Trooper's Taser use pops up on YouTube

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  • Duuuuuude
    Nov. 27, 2009 4:40 p.m.

    Ya know, life is pretty simple. When pulled over, comply with the officers instructions. Disagree? Fine...thats what traffic court is for. Refuse to follow instructions...bad stuff happens. Shocking!

  • Fred, England
    Nov. 18, 2009 1:45 p.m.

    If that isn't assault with a weapon, what actually is?

    Is it any wonder fewer people have respect for the law than ever before?

    You can guarantee that if similar happened over here, the cop in question would be suspended immediately pending investigation, which would result in retraining at the very least, possibly dismissal and a payout for the victim of this wanton violence.

  • UnderDog
    May 12, 2009 11:39 a.m.

    This is what happens when morons collide. This control freak cop could have avoided this entire situation. All he had to do was tell the guy that signing is not an admission of guilt, and tell him if he disagreed with the ticket the place to argue it is in court, since that's the purpose of courts. Sadly, the cop chose to abuse his power, rather than use tact and communication skills. He should lose his job, or be put on permanent desk duty.

    As far as the fool driving the car, it's clear he has an IQ of about 4. You don't argue with cops over a ticket, nor do you ignore them when they tell you to do something. The guy thought he was gonna be tough and in control in front of his wife. Instead, he made himself look like a wimp crying and screaming like a sissy.

    This is a situation where both idiots were wrong. I feel the driver got what he deserved, but that doesn't make it right. The cop had the responsibility to be the mature and professional person, but he failed. Excessive force, without a doubt.

  • Clarence Pierce
    Feb. 3, 2009 6:58 p.m.

    I am 52 Years old and have tremendous respect for the law and the people who protect us. However, this officer did not use any tact at all. He was on a power trip from the start of the stop. Although you never know if this family of three with one on the way is a threat it seems obvious to me they were not a threat. The officer escalated the situation from it's conception. Conversley when a police officer tells you to stop, STOP. I have been pulled over for speeding a few times and never was treated disrespectfully. The officer was wrong! He never told him he was under arrest or was being cuffed for the officers safety. He did not read hom his rights or warn him he would tase him, if he has to I don't know. The Officer was wrong!!!! It was scary to watch a young family go through that. I love the police and totally respect 99% of them... Not this "COP"

  • Oscar Garcia III, Union Rep
    May 19, 2008 10:34 p.m.

    As a Union representative, I have assisted officers in my agency many times who are being scrutinized and arm chair quarter-backed. In this particular case, I would have a problem representing this officer who thinks that he has the right to taze someone simply because he has a badge and a gun and is the supreme authority. Officers are taught to de-escalate a confrontation, not to incite or provoke or place themselves in a situation where force may be required.

    This is still The United States of America, the land of the free. We do not live in a police state. If an officer uses intermediate force, he must do so by articulating that the subject was actively resisting. In this case the video shows Mr. Massey passively resisting if that, since the officer's instructions weren't clear. The officer states turn around without ever saying "you are under arrest". He never tells Mr. Massey that if he fails to comply he will use the tazer. We must always remember that this country was founded on the priciples that the citizens oversee the Police and the Military, not the other way around.

    "An injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere".

  • rnemtc
    March 25, 2008 1:58 p.m.

    Both people were at fault. The officer for being a total jerk and the "victim" for not listening to the officer and following orders.

  • Jig
    Feb. 4, 2008 11:38 p.m.

    Well, I guess those people who claim the tazering was justified will have to learn the hard way when they are tazered and don't fully understand why.

    That fact anyone here is saying the man deserved what he got, should be ashamed.

    The man was asked to step out of the car, and the officer put himself in danger by turning his back.

    It is because of incidents like this, that I refer to the greatness of america in the past tense.

    The problem is not just cops like this, they are the tip of the ice burg. The real problem is that so many americans support such abuses of power, even in the courts. So many americans these days fell excessive force should be the defacto standard.

    We are no better than Europe. We are no better then other countries, when we now have to fear being tazered, and then having the video edited to hide the truth of what happened, just over refusing to sign a ticket.

  • Hiram
    Jan. 31, 2008 6:05 p.m.

    The police force of Utah has become far too brutal. While I feel most troopers are not corrupt in any way that they are drug trafficing but from the complaints that have risen and this the police in Utah are becoming rude and even in this case and most likely others incidents as well, abusive.

  • Anonymous
    Jan. 13, 2008 7:57 p.m.

    I can't believe this cop was exonerated of wrong doing. I understand the cop was simply doing his job, but you think he might have some training in defusing a situation instead of making things worse. They are trained professionals I thought? Well the biggest issue I had with the video was the fact the victim (Yeah Thats Right He is A Victim in my Book) walked out of his car and the first thing the cop does is states for him to put his

  • Troy
    Jan. 11, 2008 11:40 a.m.

    I can't believe he's back at work. Seems to me like officer Gardner needs to retire!

  • brmerrick
    Jan. 9, 2008 7:46 a.m.

    Knowing a great many cops personally who spend their time handing out candy to children, rescuing old ladies' kittens from trees, helping to build shelter from the homeless, saving us all from Islamofascists on a daily basis in highly dramatic fashion, and singing patriotic songs in church choirs every week, I can honestly say that this officer shouldn't have skipped that one week of choir practice. The end result is that he temporarily lost his head in a tense and thoroughly frightening moment when an obviously dangerous individual with an equally menacing pregnant wife and kid (in a minivan probably loaded with explosives and illegal drugs) escalated the situation by violently walking away. I hope in the future that more police officers will take seriously their sensitivity training, and remember the words of the world's greatest police officer and a truly Great American: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

  • Elaine
    Dec. 13, 2007 10:15 a.m.

    The trooper in this video has shamed his profession, his coworkers, and the UHP. He should be fired immediately. By his actions he has put a stain on the UHP that will take years to overcome. He truly does not belong in uniform or any type of authority position. I don't see how he could ever testify in a traffic court case again. He lost his credibility when he lied to the other cop on tape.

  • William
    Dec. 8, 2007 2:24 p.m.

    Every person that has this happen to them needs to do a FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT request for the video from the patrolmans vehicle and post it on the internet. If they are to truly enforce the law, then they need to protect our constitution. Everyone knows it is a violation of the 4th 5th and 8th ammendments to be given a speeding ticket. Tickets are illegal revenue generators, thats it. We the people need to fight together or we will continue to be runover by trigger happy police officers. Please remember to stay calm and DO NOT provoke altercations with police. You have not stood up to your court system enough to win against them. It appears that you can only win in civil cases against them. The traffic court Judge may be nothing more than a magistrate judge with no authority either. w/o prejudice UCC 1-308

  • Lawrence
    Dec. 7, 2007 10:41 a.m.

    I have been pulled over three times for speeding and each time the officer approached the car and immediately informed me how fast I was going and what the speed limit was. I found Massey to be whiney, annoying and uncooperative, but the trooper had options to keep the situation from escalating.

  • RE: Officer how fast was going?
    Dec. 7, 2007 6:31 a.m.

    Excellent comment!!

  • Elle
    Dec. 7, 2007 6:24 a.m.

    This video is horrible. The officer should be arrested. The driver was just inquiring about the reason for his ticket, as he has the right to do so. All the officer had to do was point to the sign as the driver was doing in the video. Tasing him was completely uncalled for. Also, the officer had no reason to pull out and point his gun at the driver, as far as I could see there was no threat. The driver was in control and acting completely rational. Perhaps the officer should be seeking some professional anger management help. The officer was completely irrational and out of control. An officer that practices brutality should no longer be allowed to practice law. I would have been absolutely terrified if I had witnessed this incident like his wife did. I hope all the stress does not disrupt her pregnancy.

  • Fed Watcher
    Dec. 6, 2007 11:53 a.m.

    Gardner assaulted Massey in the video. Just because he's a cop doesn't allow him to be above the law. Why hasn't Gardner been arrested for assault? Why hasn't he been arrested for neglect after leaving a citizen alone on the highway? Why haven't Gardner's superiors been suspended for their complete lack of leadership?

    Regarding Massey, it might not be the smartest thing to put one's hands in one's pockets in front of an out-of-control cop, but the cop was being aggressive and irrational, creating stress and conflict with a citizen doing everything to be reasonable. Therefore it is not Massey's fault that the hand-in-pocket issue came about: Gardner's actions created a stressful situation where Massey cannot be expected to act perfectly as the cop would wish. In addition, all of this happened after Gardner violated procedure by attempting to arrest Massey for not signing a ticket.

    Had Officer Gardner acted rationally in this situation none of this would have happened. He should have provided a speed above the limit to Massey. He should have pointed to the sign. Had he done these simple and rational things, the UHP wouldn't be liable for his loose cannon actions.

  • CaliforniaCop
    Dec. 5, 2007 1:29 a.m.

    I agree that the trooper could have communicated better with Massey, but ultimately the trooper needs to maintain control of the situation. I've read several comments that contain erroneous information. First, signing the citation is NOT an admission of guilt, only a promise to appear in court. Second, the officer doesn't have to prove anything or show the citizen the speed limit sign. That is what the court hearing is for. Third, the officer need not face a lethal threat or great bodily injury to deploy the Taser. The Taser may be deployed in order to overcome resistance in the performance of the officer's duties. I'm not necessarily defending the trooper's actions, but I'm tired of reading comments from self appointed law and police policy experts.

  • UHP Do The Right Thing
    Dec. 3, 2007 9:48 p.m.

    If I were a UHP officer reading the overwhelming condemnation of Gardner's actions, I would be concerned that the majority of citizens of this state have lost trust and respect for Utah traffic cops. We as citizens can make these judgements about the people that work for us. The fact is that many of us in this state are now disillusioned with a system that allows what was captured on camera to be judged by a biased panel and detemined--"actions justified". What the UHP is conveying by putting this egomanic back on the road is, "We realize Gardner lacks some vital training and fundamental social/judgment skills but, no way will we let that spoiled brat Massey win this one." Utah UHP --DO THE RIGHT THING!

  • James
    Dec. 3, 2007 1:54 a.m.

    I like the fact that Massey thought it was a gun. Who walks away from a guy pointing a guy at your head? He's either got a ton of guts or ignorant. If I thought someone was point a gun at me I would have my hands up and kissed the cement. The situation wasn't handled well by the cop but once you put your back to someone holding a gun expect the person with the gun to react. I also like how people talk about how some kind of harm should be done to the cop. Wow, you guys are nuts. The key problem with this situation is that force was used too early. Yet you're preaching that force should have and rightfully been used on the cop by the wife? Another side note, why does anyone deserve a million dollars? Why not 1,400 dollars or a gift card to McDonalds? You just got tased here's a free happy meal. Why is the focus on getting money for damages instead of change laws or improvement of tranning? In the end Massey case will be about trying to win the lotto, not improving society.

  • John
    Dec. 2, 2007 12:42 p.m.

    Just because you wear a badge does not always make you right. You supportive cops out there would not be so quick to defend that trooper if he had done that to someone you love.

  • Bill
    Dec. 2, 2007 11:48 a.m.

    I was a Utah PEACE Officer for a better part of my life. When someone refused to sign a ticket, I just told them that signing a ticket was not an admittance of guilt but just a promise to appear by mail or court. This usually solved the problem. If not, I would hand them the ticket and tell them that they had just been served by a summons to appear in court. PEACE Officers diffuse and dont escalate situations. It is my strong opinion that every person being certified to carry and use a Taser be hit with that Taser as part of the process. I guarantee once they feel what a Taser produces, they wont be so fast to use them prematurely. If you are afraid this non lethal weapon might kill you during certification, then I guess you don't get to carry one. Oh, by the way, this trooper was very wrong and this is not coming from a couch cop.

  • Paul
    Dec. 1, 2007 9:27 a.m.

    Over 200 have died from tasers they are not non-lethal weapons. The trooper is lucky the guys wife did not have a gun in the SUV to protect her and her husband from the clearly out of control trooper.

  • Peter
    Nov. 30, 2007 8:57 p.m.

    After seeing this video it is hard to escape the conclusion that SOME cops are just bullies who found that they could push people around and not only get paid for it, but feel self-righteous about it. I hope Mr. Massey sues the state and gets a million dollars.

  • shame on Gardner
    Nov. 30, 2007 8:26 p.m.

    Officer Gardner needs to be fired today. That is so disgusting. The two offciers talking together make me throw up.

  • Mel
    Nov. 30, 2007 11:20 a.m.

    I believe Officer Gardner treated Mr. Massey with appropriate courtesy when he pulled him over for speeding. It sounded like Massey didn't want to cooperate from the beginning. If he wished to dispute the alleged traffic violation, he could have done so in court (people do so successfully all the time, including me!). Signing a speeding ticket is not an admission of guilt. Instead, Massey believed he could simply walk away from an officer of the law when instructed to stop. In addition to being disrespectful to authority, that's just not a very bright response, and it could have ended much more tragically than it did. Had the officer attempted to approach Massey from behind and subdue him by hand, a physical altercation may have ensued, with one or both individuals possibly being seriously injured. Massey set a very poor example for his son in the vehicle by attempting to talk his way out of a ticket and resisting arrest. I can't imagine what it must be like for troopers, risking their lives on a daily basis, and having to deal with uncooperative people like Massey who can't stand it when someone refuses to let them control a situation.

  • Tom
    Nov. 29, 2007 7:06 p.m.

    Officer Gardner should have told Massey what speed he was going. You don't present a speeding citation to a driver with nothing posted in the block about what speed he was doing. Massey has a right to know that information. Otherwise Gardner could wite in any speed he wanted to. This is also why Massey has a right to see the radar reading of his aledged speed. It also makes you wonder why, after Massey asks about his speed the very first time, that Gardner responds with a question, "How fast do you think you were going"?

    Based on the officer's actions, this is the most poorly handled traffic stop for speeding I've ever seen. He most certainly will be sued in civil court, and I think it's going to be costly. Gardner's actions at the time he starts shouting "turn around", and aiming the Taser was just so bizarre, that I got the impression Massey might have been questioning if he was dealing with an actual Police Officer. Massey's reaction seems correct if he believed it was a gun being aimed at him instead of a taser, this would explain why he began backing up, and turning around.

  • KJ
    Nov. 29, 2007 5:39 p.m.

    The worst part of this situation is that at the moment of truth when the taser was deployed it was an offensive action. There is no way that this level of force was used in defense. The officer may need an evaluation to determine if his psychological profile is compatible to the stresses that this profession encounters.

  • Utah tourist NOT
    Nov. 29, 2007 5:27 p.m.

    The officer clearly blocked the temporary speed limit sign with his patrol car as he pulled to the shoulder to allow the couple to pass. I was planning a road trip through Utah next year with our family. Think we will skip Utah until the UHP learns people skills. Respect goes both ways. The couple just wanted to know how fast they were going, geez! P.S. to UHP, the officer could have written "refused to sign" on the ticket and handed it to the wife. Maybe next time, but it seems he likes to use the taser, rather than a pen as his weapon of choice.

  • AbuBakerSmith
    Nov. 29, 2007 3:49 p.m.

    It's clear in the start of the entire video that the Police Officer stopped in front of the temporary speed limit sign obscuring it from the drivers view. The only other sign was again a teemporary road work sign. Masses would NOT have even seen the 40mph speedlimit sign. This Officer created the entire situation and escalated it by being a jerk. Even though Massey was in effect entrapped by the officer, the cop could have just been courteous and Massey would have signed the ticket. It appears to me from the complete unedited video that this Officer needs to be charged with several crimes and hopefully do Jail Time.

  • FRANK
    Nov. 29, 2007 10:00 a.m.

    ALL THE DEFENDANT HAD TO DO WAS SIGN THE TICKET AND HE WOULD BE ON HIS WAY TO FIGHT IT IN COURT.ALL THE TROPPER HAD TO TELL THE GUY IS WHAT HE WAS CHARGED WITH AND SIGNING THE TICKET IS NOT ADMISSION OF GUILT IT IS HIS PROMISE TO APPEAR IN COURT. BUT THE GUY WANTED TO HAVE A STANDOFF WITH THE TROOPER AND HE GOT WHAT HE ASKED FOR.

  • elb
    Nov. 29, 2007 6:43 a.m.

    I respect law enforcement and the important role they play in society. However, "their lives are on the line" is becoming an overplayed excuse for abuse of the power that is entrusted (not granted) to them. Convenience store clerks put their lives on the line too.

  • Patti
    Nov. 28, 2007 8:49 p.m.

    Massey was argumentative and hostile with the officer. Had he supplied the information requested more than likely he would've received a warning. He chose to act like a stupid spoiled brat when caught breaking the law. His lack of respect for the safety of his pregnant wife, himself, and others using the highway tells us exactly the type of individual he is. His behavior towards the officer is totally unacceptable. I support the officer 100% and hope Massey gets more than a speeding ticket.

  • Jackie
    Nov. 28, 2007 6:11 p.m.

    As someone who drives this particular road often, I can say almost without a doubt that Massey was probably NOT obeying the speed limit. This particular stretch of road invites speeding - with a common speed of 85 or more. The road is also visibly under construction, with signs and workers evident. Construction zone speed limits, even without a sign, are common knowledge, and yet often ignored.

    I do not believe that the police officer made the best choices, and he was too quick to turn to the taser, but I do believe he was right in doing what he did. The officer has years of experience, (too many to have "small man syndrome"), and Massey did not show him the respect an enforcer of the law deserves and requires. Massey didn't handle the situation any better than the officer, and his actions had consequences.

    Also, this raises an interesting question of precedence. If Massey was in the right by resisting the officer, and gets out of his ticket and the officer is punished, what kind of a precedence does that set for future cases like this one?

  • Dawn
    Nov. 28, 2007 2:59 p.m.

    To those out there, signing a summons has nothing to do with guilt or innocence. It is stating that you will either pay the fine if that is an option or you will appear in court. It is true that Massey should have signed the summons and fought his case in court with an attorney.

  • Sorry, Kommando, you're wrong
    Nov. 28, 2007 9:31 a.m.

    According to the United States Supreme Court, the cop DOES have to say "You are under arrest" or statement clearly making this clear, when taking someone into custody. Until this "operative statement" is made, the crime of resisting arrest can't be "completed."

    In other words, you can't shoot someone and then shout "Halt, or I'll shoot!" and claim that they got proper warning.

  • Buck
    Nov. 27, 2007 5:07 p.m.

    If this officer remains on the job, I will never enter Utah. Not only disregarding the safety of Massey and his pregnate wife, he began his coverup telling the second officer he told him he would be tasered. He said no such thing. In my mind, this officer was out of his mind, and I would have not only walked away, but run. Good thing he had a taser, otherwise, Massey would be dead.

  • Rob
    Nov. 27, 2007 2:44 p.m.

    The fact is this:

    Massey was wrong, and Gardener was wrong. This was an unfortunate situation. Could the use of the taser been avoided? Probably. Should Massey have just obeyed? Yes.

  • BRAD
    Nov. 27, 2007 2:00 p.m.

    It's a debate over whose actions were threatining, or not. Words left out. The video clearly shows the actions of the public safety deffender were the threat in the situation. The fact that the officer left the man laying in the road, in danger of being hit by traffic only leaves the thought in my mind that the officer was in disregard of the victims safety from the get-go.

  • jkeller
    Nov. 26, 2007 8:50 p.m.

    Gardner should be riding a desk. No people skills. We'll all be safer in Utah then.

  • D
    Nov. 26, 2007 8:42 p.m.

    It is not against the law to not sign a speeding ticket. An officer can let someone go for not signing, however, it is also legal for an officer to place someone in custody for not signing. It is the officer's decision.

