Comments about ‘Taser victim says UHP is 'stonewalling'’

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He says agency has failed to act on his request to investigate

Published: Thursday, Nov. 22 2007 12:09 a.m. MST

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Bob

The Trooper did the right thing, the side of a highway is not the place to argue and if this encounter went sideways, the officer could of easily been fighting this guy in the middle of the freeway. The moral of the story is sign the ticket and plead your case in court. Take pictures of the sign and bring them with you. You had to know you were going to get the ticket no matter what.

Jack

I saw the video and it doesn't look to me that the victim's statements above match his actions on tape. The victim defies the officer more than once. I think that it is about time that the public realizes that this and other officers are out there by themselves trying to enforce the laws. The officers put their lives on the line for us and this guy makes it hard on the officer to enforce the law. The victim and the public need to recognize that when someone goes against authorized requests of the officer that there will be consequences to that choice according to the laws.

Tristan28

Mr. Massey, the officer told you to turn around so that he could place you under arrest and handcuff you and you obviously resisted. The officer gave you plenty of chances to sign the citation and to submit to the arrest. What would you have the officer do? Get into a physical struggle with a subject on the side of a busy highway, putting both of your lives in jeopardy? Or he could have let you get back to your vehicle to drive away and the pursuit would be on, again putting everyone's life in danger or to retrieve any weapons from the vehicle. (I know, you don't have any weapons, but how would the officer know that?) Or he could simply deploy the taser and end the situation without putting any one's life in danger. (I'm so sorry about the bump on your head.) These are just some of the things that would have been going through this officer's mind during this situation. All you had to do was sign the citation or submit to the arrest.

Tristan28

Mr. Massey, life is really not that complicated. You are just making it that way.

Anon.

Another bad judgment done by an UHP trooper... that's one reason I don't live in Utah anymore.

Wowzerz

I saw the video on youtube and I think that it will only help the trooper. The driver broke the law by speeding, refusing to sign the citation, and by refusing to follow a lawful command. The trooper had probable cause to arrest the guy, so the driver basically resisted arrest by refusing to turn around and be cuffed and he walked away. I would agree that the video does look bad, but that doesn't mean it was excessive force. The trooper will not be in any trouble, I'm sorry mr. youtube.

common sence

I feel that the officer could have used better communication skills. But when there is a lot of editing in the film. I still see a lot of what he and his wife did brought on the incident. This kid thinks he knows the law and wants to hold court at the scene. I believe if you listen you can hear the wife along with Massey arguing with Gardner at the first of the tape. There is a defiant and bulling attitude exhibited by Massey. He must feel that laws are for everyone else and do not apply to him. When told repeatedly to turn around and put his hands behind his back, the walks away. The wifes actions after he was on the ground did not help, with so many police being shot lately. Officer Gardner needed to have concern for his own safety when she came around the SUV while he was taking Massey into custody. What if she would have had a gun?? Massey continued to be defiant even when being ask to get into the troupers car. It almost seemed that when the sheriff deputy showed up is when he started to obey the orders given.

Big Bob

I've watched the video and wonder why everyone is upset at the trooper. Routine traffic stops are one of the most dangerous things cops do. Anyone that's watched video of officers getting shot has seen people acting just like Massey that ended up killing a cop.
If the guy had followed the officer's requests he would never have been asked to leave the vehicle. If he had followed the officer's orders he would never have been tazed.
When a guy deliberately disobeys an order, especially with his hand in his pocket, that's a huge red flag.
A lot of people have commented that the officer was rude to the guys wife. Once again, when a second person leaves the vehicle it's a huge red flag that something bad might happen. Once the guy was securely in the police car, the officer calmly explained to the woman what had happened and why he had tazed the guy.
It's too bad the situation went as far as it did. Maybe the cop was a little quick on the gun, but it was the behavior of the speeder that resulted in the action taken. Put the blame where it belongs.

