[WATCH] Columbus Police Officer Unleashes a Series of Insults During Traffic Stop

Columbus officials are investigating a police officer’s conduct during a traffic stop in August and whether it violated departmental policy — including whether it constituted racial profiling.

Body camera footage The Dispatch obtained via an Open Records Act request shows officer Keith Dowd, a white, recently hired 48-year-old veteran officer, unleash a series of insults and accusations at a black male, who looks to be in his early 20s.

As of right now, though, Dowd is still on active duty.

Dowd pulled over the man for allegedly speeding just before 3 p.m. Aug. 18 near the intersection of Airline Road and Eastwood Drive in east Columbus. Footage of the nearly 13-minute traffic stop shows the officer approaching the car and claiming the man was driving twice the speed limit, though city officials confirmed Dowd’s patrol unit isn’t equipped with radar to detect speed.

From that point, Dowd in a raised voice bombarded the driver with accusations, twice saying he was “driving like an idiot,” accusing him multiple times of lying and “smoking weed,” and threatening to impound the car the man was driving.

Throughout the video, the driver never raises his voice to the officer, often replying to Dowd’s questions with “Yes sir” and “No sir.” He keeps his hands visible and tells Dowd he has never before been stopped and isn’t trying to cause trouble. At no time in the video does the driver threaten the officer.

At one point, the officer tells the driver if he doesn’t stop moving his hands, he “could empty the magazine (of his service pistol) into the car.”

Ultimately, Dowd did not ticket the driver, instead issuing him a warning.

The officer did not search the vehicle for marijuana or find any during the traffic stop — though at one point he falsely told the driver a canine unit was on the way.

Dowd did, however, coerce the driver to say he uses marijuana after the driver initially denied it. The officer said he could tell the driver smoked marijuana by the “coloration” of his tongue.

“I am a DUI, drug and addiction expert,” Dowd told the driver at one point during the stop. “I am an expert in city, county, state and federal court. Pretty much, if I tell a judge this is what I honestly and truly believe, pretty much you’re guilty. I also spent about 20 years as a New York City paramedic. … So when people lie to me like I don’t know what I’m talking about, I find it really insulting.”

City officials did not identify the driver or his age and redacted audio and video of his driver’s license, address and license plate information from the footage released to The Dispatch. The driver, in the video, said he was a graduate and former football player at East Mississippi Community College who now lives and works in Columbus.

For the full story visit: http://www.cdispatch.com/news/article.asp?aid=60606