An off-duty Massachusetts police officer threatened to shoot a driver in the head for committing a minor traffic violation.
Medford Police Detective Stephen Lebert was off-duty and wearing plain clothes when he exited his truck and stormed towards the driver. Lebert reached behind his back and pulled out his badge, threatening to “blow a hole right through your fucking head.”
Lebert continued to berate the driver as uniformed officers arrived on scene, telling him he was “lucky I’m a cop or I’d beat the fucking piss out of your right now.”
In order to comply with the law, the driver informed Lebert that he had a dashcam installed in his car that recorded both video and audio, but Lebert demanded the device be turned off.
“He was super aggressive at me, he was yelling and he jumped out of his truck and he yells that he’s going to blow my brains out, and so I got scared,” the driver said in the video. “I threw it in reverse, I’m like, What the hell’s going on – I don’t know this guy, you know? He’s got tattoos, he’s got a wife-beater. Where I’m from – I Grew up in Lowell, Massachusetts – that’s a rough area. When someone says they’ve got a gun, they usually got a gun.”
The video of the traffic stop later surfaced on social media and Medford Police Chief Leo Sacco promptly suspended Lebert with pay, a move many believe to be nothing more than a feigned slap on the wrist.
Aside from being unprofessional and discourteous, Lebert’s actions could very well have given rise to a violent confrontation, especially at the moment he furtively reached behind his back and issued threats to the driver.
Thankfully the situation was resolved peacefully and the driver was permitted to go on his way, though the lack of serious repercussions for Lebert may prove to tarnish the reputation of the Medford police department.
(This article was a submission from freelance writer Brent Rogers)