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Utah

Taser victim says UHP is 'stonewalling'

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

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  • Bob
    Nov. 22, 2007 2:34 a.m.

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

  • Jack
    Nov. 22, 2007 2:53 a.m.

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

  • Tristan28
    Nov. 22, 2007 3:52 a.m.

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

  • Tristan28
    Nov. 22, 2007 3:55 a.m.

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

  • Anon.
    Nov. 22, 2007 4:55 a.m.

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

  • Wowzerz
    Nov. 22, 2007 5:53 a.m.

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

  • common sence
    Nov. 22, 2007 6:34 a.m.

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

  • Big Bob
    Nov. 22, 2007 7:01 a.m.

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

  • Funny thing
    Nov. 22, 2007 7:25 a.m.

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

  • disgusted in south jordan
    Nov. 22, 2007 7:57 a.m.

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

  • What was he thinking?
    Nov. 22, 2007 8:17 a.m.

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

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

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

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

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

  • Johny Fairplay
    Nov. 22, 2007 8:20 a.m.

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

  • SLCWatch
    Nov. 22, 2007 8:30 a.m.

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

  • no none
    Nov. 22, 2007 8:35 a.m.

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

  • MW
    Nov. 22, 2007 8:47 a.m.

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

  • John H.
    Nov. 22, 2007 8:57 a.m.

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

  • Looks to me
    Nov. 22, 2007 9:34 a.m.

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

  • Please sue!
    Nov. 22, 2007 9:37 a.m.

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

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

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

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

    SUE!

  • Concerned Citizen
    Nov. 22, 2007 9:54 a.m.

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

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

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

  • Joe Cool
    Nov. 22, 2007 10:02 a.m.

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

  • Get a Grip
    Nov. 22, 2007 10:04 a.m.

    It is interesting that Massey refuses to accept any responsibilitly at all for what happened. Signing the ticket is a no brainer, it is not an admission of guilt.

    While I was not pleased with the way the trooper handled the situation up until the tazing, I do see the tazing to be reasonable.

    Mr. Massey was clearly defying the commands of the trooper. He's wandering around on a highway -- not safe. He also reaches into his pocket. You never, never do that in front of law enforcement.

    The same three rules apply here as they do anytime you are stopped by police.

    1. Show your hands
    2. Comply with commands
    3. Get your questions answered at an appropriate time and place. Immediate gratification on this end is not always the safest for either party.

  • do it
    Nov. 22, 2007 10:04 a.m.

    For the benefit of the rest of us out there, please, file a lawsuit and get this man off of the Highway Patrol. I don't ever want to run into him, or any other patrol officer that is like him. I am disgusted by this.

  • Let Fairness Prevail
    Nov. 22, 2007 10:09 a.m.

    Um ... life has taught me that there are two sides to every story. I'm inclined to believe that Mr. Massey is not as "innocent" as he would have us believe.

    Mr. Massey is doing the best he can to "Paint a Picture" that he is indeed an "Angel." However, this is done by taking "facts" out of context. If all the facts were presented "fairly" and in proper "context" ... it's highly likely that Mr. Massey would end up looking like a holier than thou snob for whom the law does not apply.

    Thank goodness for law, and the rule of law, it's what keeps us all safe ... even Mr. Massey.

    (Yes, this series of events was quite unfortunate, and it is regrettable that Mr. Massey had to endure being tasered. But had he acted "prudently," none of this would have ever happened. By the way, I'd be curious to know if he was really speeding to begin with. He does not ever mention whether he was the culprit who set these series of events into action to begin with. Don't blame others for your own poor decisions ... Mr. Massey. Grow Up!)

  • l
    Nov. 22, 2007 10:11 a.m.

    Hopefully the most horrific memory Massey will have is thinking about how easily the whole situation could have been resolved...by just taking the ticket and driving away, or by following the officer's orders.

  • Las Vegas Katbacker
    Nov. 22, 2007 10:37 a.m.

    I hope this officer didn't just have an urge to use what he may view as his toy. The Sherriff deputy that arrived thought it was amusing. I mean it when I say that officers with tasers often view it as a novelty that they have a gun that is not lethal. I may sound bias, but my brother-in-law last week was on lunch break at his parents and we were there. He removed the cap and fired his taser gun (showing sparks and loud popping noises) to show off and surprise the kids. It scared them and he laughed. Massey needed to obey all of Gardner's commands, and Massey was wrong. The Officer can barely justify this level of force as appropriate, and in the long run, UHP probably will have to soften policy on Taser use which will endanger Officers. These guys are out on an island all alone most of the time, and it is dangerous.

  • Ruppert
    Nov. 22, 2007 10:54 a.m.

    Cop's r in harm's way everyday.He should have done what he was told.I fully thought that he desrved what he got.

  • garbler
    Nov. 22, 2007 10:54 a.m.

    Although Massey was being difficult, it is his right to know how fast he was going. If the officer wouldn't tell him, then he had every right to not sign the ticket. If he signed it then pleaded his case in court, it's hersay and the judge would go with the cop's story (regardless whether the ticket says "this is not an admission of guilt")

  • Pocatello
    Nov. 22, 2007 10:57 a.m.

    I am stunned that anyone would think what the officer did was justifiable. I don't care if he had to tell the man 100 times to "turn around," you don't use force like that to subdue an obviously otherwise law abiding citizen. If he was 20 years old and had 3 friends in the car and was acting nervous, then sure, pulling out the taser might have been proper. But this guy was Mr. Average Utah, with his wife and kid in the car. He was going to suddenly become violent?

    This is the problem with tasers. They were intended to be used instead of guns in life-threatening situations. Now, police are using them when, as the officer said, "I'm not going to play that game." In other words, it was easier to tase the man then deal with the situation.

    Also, did you hear the two cops at the end of the tape? Amongst the profanity, the one officer said to the other "good for you," or something to that affect regarding his tasing the man.

    Dozens of people die every year as the result of tasing (it happened just earlier this week). Police should be more careful.

  • Tazed
    Nov. 22, 2007 11:09 a.m.

    I guess the use of a batton or the butt end of his pistol would have been better to quite the man down. Or they could have wrestled a bit and fell into the freeway and got hit by a car.
    We hire police officers to protect us and enforce the laws. We give them the right to do certain things and enforce as they have been instructed. But that's also why we have a court system, so when the driver doesn't agree with the citation, he can take it to a safe and impartial place. The side of the road is not the place to make your argument to the police officer.

  • Without Prejudice
    Nov. 22, 2007 11:19 a.m.

    All that Massey is accomplishing by posting an EDITED VERSION of the traffic stop video is given credence to the possibility that he could be he is covering up all the interactions that led to his being tasered. If you want the whole truth of the matter to be out there and eliminate as much doubt about your deserving what you got or not, Mr. Massey, post the whole unedited version...

  • jobajay
    Nov. 22, 2007 11:31 a.m.

    I would hope that our police and public servants could act with a little more restraint. I am not implying Massey was in the right, but I have done ride alongs with troopers before and have seen similar situations where the trooper handled the situation far more calmly and proffesionally. I hope that this will not get brushed under the rug but will be a chance to review how our police react with the citizens they are serving.

  • Hey Idaho
    Nov. 22, 2007 11:58 a.m.

    Look around on youtube and you will find other videos of police officers getting killed when they did not react quick enough. Had the trooper grabbed massey, I bet the fight would have been on. On the side of the highway, in rural Utah, bet things could have been worse for either massey or the trooper. As it has been said, take the ticket and fight it in court, later. the side of the highway is not the place to argue the case.

  • Money Bags
    Nov. 22, 2007 12:30 p.m.

    He's going to make some good money off of this video...and he deserves it. NO ONE WAS IN DANGER and yet the cop shoots him in the back!?!

    I'm usually sympathetic to the police in these videos, but shooting a guy in the back is pretty low...

  • Charlie Chan
    Nov. 22, 2007 12:46 p.m.

    My thought after seeing the video:

    The officer was so concerned with forcing the situation to a resolution (as so many of the police are), so concerned with being "obeyed" that he didn't even tell the man what speed he was going. He searched the car without apparent permission. He was acting like a thug.

    I don't care if Massey was "difficult." When the cops pull citizens over they should go out of there way to be polite and communicative: they are the ones pulling Us over, not the other way around--and as we see here, they are the ones who have the power to hurt us.

    To say an act is legal is the lowest level of ethical justification. That so many people are taking the cop's side here is, I think, a sad comment on the authoritarian nature of our society.

  • Anonymous
    Nov. 22, 2007 1:01 p.m.

    I normally back law enforcement at least 95% of the time.

    But not in this case. The speeder is a mouthy and should have just complied. However the cop is the professional who is taught to know how to handle these situations.

    The cop handled it poorly and could have deescalated the situation. Even when it got to the point where he refused to sign the ticked. The cop could have told him the possible consequences. That could have deescalated it right there before it got to the point of arresting him.

    Even if the Massey still refused to sign it, in Utah the cop has the option of arresting him or not.

    There was no reason to arrest the guy anyway. He had his wife and kid with him, and was obviously not a threat or danger to anyone.

    So say what you want how justified this was. It never had to reach that point and in the eyes of the public it casts a black eye on cops

  • Mark In PA
    Nov. 22, 2007 1:34 p.m.

    Everyone on this board is completely missing the most important point. Yes, Massey was defiant and even "mouthy", and he should have been more cooperative. HOWEVER... all Officer Gardner would have had to do to completely defuse this situation would have been to CLEARLY EXPLAIN the consequences of signing or not the citation. He NEVER ONCE said that signing the citation is not an admission of guilt but only a promise to appear in court. He also never said that by refusing to sign, Massey will instead be placed under arrest. He also never said that he was about to Taser Massey.

    Gardner could have avoided the entire confrontation if he would have calmly and intelligently communicated WITH Massey rather than just giving him mindless commands to obey. Yes, it is our duty as citizens to follow police officer's commands, but it is their duty as professionals to use SOUND JUDGEMENT, COMMUNICATION and GOOD DECISIONMAKING to prevent excessive use of force.

    In this situation, Officer Gardner clearly demonstrated extremely bad judgement and a very poor ability to maintain his composure and think through a situation. This man has no business wearing a badge or carrying a gun.

  • Cecil
    Nov. 22, 2007 1:56 p.m.

    yes the officer had the option to NOT arrest the subject, but the officer felt the bullying and attitude of the driver warranted an arrest. Yes the officer is heavy handed, but the driver had about 15 opportunities to not get arrested, this is clearly caused by the driver aggravating an unprofessional cop.. it's not really the cop's fault, the driver said "NO" far too many times to the cops lawful ORDERS to OBEY.. who in their right mind refuses a cops lawful or unlawful orders with impunity? Someone who wants to get tasered, that's who!!