    This officer made that decision and placed him under arrest, legally. He did not taser him for not signing. He tasered Massey for resisting arrest. When Massey resisted arrest, what choice did the officer have? he could use his taser or his gun. I think he should be grateful it was the taser. and he is just fine. I think the gun would have hurt him worse.

    The issue is resisting arrest, not the ticket. I could not see any law that the officer broke, but I did see the driver brake the law at least twice. The driver broke the law by speeding, and resisting arrest, and the officer was trying to enforce the law (maybe a little more forcefully than needed), but the public blames the officer. I don't understand why the public takes the side of the criminal.

  • Concerned
    Nov. 26, 2007 7:21 p.m.

    It has been a while since I went through the Academy, but I distinctly remember instruction that was blatantly ignored by Gardner.

    1. The situation would never had escalated had Gardner shown the slightest bit of skill and approached politely, as a police officer should.

    2. In the Academy they instruct recruits to approach the vehicle by stating something to the effect of, "I pulled you over today because you were speeding." Then ask for the license and registration.

    3. By being elusive, Gardner presented a domineering front that was completely unnecessary and indicative of a bad cop.

    4. Upon delivering the citation the officer is supposed to recite the information on the citation making sure that there are no questions before asking for the signature.

    5. I've reviewed my Utah Code book and no where in it can I see anything that states a person is required to sign a citation. I distinctly remember being instructed in the Academy that if a person does not wish to sign, you still offer them their copy and inform them that they will be contacted by the court.

    Continued...

  • Preston R.......
    Nov. 26, 2007 6:19 p.m.

    Wake up people--- the trooper told him to turn around - the guy didn't, but continued to walk away
    with HIS HAND going into his pocket - hmmmmm, wonder, I DON'T KNOW but he could have had a small
    hand gun, pulled it out and shot the trooper- at that MOMENT who could say he didn't....NOW-
    1. HE failed to comply with the instruction of the
    trooper to turn around BUT kept on walking.
    2. as far as showing "THAT speed sign" as the guy
    was 'bellyaching ' over. TAIN'T no way the officer
    have to do that...
    Really - just mark ticket"REFUSED TO SIGN"
    however if he is upset/showing off for his wife or
    what ever. HE WAS WRONG FOR NOT COMPLYING and
    WALKING AWAY - PERIOD...
    18 years of wearing a badge & etc - - - -
    BE SAFE OUT THERE YOU LEO' s

  • Anonymous
    Nov. 26, 2007 6:09 p.m.

    What is happening to America?

  • markintosh
    Nov. 26, 2007 6:04 p.m.

    The reading of Miranda rights are for situations in which you will be questioned about the possible commission of a crime. It is clear that the officer's intent was not to question the suspect, but to place him under arrest for failure to comply with a judicial request, to sign the speeding ticket. The suspect should have taken his grievances to court, where they belong. Failure to sign the citation places you in an opportunity to be arrested, which if you resist arrest, you run the risk of being tasered and/or something worse. The officer could have used alternate means to achieve the objectives, but as far as I can judge, broke no laws in the arrest itself and the procedures leading to it.

  • Outraged in Utah
    Nov. 26, 2007 10:31 a.m.

    According to the Utah Highway Patrol spokesman Sgt. Jeff Nigbur, it is NOT required to sign a citation/ticket. The officer can simply write "Refused to Sign" on the ticket.

  • Anonymous
    Nov. 26, 2007 9:16 a.m.

    Abuse of power and the officer should be fined and fired.

    For the person that said Utah Code 77-7-24 shows you have to sign, that is wrong. That code ONLY applies if a person is ALREADY being arrested for violations of Title 41, Chapter 6a, Traffic Code.

    The arresting officer made an unlawful arrest and escalated a situation without the care of the general good.

    He is a liar and a disgrace to those of us that actually try and do good in our communities.

    Fined and Fired ASAP.

  • Kommando
    Nov. 26, 2007 3:16 a.m.

    More FACTS- The cop doesn't have to show you the sign. The cop doesn't have to debate with you. The cop doesn't have to de-escalate the situation. The cop doesn't have to say "You're under arrest" for you to be taken into custody. The cop doesn't have to Mirandize you until you're being questioned in custody. The cop doesn't have to be nice to you. The cop doesn't have to be nice to your pregnant wife. Pregnant people have tried to kill cops with no real warning. Calm traffic offenders have tried to kill cops with no real warning.

  • Komando
    Nov. 26, 2007 3:14 a.m.

    FACTS- It doesn't matter how many people support the driver and how many people support the cop. What matters is the law and the UHP policies. I didn't see anything that the cop did as being clearly illegal, but I saw Massey do at least 2 things that could be. According to the UHP, failure to produce a license upon LEO request while driving is illegal, refusal to sign the ticket is legal grounds for arrest, and resisting arrest while concealing hand(s) from a lone officer that's confronted with multiple occupants on the roadside more than meets the requirements in their statutes/policy for use of a tazer.

  • Wondering???
    Nov. 25, 2007 8:16 p.m.

    I am just wondering if the Deseret News plans on informing us what the UHP decision is about this officer? I heard that they should be finished sometime this week?
    Please please due a follow up on this. I am so curiouse as to what will happen.
    From the looks of things this is another voucher. 2/3's support the driver and 1/3 support the officer.

  • Anonymous
    Nov. 25, 2007 6:35 p.m.

    did he not expect something to happen? Refusing to sign the speeding ticket? Just because you thought you were still in the faster speed zone doesn't mean you get off of a speeding ticket. You're not innocent because you're ignorant. Second, When the officer tells you to stop and turn around, why keep walking back to your car. What do you expect an officer to do? We've all seen videos of cops being fired upon at a simple traffic stop. Do you expect him to let the guy walk away without knowing what he'll do? Cops fault = some, kids fault = alot.

  • "It was legal"...UtahTourism?
    Nov. 25, 2007 5:41 p.m.

    "It was legal" is the first and weakest defense of that kind of INJUSTICE by a bored, callous, rogue trooper who needs a looong vacation (unpaid) and retraining if trainable. WHEN will it be safe to travel in Utah again? Call the governor and Utah Tourism and ask.

  • Bob
    Nov. 25, 2007 3:14 p.m.

    On average, a law enforcement officer is killed in the line of duty every 57 hours in America.
    Between 1976 and 1998, of the over 1,800 officers killed--
    16% were on disturbance calls
    14% were in robbery arrest situations
    14% were investigating suspicious persons/circumstances
    13% were making traffic pursuits/stops
    13% were attempting arrests for offenses other than robbery or burglary
    10% were in ambush situations
    7% were in an arrest situation involving drug-related matters
    5% were in a burglary arrest situation arrests
    6% were in other situations
    Of the 901 assailants identified in the killing of law enforcement officers from 1989-98 --
    almost half had a prior conviction
    almost one-fifth were on probation or parole at the time
    Most law enforcement officers are killed with firearms, particularly handguns.
    SOURCE: U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics

  • Gregory W. Stevens, Esq.
    Nov. 25, 2007 2:50 p.m.

    The video speaks for itself. The UHP's explanation of when use of a Taser is proper, and the fact that the Trooper could have issued the ticket without Mr. Massey's signature, make absolutely clear that the force used here went beyond all bounds of proper. Force is unnecesary when, as here, there was obviously not even a hint of force by Mr. Massey and nothing that needed compliance to end the stop. And, my viewpoint is that I'm a lawyer who handles civil rights cases -- a fact, I'm sure, that will offend many posters here. One happy fact, for Mr. Massey, is that the video exists and was turned over to him.

  • glenn
    Nov. 25, 2007 12:45 p.m.

    obeying any rules,laws,codes,codes are the same for everyone even mere criminals hiding behind a badge.this officer(and i use this term loosely)has to follow them as he needs to read and follow the UHP policy on taser deployment.

  • Obedience in kindergarten
    Nov. 25, 2007 11:32 a.m.

    Obviously it is controversial, and although I may be in the minority, I agree with the officer. Pretty sure most of us were taught obedience at a very young age and if we weren't then I guess we learn when we are 28.

  • What part of "Place your hands"
    Nov. 25, 2007 3:38 a.m.

    What part of "Place your hands behind your back" did Massey and many of the readers on here misunderstand? Did he think they were going to play a game of twister?

    I'm not a cop or related to anyone in law enforcement. Thanks to those who are.

    Oh, and Gregoy Richards, if you listen, the officer points out that the 40 MPH sign he was by was the SECOND one Massey had passed.

  • Steve
    Nov. 24, 2007 11:54 p.m.

    Joe, you would not listen either. Unless you were willing to sacrifice justice and freedom for protection? No one deserves what this man got. Its a clear example of the tyranny of the government and its agencies over the people to enforce a notion of supremacy and control. This was a criminal act and the police should be charges accordingly with assault.

  • NHP
    Nov. 24, 2007 11:32 p.m.

    You Massey supporters have no idea what it is like to be a cop! You deal with risks every day, and what seems like no big deal to you regular folk, IS a VERY BIG DEAL to US as COPS!

    You think it is no big deal to ask a simple question - but it IS a big deal, and this Massey creep wasn't just asking a question. He was being defiant and resistant and a jerk. When you deal with people like this, you never know when they are going to suddenly attack, grap at your weapon, or strike you.

    I know. I have had 6 incidents in my 12 year career just like this one where the argumentative driver came after me!

    At the stop is no place to be arguing the case. Tell it to the judge and let cops do their jobs in a safe way.

  • Gregoy Richards
    Nov. 24, 2007 7:42 p.m.

    Wht would our founding fathers say?

    By watching this video, we see that both the drriver and the officer were a fault. Cocky driver and a bad cop!

    We fist see the 40mph (temp) speed limit sign at the beginning of the video which the patrol car is obstructing. Speed traps should be illigal as they abuse the intent for the authority we grant to police and amounts to legalized theft.

    Was it absolutely necessary to shoot the speeder? No, and what if the driver (victim) had died? Would that not have been murder?
    When is it ok for police to shoot citizens in-the-back? -Where is the honor in our police today?

    We also clearly hear Officer Gardener lie to his fellow officer. Can we in good conscience countinue to allow an officer to testify in our courts, aftter we have a video of him lying to a fellow officer?

  • joe
    Nov. 24, 2007 3:35 p.m.

    The guy didn't listen, he deserves what he got.

  • Rob
    Nov. 24, 2007 3:02 p.m.

    As soon as Masssey ask the officer how fast he was going Officer HAPPYFINGER got a attitude and says DL and Ins LIKE NOW,Officers want respect but dont want to give it back.It has been my experience that as soon as you ask a question you are now confrontational,it was a simple question that he should of had the answer for before he got to the car since he said he was speeding,but as soon as you ask a question you are bucking there authority.

  • Adam
    Nov. 24, 2007 11:39 a.m.

    I encourage everyone to write in to this police station and give them your thoughts.
    This officer is part of the reason why police officers have less and less respect. Abuse of power should always be confronted, even on the side of the road. To many Police officers throw their weight around like they are the judge and jury. The entire system is designed against the citizen. If an officer says you are speeding, a court will take his word for it over yours--and that is rediculous. The burden of proof lies with the government; but now it comes down to what ever the cop says goes.
    I am betting this officer gets off scott free and again another cop will be justified in his abuse of power.

  • Michael
    Nov. 24, 2007 11:39 a.m.

    The most telling fact is that this man is still on our freeways pulling people over. This indicates that the condoning of incompetence and abusive behaviour has permeated the organization.

    The fact that officers in the department laughed about it signifies that top to bottom, and all around, we have a problem here. There needs to be mass re-assignments, demotions, terminations and a fresh start to retifiy the situation. A mere slap on the wrist of one or two people will result no discernable change in beahvior. There doesn't even seem to be anyone admitting that there is a problem at any level. Have we as a free society completely lost our bearings?

  • Jay
    Nov. 24, 2007 10:48 a.m.

    From what I observed on the video clip, the trooper was justified. He told the driver why he had stopped him. It is not up to the officer to prove on the side of the road,the case against the driver. If he would had signed the citation, the incident would have been over. He told the trooper he wasn't going to sign the citation and after being told at least twice to turn around and put his hands behind his back he started to walk back to his vehicle. The trooper had no choice but to stop him from reaching his vehicle, he was clearly under arrest at this time. After the trooper searched the vehicle, only then did he know their was no weapons inside of the vehicle. I think the trooper was professional and handled himself well.

  • twistnrev
    Nov. 24, 2007 10:31 a.m.

    It's easy to "Monday morning" this event.

    1>The Officer was working alone.
    2>A young and able male was stopped and ticketed.
    3>The male was moving in on the Officer.
    4>The male didn't follow directions.

    The male left his vehicle to move toward the Officer. How many of you would do this? If you were the Officer, on a Utah hiway, how would this look to you?

    The Officer gave a verbal command to back off. This entire event could have ended here if the male simply said, "OK, I'll go back to my truck". Instead he played the, "Are you crazy" card. Resulting in a response.

    This event could have played out differently with the male coming up with a martial arts strike to the Officer's head. HThe male was in perfect position to deliver this. Close and moving forward. Would you then ask, "Why did that Cop just fall back and take the beating?". Or would you say, "Cops should take a beating sometime to show they sometimes use too little force".

    I do not feel the Officer's wife and kids would agree with you.





  • Jack
    Nov. 24, 2007 10:09 a.m.

    Doesn't anyone find it deplorable that the UHP has only decided to "expedite" its investigation two months after the fact? You don't suppose the clip being posted has anthing to do with the sudden decision to "expedite," do you? If this is the normal procedure for UHP investigations into its officers' conduct, why be surprised if loose cannons continue to patrol Utah's highways?

  • lisa
    Nov. 24, 2007 8:46 a.m.

    i support the police officer, the driver was not following instructions from the moment he was pulled over.

  • Concerned citizen
    Nov. 24, 2007 12:06 a.m.

    Each profession attracts certain personalities, and among the many who use their abilities to serve their professions honorably, you will always attract wayward practitioners who seek out these sheltered opportunities for their own advantage. Predatorial priests and teachers gravitate towards access to children. Lazy people rely on government to support them with welfare and repetitive unemployment compensation. And so too do law enforcement officers value the control and authority their profession provides them. Stereotypical, yes, but true more often than not.

    Blaming and arguing doesn't fix the core of the issue. Like any employer, public service departments funded by tax dollars must recognize their own composition, train them accordingly, and fire liberally.

    I believe most officers are guided by a strong sense of morality and justice. But that officer should be quickly fired, and charged for assault. Why assault? It's like a false rape claim - the accuser should ALWAYS go to jail. Employment selection must better weed out those hormonally driven, trigger happy control freaks hoping to reclaim the dominance of their high school years. And training should make them realize that if they do get hired, this type of behavior will not be tolerated.

    My 2 cents.

  • Someone
    Nov. 23, 2007 7:05 p.m.

    The officer should have said... "By signing this it is NOT an admission to guilt, just shows that I gave it to you and you can object in court."
    I got a speeding ticket and they dismissed it because I pled not guilt and made them take it to trial and the officer didn't show up so I got off free and clear.

  • Bob
    Nov. 23, 2007 7:05 p.m.

    As a non-UT resident who enjoys visiting relatives in UT, this video was very informative. One, always sign the traffic ticket you've been issued. Two, comply with every instruction given to you by a UHP officer. I've realized that failing to do either of these will cause the UHP officer to become edgy, trigger-happy and loose with his version of the recent events that lead to being tased, hand-cuffed and dumped on my head on the side of a busy freeway. My wife can also expect to have our car searched for whatever the UHP officer may decide to look for, followed by taunting from the officer and his backup.
    While Mr. Massey definitely behaved inappropriately, the officer's behavior was much worse. Massey's actions were immature; however, the officer responded in kind- he was immature, arrogant and obviously frightened to be in what a seasoned officer would label as a fairly manageable situation. Most veteran officers also know not to lie on camera. While he won't be fired, he needs much more training in how to behave appropriately and professionally around the people he's supposed to protect. Meanwhile, I'll make sure I sign any traffic ticket I'm given.

  • Alan Jackson
    Nov. 23, 2007 6:32 p.m.

    That officer needs to be arrested and thrown in jail. If the authorities in Utah don't agree, then I will never go spend a dime there. There are plenty of other places to vacation with my family. It's obviously not a safe place for law-abiding citizens because they have out-of-control cops who think nothing of tasering people. That was assault, plain and simple, by a cop on a power trip.

  • Stephanie
    Nov. 23, 2007 3:36 p.m.

    My dad is a cop. If a subject puts his hand in his pocket as Mr. Massey did, I would hope that my father would taze his butt before he shot my dad. Maybe Mr. Massey should learn to have some respect for law enforcement and we wouldnt have this problem.

  • philly leo
    Nov. 23, 2007 2:40 p.m.

    There is no way that young officer should be wearing a badge. If he keeps his job after this I hope he is at least retrained and his supervisors keeps him on a very short leash. The PR bashing his dept is taking now must be incredible. What a detriment to his dept.

  • John
    Nov. 23, 2007 12:32 p.m.

    Its realy scary how many posters here seem to have learned all about their rights from TV. My recommendation is to either learn about Miranda, search and seizure (especially search incident to arrest) and the Supreme Court rulings about their other rights, or just not show their ignorance in the future and stay quiet. Massey is a prime example of someone who learned about his rights on TV, just listen to what he says on the tape.

  • Roger
    Nov. 23, 2007 12:14 p.m.

    Kudos to this forum for not censoring my last comments, which were directed at them. Perhaps there is hope after all.

  • Anon
    Nov. 23, 2007 12:11 p.m.

    The cop was just doing his job.

  • Roger
    Nov. 23, 2007 10:56 a.m.

    The video is a clear example of how America is becoming or has become a police state. But the thing I find equally offensive is the article to which we are all responding. This article is definitely biased toward the cop. It expresses an underlying opinion and seems to portrait the arrestee as a combative outlaw. The man was merely asking for his lawful right to be formally charged and read his rights, which are supposed to be the cornerstones of a free society. What happened to fair an unbiased reporting? Hopefully this was in the editorial section of the paper. Seems like the journalist are as messed up as the trooper.

  • To NY Cop
    Nov. 23, 2007 9:49 a.m.

    NY cop..... stay in NY. You are part of what's wrong with America. By your own words you are a disgrace!

    I would throw the book at this short fused, no people skills officer and the UHP.

    UHP should require officers to be better educated and have competency evaluations to weed out those with poor people skills.

  • Concerned
    Nov. 23, 2007 8:53 a.m.

    According to UHP you do not have to sign the ticket. The officer can then take three options:
    1) Write "refused to sign" on the ticket
    2) Issue another citation with "refused to sign" on it
    3) Arrest the driver and take to a magistrate

    I have more information available for people wondering what the latest is on this. You can link to it from my site. Jared has been informing me when something new happens: TridellUtah

  • Steve
    Nov. 23, 2007 8:50 a.m.

    Cop told driver to get out and follow him. He did as he was told. When cop pulled taser he started to retreat to vehicle. Cop did not have to arrest due to non-signature on ticket. Could have written refused to sign on ticket and sent on his way. You do not have to sign something you disagree with. Cop overstepped his authority and kid should not have returned to his vehicle. It also appeared he was trying to calm his wife when he went to the vehicle which would have helped the situation, when the cop did not let him he exacerbated the situation more. Both parties are at fault but the cop has to keep the higher ground and he did not do so. I don't know that he should be fired but he should be counciled and supervised for a significant time.

  • Judge Well
    Nov. 23, 2007 8:40 a.m.

