CHATTAHOOCHEE HILLS, Ga. - A man says police held him at gunpoint for more than seven minutes over a minor traffic stop. But police say there is more to the story and the officer feared for his safety.
Travis Peek was pulled over Nov. 2 near his home on Hutcheson Ferry Road in Chattahoochee Hills.
A video camera worn by Officer David Colley recorded him telling Peek he pulled him over for not using his turn signal. Peek denies the allegation on the recording.
The officer gets Peek out of the car to question him and asks if he has any weapons. Peek tells him he does and begins to question the officer about why he's being detained.
"I know my rights," he says in the video.
Colley asked Peek to go to the other side of the car. As Peek continues to question him about being detained, the officer screams at Peek and pulls his weapon.
Peek told Channel 2's Tom Jones he thought he was going to die.
"I actually seen the bullet in the gun," Peek said.
Peek said Colley pointed his gun at him for more than seven minutes as he waited for back-up to arrive. But he says there was no need for back-up or for Colley to pull his weapon.
"They're saying I was aggressive and that I was walking toward the officer. That
dash cam would show that," he said.
Police say Colley's
dash cam didn't work because of outdated software. The camera he wore on his uniform worked but it wasn't pointed at Peek at the time.
Chattahoochee Hills Police Chief Matt Rook says Peek was agitated and did move
toward the officer. He says Colley was protecting himself by pulling his weapon because of the potential for danger during the stop, including a weapon Peek's car.
"He had a gun on the dash. He had a passenger in the vehicle who he later found had a handgun in his waistband," Rook
On the video Colley explains why he became defensive.
"When there's a weapon in the car I have a right to secure that weapon for my safety," Colley says.
Rook admits there was nothing illegal about the weapons in Peek's car.
Back-up arrived, including former Chattahoochee Hills Police Chief Damon Jones.
Jones is on the video in an EMT uniform helping handcuff Peek's passenger.
Rook said citizens often stop and help officers.
Peek found that odd and thinks it was improper. And he still insists the officer had no reason to pull his weapon.
"He shouldn't have pointed a gun at me for 7.5 minutes," Peek said.
Colley eventually let Peek and his passenger go, only giving Peek a citation for failing to use his turn signal.
Rook had Union City Police investigated the traffic stop. That investigation determined Colley did nothing wrong.
Peek says that's because investigators didn't have the missing
dash cam video and video from another officer who showed up.
Police say his video card was full and didn't record.
Peek is considering legal action.
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