Los Angeles police have arrested one person and are searching for another in connection with a video posted on social media showing someone in a vehicle flashing what appears to be a handgun while recording an officer exiting his patrol car.
The Los Angeles Police Department said Tuesday that detectives believe the video was filmed and posted on Instagram by a 1990s rap group as part of a comeback attempt -- not to threaten police.
“We don’t see a specific threat against any police officer,” LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said Tuesday. “We believe, based on interviews, that the video was made not as a precursor to an attack on a police officer, but in a manner to support the credibility of the person in the video for a rap career.”
The 15-second clip appears to have been taken from a car parked behind a black-and-white police cruiser, which is pulled over to the side of the road with its driver’s side door open. The person shooting the video appears to be seated in the passenger seat of a new car.
As the person records the police cruiser, the camera then flashes down to show someone’s hand holding what Beck said was a revolver.
The person briefly angles the gun for the camera before hiding it under some sort of sweatshirt or blanket. The camera then cuts back to the patrol car, showing an officer getting out and walking away.
Beck said Tuesday that detectives were still looking for the man who they believe was holding the gun in the video. Investigators served a search warrant at his Downey home early Tuesday and have been in contact with his attorney, Beck said.
“This individual knows who he is and should turn himself in,” Beck said.
Beck said detectives obtained a warrant for the man’s arrest, alleging he had a loaded firearm in the vehicle. Beck did not name the man but said he had a prior conviction for the same offense.
A “secondary suspect” thought to be involved was arrested over the weekend on an outstanding warrant related to a property crime, Beck said.
The recording, which has no sound, circulated on Twitter on Monday, but police said they became aware of the video late last week.
As detectives with the department’s Robbery-Homicide Division -- who typically handle complex or high-profile cases -- began investigating, Beck said rank-and-file officers were told about the recording.
As a result of the recording, the chief said, patrol officers who typically drive alone rode in pairs over the weekend.
“We took that very seriously,” Beck said. “The safety of my officers is of utmost concern to me.”
After reviewing the video, police said, detectives identified the vehicle and three people who police said were inside filming.
Beck said detectives believe the video was filmed a few weeks ago near the intersection of Los Angeles and Winston streets in downtown L.A.