    When are people going to learn. When the officer stopped Massey, Massey was already "arrested."

    Would Massey have been justified if he had refused to pull over because he didn't agree that he was speeding? I hope everyone would agree that would NOT be justified.

    The officer witnessed a violation of the law. He "arrested" Massey by pulling him over. If the officer wanted to, he could have just cuffed him and hauled him in without having Massey sign a citation!

    Massey was ready to run at any given moment. Did you see the reverse lights on his car going on and off? He was shifting his transmission in and out trying to decide whether to drive off or not!

    Once Massey decided to resist "arrest" in ANY form, a level of force was required.

    Too many people are taking "traffic stops" for granted and thinking they are trivial things. They are not. Learn the law and quit being ignorant arm-chair judges!

  • Jeff in TX
    Nov. 23, 2007 7:34 a.m.

    The Deseret News is deleting comments?! What's up with that? Are you (the DN) trying to help the UHP sweep this under the rug?

  • A Failure of LEADERSHIP
    Nov. 23, 2007 6:03 a.m.

    It is an unfortunate event; however, it is a look into the Officer's judgement and interpersonal skills. He has lost his effectiveness and is now a liability to his Department. (With that said, the young man also behaved inappropriately)

    If he is allowed to remain on duty on the highway, it will not be long until a similar situation results in a fatality. The Department's policy and training on the use of the taser should be revisited. The Department's Superintendent should be called to task as well. If there is any leadership in the Utah Highway Police, it begins at the top. The Officer's action demonstrate a general lack of leadership.

  • Priorities
    Nov. 23, 2007 5:18 a.m.

    The officer displays no concern for his own safety,
    (turning his back to Massey), and displays no concern for Massey's safety, (leaving him lying on the highway), but is focused on the safety of his ticket book, taking the trouble to walk all the way back to his vehicle to set it down. Mind boggling.

  • Chitown
    Nov. 23, 2007 2:46 a.m.

    Bad decisions were made by both men. However, the UHP officer is the paid professional who is supposed to take control of these situations and not allow things to get out of control. Strike 1-very poor at communicating what Massey's responsibilities/options were when it came time to sign the citation. As a few other posters mentioned previously that could have diffused the situation. Strike 2-Gardner turning his back on Massey once he ordered him out of the car. Strike 3-not telling Massey he was under arrest as he pulled then pointed the Taser at Massey (right there IMO is unlawful use of force as Massey had not shown he was a threat). Strike 4-leaving Massey unattended next to the busy highway (placing Massey's life in jeopardy....big no-no there). Strike 5-unlawful search of vehicle (for an alleged speeder?) Strike 6-lying that he told Massey he was under arrest and would be tased. Massey-stupid for not signing the citation and arguing with officer. Does not justify use of force. Bottom line...Gardner likely reprimanded, maybe fired and definitely will be sued. I have alot of respect for most officers but this is an ugly black eye.

  • John
    Nov. 23, 2007 1:49 a.m.

    As Sgt. Friday on Dragnet used to say, "Just the facts, please." Without question, the officer used excessive force in dealing with Mr. Massey. At no time did Mr. Massey appear to be a threat to himself, to others, or to the arresting officer. And those are UHP published guidelines for using a Taser. Certainly, Mr. Massey's behavior was less than exemplary. But, his poor behavior cannot be used to justify the use of a Taser against him.

    I look forward to perhaps being called to jury duty in case Mr. Massey's lawsuit comes to trial. The UHP can expect to be slapped with a very "stiff fine" if they condone this sort of behavior from their officers and haven't addressed this matter appropriately.

  • Lawful Citizen
    Nov. 23, 2007 1:22 a.m.

    I would have understood the wife if she tried to ram the cop with her car. He is a rogue. I am a bit surprised that she didn't take off in fear that she was going to be next to go by this wacko. This cop escalated a totally controllable situation into a near catastrophe.

  • Bnick
    Nov. 23, 2007 12:09 a.m.

    I finally had a chance to view the whole video. Yes the driver was understandably curious to find out what he had done wrong. The officer's communication skills were horrible. That is what caused the driver to to get frustrated - not mad!! The driver never was informed that he was being placed under arrest. The officer never mentioned that by not signing the citation he was going to be arrested. And finally, I find it interesting that once the other officer appeared his demeanor changed to how it should have been when he pulled the driver over.

    Also, he lied to his backup!

    I also get the feeling that the officer's pulling over appeared to block the 40mph sign. It looked kind of suspicious. Maybe that is why he didn't want to answer the driver's questions. In the end maybe what the officer did was legal, but their procedures need to be changed, for all our safety.

    As a final note, I have been pulled over for speeding five times and have been treated respectfully on ever occasion except once. And the one was a real jerk on a power trip. He reminded me of this officer!

  • Trooper was Correct!
    Nov. 22, 2007 10:44 p.m.

    Any lawyer worth his salt will tell you a law enforcement officer has the right to use force when a person is resisting arrest as this man clearly was. By not complying with the officers orders and walking away, he was sending a clear signal that he was not going to comply. If I had been the officer, I might have even drawn my handgun when he put his hand in his right pocket instead of behind his back as ordered. Many officers have been killed because they did not react to such signs of danger and a gun suddenly appeared. I say keep up the good work and stay safe.

  • Anonymous
    Nov. 22, 2007 10:43 p.m.

    The biggest problem I see with everything is that the subject was never informed that he was going to be arrested. It is clear that when the officer ask Massey to step out of the car, he believed they were going to discuss it more. Had the officer simply informed him that he was going to be arrested, MUCH of this would have been avoied.

  • John
    Nov. 22, 2007 10:26 p.m.

    Several questions get repeatedly asked, here are some answers:

    Do you have to sign the ticket - Utah Code 77-7-24, yes or go to jail. FYI, the code says that officers who fail to follow any portion of that code are guilty of misconduct.

    Do you have to do what an officer tells you on a stop - pretty much, Utah Code 76-8-301 Interfering with a public servant, 76-8-305 Interfering with arresting officer, 76-8-305.5 Failure to stop at command.

    Miranda - Not unless being questioned while in custody.

    Is tazer deadly force - Compare stats for deaths due to pepper spray, batton, physical restraint, etc and you will see it is pretty much one of the lowest and almost all tazer related deaths also have illegal drugs involved. How many people die after running from police and taking cocaine?

    This video should be shown at POST for new officers to pick apart all the things the trooper did wrong. While extreme, the officer involved will be able to easily justify as within the law and probably UHP policy due to Masseys actions.

  • Steven
    Nov. 22, 2007 10:22 p.m.

    The officer was using his "power" and "authority" to defend his own reasons for pulling the kid over. He obviously does not understand the true power of honest communication. It's concerning to me that our police force could actually be this immature, ineffective, dishonest and out of line. Although the boy in the incident did seem a bit entitled, he did not deserve something like this. It seems that a badge should not give any individual the right to taze a man to the ground in front of his pregnant wife and children over a simple speeding violation. Mountain out of a mole hill, all for the sake of pride.

  • smalley
    Nov. 22, 2007 9:58 p.m.

    This guy should never be a cop again.

  • aquantence of massey
    Nov. 22, 2007 9:43 p.m.

    Jared is not the type of person to try to cause a situation, however is a person who demands to have things explained to him. He is a person who is very intellegent, and tries to be a good citizen. This officer is clearly trying to be cool, and should have some sort of repremand to the situation he caused. HAVE A MERRY CHRISTMAS JARED!!!!

  • ZIONBLUESKY
    Nov. 22, 2007 9:22 p.m.

    Hmmm, Interesting my comment was erased! Nothing that violated anything. Deseretnews in bed with UHP? Really Bizarre!

  • Philip in VA
    Nov. 22, 2007 9:19 p.m.

    Every few seconds somone types in and put in their two cents worth. What you should do is go vote. Both men have a problem. Video proves it. Don't depend on someone to do something about it. You do something about it. Never argue with an officer of the law. See the Judge or get a lawyer. But don't smart mouth somone who is enforceing the law. The officer should be retrained.

  • Farrell
    Nov. 22, 2007 8:46 p.m.

    The discussion is getting tedious with the same points being repeated ad nauseum.

    I would welcome, however, more discussion on the assertions made that traffic enforcement is managed with a focus on revenue generation.

    Do officers have quotas? Are construction zones exploited for their money-making potential? I would be quite interested in objective, facutal and, preferrably, first-hand information on this topic.

  • WOW!!!
    Nov. 22, 2007 5:42 p.m.

    This is why people don't like the police. Yes they were both wrong however this Officer didn't try to defuse the situation. He clearly exculated it. If he would have taken the time to talk with the motorist I believe it would have resolved itself. If I was tasered because I wanted an explaination I would sue. The motorist could have signed the ticket and never been tasered but the Officer never helped the situation either.
    Secondly, if somebody pointed a gun or taser gun at you, you would back away too! Maybe the motorist was scaried at that moment. You can see he was shocked by the Officers actions! He evens says, "why are you doing this?"
    It is the Officers responsability to handle situations like this better. I think the guy deserves to pay the ticket. I also believe the Officer should be disiplined very harshly too. Not a slap on the hand.

  • Cop Out
    Nov. 22, 2007 5:33 p.m.

    S-H-O-C-K-I-N-G !

  • Dan
    Nov. 22, 2007 3:16 p.m.

    Former federal LEO. Every competent law enforcement agency has a continuum of force policy, giving guidelines what level of force is appropriate for what situation. A taser is either the second- or third-highest level of force available to an officer in most agencies, and while use of it often looks extreme to civilians in many cases it saves both the life of the officer and the detainee.

    In this case, though, the officer went flying up the spectrum with no justifiable reason except that the guy was being a jerk and the officer felt like it. To compound things, he put himself at significantly greater risk by doing so - ordering the guy out of the SUV made zero sense, having his back turned even less so, and most importantly of all he didn't use the first level of force - verbal - effectively. The driver was being obnoxious, but had the officer taken control of the situation earlier with that level of force, none of this would have ever happened.

    The officer in question should be off duty until retraining at a minimum. He's a danger to himself right now. The detainee should get nailed on the ticket, though.

  • Unexcusable
    Nov. 22, 2007 12:47 p.m.

    The officer should be arrested! All the justifications above are utterly ridiculous. The officer should be held accountable. Unbelievable!

  • An observer
    Nov. 22, 2007 12:32 p.m.

    Several readers point out that "you can't approach a cop from behind" but, if you notice, at 7:36 the officer tells Massey to "Hop out of the car". How can Massey do that and not follow behind? Should he have stayed in the car, thus further disobeying Gardner's order?

    Then they say he was "resisting arrest", but if you notice carefully, at 7:31 Gardner is approaching his patrol and is already making the motion, as he is looking backwards, of putting his notebook down and already going for his "Tazer". At 7:30 Massey is seen walking, not towards Gardner, but pointing towards the sign posted in the Highway and, when he turns around, Gardner is already pointing the "tazer" at him. At that point Massey reacts scared and tries to get away from danger.

    For those that say Gardner fired at Massey because he was getting away, Massey did NOT start moving away until AFTER he saw Gardner pointing the "Tazer" at him. IF Gardner had pulled the "Tazer" AFTER Massey was going away, THEN it could be argued that Gardner was trying to stop him from running away.

  • Pocatello
    Nov. 22, 2007 11:54 a.m.

    So many of you (rightfully so)are saying that he should have signed the citation, and that signing it doesn't admit any guilt.

    So what the officer should have done was to say, "Sir, signing this citation doesn't imply guilt. If you read right here, it says that your signature only says that you agree to appear at the time and date listed above. It simply shoes that you received the citation. That's all. Now, will you please sign?"

    Massey: No!

    "Sir, Utah law allows for only two choices, to either sign the citation or be arrested and the bail you'll post will act as your agreement to appear." Those are my choices, sir. Which one would you prefer I do?

    Massey: well, I'll sign, but I'm not guilty of anything!

    "Yes sir. We'll both appear in court and let the judge decide that. Okay?"

    It would have been just that easy. No one can possibly believe that if Massey knew that his signature wasn't an admission of guilt that he would have continued to refuse to sign.

    Had the officer had some people skills, had he been willing to defuse the situation with some "either or" statements, nothing-would-have-happened.

  • C.L.
    Nov. 22, 2007 11:52 a.m.

    Bottom line: these two guys deserved each other.

  • Steve
    Nov. 22, 2007 11:08 a.m.

    Let's get the facts straight:

    When you are pulled over and the cop has your license, you are DETAINED, not ARRRESTED. There is a huge legal difference.

    Cops do have to tel you what you are CHARGED with.

    Signing a ticket is a promise to appear, not an admission of guilt.

    You DO NOT have to sign a ticket.

    A cop does not HAVE TO arrest you for refusing to sign a ticket. He can, but does not have to.

    As a citizen, you only have to obey LAWFUL commands of a police officer. A cop can't order you to do a hand stand, kiss your wife, or to perform a field sobriety test.

    After an officer INFORMS you that you are under arrest, you must not resist arrest.

    This cop never told Massey he was under arrest until after he was tazed. The cop even tells the wife "I tazed him because we wouldn't obey my commands" not because he felt threatened. Massey may not have been nice and docile, but thankfully we live in America where it is your God given right to be a jerk.

    This cop should be disciplined.

  • Anonymous
    Nov. 22, 2007 10:41 a.m.

    Shocking.

    This prompts several questions:

    1) Why did the officer pull in front of the 40 mph sign and block the view for the driver, then pull him over seconds later for speeding?
    2) Why did the officer refuse to tell the driver how fast he was going or exactly why he was being pulled over?
    3) Why didn't the officer explain that the individual must sign the speeding ticket by law or be arrested - and why is that a law?
    5) Why did the officer never explain he was being arrested before the taser and not read him his miranda rights?
    6) And what are our basic rights as motorists when we are pulled over? Are we, as civilians, required by law to do whatever a police officer tells us to do?

    I value our officers and the protection they provide for us, but this is unfair. Most people are upset when they are pulled over. Did the motorist behave great? No, but his behavior could have easily been handled with basic respect. How can you fight a ticket in court if you don't even have basic information?

  • Hold on a minute!!!
    Nov. 22, 2007 10:39 a.m.

    What is with some people thinking this is a clear-cut case of one guy being wrong and the other right??

    They are both WRONG!

    The officer will have to be dealt with for the mishandling of several steps, but Massey cannot be let off the hook, or allowed to win a lawsuit, which could only serve to promulgate even more clueless and beligerent behavior from citizens.

  • l
    Nov. 22, 2007 10:35 a.m.

    To Dave | 9:06 a.m. Nov. 21, 2007 who claims that he was pulled over when he was driving legally, when someone passed him on the right. Well, if someone passed you on the right, it's probably because you didn't follow the law and move to the right when a faster car came up behind you. No matter what the speed limit is or how fast or slow you're driving, you have to move to the right lane to let other cars pass you if they want. And while we're at it, you have to leave enough space between you and the car in front of you to allow another car to merge into your lane.

    There are too many other stupid comments by others on here to even know where to go next, but I think I'll pick the supposed 4-year-olds being tazed for noncompliance (Francine | 1:37 p.m. Nov. 21, 2007). That one might be the dumbest comment.

    On an unrelated note, I hear the Orem PD is hiring, so perhaps if Mr. Gardner does lose his UHP job, he might be able to get hired on their dead grass patrol.

  • Former Officer
    Nov. 22, 2007 10:29 a.m.

    I am a former officer now lawyer and a lot of posters really don't understand the law. A POLICE OFFICER DOES NOT HAVE TO ADVISE PEOPLE OF THEIR MIRANDA RIGHTS AFTER EVERY ARREST! The only time Miranda is necessary is when the officer has the person in custody and is interrogating the person. The Miranda rights are designed to protect the parties 5th Amendment rights. This officer did not interrogate the defendant.

    With that said, the officer is completely at fault in this incident. He could have simply explained the violation and citation clearly, which would have likely de-escalated the situation.

    This is very typical of most officers I worked with in that most are high school geeks gone cop. I hope some serious discipline gets handed down on this guy.

  • Anonymous
    Nov. 22, 2007 10:11 a.m.

    The real issue here is public safety. The most dangerous place to be on the road is parked on the shoulder. Here is man lying in the road and the officer completely oblivious to passing traffic. A gasoline tanker is seen to flash by at high speed. How is this doing any good for public safety?

    What are the hiring standards for cops these days? They all seem to think they are Marines, and the public, the enemy. Being a policeman used to be an honorable "Joe job", like fireman or baker or bus driver. When did all this strutting and posturing start?

  • Rebecca
    Nov. 22, 2007 10:04 a.m.

    Since such a minor offence the ticket could have been sent to the yound man in the mail and settled in court. There is good and bad authority. I even taught my children that they did not have to obey bad authority. No one has the right to abuse anyone. The speed limit can change from day to day. One day 75 can be the limit and the next day 55. There are some roads that have had no speed limit where you have to use your judgement.

  • Josh
    Nov. 22, 2007 9:51 a.m.

    Cops are not Constitutional interpreters, they are not God, and they certainly aren't Judge and jury.

    If the cop was so threatened by this middle class white guy in a SUV, why did he walk in front of the guy, with the speeder at his back?

    Why did he allow him to stay laying on the highway after he fell from the taser while he was 10 feet away from the speeder?

    I dont' see any lights reflecting off of the SUV...that's another illegal act by the trooper; they're supposed to have their emergency lights on.

    This guy doesn't deserve respect just because he has a badge and a gun. They choose this line of work; if he's not professional enough to not cause unnecessary pain and waste taxpayers money by unnecessary potential lawsuits, FIRE HIM!

  • Another Opinion
    Nov. 22, 2007 9:34 a.m.

    All these judgments based on a video that has been (by his own admission) edited by the offender then placed online. Now does anyone honestly think Massey edited it for any reason other than to make it look like he is being abused?

    Most of the bleeding hearts here are complaining about the Tazer. It was invented to avoid lethal force, which is the officers other option. Which is better, Tazer or Glock?

    There is a very simple solution. Obey the law and there are no Tazer's or Glock's.

    What ever happened to respect for authority? I think it went down the tubes with family values.

    Respect, Responsibility and Accountability don't seem to be in the vocabulary of a lot of people under 50.

  • tazed for speeding
    Nov. 22, 2007 9:30 a.m.

    Everyone needs to remember...

    THIS WAS A SPEEDING VIOLATION!

    The man got tazed over alleged speeding!
    We do indeed live in a police state if we can be tazed at the drop of a hat.

    This officer needs to be fired to send a message. However, everyone knows that UHP will conduct an investigation and find that the officer was without fault as all police investigations go. They always side with their own.

    Protect and serve boys... protect and serve.

  • newsguy
    Nov. 22, 2007 9:27 a.m.

    Both people are wrong.
    First the cop was wrong for his heavy handed method. And we have to determine if the driver really was speeding - this was never established.

    I would have signed the ticket and then gone to the police station to make a report on the officer.

    Next I would get an attorney and place a suit in action. The cop needs more training or needs fired.

    The driver should have been told how fast he was going - where is the radar reading?
    And after he was arrested he should have been read his rights.
    Whatever happened to the thought of protecting and serving?

  • Concerned Citizen
    Nov. 22, 2007 9:16 a.m.

    The driver's attitude was wrong. That said the state of Utah has a PR disaster on its hand. It needs to be able to answer a few questions: 1. Was the video edited in such a way to remove scenes favorable to the trooper. 2. Why didn't the trooper explain to the driver what his options are. The trooper should cited authority doucments saying he has to sign, not I told you to follow my orders. 3. Did the trooper give a warning about firing the Taser; if so was this edited out. 4. The tape indicates that the trooper pulled over to let the car pass and then the car was stopped immediately after passing the sign. I suspect a good lawyer will argue that the trooper's car blocked the sign.

