A federal judge released the police dash-cam video that shows how a routine traffic stop in Independence, Missouri, ended with the teenage driver getting brain damage, the Huffington Post reports.
The video, from the September 2014 incident, shows former police officer Timothy Runnels approaching the vehicle. The driver was then-17-year-old Bryce Masters. Runnels orders Masters to exit his parents’ car, but the teen refuses, arguing that he’s done nothing wrong.
Runnels tells Masters he’s under arrest, though he doesn’t say why. The cop, frustrated, shoots his Taser, discharging electricity into the young man’s chest.
The Intercept said Masters received an electrical shock that deprived his brain of oxygen for six to eight minutes, causing brain damage. The shock also could have killed him.
After using his stun gun, Runnels pulls Masters’ limp body from the driver’s seat and handcuffs him. The cop then drags the teen to the side of the road and drops him, facedown, on the pavement.
Last week, a federal judge sentenced Runnels to four years in prison, after he pleaded guilty in September to violating the constitutional rights of a minor in custody.
But that guilty plea wasn’t immediate.
The Huffington Post said the police originally claimed that the car Masters was driving had links to an outstanding warrant, which turned out to be false. Runnels then claimed he smelled marijuana in the vehicle. According to The Huffington Post, Runnels found a small amount of weed in the teen’s pocket.
However, conflicting witness and police accounts led to a federal investigation and ultimately a federal indictment for excessive force and obstruction of justice.