A California privacy advocate claims that he was held at gunpoint by a police officer after the officer’s license plate reader made an error.
Brian Hofer, chair of Oakland’s Privacy Advisory Commission, is telling reporters this week that a police officer pointed his gun at him during a traffic stop in November. A lawsuit filed by Hofer in December alleges he received inappropriate treatment because the officer’s license plate reader incorrectly indicated that the car was stolen.
According to a report from The Verge, Hofer and his brother were traveling in a rental car in California when they were pulled over by a cop who believed that their vehicle was stolen. After they were ordered to get out of the car, Hofer claims that the officers searched the car without his consent. After being detained for 40 minutes, Hofer was ultimately able to prove to the officers that he had legitimately rented the car.
“They picked the wrong guy,” Hofer said in a comment to a local news outlet. “I’m seeing guns pointed at us. It was like a movie. It was executioner style. I was just totally confused about what was going on. They were obviously getting an alert that we were bad guys.”
But the local police department says that their officer did nothing wrong. In fact, they say that the officers involved in the stop followed proper protocol.
“The Deputy Sheriffs involved in this case followed procedure and acted appropriately,” the local sheriff’s office said in a statement. “The vehicle was reported stolen. As the car was occupied, a high risk enforcement stop was conducted. Once it was confirmed the driver was not a suspect, he was removed from the patrol car and the handcuffs removed. He was released at the scene.”
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