SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (FOX 2) - A traffic stop by police resulted in a driver being tased and charged in Southfield.
After being asked for license, registration and insurance - the driver asked why. The incident escalated to three police officers wrestling the man to the ground and, after a charge of racism and two shocks from a Taser, the matter is headed to both criminal and civil court.
It will be months before juries decide whether the driver broke the law or police violated his rights. In the meantime, you can render your own verdict after watching video of the traffic stop and hearing from experts on how police are supposed to conduct themselves when dealing with drivers they have pulled over.
In the video, you'll see Gene Bell get pulled over by Southfield Police Officer Anthonie Korkis. Korkis asks Bell repeatedly for his license, registration and proof of insurance. Bell repeatedly asks why he was stopped.
Neither man backs down in this war of wills that is eventually resolved when Korkis calls for back-up and decides to remove Bell from his SUV by force, even after Bell says he'll get out of the vehicle on his own.
During the course of their struggle, Bell takes offense when an officer says "boy," and one of the officers uses a taser on Bell twice to get him to put his hands behind his back so he can be handcuffed. In the course of the struggle Bell, who is charged with resisting arrest and assaulting an officer, suffers cuts and scrapes, including a quarter-sized gash on his forehead.
Watch the uncut raw video of the stop:
National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration guidelines advise officers to tell drivers why they are being pulled over before asking for their paperwork. But experts are divided on whether Korkis or Bell is to blame for an encounter that is headed to criminal court and civil court.
Bell met with me to share his thoughts on what happened. He also explains why he was offended that one of the officers referred to him as "boy" while trying to get him to comply with their orders. Southfield police declined to discuss the matter.