A 27-year veteran county sheriff in Saratoga County, New York has been suspended after a video emerged online last week appearing to capture him slapping and verbally abusing a young man.
The incident was filmed by the young man's friend, during which the officer demands to enter and search the unidentified man's car, which according to the local Times Union newspaper contained a rifle on the backseat.
In the video, Sgt. Shawn R. Glans threatens to get a "fucking search warrant," but with no warrant in hand goes on to demand "Let me see your fucking keys... because we're searching your fucking car, that's why."
The US motor vehicle exception law does allow police officers to search a car without a warrant as long as he or she has probable cause to believe that evidence or contraband is located in the vehicle, as was established by a US Supreme Court ruling in 1925.
The man refuses, and Glans says, "You want to fucking resist?" The sound of a slap can be heard on the footage, but is not caught on screen. The cop then grabs the car keys and tosses them off screen to what appears to be his partner, saying "search the fucking car."
The individual holding the camera comments to Glans that the interaction has been "intense," at which point the officer informs him that he could "rip [his] fucking head off and shit down [his] neck."
Saratoga Sheriff Michael Zurlo said he was "very disturbed" by the footage and that an internal investigation was underway.
Glans, who is under suspension, defended his actions but expressed regrets that they were caught on camera, the Times Union reported. "There was a gun that was involved [that] I spotted in the vehicle... I was concerned. It was a public safety issue," the sergeant said. "If I had to do it all over again ... I'd probably do the same thing. If I knew the camera was there, no, because it does look bad."
Watch the video via LiveLeak:
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