STOCKTON (CBS13) — An off-duty officer detained a man at gunpoint following a traffic incident.
Stockton Police said it began when the officer spotted a man pulling a U-Haul trailer, driving erratically. The police department is now reviewing the case.
CBS13 asked retired Sacramento County Sheriff John McGinnis about the proper protocol for an off-duty officer detaining someone. He said, on and off the clock, officers have the authority to enforce the law.
“It would be treated by the courts no differently than whether they’re on the payroll, being compensated, therefore clearly on duty, or off duty. They put themselves on duty as the situation calls for it,” McGinnis said.
The video of the incident has thrust Stockton officer Kevin Kachler into the spotlight. He is seen holding a man at gunpoint but was not on duty at the time.
James Weaver, who is on the ground in the video, said he and some friends were towing a trailer on Highway 99 from Reno to Stockton to buy a car. He said the incident happened after he changed lanes.
“I don’t believe I cut him off when switching lanes, I think he just didn’t want to be behind us with the trailer because of the speed we were maintaining,” Weaver said.
Weaver said the officer followed him for about 45 minutes and when he and his friends pulled over, so did officer Kachler.
“And he grabs me by the back of the shirt like this and points the gun at my chest… and told me to go to the ground,” Weaver said. “At this point, we’re thinking we’re being robbed because he has not identified himself as a police officer.”
Weaver said it was not until he was on the ground that the man identified himself as a Stockton Police Officer.
In a statement to CBS13, Stockton Police said, “The officer observed Weaver driving erratically, at one point veering across multiple lanes of traffic and intentionally swerving at the officer’s vehicle.”