Warning: Some viewers might find the contents of this video disturbing.
A federal judge in Independence, Missouri, has finally released the dash cam footage of a traffic stop that left an innocent teenager brain-damaged for life.
In September 2014, an Independence police officer, Timothy Runnels, pulled over then 17-year-old Bryce Masters, son of a Kansas City police officer, who was on his way to play video games with a friend. The cop asked him to exit the vehicle, but when Masters inquired if he was under arrest and refused to leave his car, things took a turn for the worst.
The video posted above clearly shows Runnels attempting to remove the teen from his car as he exclaims, “I haven’t done anything, officer.” The 32-year-old cop told the teen he was under arrest, without bothering to explain his offense. He also snatched and threw away the cell phone Masters was using to record the incident.
Eventually, Runnels said “F*** it” before discharging his stun gun and striking the teen near his heart.
Runnels tased the victim for 23 seconds straight, which is four times longer than officers are allowed to deploy the weapon.
As Masters slumped in his seat, the officer dragged him out of the car and threw him on the asphalt, forcefully pulling his arms behind his back and handcuffing his wrist. Then, he lifted the victim’s lifeless body and dropped him face first on the curb with a sickeningly loud thud.
Little did he know, Masters was going into a cardiac arrest at that very moment, and was unable to break the fall.
The paramedics soon arrived at the scene along with the teen's parents. The doctors later told them their son was dead for eight minutes and though they were able to save him by inducing a medical coma, they warned the oxygen deprivation to his brain would have lifelong effects.
The local police initially tried to cover up the story, with Runnels claiming he smelled marijuana in the car and that there was a warrant out for the license plate. However, neither of those claims turned out to be true.
The car was registered to the Masters family for almost three years and the doctors determined that the teen did not have any drugs in his system.
In fact, the Taser had caused all the damage.
Earlier this week, Runnels was sentenced to four years in prison. Interestingly, there were no charges against the former cop for his stun gun use. Instead, he was punished for deliberately dropping the teen while he was restrained and was not posing a threat to others.
“The defendant abused his authority as a law enforcement officer by depriving a minor of his constitutional rights and causing bodily harm,” said DOJ Civil Rights Division acting deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta in a statement following the verdict. “While the majority of law enforcement safeguards our communities with fidelity, the department will continue to vigorously investigate and prosecute officers who violate their oath by using excessive force.”
Bryce Masters now suffers from short-term memory loss along with several other mental health issues.
“People tell me I’m different,” he said in an interview. “I feel different. I get in the car to go somewhere and then I’ll forget where I was going. I’ve missed job interviews because I forgot them.”
Here is another video of the incident recorded by an eyewitness:
Banner/thumbnail Credits: Reuters