    I don't know what the story is and the courts will have a chance to settle it. Bottom line: If Trooper Gardner was correct, there needs to be a detailed and transparent presentation. Gardner may not understand it but, but he needs this if he is to continue in a law enforcement career.

  • Len
    Nov. 22, 2007 7:53 a.m.

    The driver was not simply being uncooperative, his was arrogant and abusive. He attempted to leverage control with his attitude and disrespect even making brash accusations about the trooper's attitude. However, the driver had the attitude problem and his arrogance got him what he had coming.

    It will be a trevesty of justice if t his guy is somehow cajoled through the court system. The police have a tough job and there is too little respect for any authority in our culture. That needs to change.

  • Anonymous
    Nov. 22, 2007 7:49 a.m.

    The article states that it has drawn nothing but unfavorable comments towards the officer. This is not true.

    The officer was correct in his actions, although he might of handled it in another way.

    The driver needs to learn the law from a credible source, like the state drivers handbook. He was wrong and abusive.

  • Austin
    Nov. 22, 2007 7:49 a.m.

    This officer clearly knew that what he had done was not proper conduct, why would he have lied to the other officer about what had taken place? It's comical to watch what went down and then hear 'officer' gardner's lame explanation on why massey deserved to 'take a ride' on the taser. I've been pulled over many times for speeding, but have ALWAYS been told my speed from the officer, 99% of the time without me even having to ask for it! I feel for massey's frustration with this power hungry so-called protector of the peace.

    I'm glad the video was posted on youtube and that massey's refusing to just go quietly into the night like many people do because of fear or they feel they're powerless and can't fight 'the man'.

    The government was formed by the people, for the people, and every citizen has the right and OBLIGATION to do all that they can in helping it stay on a true course. Whether that's informed voting, etc., or in mr. massey's case, exposing a corrupt officer and doing what he can to send a message and ensure nothing like this happens to anyone else.

  • Wow
    Nov. 22, 2007 7:08 a.m.

    Not only was the taze unjustified, he then proceeded to do an illegal search of the vehicle at the end to "try" and find anything that could justify his poor decision making.

  • Bob
    Nov. 22, 2007 6:33 a.m.

    I am a traveling salesman that spends time on Utah roads but after seeing this vedio I would question ever spending time in this state. How disqusting this so called officer of the law has acted, his ego and badge both have a major problem, too heavy I would fear for my life with so called officers roaming the roads of Utah with this guys attitude, I believe he should be fired and charges brought against him for abuse. How sad that he represents a fine group of professenal law enforment officers and it certainly doesn"t say much for his leadership or superiors, just simply put, how sad that there kinds of people are given badges and the ability to use force and get away with it. Something wrong with the Utah Highway Patrol.

  • bdc
    Nov. 22, 2007 6:17 a.m.

    Well - this story has made international news.
    Here in Australia it attracted some notice.
    I had to say, from watching the video, while Mr Massey is no angel himself the patrolman totally overreacted.
    In my view this type of approach - where you use potentially lethal force to show who is the boss - is totally inappropriate from a public officer.
    Of course the cop has to approach every roadside stop with caution but that's not what I saw. What I saw was a cop punishing someone who dared question him.
    I will be interested to hear what, if anything, is the result of the investigation together with any lawsuit that results (either criminal or civil).

  • Not surprised
    Nov. 22, 2007 6:09 a.m.

    I must say that I agree with Erik. The clip got on YouTube from Massey. Massey has an attitude that he is above the law. The ticket may or may not have been justified, but that is not the place to fight the ticket. Massey's true character came out on the video, a spoiled kid.

  • to get the fact Erik
    Nov. 22, 2007 5:41 a.m.

    You are absolutely mistaken. I am an attorney, although inactive at this time, and I can tell you that the officer does not have an obligation to prove anything when giving a citation, period. The state has the obligation in court. You are the one who needs to get the facts. This man was belligerent and refusing to do what the officer asked. How is the officer to know that this man is not going to assualt him. He is walking away and not complying with what the officer requested. BY LAW, the man is required to do what the officer tells him to do, period. Get your facts straight and don't talk about things you are obviously ignorant concerning.

  • Observant
    Nov. 22, 2007 5:06 a.m.


    A traffic stop is not a coutroom. If the guy in this video would have just politely provided the officer with his license and registration and then signed his ticket (which is not admitting anything other than the fact that he aknowleges that he is recieving it),none of this would have happened.
    He then would have had the opportunity to defend himself in court, with or without a lawyer and would probably have had the ticket thrown out.
    If you actually watch the video you will see that the man is combatitive from the start, blatently disobeys instructions multiple times, and leaves the officer with no other choice of action. The officer exercises great restraint and only tazers the man after the man is agressive with him.
    Remember a traffic stop, or an arrest is not a court of law , and is not the place to be violently arguing with the officer.

  • UNBELIEVABLE
    Nov. 22, 2007 4:39 a.m.

    Truly unbelievable that things like this can happen without immediate review and reprimand. Completely uncalled for, unjustified, unethical. I mean seriously, the video explains itself. Diffusion, if you want to call it that, could have been obtained so much easier. All the guy wanted to know was justification for his citation, which he deserved and didn't get. Incidents like this are why there are so many people pushing against tasers. They can be valuable tools, but not when utilized like this. Ashamed that a 14 year "veteran" of the force would act like this. I am anxious to see how this pans out. Good luck to the Massey family. For those that haven't seen the video yet, please watch it. You will understand.

    Lt. BPD

  • Anonymous
    Nov. 22, 2007 4:25 a.m.

    Disrespect to a trooper writing a ticket is not right. Nor was it right to taser the individual. Both were wrong. This law enforcement officer has lost the public trust in a huge way. Removal is warranted.

  • Emjay
    Nov. 22, 2007 4:11 a.m.

    If an officer had done this to me or anyone in my family two months ago and his, or her, commanding officers still had not made any kind of statement or decision, I too would have put public pressure on the powers-that-be via the internet. Especially if I knew that this "public servent" was still carrying lethal weapons and was not confined to a desk job for the duration.

    My daughter has an important interview in SLC next week and my sister e-mailed the film clip to me from Indiana. We used to live in Sandy, before the Olympics. Things seem to have decayed since then and I am truly frightened that she and her family will be spending a full week in Utah.

    I will worry from the minute they cross the Green River.

  • Wrong, guys!
    Nov. 22, 2007 2:55 a.m.

    Signing a ticket is NOT an admission of guilt. Were it an admission of guilt there would be no traffic court, as the verdict would have already been determined. All traffic tickets CLEARLY state, "This is not an admission of guilt but merely a promise to appear at the time and place designated."

  • Patrick
    Nov. 22, 2007 2:34 a.m.

    The problem that I have with this situation is not about who was right and who was wrong, rather my problem is the use of the taser in a situation were the officer was obviously not in danger for his safety. People think that because the taser is non-lethal, it can be used in any situation, it is still a dangerous device which can cause death in some people. I have a serious heart condition and if i were to be tasered, it could be a death sentence. Some people have left comments on this thread to the effect that the guy deserved it, implying that the taser should be used as a punishment device if a suspect is non cooperative. It is not up to an officer to punish someone, that is for the courts. It is almost like you are cheering for the officer to "set that guy straight." Again, that is not a police officers job. If this kind of reckless use of taser devices is not stopped, someone like me will end up paying the ultimate price for it.

  • Jake
    Nov. 22, 2007 1:39 a.m.

    I think that both the officer and Massey have huge egos. When the officer approached the car, Massey was already becoming unruly. But I do think that the officer tagged him a little too quickly. From the video, Massey seems like the type of person who would submit under slight physical force. But the officer is not required to use physical force over the use of a restraining weapon.

  • Can't we all just get along?
    Nov. 22, 2007 1:39 a.m.

    I feel so much safer with this officer on the road.

  • ed kandefer
    Nov. 22, 2007 1:35 a.m.

    I cant believe what happened to this poor man at the hands of this power happy trooper. The trooper out right Lied to the other trooper after the wife drove away to make him self-look good.
    The trooper is a liar and should be fired and used excessive force with no reason and I am sure the trooper new he was wrong and tried to cover it up, who knows what else he has covered up in the past.
    If anyone should have been arrested it should have been the trooper.
    I am disgusted and sickened to know that the Utah Highway Patrol lets this type of stuff go on without action.
    What happened to Serve and Protect??????????

  • ScottyDog
    Nov. 22, 2007 1:03 a.m.

    What we had here is a failure of communication.

    Had the officer explained the ticket instead of being on a macho man trip this situation more than likely would have never happened.

    Quick draw then tells his fellow officer several lies and brags about tasing the citizen.

    This guy does not deserve the trust of his fellow officers or the public and should be forced to find another job where he does not have access to firearms or tasers.


  • commenter
    Nov. 22, 2007 12:20 a.m.

    My two cents:

    Apparently, not signing a ticket is grounds for arrest. I wasn't aware of that until I did some Google searches. I don't think this is common knowledge. If the trooper would have explained that this was grounds for arrest and given the driver a chance to decide for himself whether this was the path he wanted to go down I would be on the officer's side.

    Instead the trooper decided to punish the driver for the audacity of questioning him and immediately escalated the situation and let it spiral out of control.

    There was never a single verbal warning of the consequences, "I do not have to show you the speed limit sign, and refusal to sign this ticket will result in you being arrested right now.", "Stop resisting me or I will be forced to Taser you".

    Clearly the driver had a bit of an attitude, but the cop's ego and unprofessionalism (which clearly showed up in his glib comments about 'riding the taser') made my blood boil and I would love to see him severely punished.

  • Burt
    Nov. 21, 2007 11:21 p.m.

    To you critics who think the cops are so bad, should be fired, etc, I suggest the next time you need help, are in an accident, get robbed or assaulted or need protection from a stalker, call the closest ACLU.

    As a professional driver, I have logged over 3.5 million miles without a chargeable accident and damn few citations, but when I did get one, I deserved it. I was just glad they were out there on the road, because without them, imagine the chaos.

    Stop and think about it, get that chip off your shoulder and be thankful there are people who willing to do one of the most thankless jobs there is... Putting their lives on the line for you, every day, usually for less money than you would be willing to work for.

  • Alice
    Nov. 21, 2007 11:16 p.m.

    According to the article, this incident occurred September 14, more than two months ago. Why is it being published at this time?

    Is this an attempt to intimidate motorists during the Thanksgiving holiday?

    Coverage does not include information regarding what has happened to the trooper or Massey since September 14. If the date is a typo, when.....exactly.......was Massey tasered? Is Gardner still on patrol with a taser and other lethal weapons?

    This entire article.....as printed....lacks credibility.

    Has Massey filed a suit against UHP?

    How did the video get to YouTube?
    Report Abuse Edit | Hide

  • TxSmiler
    Nov. 21, 2007 11:07 p.m.

    I spent 15 yrs in law enforcement after 20 in the military. If this officer cannot handle this type of individual in this type of predictable situation then he is an absolute danger when the pressure is ratcheted up and involves real violence. He is a danger to the public and other officers. He clearly lost control of the situation and moved to an agressive solution without even trying to defuse the situation. There were several ways he could have asserted control and re established his authority. He was clearly very egotistical and quick tempered. Sadly, he is an accident waiting to happen again.

  • Bob Winn
    Nov. 21, 2007 10:52 p.m.

    The graveyards are full of officers who made the mistake of 'waiting' for a offender to comply. How was the officer to know if the offender was reaching for a gun, or returning to his vehicle to get one? The officer has every right to protect himself in such a situation. Officers are killed all the time because they gave the benefit of the doubt to the criminal.

    The 40 mph sign with red flags was plainly visible, before he stopped him, and one right in front of him when he stopped, and I'll bet it wasn't the only one the offender had passed. Obviously he passed the officer, who was probably going the speed limit.

    The offender is obviously an idiot. Only an idiot would tell an officer what the law is and demanding the officer prove anything. The proof will be offered in court, not along the side of the road. Oh yes, as to his demand to be read his rights. He is full of crap about that too. The Miranda rule says the individual(s) must be read their rights BEFORE they are questioned, and or before incarceration, not on demand by the offender.

  • Bob Winn
    Nov. 21, 2007 10:52 p.m.

    It has been a long time since I have seen so much ignorance being demonstrated in one place as I am seeing in these comments.

    Signing a citation is NOT an admission of guilt. It is just a promise to appear in court, or if you wish, post the amount of the fine and forfeit it. Plain and simple. Refusing to sign a citation requires the officer take the offender into custody. When the offender refuses to comply with the officers directions, it constitutes resisting arrest.

    The officer is NOT required to prove anything, proof of speed, speed zone, or anything else, to the alleged offender, demanding the officer 'take him back and show him the speed limit sign, refusal to obey direction to sign the citation, and walking away from the officer when he was instructed to put his hands behind his back, in addition to having his hand in his pocket.

    Obviously the tape was edited by whoever posted it on line, such as taking out what the offenders wife said when she was on the drivers side, prior to driving off. Who knows what else was doctored to make the officer look bad?


  • Stephanie
    Nov. 21, 2007 10:43 p.m.

    That officer was totally out of line. What a joke.

  • It's sixes
    Nov. 21, 2007 10:25 p.m.

    I watched the video a couple times, and well, I think both men could have behaved better. If you forced me to take sides, I would stand by the cop's decision. These men put their lives on the line every day. They should of course act with discretion, but shouldn't hesitate if they feel a threat is imminent. The driver makes a mistake by having a rebellious attitude from the beginning, and then hesitating to follow instructions. The fact that he starts to walk away with his hand in his pocket seals the deal. All that being said, I think this could have been handled better by the cop up to that point.

  • And Kud
    Nov. 21, 2007 10:23 p.m.

    First question i have is that why did the police stop before the sign? first officer blocks the speed sign and then he does to answer or tell the driver the speed that he was going on? or at least by how much he was over?
    does any one know?

  • Richy
    Nov. 21, 2007 10:15 p.m.


    I have a total of 18+ years experience in Law enforcement and I am trained in Radar (moving and stationary) pacing and Lidar..

  • Richy
    Nov. 21, 2007 10:11 p.m.


    An officer has a duty to uphold the law. Also with that responsibility the officer must Identify himself, give the reason(s) for the stop and be courteous to the motorist. All commands to the motorist are to be clear,concise and without sarcasm.

    After 6500 car stops and 2 complaints over 3 years of writing speeders and other violations, I now supervise. I demand that my officers treat the public with respect and to be courteous and informative. Anything less is unacceptable. Yes all that gets thrown out the window if the officer senses or encounters danger, but for the car stops which escalate, cooler heads do prevail.

    I noticed the current crop of officers/troopers etc. for the most part are a different breed, blame their FTO's who should smack some reason into these young pups.

  • Reconcile
    Nov. 21, 2007 10:10 p.m.

    They both probably have reason to feel frustration -- the cop, for having to deal with whiny people who show little respect for them in what is dangerous job and one that serves all of us, and the young man, for feeling that he was unfairly accused and then not given any explanation for the charge. Weve all felt both of these feelings, because they happen to all of us at some time. However, they both also need to grow up and start dealing with their frustration in a constructive way. We all do. We all make these mistakes when we know very well how to avoid them.

  • Night Stick?
    Nov. 21, 2007 9:51 p.m.

    Would we feel better if the officer had pulled out a night stick and used an arm-bar hold to control Massey? That is the alternative in the absence of a tazer. The officer would have had to make physical contact with Massey in that situation, and restrict Massey's ability to pull out a weapon or suddenly attack the officer. Massey snuck up on him!

    The officer did the right thing. The taze was the better alternative in this situation.

  • mark
    Nov. 21, 2007 9:50 p.m.

    Oh, and another thing for all you police officers out there. If you have just told a guy to get out of his car because you are going to arrest him, don't turn your back on him, crimeny, Officer Gardner, you turned your back on him.
    Remember, many of you guys have been shot and killed from "simple" police stops. Of course I am sure officer Gardner already knows this.
    Stay safe all you cops out there, and go home when your shift is over.

  • mark
    Nov. 21, 2007 9:40 p.m.

    Hmnn. . . I told my kids that when a cop tells you to do something, you do it. Even if you think the cop is wrong. If you think the cop is wrong deal with it afterwards in court or through the PD admin. But when a cop gives you an order, well you do it.
    Anyone know if you can be arrested for not signing a citation? Seems odd if you can, I don't know. Anyway if you cannot be arrested for refusing to sign, well what was the trooper thinking?
    But should dude have been tazed? Well, I wasn't out on that lonely stretch of desert road, but if I was and I had a guy with his hand in his pocket trying to leave, well. . . yeah, I can see why the trooper nailed him.
    Remember when around PD, good idea to keep your hands out of your pockets. And don't just start leaving. Especially when cop is aiming something at you. Just raise your hands above your head. That's from dealing with cops 101. Jared obviously missed that day of school.
    Remember officer Gardner just wants to go home after his shift.

  • Nineteen Eighty Four
    Nov. 21, 2007 9:34 p.m.

    It's too bad officer bacon got his skirt stepped on. He needs to be fired, but of course will not be. Jerks like this are an asset. As we head into this police state, boyz like he are needed who are willing to hurt, mane, and kill his fellow citizens. The only thing that matters here is the LAW, forget right and wrong. "You obey me because I'm the man, and if you don't, I have the LAW on my side, BAMM."

    And just think, we ourselves pay for this treatment. To officer friendly, we are all criminals waiting to take a ride on a tasser. If I ever see an officer in need, I'll just keep driving.

  • Idiots
    Nov. 21, 2007 9:31 p.m.

    You do NOT have a "right" to get an explanation for your "ticket" from the officer at the time. The officer writes up the ticket and gives it to you. End of story. He is a law ENFORCEMENT officer, NOT a judge! Explanations of the law are not the responsibility of law enforcement.

    Duh.

    More importantly, you do NOT have the right to resist arrest! For all you ignorant arm-chair judges, "arrest" means simply to "stop" someone. The officer "pulled Massey over" means he "arrested" him.

    You idiots prove your idiocy by arguing in favor of the idiot Massey. Learn the law before you pop off about your "rights"!

    Idiots.

  • Slade
    Nov. 21, 2007 9:20 p.m.

    I always thought tasers were less-than lethal devices. Meaning they should be one step below the use of lethal force. I think the man should have been arrested for ignoring the officers orders. But why didn't the officer try to arrest the man the old fashion way? grab his wrist and place the handcuffs on them? and then if the man resist arrest you use the taser. It seems now days too many officers jump at the chance to use it instead of de-escalating the situation.

  • both at fault
    Nov. 21, 2007 9:13 p.m.

    Massey probably knows a cop or two, gets his first ticket, and wants it explained.

    Cop doesn't feel like it, so tazes him.

    No biggie...

    Key thing here, though.

    One of the two is a trained professional who does it everday for a living.

    If we taze everyone who wants an explanation for a ticket, my electricity bill is going to skyrocket. So, if we could please just cut back on the tazes...

  • Kelley
    Nov. 21, 2007 9:08 p.m.

    Only in Utah!!! I hate to say it folks, but only in Utah do people get tasered for driving violations and criminally charged for kidnapping there daughter so she won't get married. Yes, in both events the State has the right to do what it does. But at the end of the day, this officer should have handled the matter more calmly. He was the one at fault in escalating the event. If trained properly, he could have spoken calmly to the guy about his speeding and the need to sign the citation.

