VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - A video of a Valdosta police officer was published on Facebook a few days ago and already has more than 90,000 views. Some viewers are outraged that a passenger in a car was handcuffed after refusing to hand over her ID.
The two and a half minute viral video is a brief part of a nearly 27 minute traffic stop that happened at 4:30 a.m. in June 2015.
When the Valdosta Police Department learned about the video on March 13,2016 they immediately took action.
"We initiated an internal affairs investigation because there were some allegations made in the video," explains Valdosta Police Chief Brian Childress.
Chief Childress says the dash cam video shows that there's more to the story.
The former VPD patrolman Jason Adams tried to pull over a van for a defective tail light.
In the viral video the driver says she didn't pull over sooner because she was looking for a well-lit area.
"Why'd you say it took so long for you to pull over?" asks officer Adams in the cell phone video.
"Because it's dark and I'm a female," the driver replies.
However, Chief Childress says she passes a well-lit area on the way to where she made her final stop.
Dash cam footage then shows the car stop in the opposite lane of traffic before pulling out and driving again.
That's when the patrol officer called in for back up.
Chief Childress says there are things the officer could have done better, but says the passengers of the vehicle were also in the wrong.
"The officer did a very bad job of describing or explaining what he was trying to do," explains Chief Childress, "Now she has every right to video, let me be clear, what she does not have the right to do is get out of that car."
Chief Childress says he's disappointed citizens didn't try to hear the whole story before bashing the police department.
"You may see something on YouTube but you're only getting one third or not even a tenth of it. There's always more to the story," Chief Childress urges.
The video was also taken in June of 2015 and Childress says if there was a big problem the complaint should have been filed then.
The officer was wearing a body camera, but footage is only archived if an arrest is made. Chief Childress says no one was arrested during this stop.
The officer who conducted the stop, Jason Adams, took a job with another law enforcement agency several months ago.