A video of a California police officer pointing his gun at a car passenger for nine minutes during a traffic stop along US Route 101, south of San Jose, has gone viral.

The video dated last month and posted on Facebook has garnered more than 700,000 views and has over 19,453 shares, according to Fox station KTVU.

In the video, the passenger repeatedly asks the officer to stop pointing his gun and says that his hands are visible, but the officer continues to aim his gun, while calling for backup.

The car was flagged down after the officer noticed that it zipped past him at 85mph, according to the Campbell Police Department.

After stopping the car for speeding, the officer requested the driver for his licence and other documents. The driver and passenger spent several minutes looking for the papers while the officer walked back to his motorcycle to write a citation, police said. According to police, the passenger began reaching "under his seat" and the officer felt threatened and pulled out his gun.

"It is not clear why the passenger chose to reach under the seat since the officer was not requesting any other paperwork," the Campbell police said in a statement. "Unfortunately, the passenger's unexpected movement towards the bottom of the seat, caused the officer to perceive a threat and draw his handgun."

The statement added: "We understand that it is never a comfortable position to have a gun pointed at you, regardless of whether it is a police officer. Unfortunately, the length of time that the officer's gun was drawn lasted much longer than normal based on his location. If this same situation would have occurred closer to back-up officers, it would most likely have been resolved much sooner."

The driver and the passenger were given citations and allowed to leave.