cameras, Delayed Medics After Clark Shooting
    ‘Just Waiting to Go Off’: California East Bay Fault a ‘Tectonic Time Bomb’
    Trump Blasts California Governor Over National Guard Commitment to Border
    Initiative to Break Up California Into 3 States Likely on Fall Ballot
    California Authorities Deploy Additional Forces to Fight Drug Trafficking
    Tags:
    West Covina Police Department, California cops, California
    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via FacebookComment via Sputnik