Listen to this article Tennessee Police Officer Tasers Delivery Driver Recording Traffic Stop
On March 10, 2023, a traffic stop in Collegedale, a city of some 11,000 people about 20 miles east of Chattanooga, took a violent turn when a police officer fired his stun gun at a food delivery man who had begun recording his traffic stop for speeding and asked to see the officer’s supervisor. Video footage of the incident, released by Delane Gordon’s attorney, shows the delivery man facing additional charges of resisting arrest and obstruction of justice after the officer pointed a taser at him and fired it.
According to Gordon’s attorney, Ryan Wheeler, Gordon began recording the traffic stop when he felt unsafe, a few hundred feet away from where he was delivering food for DoorDash. The recording shows the officer making a U-turn and pulling him over. While seated in his car, Gordon inquired about the reason for being pulled over and presented his driver’s license to the officer. As the officer aimed the taser at Gordon, he narrated the events to the viewers, stating that the officer had pulled him over for a traffic stop and intended to use the taser on him. You can’t do that officer because I called for your supervisor. I have my license.”
The officer demanded that Gordon get out of the car, but Gordon refused, feeling uncomfortable and asking for the supervisor repeatedly. The officer responded with profanity and grabbed Gordon, attempting to pull him out of the car. Gordon pleaded with the officer, saying, “Please stop,” “Please don’t hurt me,” and “Why are you doing this?” While the officer stopped grabbing Gordon momentarily, he then fired the taser at Gordon, hitting him.
Wheeler stated that following the incident, Gordon was booked, paid the bond, and subsequently released. However, the Collegedale Police Department did not put the officer on leave, as confirmed by Lt. Jamie Heath. The department claimed to have the officer’s complete camera footage of the incident and hopes to release it at the end of the criminal probe and the department’s internal affairs investigation.
The Hamilton County district attorney’s office requested an investigation into the incident on March 10, and the Collegedale Police Department said it would be “cooperating fully” with the sheriff’s probe while conducting their investigation.The DA’s office declared that it would withhold any additional information until the investigation reached its conclusion. Meanwhile, Gordon’s legal team aims to bring awareness and clear Gordon of the charges, stating that Gordon had no prior criminal record, never posed a threat to the officer, and was respectful throughout the exchange. Wheeler expressed confidence in clearing Gordon of the charges.
The incident, recorded by the victim, has caused a stir in the local and national media, with many calling out the use of excessive force by the police officer. Many have also criticized the department for not identifying the officer and not putting him on leave. Such incidents have been a recurring problem across the United States, highlighting the need for police reforms, especially when it comes to the use of force against minorities.