  • Anonymous
    Nov. 22, 2007 2:47 p.m.

    Cecil,

    I'm not justifying Massys actions at all, but what he did (not signing the ticket) and having an attitude is not grounds for arrest.

    Police officers have a tough job, but they are trained to take all kinds of abuse (far worse than a speeder mouthing off) professionally and to defuse the situation and keep things from going to this level.

    This officer clearly did not.

  • Steve
    Nov. 22, 2007 3:07 p.m.

    Everyone who is on the officer's side. I just don't know what is wrong with you. The Man Mr. Massey was fully within his legal rights. Yeah maybe he should have argued his case in court and not the side of the road but he didn't do anything wrong worth getting a taser. The man was of no threat to the officer or anybody else which is the only reason the officer would be allowed to use a taser. This whole thing could have been resolved with simple conversation. This is a classic case of an officer abusing there power and getting away with it. The officer said in the video to the other cop "I told him to turn around or I'll taser you" watch the video again when he threatens Mr. Massey with the taser A. Massey is surprised and scared B. The officer never actually said the words "or I'll taser you" This cop should be thrown off the police force for such behaviour.

  • Charles
    Nov. 22, 2007 3:17 p.m.

    You broke the law and endangered your family. What happen to obeying the laws of the land. I hope you can sollow your pride and repent. I feel for you take care of your family and let it go.You could have gone about it much differently. Luck for you that you are not a minority. We do not have the luxury to throw a tantrum.

  • re:steve
    Nov. 22, 2007 6:15 p.m.

    Steve, obviously you have never seen a video of an officer involved shooting. The vast majority of them start out as routine traffic stops just like this one. How can you say the officer was in no threat? Look where Massey's hands are while he's walking back to his car, how is the officer to know what Massey has in his car? Granted he didn't have a gun, but too many officers die each year because some people do. Why is it that the public is so quick to judge an officers actions when it is the public that asks them to put their lives on line line every day they go to work. Put yourself in the officers situation knowing that all it takes is one person to sneak a weapon out on you and you don't go home that night.

  • Mike
    Nov. 22, 2007 6:25 p.m.

    What is wrong with all these people. An officer should not take an action that could jeopardize the life of an individual, unless his life is in peril which it was not.
    Furthermore why does the officer care if the ticket is signed, as soon as he gives it the motorist the citation is completed. A motorist should be respectful of an officer but this officers actions can not be justified. If this officer doesn't lose his job I wonder about the judgment of his superiors.

  • David
    Nov. 22, 2007 6:51 p.m.

    Massey deserved it. From the beginning he argued with the officer. When an officer asks you to get out of your vehicle its not to look at the scenery. He definately resisted arrest. No officer would allow an individual to return to his vehicle when attempting to make an arrest.

  • CJem
    Nov. 22, 2007 7:46 p.m.

    The video should be shown in drivers' education courses to teach what not to do when stopped by a police officer.

  • Scott
    Nov. 22, 2007 8:39 p.m.

    The first mistake massey did... was getting out of the car... He should of asked for a supervisor to arrive, and waited in his car until he did...

    Second, he DOES NOT HAVE TO SIGN... he can be asked to sign, but it is not a crime to not sign it... the cop should of said, fine, I will sign the line saying I gave your the oppertunity to sign, and here it is... good day..

  • Holmes
    Nov. 22, 2007 8:48 p.m.

    All of the comments about not signing the ticket, hand in pocket, Massey 'arguing'... they are largely irrelevant. Why? The officer lies. He states to his fellow officer he warned Massey he'd be tasered. It's clear that was a lie, and that goes to prove malice on the officer's part.

    This isn't a cop; he's a sneering, lying thug with a badge. ("He took a ride with the taser").

    Anyone defending him is part of the problem. I respect and admire the police. But if police generally behave this way and it's considered acceptable, then they are at best neutral with respect to the rest of us and at worst the enemy.

    Do we want a situation where (God forbid) a cop is shot in a stop like this, and normal decent citizens shrug and say "the cop probably had it coming". I sure as heck don't. The police serve and protect. This officer did neither. He assaulted and lied. If that behavior becomes commonplace and police are unable to see it as wrong, then we will be headed to a dark future indeed.

    Much respect for the police. No respect for this thug who belongs in jail.

  • Rick
    Nov. 22, 2007 8:51 p.m.

    My sister has been a police officer for 16 years, for both West Valley, SLC. We watched the video together because I wanted to get her response. She was flabbergasted at this conduct of the UHP and that the officer was COMPLETELY out of line, extremely arrogant, and that it was a clear case of police brutality. And she said that yes, technically, an officer CAN arrest someone for refusing to sign a citation, but she added that it is pointless and that they are specifically trainede that if someone doesn't sign a ticket, they are to write on the ticket "refused to sign" then give them the ticket to the person and walk away. When brought before the judge, 99% of the time, the judge doesn't even CARE of the signing of the ticket. The Tasering was RIDICULOUS & uncalled for, and she added of all the law enforcement agencies in the state, the UHP always feel they are above the law, and she has been witness when the UHP has arrested OTHER OFFICERS for "attitude" tickets, which have completely no foundation in court. This man needs to be fired and UHP should be ASHAMED of what happened here!

  • Brent Hartman
    Nov. 22, 2007 9:06 p.m.

    Utah Code 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. Deadly force
    may be used only as provided in Section 76-2-404. (Utah Code)

    When was Massey informed of the officer's intention to make the arrest? After force was used. The officer broke the law.


  • HR in South Jordan
    Nov. 22, 2007 9:31 p.m.

    We need to train that officer to respond better to the commands of our "more important" drivers. If a driver tells you to do something, just shut up and do it. When an obviously priveleged young man tells you to drive back with him to look for a speed limit sign before he'll sign anything, do what he says!

    And when you are arresting him and he starts heading back to his car, let him go. What right do you have to interfere with the business of such a sweet little boy.

  • John
    Nov. 22, 2007 9:40 p.m.

    I've noticed a couple of errors in peoples opinions.

    First, people have criticized the UHP for not moving quickly on the complaint. In the article it clearly states that Massey said that he has not yet filled out the complaint form the UHP gave him. How can UHP "stonewall" on a complaint he hasnt officially filed yet?

    Second, Scott and the others who state that Massey didnt have to sign, please read Utah Code 77-7-24. He can only secure his release by signing the ticket. If the officer releases him without the signature, according to state law he is guilty of misconduct.

  • RAG
    Nov. 22, 2007 10:07 p.m.

    With 34 years of law enforcement experience, I'm increasingly concerned with improper "taser" use (there have been nearly 300 taser related fatalities).

    The motorist was wrong. He should have have done as told and then taken his case to court. If there wasn't proper signage, then he'd have a good case. That's why we have courts.

    While we saw an edited tape and anything's possible, the trooper was clearly out of line and contrary to professional training and standards. He correctly made the stop, issued the citation and asked for a signature. When the driver balked he could have explained that the signature was required in lieu of being taken into custody. When the driver turned away the trooper was correct to respond but the taser is the last resort before using fatal force and there were other options which he had not exhausted in the continuum of force. While the motorist is guilty of obstructing the officer, the officer's conduct should be probed by a special prosecutor to see if charges should be issued. Obviously the local prosecutor and the state attorney general have conflicts and independent review is needed. We need professional officers, not thugs with a badge.

  • Marcus
    Nov. 22, 2007 10:49 p.m.

    Argue with an officer, turn your back when he is placing you under arrest, move your hands to your pockets... These are all very stupid things to do. If a drunk man had done exactly the same actions, no one would be questioning the use of a taser. The side of the road is no place for a confrontation, and if a person is acting beligerant (sp?) in a situation like that, the officer really has no choice but to subdue the person. If this officer was a bit quick on the trigger, he'll know better next time, but it doesn't change the fact that Massey needed to be subdued.

  • Deseret Dawg
    Nov. 22, 2007 11:07 p.m.

    Normally, I tend to back law enforcement in these situations. The traffic stop is a supreme moment of uncertainty.

    But after I found out that Trooper Gardner is a 14-year veteran, I cannot support his actions. He's experienced enough to know better. He lost control of the situation.

    Suspension without pay is no longer the only valid option; it is now appropriate to consider termination.

  • Taylor
    Nov. 22, 2007 11:19 p.m.

    A majority of comments on this article have a distinctly different flavor than comments on the first article. To me, most of the comments on this article are clearly from the UHP officer's colleagues, trying to paint a different picture than what we see in the video. Here is an officer who tasered a man, not a boy, a second time for not rolling over quickly, then threatened to taser him again for talking. Massey was somewhat defiant in his attitude and not the kind of person I'd like to encounter, but still treated the officer with respect. The officer had no tact, no diplomacy skills, and really went off the edge. And UHP should have investigated this incident sooner, whether or not they had a signed complaint. They show that they believe they are above the law--must not apply to them, and that is what is disgusting. With the comments of many officers above, surely some house cleaning is in order. I agree with many of the posters on Massey's side, especially Mark of PA. This young man and his family had no appearance of a threat on the video, and the officer should have known his record.

  • BA
    Nov. 22, 2007 11:38 p.m.

    I am on the cops side on this one...the cop may be a Jack A, but the actions you displayed were very similar to what i have seen on other videos right before the perp pulls out a gun or takes a swing at the cop. Argue in court not on the road, and be sure to put your hands out in front of you next time you fall.

  • Tenderheart
    Nov. 23, 2007 12:33 a.m.

    Unquestioning compliance when confronted by authority figures is a dangerous rule to follow. The American Revolution began as a refusal to comply with abusive authority. Child abuse occurs because children are usually taught to obey unquestioningly. I always taught my children to question unfairness politely but firmly.
    No one should be arrested, tased (tortured) or otherwise mistreated for asking questions!
    While Massey could have been more polite, the officer should have been professional enough to either answer his questions, refer him to an appropriate source for answers, or explain calmly why he wouldn't answer and what the legal requirements of the situation were.
    The officer clearly abused his authority. The fact that so many of the above comments defend that abuse demonstrate why our country's freedoms are being eroded so rapidly: a preference for comfortable accommodation rather than standing up for what we believe is right.

  • M Kilmer
    Nov. 23, 2007 12:44 a.m.

    It's impossible to see Gardner's side of this incident. An argument on the side of the road would not have been possible if he refused to engage in it. Gardner was more than willing to fuel the debate with both of the Masseys throughout the entire episode. He was right, it did not have to turn out that way, but it did because he orchestrated it that way. Gardner is trigger happy and a liar who acts like someone with a drug dependency. He lost control almost immediately. Hard to believe the UHP continues to leave this guy on duty to strike again. Apparently, even with millions of people seeing his face they are not concerned with his safety.

