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Massachusetts Cop to Driver in Video: 'I’ll Put a Hole Right Through Your Fucking Head'

Plainclothes detective Stephen Lebert was recorded threatening to shoot a driver who had taken a wrong turn down a one-way street.

by VICE News
Jul 28 2015, 3:10pm

Screenshot via YouTube

VICE News is closely watching policing in America. Check out the Officer Involved blog here.

A Medford, Massachusetts police detective has been put on administrative leave after a driver posted dash cam footage of the officer threatening to "put a hole" in his head during a traffic stop made in an unmarked car.

Det. Stephen Lebert allegedly pulled over the motorist after he accidentally turned the wrong way down a one-way street at a traffic circle, Boston.com reported. The driver, who has only been identified as a 25-year-old man named Mike, recorded the footage from his car.

Mike said that he had purchased the dash cam recently as a self-protection measure after another car hit his vehicle at a red light. It proved useful on Sunday, July 26, when it recorded Lebert's tirade. The date on the camera was set wrong, Mike said, though the time is correct.

In the video, Lebert can be seen exiting his unmarked Red Chevy Silverado pick up truck in a white singlet and cargo shorts. Mike backs away as Lebert approaches because he isn't aware that the man is a cop.

Lebert then pulls out identification and says, "I'll put a hole right through your fucking head…"

The driver, who had taken a wrong turn at a rotary, apologizes and repeatedly says that he didn't see a sign or realize that Lebert was a police officer. Lebert replies, "You're lucky I'm a cop, 'cause I'd be beating the fucking piss outta you right now."

"Geez," Mike responds, taken aback.

Mike then informs the detective that he has a dash cam. In Massachusetts, people must obtain two-party consent to record audio of anyone. Lebert tells him to turn the engine off and the camera shuts off for a brief period. 

When a backup cruiser arrives, another unidentified cop approaches Mike and says that Lebert is a detective with the department.

"Yeah, he told me that," Mike replies. "But, I didn't know that, and he was super aggressive at me. He was yelling. And he jumped out of his truck, and he yells that he's gonna blow my brains out. And so I got scared and I threw it into reverse. I'm like, 'What the hell is going on?' Like I don't know this guy. He's got tattoos, he's got a wifebeater. Where i'm from — I grew up in Lowell, Massachusetts — it's a rough area. When someone says they got a gun, they usually got a gun. So I'm like, 'Oh, my god. I've gotta get the hell outta here.' "

Medford Police Chief Leo Sacco later confirmed Lebert's identity in the video.

"He's a 30-year member of the department and works in our detective division," Sacco said of the detective. "He's a very effective police officer but last night's incident that's on video, at least that portion of the video that I saw, is troubling to say the least."

Police also confirmed with Boston.com that Lebert is the officer featured in a previous July 2, 2012 YouTube video in which the officer confronts a man trying to film an encounter. The cop tells the man that his brother has a drug problem and can then be heard saying, "What they should do is just take him up on the railroad tracks and tell him to lay down."