Just days ago, a video of a man standing up to police officers who had guns aimed at him went viral. That video was taken by Alejandro Natividad, who has been kind enough to give us more insight into the incident and what happened leading up to those events (and after).
First, get up to speed; if you haven’t seen the video already, watch it below:
We asked Natividad to explain what led up to that interaction with the officers. He told us that he was driving with the other individual to a friend’s house.
“At the stop light were waiting and when it turned green the car didn’t move I saw my friend twitching and I told him it was green. Thinking he was just playing and he kept on twitching. I began to worry and kept calling his name. The cop walks up and I motion to open the door. He does so and sees my friend twitching.”
That’s when the officers asked “what’s going on?”
Natividad replied “I don’t know, look at him!”
The officer asked his friend if he was okay. Natividad’s friend responded that he was. Then the officer began inquiring about whether the two had weapons on them. It was a bizarre question, since neither had committed any crimes, nor had given the officer any probable cause to believe such a thing.
But his friend was unresponsive again, and seemed to be having a continuation of whatever condition he was experiencing earlier.
“So he calls for paramedics,” Natividad recounted to us. Then “he goes to turn of the car and my friend drives off!”
Natividad explains “I really begin to panic [because] I’m about to be in a high speed chase I yell at him ‘what are you doing?’ [and] ‘Do you know how stupid that was!?'”
But his friend explained to him that he was only driving away to park the car out of traffic.
“I tell him ‘you don’t drive off like that!'” But before the driver had even parked, Natividad “jump[ed] out and move[ed] as far away from him as possible… I know the cop is pissed.
“I end up where the recording took place. The cop drives up parks gets out and draws his gun telling my friend to get down on the ground. That’s when I decided to record to cover my ass.”
It was a good move on Natividad’s part and may have saved his life.
“I didn’t know what was going to happen. After the video the second cop puts his gun away takes out a taser while the other cop searches my friend.”
Then the second officer walked up. Then, Natividad explains, “another cop tells me to out my hands behind my back. I refuse until the cop says I am going to taze you and they cuff me put me in the back of the squad car and eventually let go.”
We asked Alejandro if he has any suggestions or insights to lend to others who might find themselves in a similar situation?
“Don’t cry like I did,” he said somewhat jokingly.
“If you have committed no crime there is no reason to allow a cop to bully you. Hit record; they don’t like that. I feel that’s what saved my life. Look how aggressive he got more and more he didn’t do anything to deescalate the situation rather went caveman ‘me gun you listen.'”
The officer admitted clearly in the video that Natividad “did nothing wrong.” He thus has no legal authority to then point a firearm at him just so he can “figure it out”, as he said, nor does his confusion give him the right to demand that someone, who he acknowledges did nothing wrong, get on the ground.
We salute and thank Alejandro for his courage and not backing down – speaking the truth, even if your voice shakes. We can all follow his example of what it means to stand up for your rights, no matter what.