Police in suburban South Holland have opened an internal investigation after a short clip from a video showing a cop using profanity during a traffic stop went viral.
Harvey resident Rodney Wilson, 19, was dropping some friends off in South Holland when he was pulled over by police and approached by two officers, he told NBC Chicago. When Wilson and the other passengers asked the officers why they were pulled over, one of them responded, "Because you're you," according to Wilson.
The officer then asked Wilson for his ID. When Wilson asked for it back, the officer allegedly told him to step out of the car and he would give it to him. That's when Wilson said he started recording the encounter on his cellphone. The 30-second video, which shows the officer using foul language, went viral.
"He had no right to do so because I wasn't under arrest," Wilson said. "I wasn't resisting anything. I was in complete compliance with the officer. I felt very threatened. As of now, I'm very afraid to go through South Holland."
The video shows the officer telling Wilson he could "command " him to get out of the car. Since the video was posted on Twitter, it has been retweeted nearly 17,000 times.
"If I wanted you out of the car, I could command you to get out of the car," the officer says. "And if you didn't get out of the car, I could pull you out of the [bleep] car."
Police say the video does not show the whole story, however. The traffic stop lasted 37 minutes, but the video only shows 30 seconds. During a press conference Tuesday, Police Chief Greg Baker said the officers were helping out with a police investigation in neighboring Lynwood, and a passenger in the car was detained as a result.
The South Holland Police Department issued a statement after the video went viral saying they were conducting a thorough internal investigation.
"The behavior of the officer is in violation of the Village of South Holland's code of conduct and goes against the organization's foundational values of professionalism, respect and customer care," the statement read.
Police say the traffic stop was "investigative" and was made "at the request of a neighboring municipality."
According to Wilson, Lynwood Police officers later showed up and arrested his cousin, 18-year-old Jordan James, who was also in the car. Wilson said he did not know why James was arrested.
Wilson was not arrested in this incident, but he said South Holland Police did arrest and "threaten" him on July 21 for trespassing at Thornwood High School, where he was taking summer school classes.