  • Casey
    Nov. 23, 2007 12:48 a.m.

    First, there is no doubt he should have signed the ticket and the officer has the right to arrest him since he didn't. Second, its true the kid was stupid. There is no doubt. However, he should not have been tased. The officer tased him before he had ever said the word "arrest." Obviously the kid was confused about what the hell was going on from the very beginning. He tells him to turn around, what the hell for. He hadn't said the word arrest. He officer will argue that the kid was going to flee, give me a freaking break. He took a couple of steps, so what. Hey, I don't think the guy should get fired. He made a mistake. Everyone does it, but admit it and move on. Under Utah Code 77-7-1 it states "The person shall not be subjected to any more restraint than is necessary for his arrest and detention." Do you really think it was necessary for Mr. Malley to be tased for the officer to arrest him? I mean maybe, but the officer did not have enough info when he fired it. I'm fine with him pulling it, but not firing it then.

  • Casey - cont.
    Nov. 23, 2007 12:58 a.m.

    In addition, the UHP's own policy on the use of taser's tells us that a taser can only be used when
    - a person is a threat to themselves, an officer or another person.
    - In cases where the physical use of force would endanger the person or someone else.
    - When other means of lesser or equal force by the officer has been ineffective and a threat still exists.

    Lets face it, this situation does not fit.

    Finally, these things have been involved in many deaths and although everyone argues that they do not cause the death, people die after being tased. Don't you think we should try to limit there use to when they are needed. Not when the officer goes willy nilly firing away. Just because someone makes you nervous you don't "give him a ride on the taser."

    My last note. The way the officer was talking about it with Mr. Malley, saying "gave him a ride on the taser" or something like that and saying it hurts doesn't it sure made it seem like it was just fun for the officer.

    Ultimately, the kid learned SIGN the TICKET. Hopefully the officer learned when to tase.

  • Srilyk
    Nov. 23, 2007 2:05 a.m.

    Massey made one single serious error that I can see - not showing his hands. When Massey was standing in front of the cop car, the officer said "Turn around!" And Massey complied, turning around and headed for the car. The officer did NOT say "Freeze" "Stop" "Halt" or anything else. At the very beginning of the stop, Massey asked how fast he was going and the officer ignored his request.

    So far as I can tell the only edit is the removal of when the officer (presumably) called in his license and registration.

    I don't know who could think Massey was resisting arrest - he said "Officer, please read me my rights!"

    Massey:"You have not told me what I'm being cited with!"
    Officer:"I told you you were speeding!"
    Massey:"What speed?"

    The officer (as far as we've seen) has never told him what speed. The officer would not read him his rights. As far as I know, you're not under arrest until your rights have been read. I don't think I ever heard the officer give Massey any options such as "turn around or I taser you" or "sign this ticket or go to jail"

    The officer was wrong.

  • ID 10 Tee
    Nov. 23, 2007 2:15 a.m.

    Note to Mr. Massey's boss; find a reason to fire him as soon as you can. Here is another person who thinks the rules don't apply to him, he's a whiner, a complainer and needs to learn a few of lifes' hard lessons before he can function normally in society.

  • allen
    Nov. 23, 2007 2:16 a.m.

    this sort of incident makes me ashamed to live in Utah. What is worse is the apologists here who try to justify what that rogue officer did. Apparently many here don't realize that an officer can't just taze someone because they didn't obey an immediate command. The kid was trying to get the officer to show him any speed limit sign that he missed (as is all of our rights in something other than a communist style police state). What's wrong with some of you people? This trooper needs to understand he works for the public and not the other way around. This trooper should be fired first, then prosecuted for pergury for his false report on the incident.

  • Janey
    Nov. 23, 2007 2:23 a.m.

    I think a lot of the guys posting here are cops or friends or family of them because the attitude that an officer can treat people the way he did with Massey was just a great big power ego trip for him. I could so easily see myself in such a thing. I have been stopped more than one mostly for speeding and once for doing a tricky little lane change across a few lanes to get to my ramp. Even though I would have rather been getting a root canal, I did not have a problem asking him just what I did wrong. I was always treated businessy and direct except for one in Wyoming. He was a class A jerk. Mostly, however, I was given a mini=lecture and a warning and let go. Why would Gardner not answer the guy's non=trhreatening question how fast he was going. Watching the video and the more complete one, Massey's truck was not going very fast, this was escalated by power hungry egomaniac who felt like being tuff. Maybe he watched too Bruce Willis in Die Hard. At any rate, this guy needs to chill. Somebody buy him a doughnut.



    '[

  • UT travel add CNN Europe
    Nov. 23, 2007 2:38 a.m.

    Get REAL! Both of YOU are as guilty.
    Sad the CNN worldwide had this travel add from Utah. Massey no sympathy for your childish act. You brought this on. Perhaps your parents taught you this, or you just had a bad day?

    OFFICER - shame on YOU... public servant? Harming a person like this and your behavior whilst you could have just noted 'refusal to sign' on the ticket and have the judge give him a stiffer ticket for a failure to abide by your orders. UHP learn from this. Utilize 'refusal to sign', but tell the judges to stick it to them in ticket value... but violence???

    It is a sad day when teen age mentality is rewarded by an executioner's mentality. Sad when a UHP cop is a judge - when his judgment is as immature as the speeder's.

    UHP wake up and handle this!

  • Not a "victim"
    Nov. 23, 2007 2:55 a.m.

    He was a recipient of "tasing," not a victim. A victim would've been someone walking by who was inadvertently struck. The video shows him passing the 40 MPH sign, and the officer told him there was another as well. He was an offender, not a victim.

  • Rag and Casey, I disagree
    Nov. 23, 2007 3:08 a.m.

    RAG and Casey, here is where I disagree with you.

    The man walks away, placing the officer between two belligerent people. He has no way of knowing the extent to which they are dangerous, but he DOES know he can't watch both at once. Splitting and moving apart would be a great strategy if you goal was to ambush the officer. At the moment Massey placed the officer between he and his wife, this was IMMEDIATELY a dangerous situation because of that alone. (Add to that the roadside danger that has led to thousands of officers dying nationwide.)

    Did the officer have attitude? Yes, but the cause of the problem was the couple.

  • the toaster
    Nov. 23, 2007 3:15 a.m.

    Wrong, Casey -cont. One could easily make the case that this situation met two of those three criteria:

    1. The guy was walking away, while reaching in his pocket, after being told repeatedly to turn around. The officer had every reason to consider him a threat.

    2. Taking him down physically would be a very dangerous proposition on the side of a busy road.

    Taze or tackle were the officer's only choices. (Though I wouldn't disagree that the cop bumbled his way into that particular corner.)

  • David Tagliaferri
    Nov. 23, 2007 3:19 a.m.

    Mr. Massey should have done what the Police officer told him to do, but that does not give the police officer the right to use a potentially deadly weapon on Mr. Massey. The tazer should only be used to defend the life of the police officer of someone else.

  • American
    Nov. 23, 2007 3:47 a.m.

    Were the two comments I submitted all that controversial?

    The officer is brutal, and his behavior is all-too-indicative of where our waterboarding country is headed.

    My opinion is, he belongs in jail.

    Why won't you post my messages?

  • Joe
    Nov. 23, 2007 3:49 a.m.

    I would NOT want this police officer "protecting me." First of all... at the very beginning of the video, he pulls to the side of the road, but the police car never stops. Did he really use his radar gun? I don't think he did. Thats why he cant say how fast he is going. It also makes the policeman a liar. The speeding car passes the 40 mph sign and is instantly pulled over. Who amongst us would go from 55 mph past a 40 mph sign... at 40 mph? At the least we would allow our car to coast to 40. Second, the police officer never gave the words... I am going to arrest you. Its implied but never said. It would have been nice if this jerk would have told Massey he would be arrested if he didn't sign the ticket. He might have chosen to sign the ticket. Third, he should have warned him that he was going to tase him. Massey was not really violent or threatening. Childish, but not threatening. Fourth, when arresting someone who is asking for their rights to be read... read them! I hope this state trooper get fired.

  • Eyes wide open.
    Nov. 23, 2007 4:10 a.m.

    This whole incident is a fine example of a naughty child who needed a good spanking, but never got it.

    If you actually watch the video, try counting how many times he disrespects and disobeys the officer.

    The officer uses incredible restraint and dosen't taze the guy until he warns him and the guy still refuses to cooperate.

    By the way did the UHP do a drug test on this clown?

  • BC
    Nov. 23, 2007 5:05 a.m.

    The driver should have handled the situation better, but so should have the police officer. He is supposed to be trained to de-escalate such occurences. What was his basis for how fast the person was driving. One balance, the officer was probably more in the right, but too many times we run across officers with a power syndrome. Do we live in Russia or a democratice U.S. I wonder sometimes when I have to deal with the law.

  • Truth! You can't Take the Truth!
    Nov. 23, 2007 6:04 a.m.

    So everytime I get stopped..I can expect the village idiot on the other side to have his taser at the ready. Each jurisdiction should have an open book policy on tasing so that all us good , wholesome never did nothing wrong citizens can avoid these areas all together! WWHHIIPPDDEEDDOOO!

  • MY
    Nov. 23, 2007 6:23 a.m.

    Just another millenial finding out that the world doesn't revolve around him.

  • CJP
    Nov. 23, 2007 6:38 a.m.

    Both Massey and Gardner were emotionally out of control but does that justify a Shoot-out-at the OK Coral

  • Harry
    Nov. 23, 2007 6:55 a.m.

    First of all, the repeated reference to the taser as a "non-lethal" weapon is incorrect. It has caused many recent deaths - it is, after all, electrocution and can kill anyone with a weak heart. It should be used sparingly and only in violent situations, not a routine traffic stop.

    Utah can now put out new state slogans:

    IN UTAH, ELECTROCUTION IS NOT JUST FOR MURDERERS ANYMORE.

    COME TO UTAH, AMERICA'S ABU GRAIB.

    UTAH - WE'LL SHOCK YOU WITH OUR COURTESY, PROFESSIONALISM AND RESPECT.

    UTAH - THE TORTURE STATE.

    UTAH STATE MOTTO - "DON'T TASE ME BRO!"

    UHP - WE ESCALATE TENSIONS.

    UTAH - MARQUIS DE SADE TASED HERE.


  • Jim Platt
    Nov. 23, 2007 6:57 a.m.

    And another drug store attorney bites the dust....really needs to get a life and quit watching law and order.

  • cavalier
    Nov. 23, 2007 7:00 a.m.

    My son in that area reports TWO salient facts-The area of the ticket is a VERY popular speed trap due to non-sensical signage that has some real placement and visibility problems.SECOND-He KNOWS EVERY,single person in law enforcement in the Basin.He says very unkind things about ATTITUDE problems with this officer.He just seems to have some personality defects.Perhaps he needs some counseling..CLEARLY-BOTH men were in the wrong,neither deserves a medal.

