Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Driver wins $40,000 for Taser speeding ticket

Damm that was fast! Nothing scares a cop more than a jury of his peers. And Youtube.

Speeder Tasered by trooper on YouTube video gets $40,000 from state

Salt Lake Tribune


A Vernal man shocked twice with a Taser during a traffic stop last year has accepted a $40,000 settlement in a lawsuit filed against the state and a Utah Highway Patrol trooper.

The Utah Attorney General's Office announced the settlement between Jared Massey and UHP trooper Jon Gardner on Monday.

"We think this is a legally defensible case because Trooper Gardner acted reasonably to avert a volatile and potentially dangerous confrontation on the side of a busy highway," said Assistant Attorney General Scott Cheney, who represented Gardner. "We recognize, however, that this is a close case."

The settlement comes on the heels of a decision by Tooele County prosecutors earlier this month that determined Gardner's actions were not criminal. An internal UHP investigation also cleared the trooper.

Video of the trooper zapping Massey, taken by the trooper's dashboard camera, came to prominence after Massey posted it on the Internet site YouTube. Since it was posted last year, it has been viewed more than 1.7 million times.

Massey's attorney, Bob Sykes, said Monday the offer to settle the case was not the state's first and that his client decided to take it.

Massey filed a lawsuit against Gardner in January alleging the trooper violated his civil rights when he zapped him during a traffic stop Sept. 14, 2007, on Highway 40 in Uintah County.

He was stopped for driving 61 mph in a 40 mph zone.

During the stop, Massey argued with Gardner about his speed and then refused to sign the citation. Massey then got out of his car and followed Gardner to his police car where he was asked to place his hands behind his back. When Massey refused, Gardner shocked him.

The suit said Massey fell screaming in pain after being shocked while Gardner taunted him by saying, "Hurts, doesn't it?" Massey struck his head against the pavement and was zapped a second time because he was unable to immediately obey an order to turn over on his stomach, according to the suit.

"We thought the amount of force used was outrageous," Sykes said Monday.

The settlement amount includes attorneys' fees. The Attorney General's Office says Massey has agreed to dismiss his lawsuit, all claims against Gardner and all potential claims against UHP, the Utah Department of Public Safety and the state.

The Massey Case

Utah Highway Patrol Trooper Jon Gardner shocks Massey twice during a Sept. 14 traffic stop for speeding in Uintah County.

UHP announced Nov. 29 an internal investigation found Gardner did nothing wrong.

n Jan. 10, Massey pleads guilty to speeding and pays a $107 citation. Eight days later, he files a civil lawsuit alleging Gardner violated his civil rights.

The Tooele County Attorney's Office says March 4 Gardner's conduct was not criminal.

The state on Monday announces it has settled the lawsuit for $40,000.

127 Smart Ass Comments

What's really interesting is that he pled guilty and paid a $100 speeding ticket, then sued and won a $40,000 settlement. Normally once you plead guilty, that screws any chance of winning a civil lawsuit.

Safer to win the ticket first as a defendant, which is 100 times easier than winning a civil case as a plaintiff. Then sue in federal court, with jurisdiction under US Code Title 42 Section 1983, "Civil action for deprivation of rights". Rodney King was paid $5-million for speeding in his Hyundai Excell (World's Slowest Car), thanks to Section 1983.

VERY smart to IMMEDIATELY pay the $50 for the cop's dashcam video, before it can be deleted. Posting it on Youtube REALLY motivates the local news media to report on it, since they're scared to death of being replaced by Youtube.

Battle of Athens Tennessee 1946 - 500 citizens open fire and make citizens arrests of 300 crooked cops for bogus traffic tickets

75% of judges are not licensed lawyers - Since judges (prosecutors) in traffic court are not required to have a license to practice law, how can they require citizens to buy a license to travel?

Constitutional Right to Travel - Police officer Jack McLamb says you don't need a Communist driver's license internal passport extorted at gunpoint by police state death squads

1 comment:

piratenewstv said...

Posting this topic got me banned from Police State Death Squad Forum.