There is another disturbing case involving police tasering a suspect who ended up with a serious, life-threatening injury after a traffic stop. Bryce Masters was put into a medically induced coma due to injuries to his brain after an encounter with an Independence (Mo.) police officer. The brain damage was due to either hitting his head on the concrete or losing oxygen for a long period of time.
Masters is a good student who plays football in high school and was planning to join his brother at Missouri State University to study computer science.
Masters was pulled over outside of his friend’s house. Police say that he refused to get out of his car or fully open his window. Sgt. Darrell Schmidli has said that there was an outstanding traffic citation. That is hardly a serious offense and it turns out that it was a warrant associated the license plate for a female.
Schmidli said that Masters opened his window a crack in response to the officer but “was just being completely uncooperative with the officer.” A friend says that Masters’ window was broken and could not lower all of the way. Witnesses also say that the officer became enraged by the lack of response to his orders.
One witness in the article below says that the officer quickly pulled out his taser and used it. However, Schmidli said that the officers warned about the taser before it was used.
What is clear is that the officer used the stun gun while Masters was still sitting in the car. The probes from the stun gun struck Masters about six inches apart near his heart and caused Masters to go into cardiac arrhythmia. He showed severe acute oxygen deprivation to the brain during the cardiac arrest.
Masters’ father is an officer with the Kansas City Police Department. The Masters family issued the following statement:
“Because of significant inconsistencies between public statements made by the Independence Police Department and information made available to the family in the form of statements of eyewitnesses and video and audio footage of the occurrence, the family has asked the United States Department of Justice to conduct its own investigation into these tragic events.”
The video below shows a police officer standing over Masters body, who is not moving.
We have previously discussed how police today seem to use tasers as a first response weapon to any resistance or in some cases the failure to follow their orders. We have seen various serious injuries causes by heart attacks or falls as a result of the use of tasers but some police officers continue to use the weapon relatively freely in encountering what they consider resistance.
Kudos: Michael Blott