  • The founding fathers!
    Nov. 23, 2007 7:20 a.m.

    When any system isn't allowed to ask questions, then there exists no room for improvement. Hopefully other jurisdictions will use this incident as a question! Don't do this to good America families..there was ignorance on both sides, but when one is in a position of trust such as the officer...it is the attitude of his leaders that will prevail. May the system not fail. Where is the Justice ..when you don't answer up or you laugh it off as if trivial, it is human beings not human subjects! How embarassing to the good officers and leaders who do their jobs with convictions. As I recall there was an officer from this area who gave his life and he never was the kind to go off with this kind of hautiness! He was trully a servant of god and his fellow man!

  • Massey thinks he's boss
    Nov. 23, 2007 7:33 a.m.

    The FACT of the matter is, NONE of this would've happened if Massey would've just signed the ticket. He was being completely disrespectful from the first words out of his mouth. Who does he think he is to sit there and argue with an officer on the side of the road? And then to sit there and demand that the officer let him go look at a sign BEFORE he signs a ticket? Hey Massey, maybe the taze helped you realize you have a serious ego problem.

  • Jimmy's Sneakers
    Nov. 23, 2007 7:39 a.m.

    Don't tase me Bro!

  • Stan O
    Nov. 23, 2007 7:41 a.m.

    Please allow me out start by saying the "victim"/Massey does share culpability in this situation. He should have known better than to argue with a COP. He didn't and that's where the trouble begins. Most of the cops that I've dealt with have inflated egos and huge authority complexes. Additionally, they are often narrow/close minded individuals. They believe that since they carry a gun, they are always right.
    The best thing to do in situation like this is take the ticket, hire a lawyer and humble the cop in court. Cop trumps civilian, lawyer trumps cop.
    Cops often believe that they ARE the LAW, when in fact, they are simply there to uphold a law that elected officials I voted for passed. Additionally, cops tend to forget that it's my tax dollars paying their salaries.
    Massey should have asked for the Utah DMV code that states he must sign the ticket. Then if the officer produced it, Massey should have signed it.
    Driving is a Privilege, not a Right-and motorists do need to follow the laws/rules of the road.
    That being said, Cops should be forced to show greater degrees of restraint before assaulting a less than dangerous man.

  • Duke
    Nov. 23, 2007 7:57 a.m.

    Dude...don't tease me. I mean taze me.

  • JuJus Mema
    Nov. 23, 2007 8:58 a.m.

    Massey should have just shut up and signed the ticket. His insistence in arguing escaladed the incident. He can always fight it in court. He is a sorry example to his child in the car. An officer working in a remote area, without nearby back-up, on a vehicle stop, with multiple occupants, has to do what he needs to to get home safely. How many of these traffic stop videos show a seemingly calm person turning violent and seriously injuring or killing the officer.

  • mk
    Nov. 23, 2007 8:59 a.m.

    This guy needs to settle down and realize he was in the wrong. He admits on tape he was doing 68, So why he keeps asking "how fast was I going" is silly. Second the officer tells him to stay on the ground and then Massey gets up and follows the cop to the passenger side of the car. Next time, sign the ticket and go to court. This guy got what he deserved. If he files a lawsuit he will look just as silly as the guy who sued McDonalds because he got fat eating their food.

  • Fire him
    Nov. 23, 2007 9:05 a.m.

    Fire the Trooper, and put his over-reactive personality and alpha-male attitude in jail. I am glad the "suspect" didn't curse during the encounter, the Trooper probably would have just shot him dead on the spot.

    I see nothing wrong with questioning a Trooper's cognitive skills, the State obviously doesn't.

  • One Vote
    Nov. 23, 2007 9:06 a.m.

    I like Jason's raionale for going on U Tube. He felt it was his "civic duty." Well, it's also our "civic duty" to comply with requests from uniformed officers. Then there is that whole "taking personal responsibility for our actions" thing.
    The trooper could have acted more professionally but let's not take away all their tools or we won't be safe at all.
    Remember, these Smokeys operate 30 minutes away from their back-up, sometimes more. Let them keep the tools they need.
    And Jason, here in American you get a copy of the tape. Try getting your evidence in most countries. God Bless America.

  • Me, Myself, and I
    Nov. 23, 2007 9:07 a.m.

    First off...Im glad to see some support for this officer.
    First: Driver broke the law by speeding
    Second: Driver broke the law by refusing to sign the citation.
    Third: Driver broke the law by failing to comply with the officers LAWFUL order to turn around and place his hands behind his back. Its called RESISTING ARREST.

    This driver was nothing but disrespectful and arrogant during the entire stop. Even after being tazed, he kept it up. Not saying that arrogance is a reason to be tazed, but it goes to show why the officer had a justifiable reason to taze. As uncooperative as Massey was, how do you think he wouldve reacted if the officer would have gone "hands on" to make the arrest, rather than tazing??? I couold have been a lot worse than what it was. By using his tazer, the officer prevented a situation that would have probably would have caused injury to himself and Massey.

    Could the officer been a better communicator? Sure. But it doesnt change the fact that he was justified in using the force that he used to effect a lawful arrest of a already non-compliant suspect.

  • jeff
    Nov. 23, 2007 9:19 a.m.

    I say taze 'em all!!!

  • Law and Order
    Nov. 23, 2007 9:21 a.m.

    This is a clear case of the officer using excessive force. In the video the motorist in no way demonstrates threatening or unusual behavior - he simply refused to sign the ticket. The officer could have placed him under arrest without the use of force. Massey has a strong chance of prevailing in any civil case he files against the officer and the Utah Highway Patrol for brutality, for excessive use of force, for unlawful arrest and for violating Massey's Constitutional rights. The video will be extremely effective with any jury.

  • dave
    Nov. 23, 2007 9:28 a.m.

    the comments i'm reading are more scary than the actions of the officer. A signature is the property of the individual who has total jurisdiction over it's use. that's the whole point. No One should ever sign anything they don't want to.
    the scary part is how many people think it's okay for a police officer to taser someone TWO TIMES who is not threatening or violent. The officer has proven through his cowardly behavior that he is unfit to handle the stressful situations of his job. what if this were a really serious incident that required a level head and steady hand?

  • Rick!
    Nov. 23, 2007 9:37 a.m.

    You are right as UHP attitude is right on the screen! good call that's all!

  • Elayor
    Nov. 23, 2007 9:55 a.m.

    One of our constitutional rights as citizens of this country is the right to know what we are being charged for. The motorist asked several times how fast he was going. That's usually the first thing an officer tells you when pulling you over for speeding, and if you are given a citation, or are arrested, you have the right to know why.

    Sure, putting your hands in your pockets and everything else is not a good thing to do in front of a cop, but Joe Normal American guy who has never been in a situation before looking at the business end of a weapon (taser or gun), let alone from a police officer, would be nervous and probably scared when put in that situation. Shouldn't we feel safe to be around our law enforcement?

    The officer probably didn't even NEED to draw his weapon. If he would have told the guy how fast he was going, he would have signed the ticket and been off. It appears to me in the video that the cop was next to the speed limit sign waiting for someone to drive by. I doubt the actualy speed was ever taken.

  • re:Marcus
    Nov. 23, 2007 10:08 a.m.

    Not OK...

    --but--

    OK if you are drunk.

    Why, does drinking alcohol lessen your civil liberties?

    Do you know how many people nowdays are getting DUI's for adverse reactions to presciption meds, being tired, health conditions (Not that they should be on the road, but a person sufering a reaction to a heart medications should not be treated differently --tazed-- becuase they appear intoxicated.

    I guess in Utah though, it's a safe statement. Help people be good mormons, taze them if they drink...

  • Very interesting
    Nov. 23, 2007 10:14 a.m.

    At first I couldn't believe how many people on this post found no fault with the officer in this video. Then it became obvious. The officer, his girl friend, his brother, are the ones posting on this article. Who knows maybee they are all from the officer. Anyone with any common sense can see that the officer was completely out of control and violated every principle of "crisis" management which this was not.

    First: The officer gave no explanation that by signing the ticket it was not an admission of guilt.

    Second: If what the officer was doing was arresting the man he NEVER communicated that. He simply asked him out of his car and walked calmly back to his patrol car. The man was pointing at the sign and the next thing he knows he has a taser pointed at him which he thinks was a gun.


  • Very interesting continued
    Nov. 23, 2007 10:18 a.m.

    The officer never said "due to you not signing a ticket I am arresting you" (which I don't think is justification for arrest)

    He simply pointed what the man thought was a gun at him. The man was in total disbelief just like I was when I watched the video. He was in shock. The officer told him to turn around, which is obvious the man was not processing. Then he did and the officer Tasered him in the back. "Turn around" he did, he got Tased.

    This officer was totally out of lined with the way he handled a man who it looked like really didn't deserve a ticket. That is why he was upset. I would be too.

    However the man acted totally inappropriately, he was mouthy, yet his actions in now way warrented the lack of communication, skill, training and use of excessive totally unnecessary force which he recieved.

    The officer should be fired and sued. The man should be sited for being "mouthy" and "imature" if such sitations exist. Then the man should recieve money for the horror he endured.

    I can't believe the officer is not on paid leave while this is investigated.



  • Skeptic
    Nov. 23, 2007 10:27 a.m.

    I looked up the "thousands" of police dying and found these stats for this year. Google it. While not accurate for sure, there are certainly not "thousands" of cops dying on road-side stops. Only in Hollywood movies.


    Accidental: 3
    Aircraft accident: 3
    Animal related: 1
    Automobile accident: 43
    Boating accident: 1
    Bomb: 5
    Drowned: 3
    Exposure to toxins: 1
    Fall: 1
    Gunfire: 59
    Gunfire (Accidental): 3
    Heart attack: 5
    Heat exhaustion: 1
    Motorcycle accident: 5
    Struck by vehicle: 7
    Vehicle pursuit: 6
    Vehicular assault: 9
    Weather/Natural disaster: 2

  • Sickened
    Nov. 23, 2007 10:43 a.m.

    It really disgusts me to read all of the obvious propaganda from gardners fellow UHP officers in these comments. It also scares me a little. It would appear that many of the UHP believe that gardners actions are completely justified. Keep that in mind next time you see one of them walking the streets or shopping or whatever. These are the bullies and criminals we tend to warn our children about. Unfortunately, they are also the ones we pay taxes to to "protect and serve." To each of you officers who made comments to this article, I beg of you to PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, not "protect and serve" me. Watching Massey's ordeal was enough for me. Final note, I was happy to stay on the sidelines on this one until I read all of these comments. I will not join the many who are contacting Gardner's superiors to voice my distress over this. To all of you reading who are not Gardner's friends and co-workers, I would encourage you to do the same.

