EL PASO, Texas -- The El Paso Police Department said it will launch an internal investigation into an officer's conduct after a doorbell camera recorded a verbal confrontation between that officer and a 24-year-old man.
The video, shared with ABC-7 by Ruben Garcia Jr., appears to show the officer shouting at him after he said he didn’t call police to report an incident involving a neighbor. (You can watch the entire confrontation in the video player at the top of this article.)
The verbal altercation escalated with both men using profanities. At one point, the officer is heard using a homophobic slur and threatening Garcia Jr.
"You pull something out and I'll fu***** kill you right here right now," the officer tells Garcia Jr. "You understand that sh**?"
"To see your child threatened in that manner, especially from a police officer, is unsettling," said Ruben Garcia Sr., whose son was involved in the incident.
According to the video time stamp, the altercation happened on Nov. 23 when police arrested 26-year-old Zakary Frampton, a Fort Bliss soldier. Investigators said he violently attacked his two sons after allegedly consuming LSD. The children are 3 and 7 years old.
Video provided by Garcia Jr. to ABC-7 shows Frampton running up and down the street, seemingly naked, and screaming.
That night, there was a heavy police presence in the neighborhood. The video shows an officer asking questions to Garcia Jr. outside the home when the conversation escalated as he appears to say he didn’t call police because the officer said "(he) hates the badge."
"KVIA has made the department aware of a situation involving an officer’s interaction with a witness of a heinous crime," wrote Sgt. Kiki Carrillo, a spokesman for El Paso Police in response to the video. "An investigation will be launched into the officer’s conduct."
As of Friday, the officer had not been identified. ABC-7 was unable to reach Garcia Jr. as he lives out of town and had left his father’s house where the altercation occurred. It is unclear how much of Frampton’s conduct he witnessed that night.
Sgt. Carrillo wrote that it is disappointing when a person refuses "to become involved in an a situation where innocent children are being victimized." He added: “Regardless of one’s reasoning, not only is it a civic responsibility but basic human decency (that) dictates intervention, if nothing else, by calling the police."