Tense showdown during traffic stop along a California highway

A police officer pointed his gun at an unarmed passenger for nine minutes.
1:16 | 08/09/17

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Transcript for Tense showdown during traffic stop along a California highway
Next tonight, the tense showdown on the side of a California highway. The driver pulled over for speeding. The police officer pointing his gun at the unarmed passenger for nine minutes. It's now been seen by 2 million people and counting with fierce opinions on both sides, and here's ABC's Kenneth Moton. Reporter: Tonight, a northern California police department explaining the actions of this officer. Holding a passenger at gunpoint for nine minutes. Relax for me, we'll be ok. You're telling him to relax when you have a gun on him! Reporter: Is situation escalating when the officer says the passenger repeatedly reached under the seat. You asked for registration. You asked for paperwork. That's what we're looking for. Reporter: The driver's cell phone video now viewed 2 million times online. One person writing on social media, this cop should be fired immediately. But another saying, police just doing their job. I was reaching for -- are you serious, bro? Reporter: The police department defending the officer tonight, saying has following his training. David, the department told us that nine minutes at gunpoint were fortunate and the officer was waiting for backup, delayed in rush hour traffic. The passenger ticketed for no seat belt and the driver for speeding, David. Kenneth, thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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