  • Deseret Morning News moderator
    Nov. 23, 2007 10:45 a.m.

    Comments that use personal insults will not be tolerated in this or any thread. Discussion of behavior and decision-making is allowed. This thread will be monitored very closely. The discussion must remain civil or comments will not be posted.

  • Peace
    Nov. 23, 2007 10:48 a.m.

    What some people don't realize is that if you don't sign the citation, the officer is allowed to arrest you. And so when he got out of the car, Massey is lucky he wasn't shot by a real gun.

  • Please!
    Nov. 23, 2007 10:55 a.m.

    Mrs. Massey is also very lucky she didn't get shot! The trooper would have been very justified in drawing his weapon down on her also. She came charging out of that vehicle at the trooper who was busy dealing with her non-compliant, law-breaking husband. She came out of the vehicle more than once! How was the trooper to know she didn't have a gun? Even a knife at that close range, could have been a deadly force situation.
    Mr. Massey thought that posting the video would win him sympathy from the public! Boy did that shoot him in the behind (pun intended)!

  • Concerned Citizen
    Nov. 23, 2007 10:58 a.m.

    In St Paul, Minnesota we had a situation where an officer threatened to cite people for not having the address on their garages. The citizens got upset. The supervisor came out to the meeting, explained why this requirement existed and that it would benefit emergency vehicles. It was explained and people put up the letters. Guess here we have Andy (of Mayberry fame) in charge of the police instead of Barney, or in Utah, maybe we should say Barney with an attitude.
    Yes, the driver was wrong but unless the video was edited, the trooper did not say he was under arrest or warn the driver that he would be tasered.
    Since CNN now has the UHP saying that the trooper's statement was unprofessional, I suspect that even the state now recognizes the PR problem they have.
    Best of luck to both parties who were in the wrong. Police are given great lattitude: with great power comes great responsibility. It does seem that Taser came out of the holster quickly.

  • Unbelievable
    Nov. 23, 2007 11:03 a.m.

    While Massey could (and should) have been more deferential to the Trooper, he did absolutely nothing to warrant the Taser attack. Gardner was overzealous,(to the point of being almost sadistic); demonstrated woeful interpersonal skills; and deserves to be punished for his misconduct. (I seriously thought he was going to Taser the pregnant woman next. He was out of control.)

  • Please! (?!?)
    Nov. 23, 2007 11:09 a.m.

    "Mrs. Massey is also very lucky she didn't get shot!"

    I disagree -- I think the only real danger is that this Taser-happy Trooper was going to Taser a pregnant woman whose single crime would have been her distress over seeing her husband writhing in agony on the ground after being attacked by a Trooper with horrid personal judgment.

    Any potential sympathy for this Trooper disappears when you hear him threaten to give Massey another Taser shock in retaliation for Massey committing the "crime" of asking to be read his rights.

    Utah is often seen as being on the fringe of American culture, and Gardner's actions do nothing to help the situation.

  • hey officers!
    Nov. 23, 2007 11:19 a.m.

    Get back to work and make your comments on your time not mine! Let it go to court. Geez, the right to bear arms, militia , military madness is killing the country. One sees these guys strolling around with an attitude which just disgusts me as they try to define what the profession is!

  • Linda
    Nov. 23, 2007 11:37 a.m.

    I could not believe this when I saw it. The police force is out of control if they sanction this sort of thing. This police officer ought to be in jail.( or a dictator of a communist country.) Why is the system so careful with how they treat hardened criminals and murderers, and so horrible to ordinary citizens who may be in a hurry and go 5 or 10 over the limit.

  • Casey
    Nov. 23, 2007 11:39 a.m.

    Lets face it, most police are going to agree that this was a fair and correct use of the taser. The reason for this is that they do not want to make a decision, in other words they want free reign to use it as they see fit. Now I understand this weapon purportedly has saved many lives and could continue to do so, HOWEVER there must be rules regarding the taser's use and officers must be responsible to make sound decisions of when the rules allow them to use it. When they don't, come out and admit it and this is a case where they should simply admit it should not have been fired, at least until later in the altercation. I don't think this guy should be fired but he must be reprimanded, suspended, docked pay, undergo anger management, and receive extensive training with regards to the taser before being allowed to come back on patrol again.

  • Anonymous
    Nov. 23, 2007 12:05 p.m.

    you do not have to sign the ticket the officer is just pushing his weight around. young highway patrole officers no senior officers and a tazer.hmmmmm can you say big head. if he would of explained what what going on and told hime " I am placing you under arrest. PLEASE get out of the vehical and put your hands behinde your back." this would of never of happend. im a cops son i have seen this many of times with rookie officers! sounds to me like uhp has a big law suit on ther hands.

  • Rick
    Nov. 23, 2007 12:10 p.m.

    John says:

    "please read Utah Code 77-7-24"

    To John and the other people that are obviously cops themselves defending that lunatic UHP: Please get real. I know what 77-7-24 says. I could show you other ridiculous laws that are still on the books that I suppose you could rationalize tazing for (if you tried hard enough and drank enough liquor). Now, lets ALL come back down to earth from fairly-land. As I said before, You don't taze a guy, or arrest him because he "DID NOT FOLLOW MY INSTRUCTIONS" or refused to sign a ticket. Regardless of the how CORRUPT the UHP organization has become, judges couldn't care less a person refuses to sign a ticket, that is thrown out in almost ALL cases. That cop needs to be FIRED!!!!! PERIOD!!! I love the new Utah Slogans, by the way. You add "UHP WE CAN DO ANYTHING WE WANT TO ANYONE FOR ANY REASON!" And also the silly claim that "thousands of cops are dying" ROFL!!! Actually it's MILLIONS of cops are dying, EVERY DAY!... no wait, it's BILLIONS of cops... LOL

  • biff
    Nov. 23, 2007 12:12 p.m.

    first of all no one truly knows if he was speeding or not, probably another speed trap where the limit is 65 then cut down to 45 in the span of a few hundred yards. second off there is no law that says you have to agree with or sign anything a cop gives you. And there is such a thing as reasonable force, a person casualy walking around and asking what he has done does not need to "take a ride with the taser" and be knocked into the middle of the hwy. question: had the person being sited been ran over by a semi would the officer be on unymployment?

  • He never told him....
    Nov. 23, 2007 12:17 p.m.

    Someone please explain to me how Massey can be "resisting arrest" when he was NEVER TOLD that he was being placed under arrest?

    The cop never utters the words.

    Disgusting behavior by a sadistic cop.

  • Dilly
    Nov. 23, 2007 12:35 p.m.

    Follow my points along with the video

    (1) Watch closely as the officer walks back to the front of his patrol car to set down the items in his hands to make the arrest. Look at what a "vigilant" eye he kept on his would-be attacker as he walked, BACK to the suspect. Does that casual strut back to his car barely looking out the corner of his eye to see what is in the mans hands after he exits his car say much to you? Either he's (a) NOT a tactically sound operator with little to no situational awareness. (b) Or he felt no threat at all from Massey.

    (2) Watch closely, again during that same moment, as the officer leaned towards his car to empty his hands. He is already reaching for the taser (he has to cross draw the taser) as he's turning around before he says anything to the kid about being arrested.

    I could go on and on with logical reasoning for why this "peace officer" has got issues.

    A question to ask yourself...if someone was pointing a taser at your chest or face...wouldn't any of us turn around and take it in the back??

  • Sowelo
    Nov. 23, 2007 12:42 p.m.

    Officer Gardner is an excellent example of why so many decent people do not respect, and even fear, the police. I have watched the video a couple times and this cop seemed too quick on the draw and too reluctant to listen. He seems to have some ego problems which make his judgment unreliable and his behavior dangerous.

    Tell the Vernal Chamber of Commerce their town is one place I'll avoid visiting and spending money in as long as this trooper is on the road there.

  • JS
    Nov. 23, 2007 12:55 p.m.

    Actally Utah law gives Mr. Massey the right to argue the ticket on the spot. Also it gives the police officer the right to place the ticket into the car, or to write "Refused to sign" on the ticket. You give these "What if" scenarios... Well what if Mr. Massey was taking his pregnant wife (she was pregnant) to the hospital. Do you think he would have deserved A) an escort to the hospital, or B) to be tasered?

  • who cares
    Nov. 23, 2007 12:57 p.m.

    cops allways gets away with breaking the law even Ateranal aFairs will let the UHP OFFICER OFF like they always do cops lie and perge all the time its policey to lie

  • Blindly Support Your Police
    Nov. 23, 2007 1:00 p.m.

    Nice to see how people stand up for a cop that lied to his fellow cop. Gardner said to the other cop Massey was jumping around and that he warned Massey that he would get tasered. Neither are true.

  • Lynn Sanderson
    Nov. 23, 2007 1:11 p.m.

    You deserved what you got!! You try being a UHP today when people are killing them at will and you think you have the right to argue with them whether you were speeding or not. You were definitely flapping your mouth and being surely. Shut up next time. You probably could have gotten out of the ticket with some explanation to the judge but now you should be fined triple and spend a few days in jail.

  • LAT
    Nov. 23, 2007 1:11 p.m.

    What is the UHP the SS?

    The police officer's behavior clearly escalated this issue. He could have defused this in a much better way. It appeared that he relished the opportunity to taser this young man. His discussion with the other officer seemed to indicate this. He didn't have to allow the young man to get out of the vehicle. It is this kind of behavior by law enforcement that scares because now any benign quesioning of law enforcement means they can taser you without having to answer for their behavior.

  • CM
    Nov. 23, 2007 1:36 p.m.

    Where I grew up if you shot someone in the back you were a coward or you don't have the correct job skills.
    He probably was still mad about being second string on his High School football team.

    He'll never be able to explain why he shot/tazed the guy in the back,it is a simple abuse of power.

    With all that said he should have signed the ticket,its not worth endagering your wife and child.

  • rgk
    Nov. 23, 2007 1:42 p.m.

    Looks like if UHP Officer is allowed to Tazer someone WITHOUT WARNING -- we all need to start wearing helmet to protect our head when it hits the pavement after being Tazered for a speeding ticket -- this was NEEDLESS violence !!!

  • Sick and tired...
    Nov. 23, 2007 1:45 p.m.

    ...of people who are unaccountable!!! Is it just me or did anyone else hear the driver admit he was driving 68 (or maybe 58)? Either way it was over 40...speeding is speeding is speeding and it is against the law! Who cares if he didn't see the sign...the truth is we all pretty much know how fast we are supposed to be driving...and if we're over that we are speeding...and if we get caught...hmmmmm...the policeman's fault??? Absolutely not! It is not the officer's fault...it is the driver's fault. Sign the ticket and move on. End of story. This country is going to hell in a hand basket becuase noone is expected to take responsibility anymore...it's always someone else's fault. I would much rather have the cocky defiant driver tased then have his SUV end up the tail end of another car on the road!!!