  • A world full of Idiots
    Nov. 21, 2007 9:07 p.m.

    I can't believe people today, I guess I blame the mindless many and their unquestioning belief in the all mighty Bush, you bunch of sheep. This Trooper was a chump, my father spent 25 years in the CHP and after view this video said this trooper was a chump. You don't have to sign the damn ticket, you have the right to know what you are getting the ticket for and you for SURE have the right to get your Miranda Rights read to too upon your arrest. I feel the driver acted pretty professional even to the point of telling the officer to calm down. If that had been me I won't have handled it so calmly. Bottom line, that excuse for a man is lack in same area and needs to express his manhood by afflicting suffering on others.

  • linda
    Nov. 21, 2007 9:02 p.m.

    bush's torture policy brought home.

  • David
    Nov. 21, 2007 9:01 p.m.

    Please fire him, he is the criminal

  • Jim
    Nov. 21, 2007 8:52 p.m.

    If I had been his wife and had a gun the cop would be dead. I hate the ACLU, but this is one they should go for.

  • Reply: No Name
    Nov. 21, 2007 8:48 p.m.

    No Kidding.

    If you did testify in police brutality cases and your post is at all an indication of your mental state, there are people who you have wronged in our legal system.

    I really do hope that you are a poser and not a police officer. I have tons of respect for good police officers, but not for bullies or thugs.

    Thank you to you officers who risk your lives daily to keep our children and ourselves safe. We are truely thankful for you. Tomorrow you will be mentioned in our Thanksgiving Day prayers.

  • Rose to NYPD12Years
    Nov. 21, 2007 8:45 p.m.

    Get a life buddy. If you have been a cop for 12 years as you say you have, you should have seen some pretty good police brutality from your fellow cops in the Bronx. Be real get your head out of the cloud you must be on right now. Does the name Abner Louima mean anything to you. It should. NYPD has been the poster child for police brutality for decades.

  • Bryene
    Nov. 21, 2007 8:46 p.m.

    Unbelievable. This continues the trend where the Taser is used to get compliance (or revenge) instead of a last resort before firing his/her gun. All officers should treat the Taser as a potentially lethal weapon to be used only where a gun might have been used before. Would this officer have shot the man in the back with his/her gun and still be on duty??? I think not. The Taser should be no different. What if Jared died as the Polish man did in Vancouver Airport (another "to get compliance easily" situation). The officer would be fired and charged. Plus the real problems might be with the department as the little testosterone talk at the end between the two officers reveals. Kinda makes me wonder if the officer was sitting in front of the portable 40mph sign (which probably came from his trunk) to purposely block it to start with. With this unstable ego maniac, anything would be possible.

  • Bob
    Nov. 21, 2007 8:41 p.m.

    Both parties were obviously wrong. The driver has no right to make the demands he was making at the time of the stop. A police officer does not have to "prove" that the driver was speeding to cite him. The correct time and place for that is court. Also, the driver did not follow instructions and was warned by the trooper. Reckless behavior.

    The trooper, however, did not have to resort to use of the Taser. The driver, although in the wrong, and not cooperating, was not threatening the trooper, nor any other person. The trooper should not have drawn the taser until aftre he had tried to discharge his duty and explain to the driver (who was dense and frustrating) again why he was stopped and how the process works. It is all on tape and on the internet, UHP will have no choice but to review this properly and train their officers better.

  • Ray
    Nov. 21, 2007 8:34 p.m.

    The trooper was way out of line. The dept is trying to cover it up. This kind of abuse of power should never be aloud to go unchallenged by the people.

  • Poor Training
    Nov. 21, 2007 8:27 p.m.

    Why didn't Gardner disclose how fast Massey was driving? Seems to me that would have prevented the whole thing....wait maybe Gardner had NO CLUE how fast Massey was driving, if you watch the first 60 seconds of the video there is no way he could've of clocked his speed.

    I can't believe some in here are endorsing the Gardner's heavy handed actions. Anyone watching the tape can figure out that Massey thought he was heading back to discuss the speed limit signs.

    Gardner is a taze first and ask questions later type of cop. Massey isn't that out of control, he is asking a simple question...How fast was I going? All Gardner had to do was tell him. He could have also informed Massey that by not signing the ticket he would be arrested....didn't see that step by Gardner either.

    Gardner is one poorly trained UHP trooper. Looks like to me someone pencil whipped his training records in the area dealing with traffic violation protocols.

  • No Name
    Nov. 21, 2007 8:22 p.m.

    I have personally testified in two "police brutality" trials. This Massey punk deserves what he got and should have the book thrown at him. He is an arrogant, rebellious punk who is the cause of this situation.

    The officer had good reason to feel threatened. He did the right thing.

    Good work, officer.

  • brian inman
    Nov. 21, 2007 8:21 p.m.

    This officer deserves to go to jail himself. I want tosay more but these comments are monitored, and I think if I use bad language my comment will be deleted. Does anyone have the email address for his supervisor.

  • Father Robert
    Nov. 21, 2007 8:20 p.m.

    The so called officer should be FIRED at once.

  • dave
    Nov. 21, 2007 8:20 p.m.

    Insanity !
    Anyone without an agenda can watch this video and see how wrong this
    police officer was. Arguments to the contrary are in denial. The kid was no threat. I am afraid this is symptomatic of an endemic issue with Utah Law enforcement over stepping authority and excessive vigor.

  • Married Guy
    Nov. 21, 2007 8:03 p.m.

    The Cop should be fired. No question about it.

  • Another J
    Nov. 21, 2007 8:01 p.m.

    J writes: "How does anyone know what Massey's intentions were, with his hand in his pocket and walking back to the vehicle? If he were allowed to endanger the officer's life would the taser then be justified? He was protecting himself from the unknown. If that cop were your son, brother, or father...what would you have wanted him to do?"

    My dad was a cop for 29 years, so I think am qualified to answer. I would want my dad to protect himself from a legitimate threat, but I would also want him to respond professionally and calmly, unlike the officer in this situation. The article lists the circumstances under which UHP policy allows tasering. None of those were present in this incident. Certainly Mr Massey's behavior exacerbated the situation, but the officer responded badly, seemingly more out of frustration and anger than from a legitimate, or even legitimately perceived threat. He also misrepresented the incident to the officer who arrived later. There are good cops, there are bad cops. In this case, he was a bad cop.

  • Tuff Cop-No he is a wooos
    Nov. 21, 2007 7:58 p.m.

    I can not believe that anyone-even you cops out there-can defend this trooper.

    If the troooper was a real officer of the law he would have told the driver he was placing him under arrest and read him his rights. Then he would have asked him to step out of the vehicle and put the cuffs on the guy.

    This cop likes to put pain on people-he is a torturer and should be given the same treatment. To place bodily harm on someone because you can't be a man....What a woooossss.

  • Dear John
    Nov. 21, 2007 7:41 p.m.

    Great post...

    Maybe in "genpop" (cool name) without his taser he would even be able to do a community service thing like collect DNA samples to possibly help solve unsolved cold cases.

  • Hi J
    Nov. 21, 2007 7:31 p.m.

    If the cop were related to me I would be embarrased.

    I would never let him know, because he might taze me for not following his instructions, that he never gave me, just like the guy in the video.

    Police officers can't just run around tazing because they want.

    Even the Framers knew this 230 years ago. James Madison wrote in Federalist #51:

    "In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself."

    The officer needed to exercise self control. there are probably thousands of more professional ways it could have been handled.

    Don't group teachers, UHP and other police officers in with this bully. This guy needs to spend some time in jail for assault without his taser.

  • John
    Nov. 21, 2007 7:31 p.m.

    Throw the cop in prison for a month or so, nothing crazy, but put him in genpop just for fun, and see if he ever uses his taser again.

  • Taylor
    Nov. 21, 2007 7:23 p.m.

    The officer was probably a picked on person growing up and has a small man complex. So lets see he used the tazer on the guy in the BACK! I don't know how dangerous someone is from behind. I can't believe the UHP is still keeping this guy just because its a busy holiday. Looks like a bad situation for them on damage control. The guy should be fired or at least put him to work at the drivers license division.

  • Dan
    Nov. 21, 2007 7:18 p.m.

    This lunacy with these taser-happy officers is getting out of control, and with things being what they are, it's only a matter of time before these oblivious officers are gunned down because someone feels they need to protect themselves from these power-mad idiots who threaten to kill people based on a situation where no force is required.

    This officer overstepped his bounds, and I hope he finds himself out of work as a result. He clearly doesn't deserve to wear the uniform he's been given, and every day he does is just further disgrace to the real officers of the UHP.


  • jimbo
    Nov. 21, 2007 7:18 p.m.

    amen J!

  • J
    Nov. 21, 2007 7:04 p.m.

    How does anyone know what Massey's intentions were, with his hand in his pocket and walking back to the vehicle? If he were allowed to endanger the officer's life would the taser then be justified? He was protecting himself from the unknown. If that cop were your son, brother, or father...what would you have wanted him to do?

  • Deputy from Iowa
    Nov. 21, 2007 6:50 p.m.

    In our house, we are ashamed of the Officer. Many Officers are professional and follow the law; this one did not. He should be fired. Some Commenters said the Officer was stopping an unknown person, and this could be dangerous. Please remember that at this point, the officer had a record of the vehicle plate, and had run the computer check on it; and he had a record of the driver's license, and had checked him out, also. So this was not an entirely unknown person. His record was clean. He presented very, very little threat.

  • Sit, Ubu, Sit
    Nov. 21, 2007 6:46 p.m.

    Cop told him to get out of the car. That's why he did. This cop should not be allowed to work with adults, or children.

    You can tell by the posts which ones are the high testosterone power junkie cops that think everyone should jump just because they can finally grow a mustache.

    Way too fast on the trigger, there, public "SERVANT".

    There was NO need for your force, you were just having a bad day and felt someone needed to "Ride the Taser".

    I know they make cops get tazed before they can taze, but I think they should make them get tazed for everytime they taze, the same way they should be pepper-sprayed for everytime they do it to a citizen...

    Make them think twice.

    Oh, and me, never been tazed, or peppered, but I have received tickets from dishonest Utah cops, two of which were dismissed by the judges in front of the "officers". One, I had to fly to St. George from CA, but it was worth it to see the officer explain how I was going faster than 40 mph where there was no 40 mph zone (they like the money mailed in).

  • JIMBO
    Nov. 21, 2007 6:42 p.m.

    IF THE MAN IN QUESTION WOULD HAVE PULLED A GUN OUT OF HIS POCKET OR IF ALLOWED TO CONTINUE TO HIS VEHICLE AND CAME BACK WITH A GUN WOULD THE TASER BE APPROPRIATE THEN? THE OFFICER HAD NO CLUE AS TO WHAT HIS INTENTIONS WERE. HE PROTECTED HIMSELF IN AN UNKNOWING SITUATION.

  • Mark in VA
    Nov. 21, 2007 6:38 p.m.

    This was obviously an abuse of force. The officer did not meet the requirements to deploy his taser and could have used other means to restrain the driver. What I can't believe is that this officer is still on patrol. He should be riding a desk until the results of the investigation. I agree that the driver should have signed the ticket and moved on, but the driver DID have a right to know how fast he was going.

  • porky
    Nov. 21, 2007 6:32 p.m.

    sign the ticket and move on. he deserved what he got.

    like teachers, UHP are underpaid and get no respect.

  • Mark
    Nov. 21, 2007 6:26 p.m.

    I will pray for the young couple who were so badly mistreated. Government should never have this kind of power over innocent citizens. I sincerely hope they sue the Patrol, and win a very large judgment, and that Officer Gardner is relieved of his employment. How else can this kind of abuse be avoided in the future?

  • David
    Nov. 21, 2007 6:21 p.m.

    Trooper did a good job. Massey argued from the beginning and resisted arrest. If you resist arrest you deserve the taser.

  • To Relax Again
    Nov. 21, 2007 5:45 p.m.

    Yes, Mr. Massey should have played the sheep. But there was NOTHING about his demeanor that suggested that he "might be under the influence". He was just pissed off, but not in a beligerent way. As for 68mph, I didn't hear that in the video and I've watched it a few times. Frankly, in the video, he doesn't appear to be travelling very fast. The only serious MPH going on in the video was the speed of StormTrooper Gardner going for his taser. Which, by the way, is a dangerous weapon that has killed numerous people over the last few years. It is NOT to be drawn lightly - and that is why so many people are up in arms at this news story - in fact, that is WHY this is a news story at all.

  • Harry Fenton
    Nov. 21, 2007 5:40 p.m.

    Tasers have caused over 70 deaths in the US and Canada. Simply put, they should only be used in situations where lethal force is threatened. Recently, they have been used on an autistic child and a handcuffed woman. No one should be killed for speeding 10 miles over the limit or peacefully refusing to sign a citation for that matter. If Trooper Gardner had shot Jared Massey for his refusal to sign a citation, there would be no question of Trooper Gardner's dismissal and prosecution. There is no real distinction here between the use of a taser and a gun, because there was no need for either.

    It is also a shame that we need YouTube to accelerate an internal affairs investigation into an unstable meter-maid wannabe. Fire him and prosecute him and create an example of how not to behave as an officer of the law.

  • TQ
    Nov. 21, 2007 5:07 p.m.

    1. He should have signed the ticket and explained it too the judge.
    2. Dont sign a ticket go to jail, signing the ticket is a promise to appear not admitting quilt.
    3. He also initially refused to give the officer he license and registration.
    4. He repeatedly refused to obey the orders of the officer.
    5. He put his hand in his front pocket and turned to leave. Stupid.
    6. Number one places officers are killed is on traffic stops. And sometimes the bad people look like normal innocent people.

    Now as a cop this trooper made some mistakes, but tazing him was an option available and he used it. It is a soft hand control form.
    7. This guy was an idiot who did not use the proper adult judgement that having a drivers license should he should have.

  • Genen
    Nov. 21, 2007 5:02 p.m.

    Please DO condemn the agency for the one person.

    That is the ONLY way the UHP will understand what happened was a result of bad training or hiring practices.

    Laws are meant to be enforced and that is a good thing, but it doesn't take a genius to know that HOW you enforce laws can not be left in the hands of the cops on the street "(Underpaid, Overworked, OutGunned, No Community Support)" No you have to develop standards of enforcement at a senior level and define reasonable force for a given situation and the proper techniques for diffusing stressful situations. Then provide education to the beat cops to understand their roles.

    Either the UHP does not bother training its officers, or the training program is severely lacking. The action of this one officer demonstrate multiple errors of judgment and the use of a Taser in a manner that would get him demoted in just about any jurisdiction (except here apparently).


    The worst part, is that this will have a ripple effect across the US and many departments will have to redo training plans, and overall increase paperwork for providing officers with Tasers all because of this one incident.

  • Scary
    Nov. 21, 2007 5:01 p.m.

    Watch the video... the officer was pulling his tazer immediately upon setting his clipboard down. At this point Massey was just pointing at a sign. And if Massey was so dangerous, why did the cop turn his back to him to put his papers on the bumper. This is a scary that such an obvious abuse of power has gone unpunished. There is no justification for the cops behavior.

  • Hank Price
    Nov. 21, 2007 4:55 p.m.

    I completely disagree with the actions of the officer and with the law that you can be subject to arrest if you do not sign the citation. However, in most states, the traffic ticket contains a notice to you of a pending court date at which you must appear. By signing the ticket, you are providing an acknowledgment of receipt of the "notice to appear." Since the officer is charging you with a violation of law, he could take you into custody. By signing the traffic ticket, you avoid being taken into custody at that time, and are "released on your own recognizance" pending the court date. A person is free to refuse to sign the traffic ticket; however, the police officer is free to place him/her under arrest and take him/her into custody.

    Here, the officer did a terrible job of explaining that no guilt is acknowledged by signing the ticket. He escalated a typical situation into a potentially deathly one. That is why he should be summarily fired and prosecuted with undue use of force. It didn't need to happen and now he has made it harder for others on the force.

  • Appalled
    Nov. 21, 2007 4:51 p.m.

    There was nothing professional in that officer's conduct. He apparently failed to record the speed properly, failed to disclose how he got the speed or what it was, failed to explain the nature of what was being signed, failed to disclose he was arresting, failed to use proper force, failed to remove the driver from an incredibly dangerous position in the street, failed to accurately describe the event to the fellow officer.

    But some people criticize the driver for not understanding the law? Seriously?

    This psycho cop needs to be charged with criminal conduct, sued in a civil court, and barred forever from carrying weapons of any sort.

  • Get me outta here
    Nov. 21, 2007 4:44 p.m.

    Who can blame Massey for speeding? Stuck in a car with a pregnant wife in the middle of nowhere and three hours from anywhere. I'd be going as fast as I could to get home too.

  • DCnTN
    Nov. 21, 2007 4:37 p.m.

    After watching it a second time I heard the key sentence that goes to the crux of the matter. The cop told his buddy "he was acting like he was in charge."

    Well I guess you showed him who was really in charge. It was all about power.

  • Kevin
    Nov. 21, 2007 4:29 p.m.

    I support the police officer here. The driver wasn't listening and was not accepting the ticket. The officer could have placed him under arrest after a dangerous take down on a busy highway or tazer him which was much safer for everyone. The driver was returning to his vehicle and had no intention of complying with the officer's demands. I don't know why everyone would believe the policeman would no authority to do what he was doing. It's simple, if you disagree with a ticket, go to court.

  • Harry Fenton
    Nov. 21, 2007 4:28 p.m.

    This is a disgrace to Utah and to the badge. This officer should be prosecuted for assault and serve time. The notion that someone can be brutalized and arrested outside of Putin's Russia for failure to countersign a citation is ludicrous. The average person would think they were signing an acknowledgement of guilt. And if they failed to sign, so what? An arrestable offense??? They have a video of the alleged speeding (not that it seemed he was going too fast) and his license plate; the countersignature is overkill and the quick pull on the taser would have been negligent homicide if Massey had a weak heart. Who can trust cops after this - nothing in this officer's demeanor or actions distinguished him from a base criminal. Then the cop lies and says that Massey was "in charge", etc. This officer is the same type of guy that commits atrocities at Abu Graib; we don't need him in our country or "serving" the people. Shame on him and shame on Utah for employing him.

  • Ken
    Nov. 21, 2007 4:25 p.m.

    I appreciate those who are out there protecting us from the REAL bad guys. What this UHP trooper did was reprehensible and he needs to be disciplined. He also needs to be put on administrative leave without pay until this whole investigation is completed. I've seen enough situations where highway patrol troopers, sheriffs, and local police have violated speeding laws with impunity (and they get away with it)!!

    On one occassion I had a blow-out on I-215 going to work and was cited for speeding. Come to find out I had a hole the size of a balloon in my left rear tire. The trooper that investigated my accident didn't even bother to get out of his patrol car to investigate the accident (the left rear of my car was totalled).

    Taking the matter to court was a big joke. I even took a letter from a witness who stopped to assist me even before HP arrived, written on his own letterhead no less, that wasn't accepted by the pin-headed judge. My big mistake was not taking a picture of the accident.

    HP apparently has legislative powers and automatically issues tickets at accidents regardless of fault. Paying attention, DOPS?

  • anony
    Nov. 21, 2007 4:24 p.m.

    Any cop that pulls a weapon of any sort in a non-threatening confrontation has just forfeited his life and right to any sort of authority or protection by the law.

    In other words, the cop could have and possibly should have been shot on sight for escalating this speeding ticket into a dangerous encounter.

