George Madison Jr. apparently made a mistake that nearly got him shocked by police.
The pastor waved to two police officers while riding his bike in Evansville, where he is a youth pastor at Memorial Baptist Church.
Madison thought he knew the officers.
But it turned out he didn’t, and the officers immediately stopped and quickly approached him, putting a taser in his face.
“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 told the Courier Press.
Evansville Police Chief Bolin said that the department has been conducting an internal investigation into what happened and wouldn’t release the names of the officers, though the Courier Press pegs them as Officers Darin Clifton and Jason Clegg.
The incident attracted attention after someone who was passing by took a picture of Madison on his knees in the grass with a police officer next to him.
“The officer jumped out and says, ‘What are you doing throwing your hands up at us?’” Madison said. “He is talking to me as he is coming toward me. I tried to explain, but I couldn’t get a word in edgewise.”
“It was like everything had disappeared, and I was there alone and I got scared,” he said. Soon he had the taser in his face and quickly dropped to the ground, telling the officer not to use it on him.
There is another side to the story.
Police officers told WFIE-TV that the two officers are veterans and knew what they were doing.
After they had approached Madison, Madison took out his cell phone and said he was trying to call the police chief, Bolin, or the local pastor, Adrian Brooks.
One officer told Madison to put his phone away and he didn’t, then the officer reached for it and Madison turned away. That’s when the officer pulled out his taser.
“The stop was legal, the hand gesture occurred after the violation,” said Sgt. Jason Cullum. “Looking at the run card, the officers never mention the finger being given, they just say an aggressive hand gesture. Mr. Madison actually put that they thought something about the finger being given, but we have not heard that from the officers. It’s kind of a moot point at the police department because he is constitutionally allowed to give the finger to a policeman.”