Funny thing

If Massey had just signed the ticket, the whole incident would have never happened. Signing a ticket is NOT an admission of guilt. He could have had a hearing on the ticket to explain his position. He chose instead to argue and, then, failed to comply with lawful orders of the officer. Massey caused this mess. His whining on the internet and threats of lawsuits are not well based.

disgusted in south jordan

i have seen the video twice. I am disgusted that a Police office of any kind could lose that much sself control. The office has image issues and power and control issues. If he remains on duty other private citizens are at risk. The fact that the Highway Patrol is not moving publicly on this issue futher validates a problem within the agency. Shame on the Highway Patrol. They are an angency that must be above board, and have the respect of those on the highway to be effective. This type of behavior undermines the safety of those driveing upon the roads. Again, SHAME on the highway patrol and this office.

What was he thinking?

AFter having seen the video this guy is lucky he didn't get shot. You don't act hostile towards a cop. you don't walk towards him with your hands reaching into a pocket. You do as you are told.

Several times the guy appears to be reaching for something and disobeys the officer.

He is lucky he didn't get shot. I'd like to be on that jury.

THe officers have a tough enough job. Their life is on the line every time they pull someone over.

Actions like this could one day cause one of them to get killed.

Johny Fairplay

Maybe the UHP can re-assign Officer Gardner to enforce Orem's residential landscaping ordinances until this all blows over.

SLCWatch

I don't know if the Trooper over reacted. Haven't seen the video or heard the troopers side. I can tell this young man doesn't have a clue yet that he was an active participant that created the situation.

no none

These cops and the use if tasers are getting out of hand. What happened to "serving and protecting" citizens.

MW

I can't believe this guy thinks he is the victim of anything. I'm not a cop, but I've seen the video on Youtube, and it's clear to me that the trooper was justified in his use of force. He pulled the taser out when Massey refuses to stop when he walking almost directly toward him w/ his hand in the air. Then Massey continues to refuse the trooper's verbal commands, while reaching into his pocket, trying to pull out who knows what, so the officer tasered him. I would have done the same thing. The guy would not comply, and continued to present himself as a threat. He should be grateful that cops carry tasers so he didn't have to be taken down with a night stick.

John H.

Thank the Lord. I'm very glad to see Youtube used in a constructive manner. Ignoring the facts of the case it's wonderful to see a case actually brought to light using the internet - it's quite obvious that the Massey's wouldn't have gotten all the information that they were looking for until after a 6-12 month "internal" investigation that would have turned up negative. While it's obvious that the investigation will still turn up negative, as these situations always do, at least some heat is being placed upon a public department to improve themselves. While yes, it is true that police officers shouldn't be questioned or argued with due to the difficult jobs they preform there is nothing wrong at all with trying to make a system more perfect - like it or not this video will end up being constructive. I do agree with another poster when he commented that if this is the reaction to a simple traffic stop imagine when this officer is confronted with real violence and the potential for the death of more than just himself.

Looks to me

From what I saw on the video, Massey resisted the officer's orders and got what he deserved.

Please sue!

you better sue! If you don't, this WILL happen again.

I want to know how often this guy has tazed motorists near Vernal.

I know it can be emotionally draining and you feel like just throwing in the towel because it just seems too hard to continue... but you just HAVE to see this through. The officer was in the wrong and he HAS to answer for his poor behavior.

I'm not saying your behavior was the best...but the officer was WAY out of line!

SUE!

Concerned Citizen

After watching the video I felt it was clear that this boy was resisting arrest at the point the taser was used. The officer was very calm, but could have handled the situation better. He should never have had the kid get out of the car, and instead wrote on the citation 'refused to sign'. It was the choice to arrest the boy for not signing that escalated thesituation and put the officer in danger.

Having worked a lot with teenagers, I can attest this child was not significantly mature. He was acting like a typical fourteen year old. He was slow to follow directions, he felt it was the officer's behavior that was out of line not his own, and most condemning of all he ignored the officer and turned his back to him to go back to the vehicle when being told he was under arrest. His parents should teach this young man and his girlfriend respect before they are old enough to get married and have kids on their own.

My real question is, should we handle these teenagers differently because of their age?

Joe Cool

The knuckle head got what he deserved.
Do what the police ask and they won't taser you. It is very simple. The wife is lucky she did not get it.

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