A short video posted to social media this week of what appeared to be a gunman stalking an LAPD patrol car has frightened the department and led to at least one arrest.
The 15-second clip, which began circulating online earlier last week, shows an unknown person sitting in a parked car behind a Los Angeles Police Department cruiser. The camera operator films the police car, moves the camera downward to reveal a handgun clutched in his hand, then resumes filming the police car and a nearby officer.
The LAPD had been concerned that the video constituted a threat against the department, and warned its officers to remain vigilant. According to the Los Angeles Times, officers who usually patrol alone instead drove in pairs over the weekend.
But LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said Tuesday that detectives have determined the video was part of a social media promotional stunt gone wrong.
“We don’t see a specific threat against any police officer,” Beck said, according to the Times. “We believe, based on interviews, that the video was made not as a precursor to an attack on a police officer, but in a manner to support the credibility of the person in the video for a rap career.”
While the rapper(s) were not named specifically, police believe the individual or group who made the video was a 1990s hop-hop act trying to make a comeback by earning some street cred.
Whatever the nature of the video, police have reportedly arrested a suspect believed to have a connection to it, although he was arrested on an outstanding warrant in an unrelated case. Police have obtained an arrest warrant and are still searching for the man holding the gun in the video, and have reportedly been in contact with his attorney.
“This individual knows who he is and should turn himself in,” Beck said in a statement.
The Times further reports that two LAPD officers involved in the fatal shooting of a suspect over the weekend had been concerned for their safety after viewing the video. The officers later shot and killed a person who threw a beer bottle through the back window of their patrol car.