A viral video of what appears to be a police cruiser driving erratically and striking another motorist has prompted a response from the Mobile Police Department after making the rounds on social media.
In the video, which has been viewed more than 104,000 times on Facebook alone, an MPD cruiser can seen on what appears to be an interstate swerving in and out his traffic lane for nearly five minutes.
Near the end of the video, the cruiser rear ends another vehicle, which officer then promptly proceeds to pull over. On Wednesday, MPD Chief Lawrence Battiste offered the department’s first public acknowledgement of the video and identified the officer driving the cruiser as Lt. Jeffrey Hilburn.
“He has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the administrative investigation,” Battiste wrote in an email. “The factual accuracy of the content of the video is part of the investigation and will be confirmed or denied at the conclusion of said investigation.”
Hillburn is assigned to the department’s first precinct and has worked with the department for 19 years, according to Public Information Officer Charlette Solis. He was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant from the rank Sergeant earlier this year. He also received a “Chief’s Commendation Award” in 2016 — presented to officers who have “acted in an outstanding manner.”
Battiste asked the public to be patient as the department continues to investigate the matter.