Road rage is a common problem all around the world, but at least for most people, honking their horn or yelling something out their window will suffice.
Not so for a Texas deputy this past week, when he approached a driver on the freeway and threatened him after a traffic mishap.
The driver has since been identified as George Dickerson, who merged onto the South Loop from US-59 around 1:40 PM, according to the later incident report.
The center lane was clogged with a funeral procession, and two motorcycle deputies were in the next lane. Dickerson got into the same lane as the deputies, aiming to get in front of the funeral procession.
"I really just wanted to get in front of that car, so I did that."
But Dickerson found himself in trouble after he passed one of the deputies.
The front deputy reportedly slammed on his brakes, which caused Dickerson to quickly break in front of the second deputy.
"The cop in the front slowed down, so I couldn't go around."
"Then, the other one came around, and I was like, 'What? What's going on?' He was like, 'Stop.'"
Dickerson was startled at what happened next.
"He went around the truck, stopped, and parked in front of us."
"I'm in the left lane in the middle of the freeway, and he gets off his bike with his gun drawn and comes at me, and as soon as I see his gun drawn, I put my hands in the air and said, 'I don't want any trouble.'"
The rest of the exchange was caught on video by Dickerson's work partner, who was filming from the passenger seat.
The deputy was standing at the window at the beginning of the video, his gun pointed inside the car.
He believed Dickerson had driven recklessly and cut him off intentionally.
The deputy responded to Dickerson:
"Throw your f**king car at me, and I'll f**king kill you."
You can watch the video here:
WARNING: NSFW language
Dickerson was unsettled by the exchange, reflecting:
"He's trained to handle himself, as well as people on the street. You would think his training would help him to not have that road rage."
"That's not something you do every day, is threatening to kill somebody."
"If I threatened to kill somebody, I would go to jail."
"If I held a gun to whomever and said, 'I'm going to kill you,' that's a terrorist threat."
The video was widely shared on social media and brought to the attention of the Harris County Sheriff's Office, who have launched an investigation of the event on the freeway.
The Office stated:
"We are aware of a video posted to social media that appears to show a roadside encounter between a deputy and a motorist."
"An investigation into the incident will be conducted by our Internal Affairs Division."
We are aware of a video posted to social media that appears to show a roadside encounter between a deputy and a mot… https://t.co/VQeKZbVnK7— HCSOTexas (@HCSOTexas) 1614034384.0
Many were critical of the Office's response:
@HCSOTexas We’re trying to believe their are good law enforcement. This man in one split second ruined that. His te… https://t.co/Copykua3sW— ElizzaDLO (@ElizzaDLO) 1614145141.0
@HCSOTexas Paid admin leave them back on the force to patrol the streets with a gun and impunity for something that… https://t.co/yOLyynja5N— Xulia (@Xulia) 1614204598.0
@HCSOTexas "appears" LOLz Lemme fix it for ya, for free: "We're aware of a video going viral of one of our office… https://t.co/AXw52UXTRb— Respecting Decisions Bandwagon (@Respecting Decisions Bandwagon) 1614224975.0
@HCSOTexas You know the drill. Get a week or 2 on desk duty. No punishment or charges filed on this officer. He's… https://t.co/Jun1vRVuV5— caguirre (@caguirre) 1614142199.0
@HCSOTexas Even if the guy who was pulled over was a total douchebag who did something stupid (not saying he was),… https://t.co/q2X0te2SFL— Jimmy Hales🏳️🌈 (@Jimmy Hales🏳️🌈) 1614132811.0
@HCSOTexas If I had a road rage incident and I pulled a gun and threatened to kill the other driver I'd be in priso… https://t.co/a8bzsVM8Z7— Austen (@Austen) 1614225564.0
@HCSOTexas And we wonder why public trust in law enforcement is at an all time low. A gun a badge and immunity make… https://t.co/nBuw1l4CG3— Ken Hamaker (@Ken Hamaker) 1614199989.0
But a few tried to keep the faith in the Sheriff's Office.
@HCSOTexas This innocent victim is Not telling the whole story. He was trying to get past the procession. Very disr… https://t.co/Njih2lVufh— Robert Mitchell (@Robert Mitchell) 1614169806.0
@HCSOTexas Any punishment needs to have the full understanding of what was going on in the deputy's personal life t… https://t.co/27AednlpJj— Gregg Williams (@Gregg Williams) 1614182713.0
The investigation appears to still be underway, but hopefully, something will be done to ensure that the deputy in question reconsiders what counts as an appropriate reaction on the road.