    I carry a gun at all times, and am prepared to kill any cop that oversteps his authority such as this. Let this be a warning to all of you.

  • DCnTN
    Nov. 21, 2007 4:19 p.m.

    Neither person conducted themselves the way that they should have, however the officer acting in and official capacity has a much greater responsibility in the matter. Police officers should be professional enough to put duty over pride and conduct themselves professionally no matter how badly the public treats them.

    The public should be respectful of law enforcement as a matter of principle. However, this is in large part because law enforcement has earned that respect by their past behavour. If police officers expect continuing respect from the public they must continue that tradition of behaving professionally.

    Signing a ticket is not an admission of guilt, but refusing to sign one means that you can be arrested instead of just being cited for the offense.

    The cop needs to be officially sanctioned in some way, and fired if he can't prove he can handle the power that comes with the badge. Letting him off sends the wrong message to other officers.

    Unfortunately law enforcement has to be careful who they hire, because bullies seek power. However, my experience is that the vast majority of police officers are terrific people who do a great job.

  • US Citizen
    Nov. 21, 2007 4:20 p.m.

    The cop was out of line. Massey should be allowed to pull Gardner over with his family in the car at some random time and taser him a few times for fun.
    Plus he should lawyer up and collect a few hundred million from the citizens of Utah for allowing fascist totalitarian type cops represent them.

  • To NY Cop from SL Cop
    Nov. 21, 2007 4:19 p.m.

    I think a little courtesy and an explanation from the trooper might have solved the problem. In most cases, mouth first, force second. That's how I was trained and I know that's how you were trained. Another thing that is not even arguable is that the trooper left the man face down unattended in front of his patrol car while he went to talk to the man's wife. How many times do you know of a police car that was hit from behind while on a traffic stop? The correct answer is plenty of times. To leave a defenseless, handcuffed person in such a dangerous position is inexcusable. I agree cops have a tough road, but this was too much too fast and too out of line to be overlooked.

  • Be quiet and no one gets hurt
    Nov. 21, 2007 4:17 p.m.

    Pulling over an unknown individual does put an officer"s life at stake. Although I feel that the officer could have given a few more chances before the tazing, Massey clearly thought that he did not have to obey the officer. Take the ticket to court if you have a problem but don't put the officer or yourself in danger.

  • Fellow Morman
    Nov. 21, 2007 4:15 p.m.

    He probably just had a rough morning with his14 wives and 77 children. Give him a break.

  • Buddha For brains
    Nov. 21, 2007 4:11 p.m.

    Was there a reason for the cop to not say how fast the guy was speeding? Well, if the cop did not know, then that would explain his silence.

    It's not that difficult to say from the outset, "Sir you were traveling 10 mph over the speed limit." Of course if the cop was fishing for fines, then he placed two citizens at risk - Massey and his pregnant wife.

    Massey did not help himself by walking away, but the cop should have stated the specifics from the outset.

  • jim h
    Nov. 21, 2007 4:12 p.m.

    Would someone from Utah that knows the law tell us if you ae required to sign a ticket.

  • Joe
    Nov. 21, 2007 4:12 p.m.

    From the beginning, it's obvious that the trooper parked his car in front of the speed limit sign, which distracts drivers from observing the sign. Second, the dumb trooper races to pull over a driver for speeding at the point of the sign. Give him a few seconds to slow down! Third, because the trooper apparently has no detector to tell him how fast the guy was speeding, the trooper won't even tell the guy how fast his speed was. How the heck can the guy get a fair shake in court for a "speeding ticket" if the trooper won't even tell him how fast he was going????

    The illegal search for narcotics, coming up with a cantaloupe, was a nice touch. So was the terrorizing of the pregnant woman.

    Imagine if this were 30 years ago, before dashboard videos, when cops used real guns.

  • UHP Officer
    Nov. 21, 2007 4:11 p.m.

    That gentleman is lucky that I didn'tpull him over. Out in the middle of nowhere like that I would have turned off the camera and done a number on his face with my flashlight. Then I would have tazed that stupid bitch wife of his for being dumb enough to breed with that waste of life. Then I would go home to my six wives and 32 kids and enjoy a nice meal followed by crazy orgy with all of em.

  • Clark Hodges
    Nov. 21, 2007 4:00 p.m.

    As a 35 year career law enforcement officer, I can see many discrepancies in the public's perception of their "rights" and the officers lack of explanation. Speeding is not a crime but not signing the ticket is. The citation should have said what the alleged violating speed was, if Massey had read it, but the officer failed to explain that he could contest the charge in court and that refusing to sign would result in his arrest. The officer failed to tell him he was being placed under arrest, making the use of force very questionable. Then he left him lying in the roadway while he talked with the female passenger, leaving the driver to wander up behind the officer.
    P.S. You don't have to be read your rights if you are not being questioned.
    Bottom line-sign the ticket and go to court with your explanation, photos, diagrams, etc.
    Don't condemn the agency for one person's mistakes. I'm sure that his actions are not in accordance with their standard policies. They shuould use this tape as a training tool for other officers so that they don't make the same mistakes.

  • Deseret Morning News
    Nov. 21, 2007 3:57 p.m.

    Name calling is not permitted in Deseret Morning News comments. Posters are urged to make their posts in a civil tone rather than call somebody a derogatory name.

  • RE: Erik
    Nov. 21, 2007 3:56 p.m.

    The nauseating condescension in your posts shows why our "public servants" are of such poor quality. In theory, speed limits and other motor laws may be intended to ensure "safety", but in practice, they generate tons of revenue for local governments. You're either in blatant denial or simply out of your mind. This is precisely why the officer was so vague about the reason for the citation in the first place. Drivers rarely, if ever, win in court and going to court to contest a citation necessitates court fees on top of the fine. This is why most drivers simply opt to pay their way out. You and your ilk think you can bully the citizens who pay your salaries into blindly accepting your word as "law," but that's not how it works. Sorry.

  • NY Cop
    Nov. 21, 2007 3:51 p.m.

    Quick question for all you "experts" out there: Just what should the officer have done when the motorist chose to just walk away? Tackle him and hit him with a baton? That's what we used to do, and everyone called it brutal. Now we have a taser, no permanent damage and less danger to both the Officer and the perp. Hey this guy was talking 2 minutes after being tased. So what is the reaction? Do something else! The only problem is nobody can say just what that something else is. If you don't comply with the police bad things happen.

    A few factual points:
    Signing the summons is NOT an admission of guilt, it's a pledge to appear in court. We don't do it here in NY but lots of places do. Under Utah law, if you refuse to sign you can be arrested, which is just what happened.

    You only need to be given Miranda rights PRIOR TO QUESTIONING! Real police work is not like TV, he did not have to be mirandized at that point.

    The place an officer has to prove anything is in COURT, he has no right "see the sign" until in a COURTROOM!

  • Anonymous
    Nov. 21, 2007 3:48 p.m.

    Speeding in a construction zone? That video was 10 minutes long and I never saw one construction worker, not one construction truck, not even a lone orange barrel blowing like a tumbleweed across the highway.

    Perhaps settlements like this guy is about to win from the UHP have forced the state to cut UDOT's workforce!

  • Anonymous
    Nov. 21, 2007 3:38 p.m.

    Unbelievable. No rights read, no explanation given--the officer stepped out of line. Tasering and arresting the man, and then threatening to arrest a woman who is seven months pregnant!! All for not signing a ticket? You gotta be kidding me.

    This officer needs to be let go.

  • Don't taze me bro!
    Nov. 21, 2007 3:38 p.m.

    Where did this guy train, Guantanamo Police Academy? You can talk all you want about how Massey was not listening to the officer, but is pumping 50,000 volts into someone's back really the only way to diffuse a situation? Is there really no other way to handle someone who questions why they were pulled over? I watched that video over and over trying to find something that would have indicated Massey was a threat to the officer and can't find a thing. And the way he treated the wife and lied to her and other officer is just sick. Get that guy off the patrol immediately.

  • Pretender
    Nov. 21, 2007 3:34 p.m.

    42 USC 1983. Congratualations, you've just won the opportunity to pursue a nice taxpayer funded settlement thanks to your local unfriendly UHP trooper! Hopefully a nice settlement will cure the rampantly spreading small man's disease that is quickly staining the honor of many brave men.

  • Gary
    Nov. 21, 2007 3:30 p.m.

    There is another very good article in this same paper dealing with the removal of crosses of DEAD former troopers that were killed in the line of duty. Doing the same thing here.... those who have never been in Law Enforcement/Military and face the chance of never seeing your loved one again because this idiot wouldn't follow directions. If all you Lawyers out there that think you know the Law. Leave the comfort of your small world and join the UHP (Underpaid, Overworked, OutGunned, No Community Support) and they put their lives on the line for each one of us each and every day and are damned if they do and damned if they don't. I would rather you just say thank you and go on your marry way. If not Shut the hell up, put on the uniform and let you and your family wonder daily if you will be home tonight. Thank you UHP, Local, State, Federal, Military for letting me have the freedoms I enjoy

  • steve
    Nov. 21, 2007 3:28 p.m.

    And this guy is still working his shift? What kind of police department do you run in Utah? I hope this young family sues their pants off for allowing this Barney Fife to have a badge.

  • Good Cop, Bad Cop
    Nov. 21, 2007 3:20 p.m.

    I have respect for the law, but fools thike this guy are what get good cops in trouble.

    If this guy doesn't get fired, we've got a major problem on our hands.

    100% Uncalled For.

  • Ken
    Nov. 21, 2007 3:15 p.m.

    Can anyone tell me what the Utah law says about signing speeding tickets? I'm sure that the average motorist doesn't know whether or not it's against the law to refuse signature on a speeding ticket.

    Personally, I think that there are a lot of motorists that need speeding tickets (and more). And I also believe that law enforcement should be respected. But if one legitimately feels unduly cited, one might not feel inclined to legitimize the speeding ticket at that moment with a signature.

    So what's the law say? Was this guy in the right for refusing to sign it? Even if he wasn't, I highly doubt he should have been arrested, let alone Tasered. Let him walk away and send him the ticket, for Pete's sake.

  • IBM
    Nov. 21, 2007 3:13 p.m.

    Is this what America has become?? Little wonder the world looks upon this once great nation with such derision. Fortunately, this flagrant abuse of power has been captured on Video. Sadly, it is now in the media all over the world.

  • Anonymous
    Nov. 21, 2007 3:02 p.m.

    Horrible abusive officer! He needs to be stripped of his badge because he is abusing his authority and obviously can't handle it!! The people have spoken and the public sentiment is overwhelmingly in favor of the taser victim.

  • Erik
    Nov. 21, 2007 3:01 p.m.

    To those of you who disagreed with me so forcefully: I actually am a decision maker. I work as a special prosecutor for Ada County, Idaho. I see kids like this every single day and perhaps you could argue that I'm jaded but be reminded of the simple facts. When you are an officer in a remote location with backup several minutes away, your decision making is affected. Stop being ignorant. If you read newspapers or watch news reports from around the country, the incidence of officer shootings and assaults has skyrocketed recently. I'm sure the UHP, like any other effective agency has briefed their officers of these facts and the need for heightened caution. In several of these incidents, the perpetrator has been in the presence of wife and/or children. Having a family does not immediately absolve or preclude someone from committing crime, as is seen here. (He was speeding in a construction zone.) Those speed limits are not posted for revenue, as one ignorant reader posted. They are there to protect the construction workers, who are working in an area where higher speeds cause them to be in more danger. Stop being so ignorant. BYU class '03.

  • Fire Him
    Nov. 21, 2007 2:56 p.m.

    Immediately. This guy obviously does not know how to perform his job. One can only imagine all the other people who have been disserviced and brutalized by this officer before this video turned up.

  • Brandy/Texas
    Nov. 21, 2007 2:50 p.m.

    Trooper Gardner should not of recieved his 6 month diploma in law enforcement. He should be arrested. His hot temper and ego got the best of him, this time on video! He never explained anything to the wife or the husband, he kept talking over both of them, because "He's in charge"!Your guilty until proven innocent to UHP. Treat others like you would want to be treated John Gardner, you should be ashamed of yourself along with your department. He should not still be on the street's. I am sure glad your not in Texas.
    WOW; is an understatement.

  • Californian
    Nov. 21, 2007 2:47 p.m.

    The thing I can't get over is how he treated the wife. He was absolutely rude to her. Honestly, he was all about putting fear into these people. Wasn't there a time (in the good old days) when the police tried to help people and make the world safer. I won't be driving in Utah any time soon--I am pregnant and afraid of the cops there.

  • Deseret Dawg
    Nov. 21, 2007 2:27 p.m.

    Sure is a lot of anti-cop bias on this thread. Yes, the UHP officer clearly used excessive force and acted like he learned police tactics from watching "Cops" on Fox. At the very least, the UHP officer should be suspended for one week without pay, assuming that his past record is otherwise clean.

    However, the civilian is not without blame. When a cop tells you you're under arrest, you do NOT just casually walk away. You obey the cop's instructions. Period. Otherwise, the cop will assume the worst.

  • Larissa
    Nov. 21, 2007 2:19 p.m.

    I don't understand some of these comments! How can some of you say, "he was going back to his car to drive away"? He was backing up because the police officer pulled a taser on him! Any normal person who has a taser being pointed at him, without warning and for a piss poor excuse, would back up.
    If you watch the video on youtube, you will see that even the trooper knew he was in the wrong, because when he was asked by another officer, who arrived at the scene afterwards, what had happened, HE LIED! He totally changes the story!

  • Beware!
    Nov. 21, 2007 2:15 p.m.

    There are police organizations all over Utah that are using the Patriot Act questionably by some of these same idiots who wear the badge! Good comments by the real police with experience as having knowledge always out does the use of force. Hope this never happens in front of my family nothing personal all professional!

  • Matt
    Nov. 21, 2007 2:02 p.m.

    Serve and protect?

    Or serve and protect your own sick struggle for power?

    A lot of cops are getting into the force to control and punish people, not to serve and protect.

    He needs to be re-trained or possibly fired.

  • On the fence
    Nov. 21, 2007 1:55 p.m.

    I'm not trying to make excuses for the officer. I think his actions were rash and he seems as though he's taking his bad day out on Massey.

    However, you can't place the blame solely on him. There were actions on Massey's part that I see as childish, immature, disrespectful and suspicious. He also showed no restraint. All he had to do was obey a few simple commands. He talks of rights, but this officer has rights to take action against percieved threats. If you want to get tazed, make a move for your pocket while your being difficult, which he did.

    Cooler heads could have prevailed on both sides. I personally think Massey himself or his lawyer leaked this tape to the public to draw up this kind of negative publicity. I hope the investigation isn't slanted because the whole country watched the video on youtube and called in complaints to UHP and the governor's office.

  • Huh?
    Nov. 21, 2007 1:52 p.m.

    Robert Conlan, did you watch the video. The guy was not being rational. Rational people just sign the ticket and fight it in court.

    The press makes such a big deal over taser use. It's not a big deal. I don't know if the officer was justified in this case, but it's better to be tasered than wrestled to the ground.

    As for those of you who think the UHP is a revenue generating device, that's one of the stupidest things I've ever been presented with.

  • Francine
    Nov. 21, 2007 1:51 p.m.

    Also, some people seem to think the man was tased for for refusing to sign the ticket or for resisting an officer or resisting arrest, not true. if you watch the entire footage, he was tasered for daring to ask Gardner questions about the ticket, refusing to sign the ticket before his questions were answered and then acting with incredulity when Gardner whipped out his Taser. Tased for asking a question.

  • NYPD 12 Years
    Nov. 21, 2007 1:46 p.m.

    Come on Utah!!! Train your people. This guy Gardner wouldn't last 1 month in Brooklyn. As a law enforcement pro I would say this is one of the most damning videos I have seen concerning police brutality. It looks has if the trooper has a major ego problem which is a dangerous in the field. My advice...less tv cop dramas...more handbook studying!

  • Dan
    Nov. 21, 2007 1:45 p.m.

    Bad cop, no donut!

  • Stewart
    Nov. 21, 2007 1:43 p.m.

    Refusing to sign doesn't imply guilt, it is only a promise to appear in court or pay the fine. Since this lawyer wannabe decided to refuse to sign, the only alternative is arrest. Since Massey resisted arrest by refusing to be cuffed, do you anarchists out there expect the officer to physically take him down alone. The tazer seems to be the safest way for both. I do agree that the officer should have answered his question by telling him that he had, by refusing to be cuffed, resisted arrest. Massey should have agreed to take his argument to court, the trooper is right the highway is no place to contest his ticket. Did he just expect the trooper to let him go?? Note: I don't have any family or friends that work for law enforcement, but I respect them, even when I have received a ticket. I have even been to court and won!

  • Lame
    Nov. 21, 2007 1:39 p.m.

    Miss Forsythe: this video was taken by the cop's car! He taped it himself! It is supposed to HELP officers justify their actions. In this case, all it proves is that he's not a good cop. Videos like this have caught cop shooters and a miriade of other violations. In this case, it doesn't do this cop much good.

  • Francine
    Nov. 21, 2007 1:37 p.m.

    Jeez, don't you cop-lovers know that people are killed every year because of these tasers? Incidentally, if he was such a threat and a danger to the officer, then why have all but the speeding charges been dropped? Duh! Asking why you were pulled over and co plying with an officers demands is not suffecient reason to get electrically tortured. You idiot cop-lovers would line up in front of the ovens if the person screaming at you to do so wore a uniform. I've read reports of handicap people, elderly, children as young as 4 getting tasered for "non-compliance" and then read comments by idiots who feel it was justified, by cops or their buddies most likely.

    And enough of this "cops put theirlives on the line every day" b.s.

    They do not! Cops lives are in jeopardy very rarely. Cops spend their day harrassing you and me for kicks and generating money for the locals or the state, they even get disciplinary actions taken against them if they don't generate enough revenue through citations. In other words if they can't find law breaker, then they have to create law-breakers, it's their job. just like prison gaurds and mercs. pathetic.

  • TJ
    Nov. 21, 2007 1:36 p.m.

    I don't get why the officer didn't just grab Massey when they were walking to the officer's car and then handcuff him. It was like the guy has OCD and doesn't like touching people or something. The officer never said I am placing you under arrest, place your hands behind your back. He should have said this right when Massey got out of the car, and he should have grabbed Massey's arms and put the handcuffs on. The cop has no idea how to even be a cop. He looked like a clown out there. Don't you think you should grab the guy and force him to comply and then if he doesn't, you can taze him? Instead, the officer gives him a few orders and then tazes him before using any other means to make Massey comply. It seems like the officer has really poor communication skills, but Massey needs to learn to comply to authority, whether he thinks he's right or wrong.

  • Robert Conlan
    Nov. 21, 2007 1:34 p.m.

    The police officer pulled the Taser gun out at the moment he asked Mr. Massey to turn around.

    In an effort to control the situation, this trigger-happy officer actively escalated the situation and ended up discharging his weapon on a calm and rational man.

    The officer then lied about his actions to Mrs. Massey and the backup officer.

    He should be put on desk duty until he is retrained.

  • Officer--How fast was I going?
    Nov. 21, 2007 1:14 p.m.

    Gardner blew it as a law officer.

    He failed to tell Massey how fast he was driving (the reason he pulled him over was for speeding).

    He failed to tell Massey that arrest was imminent if he didnt sign the ticket.

    He failed to tell Massey that he was placing him under arrest once he hopped out of the car for refusing to sign the ticket.

    He failed to warn Massey that he would be tasered for not obeying his order.

    He failed to use a proper amount of force in response when Massey disregarded of his order.