  • Jazz Fan Slapper
    Nov. 23, 2007 1:46 p.m.

    After watching this video, I have concluded that the cop should be fired. He is a hot head with poor communication skills. He used force without cause. He did not explain himself to Massey. He illegally searched the vehicle. He threatened Massey again. He lied to that dopey looking bald cop who showed up later. And the whole stop was probably illegal in the first place, as he could not even explain what Massey had done wrong. This is a shame. Makes me distrust cops.

  • LT
    Nov. 23, 2007 1:50 p.m.

    For those of you that say that he is lucky that he didn't get shot I would ask what country do we live in now? Do we have to be concerned that the UHP is the new Gestapo? Do we have to be concerned that our right to question a police officer will result in being shot? What a shame...

    What is becoming of our country and our rights. I am disgusted at what happened and even more disgusted that those in Utah that profess to love the constitution are the first ones to abandon it.

  • UHP must be back at work
    Nov. 23, 2007 1:53 p.m.

    Notice how there is now hardly anyone defending the officer and almost everyone is siding with massey? Looks like there were a number of officers with the day off on thanksgiving and are now back at work. For the rest of us sane folk, we finished spending time with the fam and are just now viewing all of the garbage that people wrote yesterday. I guess the one good thing to come from this, is that if they were all busy commenting to articles in newspapers, they would not be out there tasering people. We should count our blessings!

  • K..
    Nov. 23, 2007 1:54 p.m.

    ...ask yourself this question? If he WAS taking pregnant wife to the hospital doesn't it make more sense to sign the ticket and move on? Come on...law enforcement is not out there to disrupt anyone's day..they are out there to keep you and your family safe...especially on the road. How many would be on Mr. Massey's side had the "what if" scenario gone like this:

    Instead of being pulled over, the officer was responding to a rear end, high speed crash on the highway where Mr. Massey's SUV lays inches from the other car...rescue workers had to extricate the victim and a child from the mangled honda accord. Both were pronounced dead on the scene.

    How many of you supporters would now think to yourselves..."wish he'd have been caught before this happened."?

  • Matthew
    Nov. 23, 2007 2:11 p.m.

    If Mr. Massey really believed he was in the right, he would have posted an un edited video. UHP will decide if the officer violated policy. It is already apparent that Mr. Massey violated common sense and possibly the law.

  • Bob
    Nov. 23, 2007 2:20 p.m.

    What is even more scary is that I saw on another forum for police officers where this incident was being discussed. The majority of the responses from officers were that that Massey got what he deserved. So beware there are a lot of other officers who would have no trouble doing the same thing.

    There were dissenters also who said Gardner was unprofessional and escalated the sitation when he didn't have to, but I was disturbing to see so many siding with Gardner.

  • Edited Video
    Nov. 23, 2007 2:46 p.m.

    You people who are judging the officer, please remember all you know is what Massey's very edited video shows you and what Massey says happened.

    Massey acted like a spoiled brat. Our family agrees with Lynn Sanderson, 1:11.

  • I Don't Know What
    Nov. 23, 2007 2:56 p.m.

    We expect to have happened out there with the UHP. Afterall, they are paid less than $14.00/hr as a starting wage. What sort of "professional" law enforcement officer do you think you can get for the same kind of money that McDonalds pays for their assistant managers? Until that changes the better and more "professional" officers will choose to work for other agencies because of the pay differences. Can't blame them.

    That being said, Gardner had no business being that quick on the taser. He could have done a much better job explaining the possible consequences to Massey and avoided the whole thing happening the way that it did. Massey had no business arguing as much as he did with Gardner either. Refuse to sign and let him hand you the ticket marked that way. And then shut up and drive away.

    Both parties are guilty but the greater guilt lies with Gardner and UHP. Pay them better and train them better and watch for signs of an "out of control" officer with a power and ego complex.

  • LMAO!
    Nov. 23, 2007 3:06 p.m.

    Some of you are amazingly uneducated...its almost comical!!

    Let me correct a few errors I have read:

    "There have been over 2000 tazer deaths"....WRONG!! There is yet to be a death caused by a TAZER. Tazers have been listed as a contribuiting factor, but not the sole cause. Those who think it will kill you if you have bad heart have no idea how they work. The voltage is what gives you a shock...wattage is what kills you. The wattage on a tazer is not enough to cause death or serious injury.

    "Tasers should only be used in violent situations"...WRONG AGAIN! Tasers were implemented so that officers would not have to go "hands on" with non-compliant suspect...as Massey obviously was. It is a tool that has greatly reduced the number of injuries to officers and suspect.

    "He didnt tell Massey he was under arrest, so Massey couldnt have been resiting arrest." WRONG..An officer does not have to tell you "YOU ARE UNDER ARREST" for you to be under arrest. Once he told Massey to turn around and put his hands behind his back, Massey was being arrest. Massey refused to comply, and therefore resited arrest.


  • Cops
    Nov. 23, 2007 3:36 p.m.

    Bad boys bad boys -- whatcha gonna do? Whatcha gonna do when they Taser you?

  • Why OJ Simpson was acquitted
    Nov. 23, 2007 5:14 p.m.

    Law enforcement in America has a big problem. The same problem that law enforcement has in banana republics around the world -- they are not trustworthy. Law enforcement in America is not as well known for taking bribes, but incidences of planting evidence and beating people up are too common. We place too much blind trust in law enforcement in America to do which is right, which gives law enforcement too much power to act abusively to those they are entrusted to protect. Because law enforcement cannot be trusted, jurors refuse to believe police when they testify in court, and people like OJ Simpson are acquitted. If we want a better justice system, we need better, more honest people behind the badge.

    I have friends in law enforcement and quite truthfully, they work very similar to criminal gangs, the only difference is they have badges, and they don't go to jail when they beat or shoot someone. They give each other a "free pass" for speeding and other infractions. It would be nice if they would demand the same compliance for themselves they demand from people they are supposed to protect and serve.

  • i got out
    Nov. 23, 2007 5:22 p.m.

    stuff like this is why people laugh at us in utah.

    it's a shame, it stinks, but it's true.

    the UHP's refusal to investigate this (and dragging your feet is still refusal) is really a lowdown dirty shame.

    i'm just happy he didn't tase the guy's wife. though i expect that might have sparked outrage. i don't know what it is with the UHP. we have great cops in our cities in Utah (the SLCPD is a model of class and responsibility...i wish the Seattle cops would take lessons from them) and most UHP troopers are good folks. this officer, however, is clearly unglued. and i'd figure maybe the profanity on tape might merit some attention, too. sure offended me.

  • great guy
    Nov. 23, 2007 5:34 p.m.

    Massey was defiant and displayed a combative attitude. A friend, who was a career sheriff, told me whenever you are pulled over by an officer the officer has no idea of who you are and what your going to do. Place your hands on the steering wheel until instructed otherwise. Should we require that our troopers have a fist-fight with every clown that wants to be a tough guy at a traffic stop? If we were talking about Massey being shot with a .45, I'd say the officer over-reacted. Tasered? this guy deserved it. Give the officer a medal!

  • New Toy
    Nov. 23, 2007 6:06 p.m.

    There is clearly fault on both side. Everyone can see that. However the Trooper has had 14 years of training to handle situations like this. And if that is his way of handling the situation then I believe all UHP Troopers need to be retrained. It is hard for me to believe that this is the first time that anyone has argued with a Trooper before. And for the situation to happen the way it did both are to blame. The Trooper should be punished for his actions as well as the motorist. This was not a man out of control. He asked questions and the Trooper never tried to use his skills that he was trained, to handle this better.

  • Real Estate Junkie
    Nov. 23, 2007 7:10 p.m.

    Hey New Toy, I'd like to see what you would do if you were a law enforcement officer giving a direct order for someone to put their hands behind their back only to have them walk away from you with one hand partially in a pocket and the other hand out of your sight.

    If an officer is aiming a taser at me and giving me a direct order, then I'm smart enough to know what will happen to me if I don't obey the order. Massey is lucky the cop was aiming a taser at him and not a gun.

    Massey should be ashamed of putting his wife through that.

  • Sick and Tired
    Nov. 23, 2007 7:45 p.m.

    Isn't it a sad commentary on our society that Mr. Massey and others, including some who see the video and comment on it, are quick to condemn Officer Gardner and not to make mention of the most important fact of all. That Officer Gardner overreacted is probable, but if Mr. Massey had complied with the directives of the police officer there would have been no cause to overreact and the whole incident would have been avoided. He (Mr. Massey) was likely speeding, he (Mr. Massey) was belligerent, he (Mr. Massey) refused multiple direct orders from a police officer, and yet all that many people see is the overreaction to each of these acts. If Mr. Massey had behaved as he should have done, Officer Gardner would not have acted in the way he did.

  • Ron
    Nov. 23, 2007 7:50 p.m.

    It sounds as if many of these comments were posted by UHP PR people. The office was wrong to taser an unarmed, non-threatening citizen. Period. Over 300 people died in the U.S.A. last year from being electrocuted by Tasers. Would the defenders of unprovoked use of Tasers continue their support if death had ensued?

  • UHP Officer
    Nov. 23, 2007 8:41 p.m.

    Under the guise of annonymity I will say that judging only by the video officer gardener did not apply principles conflict management as taught to all UHP officers. He did not place Mr. Massey under arrest therefore Mr. Massey could not have been resisting.

    With that said let me assure you that this officers level of professionalism and judgment do not in any way reflect that of the overwhelming majority of Highway patrolmen.



  • Thoughts
    Nov. 23, 2007 9:24 p.m.

    Has anyone noticed/pointed out that the officers statement of the incident only MINUTES after it happened are wrong?

    "I told him if he didn't sign the ticket, fine, Ill put you under arrest." - He told Massey to get out of the car, he NEVER said he was under arrest.

    "I told him to turn around and put his hands behind his back, he didn't, he was back and forth jumping around, here and there, I told him to turn around again and he didn't, so I pulled my taser and told him, turn around right now or I will tase you." - Massey walked out of the car in a direct straight line pointing backwards. The officer immediately pulled his taser and fired WITH NO VERBAL warning.

    Thank goodness for this video. It is probably the only way we would ever know the truth of what happened.

  • Dirty
    Nov. 23, 2007 10:26 p.m.

    As a police officer if your gonna order an individual out of his car to arrest them as soon as they step out you should be behind them and direct them to put there hands on the vehicle and place them under arrest. why let the man walk freely everywhere? and to tase him twice, thats clearly excessive force especially when he is on his back on the ground. this officer needs to have a grand jury indict him in federal court.

