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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

State Trooper Pulls Gun on Speeder

     With tensions apparently high following the fatal shooting of a state trooper, Michigan State Police Trooper Timothy Wagner claims he was being extra cautious when he drew his firearm and pointed it an a 18-year-old woman during a traffic stop in April 2014. The incident, caught on Wagner's dash cam, sparked allegations of excessive force and a formal investigation. Though no criminal charges were filed, even St. Joseph County prosecutor John McDonough said in a statement that what he heard come out of the trooper's mouth made him "sick to my stomach."

     The incident began after Wagner says he clocked the woman's red Pontiac going 77 mph in a 55 mph zone. The dash cam video shows the trooper activating his lights and siren before pulling a quick U-turn to pull over the driver. About 45 seconds after the U-turn, the woman pulled over to the side of the road.

     Wagner is seen getting out of his car with his handgun already drawn and pointed at the car. He slowly approaches the vehicle and orders the woman to get out. The trooper than handcuffs the woman and takes her back to his cruiser. [Welcome to the future of routine policing.]

     "I chased you for two miles doing almost 80 mph after I went right by you and turned around, that's the problem," the trooper can be heard telling the woman. "You really have to pay attention to what's going on."

     The woman apologizes and tells the trooper she didn't see him immediately. She does not deny she was driving too fast….The woman claimed there was a report of a burglary at her residence and she was in a hurry to get home. Wagner confirmed the burglary report and eventually let the woman go without a ticket, though he said he "probably should take her to jail."

     After reviewing the case, prosecutor McDonough decided there was not enough evidence to warrant criminal charges against the officer. However, he made his disapproval of the trooper's actions known. [The trooper made inappropriate comments to the woman, statements that have not been reported. It is these comments that caused the prosecutor to feel sick to his stomach.]

Jason Howerton, "After Hearing State Trooper's Comments to 18-Year-Old Woman, Even the County Prosecutor Said He 'Became Sick to My Stomach'," theblaze.com, May 20, 2014 

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