Vallejo officer placed on leave back on job with limited duties

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The Vallejo police officer who was placed on leave in February after detaining a man for recording a traffic stop is back on the job, according to the police department. Officer David McLaughlin is on “limited duty status” a Vallejo police press information official wrote in an email.

Questions by 2 Investigates about what those limited duties entail have not been responded to as of Wednesday. 

In January, Vallejo resident Adrian Burrell recorded Officer McLaughlin drawing his weapon while conducting a traffic stop on his cousin. The video, now viral, shows McLaughlin suddenly turn his attention towards Burrell who was filming from his own front porch. McLaughlin then barges toward the young Marine veteran tackling him. McLaughlin appears to then falsely accuse Burrell of interfering with the traffic stop.

Burrell, 28, retained civil rights attorney John Burris, who called the case “egregious” and said the officer’s use of force was “unnecessary and unreasonable.” Burrell has filed a claim against the city of Vallejo. 

McLaughlin is the same officer 2 Investigates exposed for also drawing his weapon on a man in the middle of a busy Walnut Creek shopping plaza last summer over a minor argument. 

The video from that incident shows McLaughlin on Aug. 11 off-duty at the Encina Grande Shopping Complex with his firearm pointed at Santiago Hutchins of Concord. The incident occurred moments after Hutchins arrived at the restaurant to celebrate his son’s 14th birthday. 

Hutchins and Walnut Creek police confirm the incident resulted from nothing substantive. Both describe it as an escalation between both men posturing, what are you looking at

Hutchins also has a claim filed against the city of Vallejo involving McLaughlin. In an earlier statement, Vallejo’s Police Chief Andrew Bidou said it was his understanding Hutchins was the aggressor. No charges were ever filed against Hutchins. 

City officials and Vallejo police would not comment on pending litigation or McLaughlin’s status change. The police department said an “administrative process” is still underway. 

McLaughlin, a former Oakland police officer, joined Vallejo police in 2014. In 2016, he and another officer shot a suspect who police said was driving towards them. No one was hurt. In 2017, he and his partner shot a man after a pursuit in Richmond, CA. That man died from the shooting.