  • KP
    Nov. 23, 2007 10:25 p.m.

    Massey is a complete hot-head in the video, I would have tasered him too. Does he think he is above the law to ignore an officer's instructions, walk away from an officer? Sign the ticket and contest it in court. He should be more responsible, ESPECIALLY with a pregnant wife.

  • Max
    Nov. 23, 2007 11:08 p.m.

    I was curious about why the sound was removed from the start of the video, when the cop car pulled onto the shoulder in such a way as to hide the low-to-the-ground 40 MPH sign from the vehicle behind him. Was he making some reference over the radio to this obvious attempt to set up a speed trap?

  • leek
    Nov. 23, 2007 11:45 p.m.

    I think the officer was wrong and that he used excessive force. His joke about tasering Massey wasn't funny. Massey's questions weren't unreasonable, although I'm sure he now knows to choose his words more carefully around cops, who must be handled with as much care as the weapons they carry.

    I once encountered a trooper in my state (TX) who jokingly asked whether I had bazookas hidden in my trunk, apparently in an attempt to gauge my personality. I'm always uneasy around cops, and so maybe he thought my uneasiness around him meant that I was hiding something illegal, so he used a sick joke to see if I would ease up. I didn't laugh, but responded truthfully "no". He finally let me go with only a warning for speeding, but you could tell he was uneasy too.

    Also, no-one's asked whether this 40 MPH (construction?) zone is being used as a speed trap for revenue, and thus for purposes other than public safety. The officer seems rather zealous about the 40 MPH, concerned more about writing tickets than ensuring safety.

    The officer should get a reprimand and retraining, and Massey should get damages, but neither side should be crucified.

  • norespectforpolice
    Nov. 24, 2007 3:40 a.m.

    This is absolutely disgusting. This is what America has become. Police think that they can just pull a tazer out and shock law abiding citizens who are obviously not a threat to them, just because they wouldn't bow and scrape for him. This is exactly why nobody has any respect for law enforcement; they act like animals.

  • New Toy
    Nov. 24, 2007 4:50 a.m.

    TO Real Estate Junkie: my point is this...it should never had gotten to the point of having to use the taser gun. Troopers have been trained to deal with situations like this. To say the motorist is not partially to blame is pure ignorance. But to say that this guy had it coming is even more ignorant. As a teacher I don't have the benefit of having a taser gun everytime a student is not behaving. I have to use people skill that I have learned to help the situation. It is clear that this Trooper either A)didn't want to use his skills that he had been trained or B)was on a power trip himself. IT IS THE TROOPERS RESPONSIBILITY TO HAND THESE SITUATIONS PROFESSIONALLY. 14 freaking years of experience and this is the best way this Trooper could handle the situation??? I don't buy it. They both are to blame.

  • Nuff Said
    Nov. 24, 2007 6:54 a.m.

    Fact- Gets out of vehicle with hand in or close to pocket and then turns and starts back towards the vehicle.

    Both actions would raise the question of does he have a weapon in his pocket or is he going back to the vehicle to get a weapon.

    He got tased and has learned a lesson for the future. Obey and Officers orders if you get stopped again.

  • Jerry Kroeger
    Nov. 24, 2007 6:59 a.m.

    An interesting variety of comments, consensus is - TWO FOOLS MET

  • Rosemary N. Palmer
    Nov. 24, 2007 7:37 a.m.

    I hope citizens write something more than comments here. Send letters to UHP. Send them to legislators.

    Since we are all concerned that law enforcement is a tough job and we want to keep officers safe, the pendulum has swung to the point that some defend what happened here. When society accepts that mouthing off to an officer or contempt of cop is an acceptable reason for restraint, tasering and/or arrest, we have a police state where officers decide what crime is. And if society comes to the point where it accepts that one can resist arrest, when they've never been told they are being arrested, then officers are given waay too much power.

    Whether the driver's behavior was stupid and even scary is not the issue. Officers are supposed to be adequately trained to de-escalate such circumstances.

    Tell you leaders that you do NOT want it to be legal to taser in these circumstances. Tell them that you do not accept that officer safety concerns gives them the right to arrest or otherwise retaliate against people because they are mouthy and disrespectful. Tell them that only threat to safety should justify force.

  • Jake
    Nov. 24, 2007 11:57 a.m.

    I have completely changed my opinion on this which was at first pretty bugged with the cops. I will admit I didn't see the video at first. After seeing the video, I think that this Massey character was acting like a fool. You see him look at the camera a few different times as if he was already planning this lawsuit. It is very interesting. I don't know the procedure for tasering somebody or even arresting somebody, so this officer could have been way out of line, but the driver seriously made something out of nothing here.

  • Phillip
    Nov. 24, 2007 12:10 p.m.

    The interaction was clearly escalated by this hot-headed, power-hungry egotistical cop. And yet several on this blog were so ignorant as to point out situations where citizens turn and take out their frustrations back on cops. Are you so ignorant to not even consider the principle of cause and effect?

    If you want respect, be respectul. If you want violence, keep up the violence. A badge just identifies your job, it was never intended to extend additional liberties. Don't make it more complicated than it really is.

  • Re:Rick
    Nov. 24, 2007 1:54 p.m.

    I like your comment to John, "I dont agree with that law, so it isnt valid". And people wonder why things like this happen.

  • Preston A. Hamilton
    Nov. 24, 2007 4:54 p.m.

    there are policies and procedures for when an arresting officer can use "use-of-force" applications in making a arrest against an individual. in this case against Massey, the officer is clearly in the wrong for not following these policies.
    first, the offense has to be an arrestable crime, here refusing to sign a traffic is very minor not a threat to society. Secondly, the officer's unprofessional decision to arrest has to be announced to the arrestee and the crime be told. (not done by the officer). In effecting an arrest there are five levels of use of force, this officer started out at level FOUR. the next level is deadly force, level five.
    so to be quite frank, the officer is way out of policy and should reprimanded by his superiors.
    and to Mr Massey, contact your attorney for a federal excessive force and constitutional rights violations lawsuit.(4th,8th,and 14th). I am an attorney but not near your district. i would have a field day with this "rogue" cop and implement new policies were these type of injustices do not occur in the future to our fellow citizens.

  • Jeremy
    Nov. 24, 2007 5:46 p.m.

    I think the officer did the right thing. I am suprised that Massey has not filed a law suit yet because this whole thing looks like a set up to me. Like a person dumping hot coffee on themselves just to get some money.

  • Matt
    Nov. 24, 2007 8:36 p.m.

    Oh and by the way, the reason Massey hasn't filed a lawsuit is because he will lose it. He will only file it to waste Utah's time and money, instead of accepting responsibility for his actions....

  • NHP
    Nov. 24, 2007 11:36 p.m.

    Dont judge cops until youve walked in their shoes for a while. What seems like behavior that you think is no big deal by Massey is actually VERY risky for cops!

    This officer did what had to be done under the circumstances.

  • Anonymous
    Nov. 25, 2007 12:56 a.m.

    NHP -- It's risky for cops if the person in question is actually a dangerous criminal. Massey was obviously not a criminal, he was just this nebbish dweeb who was upset because the arrogant cop wouldn't tell him what was going on.

    With all due respect to the outstanding men and women of law enforcement, among whom I wouldn't include Gardner, the problem with police psychology -- which proceeds on the presumption that everyone is, or could be a perp -- is that it causes situations like this to escalate.

    Cops look at this from a perspective in which they are always enforcing the laws and thus in the right, so that if a situation like this happens, it is the citizen's fault.

    Policemen need to take a step back and look at the specific issues involved (speeding, perhaps not responding to the officer's requests immediately, and possibly disrespecting him). Were the reasons that he would be arrested, stopped or involved with the law at all so serious that an officer should even consider employing force where it's not absolutely necessary?! I really don't think so.

  • Anonymous
    Nov. 25, 2007 3:58 p.m.

    This is just another consequence of consolidated power in a big government with extensive power over individuals. Do what you're told by the government, or else they'll MAKE you do what you're told.

    The rediculously low 40 mile-per-hour speed limit is also government run amok. If the government were serious about safety (instead of revenue), they'd quit licensing people who can't drive safely along a wide, rural highway at speeds above 40 miles per hour.

  • jaz
    Nov. 25, 2007 5:00 p.m.

    they were both in the wrong but the cop went to far and got there way to quick

  • n/a
    Nov. 25, 2007 5:40 p.m.

    The policeman should lose his job, and think about how he handled the situation.

  • David
    Nov. 25, 2007 7:22 p.m.

    You are NOT legally required to sign a ticket. The guy did nothing wrong. The officer should lose his job and retraining of all remaining officers should take place immediately!

  • Scott
    Nov. 25, 2007 9:56 p.m.

    This officer is'nt helping anybody... Fire him!

  • Anonymous
    Nov. 25, 2007 11:14 p.m.


    You dont want cops like that on the force.
    He is suppose to address the situation and not provoke it. The cop should have just done his job and explained the ticket. I have had tickets and those cops were professional. They explained the ticket and options about it. I didnt like the ticket but I respected the officer - because he was professonal.

    This cop was not professional and should be fired.
    Whether the taser is lethal or not it was still excessive force. Same as a cop slapping someone in the face. Its still assault.

  • Jacko
    Nov. 26, 2007 9:34 a.m.

    Charlie Chan , your right. This would not have happened in England.

  • jafotrooper
    Nov. 26, 2007 10:53 a.m.

    It's so OBVIOUS that our "brotherhood" has a band of "roving bloggers" assigned to monitor and defend Trooper Gardner's actions - wherever there's a newspaper or TV station website, when too many stories start piling up denouncing Gardner's dispicable misuse of power, you start seeing the blatantly obvious and rediculous comments from law enFORCEment rushing to the defense of Mr. Gardner
    Don't beleive me, just look below...dozens of comments chastising Gardner for his unjustified tasing, and then - we, the cops, "Release the hounds!" (As shown just below)
    The kid was snotty, but he broke NO laws!
    (I Can't tell you how many times I would like to have wrapped kids like Massey over my cruiser hood and tanned their hides)
    Trooper Gardner's actions were questionable at best - he had NO need to deploy taser. He DID have a right to give the driver A: A reason and a radar reading; and B: The dirver's Miranda rights.
    Heck, Trooper Gardner could have avoided this whole debacle with just an ounce tact.
    He makes GOOD cops like me look BAD!
    He should get some anger counceling - it sure helped me!

  • Janey
    Nov. 26, 2007 11:54 a.m.

