A black off-duty firefighter is making headlines with his story about being threatened with a taser and forced to the ground for waving at a white police officer who did not recognize him out of uniform.
An Evansville firefighter has filed a formal complaint against a police officer who stopped him during a bicycle ride Tuesday afternoon, threatened him with a stun gun and handcuffed him.
George Madison Jr., 38, who is also a youth pastor, said he feared for his safety during the stop, the Evansville Courier and Press reported .
According to the police department’s dispatch report , the officers stopped Madison after he “failed to stop on his bike” at an intersection and “raised his right arm (at officers) in an apparent aggravated manor (sic).”
Madison admitted that he was not going to stop at the intersection, but he said the officer startled him by making a sudden left turn in front of him.
“He did it real fast,” Madison told the Evansville newspaper. “I thought it was one of the guys (police) I knew.”
Madison said he has met many police officers through his job and participating in local police/fire events, so he raised his hand to wave at the officers.
But Madison said he did not know the officers who stopped him.
“The officer jumped out and says, ‘What are you doing throwing your hands up at us?'” Madison told the paper. “He is talking to me as he is coming toward me. I tried to explain, but I couldn’t get a word in edgewise.”
Madison said he knew Evansville Police Chief Billy Bolin from their community involvement, so he started to use his cellphone to call Bolin, hoping to diffuse the situation.
The officer told Madison to put the phone down then, according to the department’s report, “Madison refused to put his phone down and… postured up and pulled his arm back in an aggressive manor (sic).”
Reacting to the perceived aggression, the officer pulled out his stun gun, the report said.
“I remember looking down the barrel of a Taser, because (the officer) was gritting his teeth and saying, ‘Don’t make me pull this trigger,'” Madison said.
This is just CRAZY! Sounds like something straight out of a scene in the South pre-civil rights movement.