One Missouri teen is now in a medically induced coma due to brain injuries he reportedly suffered after being tasered by an officer with the Independence Police Department of Missouri.
According to The Huffington Post, the 17-year-old boy who has been identified as Bryce Masters of Independence, was involved in an altercation with a police officer during a traffic stop on Sunday, Sept. 15. The incident, which was initially suppose to be a minor traffic stop, quickly took a devastating turn. Witnesses reported they heard screaming just minutes after the officer approached the car.
An eyewitness also gave a graphic account of the incident during a brief interview with Fox4-KC.
“You could tell the kid was going into convulsions,” eyewitness Michelle Baker told the publication. “[The cop] turned him over and his head was dangling… and he had blood coming out.”
Although it is still rather vague how the incident escalated to a physical altercation, Independence Police spokesman Darryl Schmidley stated Masters reportedly refused to cooperate with the officer, who has been identified as Tim Reynolds. His alleged lack of cooperation is what led to the officer’s use of non-lethal force.
“The driver… refused to roll down the window,” Schmdley said during an interview with KMBZ. “The officer was able to get the door open. The driver refused to get out of the vehicle. A struggle ensued [and] a Taser was employed by the officer.”
However, Masters’ friend, Curtis Martes, says otherwise. He explained Masters’ did not roll the window down because he couldn’t. Matres was reportedly standing on the porch at his home when the incident took place.
“I hear[d] him say… ‘I can’t roll down my window [because] it’s broke,'” Martes explained to Fox4-KC.
On Monday, Sept. 16, the Kansas City Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation opted to further review the allegations of excessive use of force. The police department also announced that Reynolds had been placed on administrative leave.
An attorney representing the Masters’ family has also released a statement on their behalf.
“The family of Bryce Masters would like to thank everyone for their outpouring of concern and support. 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. “Because Bryce is still in critical condition, the Masters family asks that their privacy be respected in allowing them to focus on Bryce’s needs and his recovery.”
If the Independence Police Department is held accountable for the teen’s injuries, how do you think the officer should be reprimanded? Share your thoughts.
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