Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Driver in Utah taser incident wants viewers to stop threatening cop

Jared Massey, the Utah driver who was tased by Utah trooper Jon Gardner in a controversial incident, wants YouTube viewers to stop posting threats against the officer's life.
A man who posted a video of a Utah trooper shocking him with a Taser is asking people to "have some common decency" and stop making online threats against the officer.

"I wish people would realize and think about this: Trooper Gardner is a real person, he's got a real family. Real lives are being affected," Jared Massey said.
I suppose public statements such as this will go in his favor both in his criminal trial for resisting arrest and in his civil trial against Gardner and the Utah Highway Patrol.

I've actually modified my position on this slightly. My first reaction was an almost purely emotional one, and I thought Gardner shouldn't have tased Massey at all. Massey was ignoring Gardner's instructions and walking back to his vehicle, which all too often leads to an officer down. But I still fault Gardner for unnecessarily escalating the conflict by so quickly whipping out his taser and for not explaining to Massey the alternative to signing the citation, which in Utah is a ride downtown in handcuffs to appear before a magistrate.

Previous posts on this topic:
Sign zee papers
Follow up thoughts

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