    He failed to place Massey immediately in back of his UHP vehicle after he cuffed him.

    He failed to follow UHP protocol and inflamed a situation that could have been solved in a more professional manner.

    The whole stop seems a bit dodgy on Gardner's part as he pulls over, lets Massey pass and then rapidly pulls him over before he even hits the 40 MPH zone.

    I am sick of hearing "if he had only obeyed he wouldn't have been tased". Gardner has a greater responsiblity as a UHP trooper and failed miserably.

  • youhavearighttoremainsilent
    Nov. 21, 2007 1:09 p.m.

    The right to remain silent includes the right to not have to sign anything. The reason for the right to remain silent is that without it, police can and will torture people to get people to talk. This is exactly what happened here: a man was tortured for exercising his right to remain silent. This is fascism, and it will get worse until we put a stop to it.

  • rationality
    Nov. 21, 2007 1:04 p.m.

    I love the people ranting about "obeying" police officers. Have you guys forgotten who pays their salaries? Are you all a bunch of sniveling little children? Part of being a cop is understanding how to diffuse situations using COMMUNICATION SKILLS before applying brute force. The cop explained absolutely nothing to this man about what he was being charged with, instead demanding blind obedience and conformity to a charge he couldn't even accurately describe. Regardless of whether signing a citation is an admission of guilt or not, why should anyone be required to sign a citation that hasn't even been properly written? He never indicated how fast Massey was driving! Why should a driver sign a fictitious citation and even agree to the process involved with disputing a specious allegation?

    This man was unarmed. He had his pregnant wife and toddler child in his vehicle. Please drop the asinine posturing about Massey putting an armed cop in danger. Obviously, you didn't watch the video, because such assertions are absolutely absurd. Gardener tasered the man not once, but twice.

  • Funny
    Nov. 21, 2007 12:58 p.m.

    I think the officer was well within his rights to protect himself. When a command is given, you obey it? If you don't then it is considered not compliance, then you fry them.

  • What's the law?
    Nov. 21, 2007 12:55 p.m.

    I keep reading that it is someone's right to ask to see the radar gun to prove they were speeding. Is this really a right? Can you really demand to see the radar gun? And does the cop really have to show you the speed limit sign?

    If anyone can tell me that, and what their source is, that would be great.

  • Rationality
    Nov. 21, 2007 12:53 p.m.

    The people posting comments supportive of the officer must work for the UHP. The officer could not even state how fast Massey was going and did not enter this information on the ticket that Massey was expected to sign. He probably never even clocked the speed, as he was initially driving in FRONT of Massey's vehicle! What's more, he never told Massey that refusing to sign the citation could POTENTIALLY result in arrest. Not everyone knows this. This is a minor SPEEDING ticket, not a violent crime. The very idea that a cop might react in such a way to a minor speeding infraction likely never entered the driver's mind.

    Cops are public servants, not unaccountable tyrants who have the right to demand that we "obey" their petty commands over the most trite affairs. The cop couldn't explain himself, because he was acting unreasonably and like a power-hungry maniac.

  • mjvincent
    Nov. 21, 2007 12:53 p.m.

    Granted the police officer isnt required to 'show the guy the speeding limit sign', and the alleged speeder was not following instruction. But in the video at no time did the alleged speeder seem threatening and yes I was a police officer at one time. Clearly in my own mind the police officer escalated the situation and endangered the man and his wife by the officer's own actions. He needs to be reprimanded.

  • PHXCOP
    Nov. 21, 2007 12:51 p.m.

    I didn't watch the video, but the solution was simple. If the speeding violation was a civil violation just write "served" on the bottom of the citation where the violator refused to sign. Give him the citation and tell him to have a nice day. Walk away and leave the violator to stew about the ticket. I bet the officer felt disrespected and let it get to him and in turn overreacted. I know its easy to criticize, but as an officer its better to think in the back of your mind, "is this gonna end up on the front page?"

  • Andrea
    Nov. 21, 2007 12:42 p.m.

    One point that needs to be clarified: An individual is NOT admitting guilt when he signs a ticket. It is just a promise to appear meaning he will take care of the ticket through the proper channels. If an individual chooses not to sign the ticket, the officer has the option to take the person to jail. Another point to be clarified: An officer is not required to show a violator the speed limit sign, nor is he required to show the radar.

    If you get pulled over for speeding, sign the ticket, fight it in court, if you so desire, not on the street.

  • Over Reacting, Unsafe Officer
    Nov. 21, 2007 12:38 p.m.

    I hope every officer who works with him gets a view his inability to gauge a situation properly. It's overreactions like his that put other officer's lives at risk. Trigger-happy, inexperienced officers are a danger to others on the force.

    I would not want to be that guy's partner, no way. Give me someone with a steady mind and a good sense of reason any day.

    That video getting everywhere is hopefully just the beginning of his punishment. He lied to the other officer about what he said prior to tazing.

    If he'll lie to a fellow officer, he can't be trusted. PERIOD.

  • Sometimes I'm Glad I Left Utah
    Nov. 21, 2007 12:37 p.m.

    I don't know which is more disturbing: a cop who tasers a nonviolent speeder or people who think that the officer's behavior is justified. If the public approves of abuses of power, then the police can get away with lying, arresting people without a cause, and unnecessary use of force. The trooper in this incident tarnishes the name of officers who put their lives on the line each day to protect the public from real criminals.

  • UHP are the devil
    Nov. 21, 2007 12:34 p.m.

    I hate traffic cops. They make their living harasing people to meet their quota. Get a real law enforcement job and arrest real criminals, not some guy going a few miles over the speed limit. Arrest the sex offenders.

  • Anonymous
    Nov. 21, 2007 12:20 p.m.

    as they say 2 wrongs dont make a right

  • officer, officer!
    Nov. 21, 2007 12:17 p.m.

    Come on ...read the miranda rights at least...what kind of training do the UHP get or maybe they get a little lower IQ because of the low pay. You get what you pay for!

  • the cop was right?
    Nov. 21, 2007 12:06 p.m.

    If it's so obvious that this was such a text book way for the taser to be used, why would it even be in the paper or getting air time or generating so much buzz? The interest this is generating obviously demonstrates that the officer's use of the taser has a lot of people very uncomfortable.

  • Rudy in LV
    Nov. 21, 2007 12:04 p.m.

    It's easy for some of you to believe the trooper acted reasonably, until you are are put in a comprimising situation like this. Then let's see if you still feel they are reasonable. I have experienced the "power trip" myself for going 5 miles too fast at 3:00 in the morning with no one else on the road (except our W. Jordan's finest). Too many times we are pulled over to fill the coffers when yet you see them being hypocritical & driving too fast or dangerous in non-emergency situations. These kind are bad apples & should not be allowed to perform in this role!

  • Marky
    Nov. 21, 2007 12:00 p.m.

    So much misinformation. So little time.

    The driver does not have to sign the ticket. Signing the ticket is not an admission of guilt.

    The cop does not have to "read you your rights." It's not required. If the cop does not, then your statements can't be used against you. That's it.

    The cop doesn't have to "prove" that you were speeding when he stops you at the side of the road. That's what happens in court.

    You do have to obey the orders of the police. When they say "stop" you must stop. When they say "turn around and put your hands behind your back, you must do that as well.

    Was the cop out of line? Maybe. But the driver's clear misunderstanding of the situation and failure to follow a few simple commands caused this situation to escalate.

    Too bad for everybody involved.

  • Self-appointed law professor
    Nov. 21, 2007 11:50 a.m.

    Signing the ticket is not an admission of guilt. It is an agreement to appear on the charge. You still get your day in court (unless you waive it by pleading guilty and paying the fine by mail).

    Failing to sign the ticket is saying, "I do not admit that I was here or ever saw this officer. You can't prove you actually pulled me over." The only recourse the officer has at that point is to arrest the driver and charge them immediately. You still get your day in court. But it's a lot less convenient for everybody involved.

  • Both were in wrong
    Nov. 21, 2007 11:41 a.m.

    Both people behaved badly.

    The officer overreacted. The speeder... 1. speeding, 2. refused to comply (both the speedlimit and requirement to sign the ticket) note the signiture is just that you recieved the ticket, not an admission of guilt, 3. approaching officer from behind with his hand in pocket, 4. Heading for the car (which will obviously lead to a chase and officers having to stop the car with force) once in the car he puts his wife and anyone on the road in danger.

    I think it's obvious they both behaved badly. I'm mainly suprised at how quickly a majority of the commenters here have turned on the officer and want him fired, arrested, etc.

    Personally I appreciate anything an officer can do to prevent a high-speed chase before it gets started. Once the cars start rolling... there's going to be damage and injuries no doubt.

    Interesting that you often hear of law breakers suing officers if they get hurt during an arrest. You don't often hear of officers suing the people who hit/hurt/kill officers in the struggle that often occurs when an officer tries to restrain them.

    You YouTube judges should be ashamed.

  • Tenderheart
    Nov. 21, 2007 11:36 a.m.

    I'm a grandma who's never had so much as a parking ticket but I am becoming frightened after seeing numerous videos of abusive policemen who tase non-threatening folks for being insufficiently humble and compliant. People refuse to sign tickets all the time and simply get more charges or higher fines. The policeman in this case had the man's license number; there was no reason whatsoever to tase him just for being mouthy.
    I have sympathy for the difficult situations policemen face, but if they tase people for asking too many questions, I'm in trouble. (Even without a brown lawn, if you remember that incident.)
    And just think - if there had been tasers in the 60's all the Jim Crow laws would still be in place. Those practicing civil disobedience simply would have been tased, sometimes to death.
    A taser is NOT a benign instrument but is increasingly being used to torture people into compliance in non-threatening situations. That scares me.

  • Nick
    Nov. 21, 2007 11:32 a.m.

    Officers like this should be made an example of. The person in question was merely asking how fast he was going and the police officer in question was obviously power-hungry. At no point did the office issue a warning that Massey would be tasered, which the officer reported to the second officer that he did. He obviously lied to his superior.

    Being an officer of the law is a privilege, not a right...

  • Additional thoughts
    Nov. 21, 2007 11:26 a.m.

    I have seen the complete video, not just the clip on YouTube. After Jared was taken to the jail (by way of the hospital because of the cut on his head) the remaining officers, who are off-camera, are laughing about Jared's "old lady" and how funny it was when he was tasered. Granted, Jared should have signed the citation, but the officer did not ever state that if he didn't he would be arrested, nor did he tell Jared, when he asked him to get out of the car, that he was going to place him under arrest--not until after he was tasered. Part of the missing video includes several minutes of just waiting while the officer is in his car. The officer's version of the events is just not accurate as to what really happened. There's fault on both sides, but public servants have a responsibility to act with, well, responsibility and professionalism. There are lots of problems with misuse of authority here in the Uintah Basin. This is just one visible example of that. Most officers do a good job. It's the few who don't that make it bad for all of us.

  • loser cop
    Nov. 21, 2007 11:18 a.m.

    This guy should lose all right to ever be a police officer. The biggest problem is that he makes a bad name for all highway patrolle. This should be an asault charge on the officer. The driver showed complete respect for the officer but was unwilling to bow down to his commands until he had a good reason to do so. I think this guy will cause a lot of tax payer money to be paid to the driver - what a loser.

  • johnny
    Nov. 21, 2007 11:07 a.m.

    what about the illegal search at the end of the clip? hope this guy loses his job.

  • Stunned
    Nov. 21, 2007 11:01 a.m.

    I watched the video and it was not clear that Mr. Massey intended to get in his vehicle and leave. However, what if he had? He was a speeder not a bank robber! The officer had his vehicle information and Mr. Massey would have easily been found and punished. The Taser was totally unjustified. I support the UHP but this cop is an accident waiting to happen.

  • a random John
    Nov. 21, 2007 10:58 a.m.

    The officer's attitude and unwillingness to answer reasonable questions led directly to this incident. How he isn't suspended after his superiors saw this video is beyond me. There are several things he could have done to avoid this. The first is to simply explain that signing a ticket does not indicate an admission of guilt. Second, he could have answered the question of how fast the guy was going. In ten minutes he never addresses this.

    Finally, the video clearly shows the officer obscuring the speed limit sign before he pulls the guy over. The sign is shorter than normal and out on the median with the cop parked right in front of it. The chances of noticing it are slim.

    Also, how is tasering the guy so that he falls into traffic safe? The cop is lucky he didn't cause an accident through his recklessness. Clearly throughout the video the person out of control is the officer. The driver stayed calm.

    I fail to see how electrocuting our citizens makes us safer.

  • dpimp
    Nov. 21, 2007 10:53 a.m.

    Jared, next time your told to turn around by a police officer, i suggest doing it!!

  • Moose
    Nov. 21, 2007 10:53 a.m.

    When issues a ticket by a traffic cop you have two choices. 1) Agree to appear in court by signing the ticket. It is NOT an admission of guilt and so states. 2) Go to jail where you can agree to appear by posting bail. If you refuse to sign you go to jail. When a traffic cop tells you to turn around you do it to allow the handcuffs. This guy turned his back on the cop and headed back to the car. The taser showed great restraint. Without it he would have his face ground into the asphalt while the cuffs were securted.

  • The Force
    Nov. 21, 2007 10:53 a.m.

    I think he was a little quick on the Taser. However, I've taken taser blasts before, and it's not that bad. I'd much rather be subdued by a taser than have an officer physically wrestle me to the ground or spray pepper spray at me both of which are a lot worse. The guy looked like he was headed back to his vehicle. I think the officer should have told him if he didn't stop he'd get zapped before he actually zapped him.
    Of course the whole situation would have been avoided if they guy had just signed the ticket and fought it in Justice Court, or if he'd followed instructions.

  • WTF
    Nov. 21, 2007 10:53 a.m.

    Could the officer not of asked the suspect to stand with his hands on the hood of the car and take control of the situation from that point or possibly used stronger verbal commands? Dont jaywalk in Vernal, Utah - i hear they are putting snipers on the street corners to deal with such unruly people!!!!

  • ceecee
    Nov. 21, 2007 10:45 a.m.

    to RELAX: everything I've learned and read (and just researched again in the web) state that a person must be read their rights (miranda) when the subject feels that they are not free to leave a situation. This guy was told he was under arrest, then tasered, then handcuffed. Obviously, he was not free to leave, which says to me that he was suppose to be read his miranda rights.

  • Public citizen
    Nov. 21, 2007 10:45 a.m.

    Most cops tend to behave like they are above the law. We even have special laws that deal out harsher punishments for those who inflict harm on law enforcement officers. I think we need special laws to deal with cops like this---let's allow the victim to taser the cop, or, have guilty cops serve time with the hard core in prisons and let the prisoners "shape them up" before releasing them into society.

  • David
    Nov. 21, 2007 10:39 a.m.

    I was disgusted by the video. "Officer" Gardner needs to be tasered and kick off the police force. I'd be more than willing to taser him.

  • CeeCee
    Nov. 21, 2007 10:33 a.m.

    wow... did you all watch the same video as I did? If so, then how can you all say the officer was justified. Yes, they were both wrong. The driver, from the begining, just wanted to know his speed. The officer wouldn't say. Driver refused to sign ticket, which is his right. Officer ordered driver out of car, he complied. Officer said "you're under arrest" and IMMEDIATELY pulled out taser. If you'll notice, the driver had his hands in his pockets the whole time. If the officer was afraid, why didn't he say to show his hands. The driver turned away(wrong to do) the officer immediately tased him (WRONG!). Then the officer left the guy on the side of the busy highway! Then when he did "arrest" him he didn't read him his rights and did an illegal vehicle search. The driver has the right to question the reason for being pulled over! The officer is way more wrong than the driver.

  • honest in all your dealings!
    Nov. 21, 2007 10:34 a.m.

    This only pts out the good ol' boy system which exists as many a cop couldn't cut in school but still want to rule! they suffer from the Napoleon complex yet there are good ones , who are done more damage than good by officers like this.

  • Matt
    Nov. 21, 2007 10:31 a.m.

    Utah law governing force in making an arrest...

    77-7-7. Force in making arrest.
    If a person is being arrested and flees or forcibly resists after being informed of the intention to make the arrest, the person arresting may use reasonable force to effect the arrest.

    This officer didn't inform the motorist he was making an arrest. Whether the force used was "reasonable" is up to a court to decide. The officer broke the law, and therefore was not justified in his actions.

  • Miss Synthia Forsyth
    Nov. 21, 2007 10:25 a.m.

    This is an odd story... I don't understand two things though: ONE, why and who was video taping this whole thing? TWO, why did they post it up? It just really doesn't make sense... no matter who it was, why would you post it up on youtube?

  • Egregious Behavior
    Nov. 21, 2007 10:25 a.m.

    The officer's conduct was reprehensible - a ego driven, power hungry jerk who should lose this job. Moreover, a civil suit should be filed immediately. This cop is a disgrace to the UHP. I'm sure it is not the first time he has treated people this way. Fire him!

  • misconduct
    Nov. 21, 2007 10:19 a.m.

    This is really unacceptable. I think the bigest probelem is that the officer told Jared "I am placing you under arrest" the officer did not follow that with the miranda rights. From this point Jared could have said that "he did it" and nothing could be used against him. Further this offcer clearly viloated the 1966 Supreme Court ruiling by not giving him his rights.

    The other part that troubled me was people have the right to know what they are being charged with. This officer would not tell him what he was being charged with.

    Serious ethical issues are in concern with this UHP officer, and he needs to be placed on Admin Leave until its figured out, and the fact that he has been working since the incident, with the UHP having seen the video, is in poor taste for the UHP and that needs to be investigated.

  • Lowell
    Nov. 21, 2007 10:13 a.m.

    Troopers are called "Highwaymen" for a good reason, as a significant part of their job is "revenue enhancement" for government, despite how much the general public hates paying their tolls for passage. In one instance, when a trooper informed me that he had caught me speeding, I answered "Oh really, if that is so, then you won't mind if all of us in the car go back and look at your speed gun". He swore out loud (oh, shit!), but did go get into his car and leave immediately. In contrast, the trooper in this video continued to play his own games, escalated his errors, lied several times, and abused his authority very badly. He is one of the reasons that Americans have such an intense dislike of the so-called "Police State", which appears to be on the rise. As a former city official, I appreciated the work of our officers, but always asked them to play by the rules of fairness during revenue collections (ticketing). No question, this trooper would have been fired under our jurisdiction for this, particularly with this evidence. Wow but wow!

  • Can someone please
    Nov. 21, 2007 10:12 a.m.

    explain to me why individuals must be arrested when they refuse to sign the ticket? Lets say they don't agree with the officer's contention and feel, in no way, that they should sign the ticket to acknowledge anything. Why do they have to go to jail? And if they continue to refuse to sign the ticket, do they just hold the guy in the pokey the rest of his life until he signs it? I mean, if the guy flat out refuses to sign the thing...ever, what is the end-game here, how does it end? Can they just jail him forever? The whole thing just seems so asnine to me, that you lose your right to freedom because they contend you were speeding, but you refuse to sign the ticket.

  • Things that make you go hmmm.
    Nov. 21, 2007 10:12 a.m.

    Why would the officer not bother telling the guy what speed he was going? Could it be that maybe, just maybe the officer didn't get him on radar and just judged the speed visually? I've known cops that have done it and sometimes it works out sometimes they lose in court. It's all a gamble.

    One thing is for sure this whole situation never should have reached this point.

    Everyone wants to be an expert. Officers, Citizens, Comment Posters. The fact is everybody has some flawed thinking from time to time and it's a joke watching people argue when they don't know all the facts. I don't know it all and neither do any of you (not even if you are the officer involved or the guy who was tased). If you think you do know it all, better run for President and make a difference while you still do know it all.

