YouTube Video Shows Man Tasered After Refusing to Sign Ticket

An internal police investigation is under way after a formal complaint was filed against a Utah state trooper who was videotaped Tasering a man who refused to sign a speeding ticket.

The officer's conduct has been called into question after a videotape of the incident was posted on YouTube.

The video, taken from a Utah Highway Patrol dashboard camera, shows Trooper John Gardner using a Taser on Jared Massey during a traffic stop on State Road 40 in Uintah County on Sept. 14.

Click here to see the video.

"We do have an open internal review, or investigation, of the case," Sgt. Jeff Nigbur, a spokesman for the Utah Department of Public Safety, told "We're trying to expedite that to get that done as quickly as possible. If the trooper acted inappropriately we will definitely, absolutely, take the appropriate measures to resolve that."

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."

After Massey's wife leaves the scene, Gardner explains the situation to the other cop.

"He was completely in charge," Gardner said. "He said 'No I'm not signing the ticket.' I told him well 'OK, that's fine, hop out. Turn around, put your hands behind your back.' Wouldn't do it.

"'Turn around put your hands behind your back," the officer continued. "And uh, he was jumping around, making me nervous as hell, he was back here over to here. I'm like 'Nah, we're not playing this game.' Pull out the Taser. Turn around right now, or I Taser you."

"Good for you," the other officer responds.

Massey obtained the video from the Utah Highway Patrol and posted it on YouTube, reports. He filed a formal complaint and is considering a lawsuit.

Click here to read the report.

"There was some emotion and ego involved on both sides, not just the Highway Patrol side," Nigbur said. "Obviously, the best place to fight these types of things — and this is once again for both sides — is in court."

The Utah Highway Patrol has a nine-page policy on Taser use, including in instances where "a subject is threatening himself, an officer or another person with physical force, and when other means of controlling the subject are unreasonable or could cause injury to the officer, the subject or others," Nigbur said.

Medical teams are always dispatched to the scene after a Taser has been used, he said.

If Gardner's actions are found to be inappropriate, he could face verbal reprimand, days off with pay or without pay, or termination, Nigbur said.

But currently, he's still on active highway patrol.

"He's not on paid administrative leave," Nigbur said. "He still does work the roads out there."