How many people have to die at the hands of our police forces before we say, “No more?”
When a cop stopped 17-year-old Bryce Masters for a traffic violation, the teen had no idea his life was about to crash in around him, no idea he would land in the intensive care unit in critical condition and in a coma. Masters is the son Kansas City, Mo. police officer, Matt Masters. Unlucky for the cop who stopped him. Hopefully very unlucky. The FBI has launched an investigation into the Kansas City teen’s interaction with Independence, Mo. [Kansas City metro area] police officer.
Sgt. Darrell Schmidi with the Independence Police Department said,
“There were several commands given by the officer that I need to speak with you, I need you to roll your window down. I believe he did crack the window to the point where the officer could see but he couldn’t get him to roll it down any further. He was just being completely uncooperative with the officer.”
Maj. Terry Storey also of the Independent Police Department said that the officer warned the teen several times if he continued to resist, he would be tased,
“There was a wrestling match behind the vehicle where he resisted.”
The Independence Police Department identified the officer as Tim Runnels. He used the stun gun on Masters while the teen was still inside of the car. Maj. Paul Thurman, with the Independence police force said that the teen was able to get out of the car at some point, but later he fell.
Runnels incapacitated the teen with the 50,000 volts of electricity being discharged into his body. Then Runnels threw him to the ground causing him to hit his head on the pavement, lose consciousness and stop breathing.
Witnesses said that they believed the officer was unnecessarily rough with Masters. They also mentioned the officer’s frustration when the teen didn’t lower his window, which was due to a malfunction.
Runnels pulled the teen over Sunday afternoon, because of a “Kansas City police warrant associated with the license plate on the vehicle registered to a female.” But Masters was alone in the car.
Curtis Martes, 17, is a classmate of Masters, and the teen was on his way to Martes’ home to play video games. Martes heard his friend’s car pull in and went to the porch where he saw a police car behind Masters’ car. Martes’ said,
“I hear him say from my porch he’s like ‘I can’t roll down my window it’s broke.’ The window’s they’re broke, the cable that allows the windows to be rolled down, I don’t know what it’s called it’s messed up so his windows don’t roll down all the way like they’ll kind of just inch down and stop at a certain point.”
“He was like ‘what am I being arrested for?’ The cop just grabbed him and said ‘you’re under arrest.’ He threw him on the ground and busted his face up. In the midst of it I was just thinking I need to get a hold of Bryce’s dad cause Bryce’s dad is a cop and I don’t, I just thought that’s not the way that cops should handle it, he was just way too aggressive.
“Bryce is the most nonaggressive kid that I know. This was just uncalled for.”
The teen’s family’s attorney, Daniel J. Haus released this 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.”
Attorney Haus said the Masters’ family has no further comment until the federal investigation is complete.
According to witness Robert Baker, who lives near, police overreacted,
“Several times, the cop put his foot on the kid like he was stepping on his neck, but it was on his back. I think (the officer) was wrong, because the kid tried to explain to him that his window won’t roll down.”
Debbie Godfrey watched the incident from her home across the street. She said that the officer put Masters in handcuffs then,
“Runnels dragged Masters to a nearby driveway and dropped him on the pavement.
“His head hit the pavement in the driveway. I was horrified of the whole situation and the way it all came down.”
A third witness, Michelle Baker, said that when she heard screams from the street she got her cell phone to record,
“He pulled him out of the car, handcuffed him then drug him around the car then let him fall and it looked like he hit his face on the concrete, you could see blood coming out of his mouth and the cop put his foot on his back and moved it back and forth like he was putting a cigarette out and asked him ‘are you ready to get up now?’ You could tell the kid was going into convulsions. He turned him over and his head was dangling like this and he had blood coming out.”
The video recorded for five minutes witnesses say showing the teen not breathing.
Independence police reported that during the traffic stop Masters suffered “medical emergency and needed resuscitation.” An ambulance transported the teen to a medical center where he was listed in critical condition Monday in the ICU.
Thurman said the Independence Police Department hadn’t interviewed Runnels, because a conversation was being arranged via his Fraternal Order of Police representative.
“The use of the stun gun on someone 17 years old and physically resisting and the summoning of an ambulance both fell within department policy” and
“We would conduct a thorough investigation, regardless of who the parents are.”
Kansas City’s FBI office said in a statement that it has launched an investigation of excessive force,
“…into an incident that left a 17-year-old hospitalized after he was subdued by an Independence police officer with a stun gun…The inquiry falls under the FBI’s civil rights program.”
Thurman commented that the Independence Police Department will cooperate “hand-in-hand” with the FBI. Runnels has been with the force for three years and has been placed on administrative leave.
The Independence police said in a statement,
“Our department’s thoughts and prayers are with Bryce and his family and for his complete recovery.”
In its statement, the family thanked people for “their outpouring of concern and support.”
When even one police officer believes that the force is at war with people, when there is a warrior mentality, we are the enemy. What will it take for them to become our protectors?
Source: Addicting Info, [Video] FOX