Authorities plan an investigation after a video posted on Facebook on Thursday showed a Kentucky police officer’s rifle leaning up against a car unattended as a student walks past.
“It is unfortunate that this accident happened, but we as police officers are human and do make mistakes,” Dayton, Ky., police Chief David Halfhill said in a statement Thursday, Cincinnati.com reported. “We hold our police officers to a higher standard and be assured that this mistake will be fully investigated.”
Multiple officers can be seen in the video engaging with a suspect on the opposite side of the street, while what appears to be a rifle rests against a parked car. At one point, a student walks by the weapon but doesn’t seem to notice.
One police officer then walks a person down the street, while two other officers walk the opposite way with a person of their own – the weapon still left alone.
It’s not until a voice can be heard in the video yelling, “there’s an assault rifle left unattended,” that an officer saunters over to reclaim the gun and take it back to his patrol car.
Both Dayton and Bellevue police were responding Thursday to a domestic violence incident with possible shots fired, the paper reported, citing a statement from the Bellevue Police Department.
The suspect, who was eventually taken into custody without incident, was willing to cooperate with an officer from the Bellevue department on the condition he didn’t bring his rifle, according to the statement.
“To establish a rapport, and end this situation peacefully, the Bellevue officer handed his patrol rifle to a Dayton police officer for safekeeping,” the statement read.
An internal review by the department revealed a Bellevue police officer did not leave his rifle unattended, nor was he aware it was left alone, according to the statement.
The department also released body camera footage of the Bellevue officer whose rifle is the subject of controversy to local media outlets “in an effort to show transparency.”
“The footage clearly shows that no Bellevue officer left a patrol rifle unattended,” the statement read.
While Dayton police Chief Halfhill acknowledged the mistake that “another agency’s patrol rifle was accidently set down when the officers were going ‘hands on’ with the suspect,” he also commended the officers responding to the initial domestic violence incident for a “great job” in the fact “that no one was injured.”