Adrian Burrell was on his front porch. His cousin was in his driveway wearing a helmet perched on a motorcycle. Vallejo Police Officer David McLaughlin approached. What occurred in the next few minutes was recorded by Burrell, a photographer, and filmmaker.
Burrell says McLaughlin assaulted him. McLaughlin is one of five officers cleared in 2017 of killing a man armed with a machete with 41 shots. A coroner’s inquest decided the death was a suicide.
Burrell, who says he’s an honorably discharged Marine and lifelong Oakland, Calif., resident is calling for justice.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Burrell Said McLaughlin ‘Physically Attacked’ Him on His Front Porch For Recording Video of the Officer
Burrell said “McLaughlin grabbed me, smashed my face against the wall and then swung my body, knocking my head into a wooden pillar causing a concussion. He put handcuffs on my wrists so tight they broke the skin and caused my fingers to go numb. All while telling me ‘stop resisting’ to my reply, ‘I’m not resisting.’”
His account is he was sitting on the porch of the home he owns and was talking to his cousin sitting on a motorcycle in the driveway wearing a helmet.
“McLaughlin pulled his pistol on my cousin, saying my cousin looked like someone who he saw speeding earlier…A gun had been pulled on him because he ‘looked like someone’ the officer had seen speeding earlier.”
Burrell said, “obviously, the situation concerned me.”
2. McLaughlin Ordered Burrell Into His House. Burrell, a Filmmaker & Photographer, Refused & Continued to Record
“From roughly 20 ft away, with a railing between myself and the officer, I started filming with my phone. You have the right to film a police officer in action as long as you’re not a threat or preventing him from doing his job,” Burrell said.
“The officer told me to go in my house. I chose to stay on my porch and film because the situation was concerning. My camera panned and tilted, but I did not take one step off of the porch,” Burrell wrote on the Facebook post shared by thousands.
Burrell said he was a Marine, “honorably discharged when I completed my service” and has no convictions on my record; I’m not on parole or probation.”
When McLaughlin approached him, “he said I was going to jail and detained me in the back seat of his car. Would I have gone to jail if I weren’t a vet with no criminal record? When the officer realized I am a Marine, he told me if I wasn’t a vet I’d be going to jail,” he wrote.
McLaughlin can be heard saying, “That wasn’t very smart man, now you’re going to jail.”
Burrell noted that, “Does that mean that if I had not been a vet, he would have put me in jail for not breaking the law? Because I am a vet, does that mean my life is more valuable? Military service does not warrant special treatment. Lack of military service does not justify mistreatment? Why holster your gun to come put your hands on me, if my cousin and I are a threat?”
3. ‘If I Was to Defend Myself, Then I Would Have Been a Hashtag. Or Worse…’
Burrell said he was put in a “situation where if I was to defend myself, then I would have been a hashtag. Or worse, my death would have been ignored or excused on the premise of Mcglaughlin’s irrational fear.”
Burrell said McLaughlin “should not be allowed to continue abusing his power. This is a true story and I feel it’s my responsibility to share it. Police need better training on implicit bias. They need tougher disciplinary actions taken when patterns of misconduct become frequent and are being reported from multiple sources.”
4. Vallejo Police Opened an Internal Investigation. McLaughlin Was Wearing a Body Camera
The statement reads that McLaughlin, who police do not name, was making a “traffic stop.” Capt. John Whitney, the Vallejo police public information officer said Vallejo Police Chief Andrew Bidou “ordered an internal affairs investigation of the incident even though we have not received any citizens complaint regarding the traffic stop.”
Whitney said Bidou has ordered that the investigation be performed in an “expeditious manner.”
“Internal affairs investigators have already contacted one of the subjects in the video together for their information. The entire incident Was captured on the police officers body camera and will be reviewed in connection with this investigation. Upon completion of the investigation, the chief will thoroughly review all the facts and make the final determination.”
5. McLaughlin Was One of 5 Officers Cleared in a Fatal Shooting in 2017
It was reported by the East Bay Times in 2017 that Jefferey Barboa, 46, of Benicia, “was shot by five Vallejo officers Aug. 3, after an intense high-speed police chase that started in Vallejo and ended with a collision on Interstate 80 in Richmond. He suffered gunshot wounds to his head, neck and several major organs. Out of the 41 wounds, four were grazes, and 37 were direct hits.”
McLaughlin was one fo the five officers who fired those shots. A coroner’s inquest revealed Barboa was under the influence of a “significant” amount of meth and was heard to scream “kill me,” before he was shot by police. The coroner’s inquest found the death was a suicide.
McLaughlin is a twin. His brother Ryan is also a Vallejo police officer.
“Officer David McLaughlin, Badge #664, is the younger of the McLaughlin twins, by two minutes. He grew up in Salinas with his father and brother, and graduated from Palma High School in 2003. McLaughlin also received a Bachelor of Science in Business from California State University, Sacramento in 2008.”
“McLaughlin most recently served as a patrolman for the Oakland Police Department for the last two-anda-half years and was also active in the Crime Reduction Team. He graduated from the Alameda County Sheriff Department’s Police Academy in 2010, graduating near the top of the class. He is described as highly motivated and proactive with a strong work ethic. In his free time, McLaughlin enjoys running, wakeboarding and snowboarding with his brother,” the city of Vallejo wrote about McLaughlin when he was hired in 2014.