Report: Cop's Use of Taser on Speeding Motorist 'Lawful'

A Utah trooper who used a Taser to subdue a stubborn motorist in a confrontation that was uploaded to YouTube will not face criminal charges for the incident, the Salt Lake Tribune reports.

The Tooele County Attorney's Office found that Trooper Jon Gardner did not violate state criminal statutes when he used his Taser to subdue Jared Massey of Vernal, Utah, during a traffic stop on Sept. 14, 2007, the paper said.

Click here to see the video.

"Applicable Utah state law allows for the level and degree of force deployed in this matter to effectuate an arrest," the attorney's office stated in its report to the Utah Attorney General's Office. "Trooper Jon Gardner did not commit a violation of a Utah criminal statute when deploying his Taser."

The confrontation was captured on Gardner's dashboard camera and uploaded to YouTube, where it has been viewed more than 1.7 million times.

In the nearly 10-minute video, Gardner is seen pulling Massey over for speeding. When Massey refuses to sign the citation, Gardner asks him to exit the vehicle, and things quickly escalate as the motorist points toward the speed limit sign.

"Turn around. Put your hands behind your back," the officer says. Then he pulls out his Taser.

"Turn around, put your hands behind your back now."

"What the hell is wrong with you?" Massey asks.

"Turn around," the officer says again. "Turn around."

"What the heck is wrong with you?" the motorist asks again, then turns and starts walking back to his car.

The officer then Tasers the driver in the back as the man's pregnant wife screams from their vehicle. She later jumps out and is ordered to get back in the car.

Massey repeatedly tells the officer, "I don't know why you're doing this," and later says, "read me my rights," before he is put into the patrol car.

When another officer arrives, Gardner tells him "he took a ride with the Taser."

The investigation concluded that the "use of force was reasonably necessary," the paper said.

"This office has determined that the trooper's use of force was 'lawful' and therefore the elements of assault cannot be established," the report states, according to the Tribune.

Massey has filed a civil lawsuit against Gardner, accusing him of violating his civil rights, the Tribune reports. Massey pleaded guilty in January to speeding and paid a $107 fine.

Gardner returned to duty in January after completing a verbal communications course to improve his attitude.

Click here to read the full Salt Lake Tribune report.