Police Command Woman to 'Pretend Like We're Going to Shoot You' During Vehicle Stop

Cellphone video recorded in Houston Saturday showed the dramatic scene of several police officers ordering four people out of a vehicle before telling one of the passengers walking backward to "pretend like we're going to shoot you!"

The Houston woman who posted and recorded the now-viral video, Denee Harris, can be heard exclaiming, "Oh no, no" when at one point it appears the woman turned around to reach into her vehicle as police continue to have their guns drawn. The vehicle was pulled over at Tidwell and Homestead roads in the Trinity-Houston Gardens neighborhood outside a Walgreens, according to Harris's Saturday Facebook post.

Harris told Newsweek she did not want to offer any comment on the video out of fear of retribution.

Houston police told Newsweek that an investigation surrounding what they described as a "felony stop of a stolen vehicle" is continuing and that the department issued a statement on the incident via Twitter on Monday.

"We are aware of the video.... During the stop, officers followed tactics and procedures designed to take suspects into custody in a manner that maximizes safety for both officers and suspects. While the tactics used were consistent with the policy, the phrase in question ["Pretend like we're going to shoot you"] is not consistent with the expectations of the Houston Police Department," the statement from Police Chief Art Acevedo said.

Several comments from Houston residents on Harris's video say the incident was the ending to a stolen vehicle pursuit along Tidwell Road.

The video shows at least three Houston police officers hunched over two squad cars and an unmarked SUV as they issue commands with a bullhorn. The suspects were each walked backward toward police with their hands clasped behind their heads. Each of the officers had a gun aimed at the pulled-over SUV. The four occupants of the vehicle slowly exited the four-door vehicle as police shouted, "Hands up! Put your hands up. Over your head! Pretend like we're going to shoot you."

The woman recording the video can be heard responding incredulously: "Why would you say that? Why would he say that?... Lord, please don't shoot this man," she says as she continues to watch the police officers give slow directions to the vehicle occupants. One of the men exiting the car can be seen with a crutch. "Put the phone down if you need a crutch," the police said, before confiscating and tossing the crutch.

"I see you. Get out," an officer exclaims to the final person in the vehicle, as several officers creep up on the car with their guns drawn. The six-minute video has amassed more than 200,000 views on Facebook, in addition to thousands of shares. At the end of the video, one of the officers can be seen pulling away in the driver's seat of the suspects' vehicle.

"He is going to put something in it. He's not supposed to do that, you're not supposed to get in people's car like that," several bystanders can be heard saying in the video."

Several women in the video recording can be heard discussing last Friday's Santa Fe High School shooting that left 10 dead about 35 miles south of the city. Acevedo said he had hit "rock bottom" over the deaths of the eight students and two teachers.

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Cell phone video recorded in Houston, Texas showed the dramatic scene of several police officers ordering four people out of a vehicle before warning the female driver, “pretend like we’re going to shoot you!” Denee Harris: Facebook
Police Command Woman to 'Pretend Like We're Going to Shoot You' During Vehicle Stop | U.S.