TAYLORSVILLE The Utah Highway Patrol is wrapping up its internal affairs investigation into a trooper's use of a Taser that became painfully public when a video of it was posted on the Internet.
The Utah Department of Public Safety has scheduled a news conference for 4 p.m. Friday, where it will reveal the results of the internal investigation into Trooper Jon Gardner's use of a Taser during a traffic stop near Vernal.
"With recent concern over the Taser deployment by Trooper Jon Gardner in the Uinta Basin, the Utah Highway Patrol would like to be as open as possible with the public and media by holding a news conference to discuss the findings of its internal review," UHP Sgt. Jeff Nigbur said Thursday.
Nigbur told the Deseret Morning News the internal investigation was expected to wrap up Friday. DPS Commissioner Scott Duncan is expected to announce those findings.
On Sept. 14, Jared Massey was pulled over on U.S. 40 near Vernal for speeding. During the confrontation, Massey refused to sign a citation and argued with the trooper, who ordered him out of his car. As Massey walked toward a speed limit sign, Gardner pulled his Taser and ordered the 28-year-old man to put his hands behind his back.
In the video, Gardner repeats the command, and Massey starts to walk back to his SUV.
"What the heck's wrong with you?" Massey asks as Gardner fires the Taser into the man's back, causing him to stiffen then fall backward, screaming in pain.
The dash-cam video of the traffic stop was posted on YouTube by Massey, who complained the UHP took too long to respond to his complaint about the trooper's conduct.
On the Internet, the YouTube video has taken on a life of its own, being viewed more than 1 million times. It has prompted a flood of angry comments, complaints and even death threats against the trooper and Massey. DPS investigators said they are conducting a separate inquiry into those threats.Massey has said he is considering a lawsuit against the UHP.
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