    We would never have known about this rogue UHP guy had all this not gone down. Mr. Massey is probably in trouble for not doing what this Smokey the Bandit trooper said. He'll get no support because the superiors and the judge will not want to compromise the lawmen's integrity. But now that we know, just what are Gardner's superiors going to do about it? Are they the "boy's club" and protect him no matter what, or are they going to re-think putting him in an ego position to hurt people. What about the other "troopers" who got a good back-slapping time at Mr. Massey's expense? These guys don't care about us (Massey was bleeding and in terrible pain). They only want that harumph feeling of being Wyatt Earp. The philosophy is "Do what I say, or die."

  • Gregory R
    Nov. 26, 2007 3:51 p.m.

    Mrs. Massey would have been completely within her rights to respond to Gardner's assault on her husband with whatever force was necessary to disarm or disable the officer and rescue Jared Massey. Under the circumstances, with her husband lying bleeding and stunned by the side of a highway because of the actions of an armed and aggressive man, the pregnant woman might well have been fully within her rights to draw a gun and shoot Officer Gardner.

    It's fortunate that didn't happen.

  • Shocking
    Nov. 26, 2007 8:18 p.m.

    This "officer of the peace" is no peacemaker. He could have handled the entire affair with a hint of wisdom and/or restraint, but, instead, tasered and then arrested someone whose only "crimes" were (a) speeding; and (b) not being sufficiently deferential to a cop. In light of the fact that people on rare occasions actually die from being tasered, this was an excessive use of force, and the officer should, at the very least, be reprimanded severely for his poor judgment.

    And if Utah Highway Patrol doesn't take appropriate action, then they will succeed in making the otherwise wonderful State of Utah look even more peculiar than it already does to the rest of the country.

  • Sounds like there . . .
    Nov. 26, 2007 9:09 p.m.

    Are many people here that are more concerned about Utah's reputation than the safety of police officers.

  • Wayne Hancock
    Nov. 26, 2007 10:21 p.m.

    Perhaps a little more training for the UHP officer, if anything. Scary stuff to see the officer and offender behave as they do while just a few feet from traffic. And that hand going into the pocket! And the hysterical woman emerging from the car! Had I been the officer, I probably would have drawn my gun and had them all prostate before replacing it, so I'm glad for the taser technology. I hope that the newspaper provides a follow-up story to this encounter.

  • Nick
    Nov. 26, 2007 10:50 p.m.

    There were mistakes made by both Mr. Massey and the officer. First and foremost, why not sign the ticket? That is one of the stupidest things I have ever seen(you can protest later; after all, they have it all on tape.) Also, Masseys resist was completely immature and dangerous. All those things asside, the officer set Massey up for a completely ridiculous and unfair ticket.(watch the beggining of the video. Massey didn't protest for nothing.) Secondly, under NO circumstances should a man be tazered for refusing to sign a speeding ticket even if there appears to be the possibility of a concealed weapon! The officer is carrying a loaded weapon and a 50,000 volt tazer for pete's sake. Doesn't Mr. Massey have the right to defend himself as a human being? I believe the officer should be punished for his actions of unreasonable assualt just as any other human being would be.

  • No Brainer
    Nov. 27, 2007 9:22 a.m.

    That Trooper was a 14-yr veteran?!?! He illustrated nothing buy incompetence and ignorance from the time he position his car during the traffic stop. Not to mention his inferior attitude would make anyone question if he was even a real cop / trooper / deputy. Aside from UPH stone-walling attempts of providing a copy of unreadable video....Since when does any credited or unaccredited law enforcement agency tape w/out a date and time? Based off the video, the stop was invalid from the get go.

  • THat is just WRONG!
    Nov. 27, 2007 11:24 a.m.

    Law enforcement officers must follow the law and refrain from infringing upon a citizens' rights. Mr. Massey's rights were infringed by officer Gardner and the officer needs to be held accountable for that. An officer has no right to retaliate against a perceived lack of respect, just as a citizen can not force someone to respect them. The situation was not mitigated, but escalated, by officer Gardner and he should be held accountable for his actions. If anything officers should be held to a higher standard and not excused for poor behavior.

  • Jackie
    Nov. 28, 2007 3:59 a.m.

    Mr Massey should have signed the ticket, and taken it to court if he thought he was innocent. The side of the road is no place to be arguing your case.

    Massey should view that as a learning experience to give police officers the respect that they deserve.

  • I'm A Cop
    Nov. 28, 2007 3:15 p.m.

    this is just plain abuse of power. this is what happens when a big ego and a short temper get connected. i have never tased a person for being upset over a speeding ticket. and if the officer would of lowered his voice and not screamed at the gentleman this would of been avoided. As a Police officer Sergent i would recomend that this officer be relieved of duty for good if he was in my department.

  • Tom
    Nov. 28, 2007 4:18 p.m.

    I find this whole "Police Officers can do no wrong" attitude very troubling in this country. Massey's first question about how fast he was going was answered with a question from Officer Gardner. "How fast do you think you were going?" It was clearly the officer's intention to cite the man for speeding, so why doesn't Gardner just answer Massey's question about his speed from the get-go? He has a right to know this information. Gardner could have also told him, long before he ever asked him to exit his vehicle, that signing a speeding ticket is not an admission of guilt, and that failing to sign it can be an arrestible offence.

    Simple communication could have deescalated any anger, thus preventing all of this, and for a 14 year veteran, Gardner handled this whole event about as poorly as possible. He will certainly be facing a civil suit over this event, without question, as he indeed should. It's to bad taxpayers will end up having to pay for the manner in which he chose to handle this case.

  • Thotman
    Nov. 29, 2007 12:07 a.m.

    I see that numerous officers are posting the "police think explanations" in the latest comments. The reality is however that the officer let the situation escalate rather than defusing it. He did NOTHING correctly. He failed to inform the driver of why he was being stopped. He failed to tell him where he was clocked and the speed. He failed to tell him that signing was not an admission of guilt. He failed to tell him why he was commanded out of the car, then turned his back on him before screaming at him to turn around,and then tasering him. TWICE,the second time for not moving when he had been immobilized. He terrorized the mans wife and threatened her with jail. He joked about using the taser with the sheriff. He allowed the driver to walk aimlessly after being handcuffed. Searched the car without permission or cause. Did not follow procedures of arrest. Lied to his peer about having given taser warning. Showed the communication skills of a 6 year old and the manner of a pro wrestler. In short he should be fired for such incompetence. yep, MOVE or I will JOLT you AGAIN.

  • bi cheng tian
    Nov. 29, 2007 12:11 a.m.

    The policeman was way out of line. you kidding me? the guy was no threat. he asked to look at how fast he was going and had every right to. the stupid cop said get out of the car and so he thought he was going to look at how fast he was going. as he is walking he is pointing to the speed limit sign. is that some sort of threat?
    Im so sick of cops who think they have so much authority and that they can just do anything they want. this was a simple traffic stop with a guy who posed no threat, but he thought he had to be cool and use his taser. what a jerk. then his buddy cop shows up and he brags to him how he used his taser and his buddy says "good for you." wow, this is who we have "protecting us"? looks more like hurting us if you ask me. mr massey im 100% on your side. sure this situatin could have been avoided if he would have signed the ticket, but he wanted proof first. the cop did his job wrong and should lose it.

  • unbelievable
    Nov. 29, 2007 12:23 a.m.

    This is actually believable. cops these days think they have way too muc authority when they really dont. the cop walked very slowly to his car with his back turned to massey mind you, think he thought that he was a threat? this cop was just upset because massey wanted to see how fast he was going and wanted proof. if you're getting cited for something, wouldnt you want proof?
    yes, cops are suppposed to "protect and serve" sure didnt see any of that goin on in this video. when the cop pulled his taser, massey is just thinkin to himself "what is wrong with this guy? is he serious? i didnt even do anything." to all of those who support the cop, better check your priorities. he had no right what so ever to shoot him with a taser. ;this cop did his job way wrong and should lose it for what he did.
    yeah massey could have signed the ticket, but if i believe im innocent, you better believe i will argue. and for mrs massey, what do you want her to do? just sit there while this cop is beating him up?

  • Out of Line
    Nov. 29, 2007 8:28 a.m.

    Jackie,

    Officer Gardner should be fired immediately and view it as a learning experience to treat citizens with the respect that they deserve.

    No one is required to show respect to anyone else and it is a violation of rights to force someone's respect through force.

    Professionalism and respect are required while performing duties in a professional capacity and Officer Gardner failed to display either of those qualities.

  • Frank the Tank
    Dec. 1, 2007 6:20 a.m.

    The UHP needs to sack up and admit that the cop was wrong.

  • Jesus
    Dec. 1, 2007 3:43 p.m.

    Genereally speaking;
    In observing the increasingly poor conduct of our nations police officers over the last 20 years, I find myself arriving at the conclusion that; THEY are the people who are displaying the TERRORIST behavior based on their own psychological insecurities. And they masterfully execute it with arrogant impunity and a lack of value for human life.
    Sounds like a great marketing strategy if your attempt is to lose public trust and respect towards your organization.

  • Critch
    Dec. 2, 2007 6:05 p.m.

    I agree 100%. The first time i saw the video i thought maybe massey was being a little smart with the cop, but after looking at how the cop conducted his information to massey. The cop was way wrong. He had no right to do what he did. Especially without telling him what was going on. There were no real warnings, just get out of the car, turn around, and bam tazzed. I would hope that most cops would exsplain that #1 it is against the law not to sign,#2 this isnt an addmition of guilt,#3 you can fight this in court. And then, then maybe, at least read the guy his rights. that is an american constitutional law. This cop was way out of line. And he knows it. You can tell, once he tazzed massey, i think he backed up and went, huh,did i go a little to far? he was kinda nice once he felt like he was big man on campus. I think he should be tassed, and then repeatedly tassed at masseys discretion. The UHP needs to formally apologize to massey and all of us for the poor judgment in this case.

  • Anonymous
    Dec. 2, 2007 6:37 p.m.

    I agree totally with UNBELIEVABLE. What does Gardner expect. Your beating and tassing the young ladies husband. You obviously weren't to worried about massey or you wouldn't have walk toward your car with your hands full and back towards the guy. Cops these days are way to trigger happy. They are way to paranoid, and should have to have a degree in communications. UHP Gardner was way out of line. He should be punished. He made a bad decision, and should man up and except it. He owes massey and all of us as citizens an apologie. He was wrong, and knew he was wrong as soon as massey hit to turf. Why did he need to shock him a second time? He didnt, thats why. Gardner was obviously one of the guys in highschool that got bullied around alot as a child and is trying to get back at the world, thats all we need. Another hot headed trigger happy cop. You know, i know alot of cops, and most of them are really good people. Even they addmit that there is always one or two that ruin it for everyone.always one bad apple in the force.

  • Daniel
    Jan. 11, 2008 11:04 p.m.

    I really think that this problem stems from the mormon faith, which supports such mindless use of force.