  • l
    Nov. 21, 2007 10:11 a.m.

    First of all, I'd like to see the text of the supposed law (get the facts 6:03 am) that state that the police officer has to prove anything before writing a ticket.

    Second, (re 8:48 am) signing a ticket is not an admission of guilt. It says right on the ticket.

    Third, you start walking away from a cop that is telling you that you're under arrest, expect something bad to happen.

    Fourth, after you've been tazed and cuffed, you don't get up and start following the cop around and arguing with him.

    Fifth, once the cop explains why you've been pulled over and arrested, stop asking why you were pulled over and arrested.

    Now, all that said, he told the other cop that he warned the kid he would be tazed, when in fact he did not verbally tell him he would be tazed. But um, guess what, when you have a tazer pointed at you, do you really need someone to spell it out?

    How much do you want to bet this kid laughed at the 'don't taze me bro' video on youtube and how much he deserved it, and now he gets the same treatment.

  • fire the cop
    Nov. 21, 2007 10:03 a.m.

    This cop should be fired immediately!! No question about it, he was out of line! It makes me sick to see things like this. For those of you who say that Mr. Massey deserved to be tasered, you did not read the three stipulations on when cops can use tasers. Mr. Massey was not a threat to anyone, and just wanted the cop to show him the speed limit sign. The cop was not willing to cooperate at all, and abused his power. The cop was set on tazing this guy, and just wanted to do it, because he is a loose cannon.

    He should be fired, and should be prosecuted. It has nothing to do with respect as Erik claims. Our country was founded on standing up for what is right, when those in authority were in the wrong! Everyone says he should have fought it in court, but that may cost him a whole day of driving back down to some poedunk town in Utah, and wasting a whole day and money to get there. It is a hassle! Mr. Massey should have cooperated, but the cop was the one who was in the wrong!

  • Erik must be a cop
    Nov. 21, 2007 10:02 a.m.

    I only see comments like that in defense of such idiotic power-hungry behavior from cops or their friends/family.

  • Watched video
    Nov. 21, 2007 9:45 a.m.

    "Knowing your rights and standing up for them is what this country is all about."

    That's why the courts exist. That's where it should of been handled, not on the side of a busy road. The officer told him where the speed sign was, he is under no obligation to walk or drive back with him for show and tell. The guy driving made the officers job more difficult and shares in the responsibility. They should show this video at driving school classes on how not to act when pulled over.

  • Relax
    Nov. 21, 2007 9:44 a.m.

    Ok, first, miranda warnings were not at issue. They are not required when you arrest some. I know that is contrary to everything you may think but they are only necessary before questioning and the lack of miranda warnings at the time of arrest is irrelevant if there was no questioning.

    I will admit that the officer was a bit out of line but when you have ordered someone out of a vehicle and he starts to return to the vehicle an officer doesn't know what he is going to do when he gets back to the vehicle.

    As for some requirement to show him the sign I have never heard of anything of the sort. The kid kept ranting about his rights. Funny. Too much tv for him

  • Was he raelly speeding?
    Nov. 21, 2007 9:42 a.m.

    The problem is, cops pull people over for speeding when they are't ALL THE TIME. You never win in court becuase it's a revenue producer. I had an officer lie in court and then change his story when it was proven wrong. I still lost the fight on the speeding ticket. For speeding tickets, you're not just guilty until proven innocent, your just guilty no matter what. I could list story after story of friends and family who were wrongfully cited by police, even when video evidence shows the truth, and it's not on the side of the cops.

  • ScienceGuy
    Nov. 21, 2007 9:30 a.m.

    Tasers are a form of deadly force. They can and do kill people. Unfortunately, they are sold to the police as "non-lethal", which encourages officers to use them more often than is reasonable.

    In this case, the officer's life wasn't threatened.

  • Citizen
    Nov. 21, 2007 9:26 a.m.

    In my opinion, this cop is a joke. It looks like he has a serious case of "little man syndrome." I sure am glad he was out protecting the public from "violent" criminals like Mr. Massey (tic). Don't we have bigger crimes to fight than a guy doing 15 over the speed limit. Utah needs to get rid of the glorified meter maids that we call the Highway Patrol or at least help them understand that they are not the big men on campus that they think they are. We are all lucky the officer had a taser issued to him, because I think the officer would have shot the guy to death if he had not had the taser available. This man was not a danger to the officer or anyone else. The only "danger" arose when the cop left Mr. Massey laying in the highway for other cars to run over. Take this cops gun and taser and badge away before he really hurts someone. Salt Lake City has some meter maid positions available. Luckily, they don't issue meter maids tasers or guns.

  • Sad but true...
    Nov. 21, 2007 9:21 a.m.

    I see this also as further proof that construction zones are used for revenue generation for the police. I have seen this far too many times, people being pulled over for speeding when they have just barely passed the change of speed limit sign, and even when their break lights are on and they are obviously slowing to the new speed.

    Further evidence is the fact that often the speed limit changes well over 1-2 miles ahead of the actual construction, causing drivers to questions whether it really has changed and giving police ample time to pull someone over. Notice in the video that there is no sign at all that anything is going on ahead of them to warrant the speed limit change.

  • Derek
    Nov. 21, 2007 9:19 a.m.

    It is pretty apparent from the you tube video that the gentleman that was tasered was not cooperative with the officer. While he had a right to ask the questions he asked, he has a responsibility to follow the directions given him by police. I stand by the officer; when someone chooses to act the way this gentleman did, and place an officer in a situation where he may feel at risk, that person has to accept the consequences for his actions.

    There is a time and place for asking the questions and making the demands that this gentleman did, but this was not one of those times. This was a time for him to comply with the officer and do as he was told.

    The reality is, if he had just signed the ticket, he could have gone to court and made his arguements there, and the whole taser incident would have been avoided.

  • grundle
    Nov. 21, 2007 9:16 a.m.

    I agree that both were wrong in what can be observed in this encounter.

    You are required by law to sign a citation given to you by a law enforcement officer and the driver should have recieved additional charges for failing to comply with the law. He probably still will.

    The driver was not out of control and clearly not an immediate threat to the officer. He did not warrant being tasered without additional warning. At some point though, if he had continued to not comply with lawful instructions then force would have been justified.

    I believe that the officer should face disciplinary action and additional charges be filed against the driver.

  • J-Dog
    Nov. 21, 2007 9:10 a.m.

    Also if you notice on the video, after the incident, the victim is asking why did he taze him. The officer said you were under arrest and didn't follow orders. I went back and watched again, never did the officer say he was under arrest. All he said was step out of the car, just once... that is all.
    At first read, I thought the trooper was justified, but after the video, if anyone was threatening, it was the officer threatening the wife! If you were threatening my pregnant wife like that, You would be the one being tazed.
    Poor conduct by the officer.

  • Paul
    Nov. 21, 2007 9:09 a.m.

    UHP: Please send the right message to the community -- that the UHP is here to protect, not terrorize - and fire the officer. If he's not fired, I just cant respect the UHP. This is an officer who clearly let his emotions get the best of him and acted so as to needlessly escalate the situation and put everyone there in danger. People who cannot control their emotions are dangerous in the context of law enforcement and should not be in that line of work. Also, the officer is demonstrably deceitful. If his account to his colleague resembled what actually took place, he might have been justified. But it was not accurate; he lied about the man's demeanor, he lied about the sequence of events, and he lied about giving the man a warning. Like people who can't control their emotions, people who cannot be trusted to give a reasonably accurate account (rather than a self-serving one) should not have that job. Simply put, trust is vital in law enforcement, and this officer cannot be trusted. He has to go. Even if this was a one-time, momentary lapse of judgment (which I seriously doubt), he has to go.

  • Dave
    Nov. 21, 2007 9:06 a.m.

    Sure he could fight the ticket in court, but I learned the hard way that you are guilty and it doesn't matter what evidence you may have you are still guilty because the officer never lies. I already hate driving because I have been pulled over for no apparent reason. I was following the speed limit and watching the car on the right pass me and then I look in my rear view mirror to see that I am getting pulled over. Apparently driving legally warrants officers to pull you over because you must have something to hide.

  • A better way...
    Nov. 21, 2007 9:07 a.m.

    This is a situation that totally got out of hand by both the officer and the man driving the car. Troopers should be better trained for instances like this. Rather than tasering him, maybe the officer should have taken him to the patrol car, show him the tape of the 40 mph sign on the dash cam, show him the speed he was going and let him know that state law requires, (without admission of guilt), a person signs the ticket. This would never have had any pub if the officer was better trained for this event.

  • Testing the waters
    Nov. 21, 2007 9:04 a.m.

    I think releasing the video is Massey's way of testing the waters for his lawsuit. But as he should see, he's not getting everyone on his side. He started the who incident by his disobedience to an officer. He left the officer no choice, and a jury will see that.

  • Chuck
    Nov. 21, 2007 9:01 a.m.

    Is this the exception or the rule.

    I know my run-ins with police have been respectful, only because I showed respect, while the officers are rude and overbearing.

    They need to remember to protect and serve, or lose the motto.

  • Jim
    Nov. 21, 2007 9:01 a.m.

    I watched this clip with two veteran police officers of more than 10 years and both stated that while Mr. Massey's actions were poor at best, the officer did not conduct himself in a professional manner and as such he should be punished, and that there was at least one major thing the officer did that was illegal. When I inquired what punishment they felt was just, they were split with one stating he should be fired to send a message to bad officers that misconduct will not be tolerated and the other stating that he should receive a temporary suspension and a strong warning that if it happens again he will not only be fired, but any misconduct that includes an illegal act will also result in prosecution.

  • Better suggestion
    Nov. 21, 2007 9:00 a.m.

    OK all you couch-Cops, once the guy refused the cop's orders and was walking back to his car, clearly to drive away, what do you think the cop should have done? Some how, some way, he had to keep the driver from doing that. Had he not, how do we know there wouldn't have been a much more dangerous high-speed chase. It's clear the guy wasn't going to sign the ticket, and when you don't do that, cops are instructed to arrest. The solution wasn't to let the guy go free just because he disagreed. The driver caused this confrontation.

  • Ridiculous
    Nov. 21, 2007 8:51 a.m.

    1- The officer did not warn Jared he was actually going to fire his taser, only repeated to conform. I'm sure if Jared knew it would escalate to that he would have conformed.
    2 - The officer did not tell Jared how fast he clocked him. I might have acted similar to Jared in this situation.

    I wonder if he is suing for the damages to his head. I would! This is outrageous and the officer needs some more training and /or punishment.

  • Re: Erik
    Nov. 21, 2007 8:48 a.m.

    Erik, I am completely confused at your comments. I don't understand your generational ranting. Respecting authority is one thing, but knowing your rights and standing up for them is what this country is all about.

    This cop was way out of line. Mr. Massey had no reason to sign the ticket (in spite of his guilt), and it is a legal right not to sign it. Signing the ticket is an admission of guilt, and Massey had every right to be shown the speed limit sign. Instead, the cop tried to coerce Massey into signing it and created a situation that never should have come up in the first place. Leaving the man in the street at the risk of getting hit by oncoming traffic was a nice touch.

    Watch the video on YouTube. You will probably change your stance.

  • Deserved it
    Nov. 21, 2007 8:41 a.m.

    From the video I saw, the guy deserved it. He was ignoring orders, started to walk back to his car and started to put his right hand in his pocket. I can see why the officer wanted to end his refusal to obey right then. It's easy to see that the officer might have been concerned that the guy was going to reach for a gun, or go get one from his car, or just get in his car and take off. Had the driver obeyed, there would have been no need for the Taser. But, looks to me like he asked for it. No sympathy from me.

  • Harris
    Nov. 21, 2007 8:40 a.m.

    We now live in a Police State. Accept this, and you'll enjoy a tranquil life.

  • John
    Nov. 21, 2007 8:33 a.m.

    It's good to see things come out to the public. I'm sure there are many people who get treated bad by cops but their voices are never heard.

  • I do respect authority
    Nov. 21, 2007 8:32 a.m.

    But I only respect authority that handles that power with responsibility, restraint and respect. America is not about rolling over for anyone in a position of authority; this country was founded on the principle that rule of law goes both ways, and that it is our civic duty to keep our eyes open for abuse of power and not to accept it when we find it.

  • not right
    Nov. 21, 2007 8:28 a.m.

    I went to watch the video also, and left a comment. Since the person moderates the comments to his youtube video I doubt my comment will appear. Nice way to get public support, although one sided.

    Those officers out in the desert put their lives on the line every day. They don't know when stopping someone if they are a housewife or a murderer. If an officer places you under arrest you don't turn around and walk away. The guy was way out of line. Sign the ticket and fight it in court.

  • Dave
    Nov. 21, 2007 8:23 a.m.

    I have the highest regard for the professionalism of the Utah Highway Patrol. However, this appears to be an example of an officer whose "badge was too heavy for him."

  • Re: Erik
    Nov. 21, 2007 8:20 a.m.

    Incredible. I am speechless. How can anyone take the side of someone using unlawful force against someone who did nothing other than using their right not to sign a speeding citation? There is absolutely no obligation to do so and is an admission of guilt. The individual pulled over had every right to be directed to the speed limit sign and shown why he was guilty. This highway patrolman was attempting to coerce the individual that was pulled over into signing the ticket. The cop tased the guy for no reason. Also, gotta love how the cop left the guy on the concrete, vulnerable to be hit by oncoming traffic. Refusing to read your Miranda rights is another serious omission, and I hope that this trooper gets fired because he can't make sound decisions.

    I am respectful of our police officers, and they have a hard job to do. However, I am definately against those individuals who are placed in positions of law enforcement that abuse their position.

    Erik, I am very glad that you are not a key decision maker in this country.

  • Paul
    Nov. 21, 2007 7:58 a.m.

    Of course there are only negative comments about the video on Youtube. The person who put the video there deletes any comments that might support the officer.

  • Jim
    Nov. 21, 2007 7:42 a.m.

    It amazes me that people think that they can resist police and expect to not suffer the consequences. The man was willfully disobeying a lawful command from an officer, and got tasered for it. Why should anyone be surprised? If it were otherwise, everyone would be non-compliant towards officers. If the guy felt that he was being ticketed erroneously, he should have fought his battle in the courtroom, not on the street.

  • jim h
    Nov. 21, 2007 7:39 a.m.

    Great idea Erik, we can just taser the little nippers.

  • Both are in wrong!!
    Nov. 21, 2007 7:32 a.m.

    Everyone knows you can't approach a cop from behind, especailly after you have refused to sign the ticket (which you have to do). Then you walk away when he tells you 4 times to put his hands behind his head.
    The taser wasn't called for, and then the reason why he was getting pulled over was shady for sure. And the cop started to lie to the other officer in the video about what happended.
    Both in the wrong, but the kid posed a clear threat by walking behing the officer (twice in fact). STUPID!!!

  • Robert
    Nov. 21, 2007 7:02 a.m.

    Those are all the skills this cop had to handle the situation? If done properly he could have diffused the situation, but this cop's ego got in the way. Not only did he exercise bad judgement and use excessive force, he didn't even warn the guy before he tazed him. Most cops I've met are professional in every since of the word. This guy is a loose cannon and needs to be removed from the force. He's given the UHP a black eye, and has helped create a situation where people will be less trusting of law enforcement.

  • Stacey
    Nov. 21, 2007 6:42 a.m.

    Well Erik, while I will give you what you say about this generation, I still think this cop was out of line. There was no danger at all to anyone when he pulled out his taser. The only danger that was ever introduced into this situation was the danger the Trooper introduced. Should the guy have signed the ticket and then fought it in court rather than make a big scene on the side of the road with the trooper? Yes. Should he have been tasered for failing to follow the instructions of the trooper, at the first sign of non-compliance? Absolutely not. If there is a suit against the trooper, I would like to hear his explaination of what danger required him to use his taser. From that video, seems any justification he might come up with will pretty much ruin his credibility.

  • Accept to sign the paper
    Nov. 21, 2007 6:17 a.m.

    Than between a trooper and a driver could be argue, misunderstand, etc. Next step to see a judge to have speeding charge or dismiss the ticket, which the judge, the driver and the trooper have neutral and work together. The trooper has a reason is protect himselif when the driver was too close to him. (the school or the trooper training trained him the rules). My opinion is the trooper is wrong because he stopped the driver right after the speed limit sign stands. The trooper should wait until like 2 or 3 miles advance after the sign, if the driver continue to drive fast or drive slow down as "processing" after see the sign.

  • Get the facts Erik
    Nov. 21, 2007 6:03 a.m.

    Erik,

    Have you seen the video--I have. There are several other facts that are not in the article--when the family received the video, it was totally scrambled and tampered with. They had to hire a computer specialist to unscramble it--kind of makes you wonder what the trooper was trying to hide. Second, the officer, by law, has the responsibility to the driver to prove to him that he was speeding. He did not do that. Finally, why were the two officers taunting the distressed and heavilly pregnant wife? I'm sure that is not kosher with department policy. I hope that the UHP moves quickly to settle this before it blows up nationally. This is an embarrassment to the hard working members of the Utah law enforcement community.

  • John
    Nov. 21, 2007 5:58 a.m.

    The police officer pulled the taser gun out at the moment he asked Mr. Massey to turn around. In an effort to control the situation, this trigger-happy officer actively escalated the situation and ended up discharging his weapon on a calm and rational man. The officer then lied about his actions to Mrs. Massey and the backup officer. This provocative and unprofessional behavior should mean that Gardner is suspended pending investigation. I cannot understand why this man is still operating in his duty in light of his conduct.

  • Anonymous
    Nov. 21, 2007 5:26 a.m.

    A little quick on the taze and a very slow on his people skills.

    Former officer

  • Toby
    Nov. 21, 2007 4:04 a.m.

    I first read this article and was outraged at UHP. How could they be so power hungry and devious. Then I watched the video. Jared Massey was out of line and the officer did his job. The trooper was trying to arrest him and Jared was walking back to his vehicle, assuming he was going to drive away. Kudos to the trooper for staying calm and doing his job well.

  • Bruce
    Nov. 21, 2007 3:46 a.m.

    Disgusting... simply disgusting. The officer should be fired immediately.

  • Erik
    Nov. 21, 2007 12:44 a.m.

    This reminds me of what is wrong with America, and what, if not rectified will be the recipe for our demise. Respect. I could go on and on, but suffice it to say, I was taught to respect authority. That meant my elders, law-enforcement, teachers, whatever. Kids now have this sense of entitlement that is unmatched anywhere else on this Earth. They think that if they make a mistake they can just hit the 'reset' button like on their video game and start over. Well, life is not like that. There was once what is called the Greatest Generation. This is not it. What we have is the Worst Generation. No wonder other countries hate us. We are gluttons in every thing we do. This sniveling little brat needs the full measure of the law brought against him and that trooper needs a pat on the back for doing his job. I'm still dumbstruck by this. To have it called into question like the officer was in the wrong. WAKE UP MORONS! It's not the teacher, the officer, the bus driver, or etc. IT'S YOUR KID. Wake up! By the way, I'm 30 years old.

  • Anonymous
    Nov. 21, 2007 12:37 a.m.

    I support police officers. I work in emergency services. However: this is the worst video I have ever seen... This police officer should be arrested and charged with unlawful force. This can not be tolerated. Not to mention: he left the person lying on the side of the road. Does the officer have an obligation to protect people? Is lying on a highway protecting people? I think not! I can not for one minute feel that this man was a threat to the officer. UHP should be embarrassed. Keith