Late on Friday night (November 30th, 2007), Utah Taser victim Jared Massey learned of the decision by the Utah Department of Public Safety that Trooper John Gardner's use of the Taser was considered justified, after speaking with DPS Commissioner Scott Duncan. The only media organization Massey spoke with afterwards was the Deseret Morning News, telling then he has "mixed emotions" about the results of the investigation.
"I don't feel the use of the Taser was justified because I feel the police officer is the one who is the professional and escalated this situation to where he had to use it," Massey said. "However, I appreciate that they investigated it." Massey did not mention whether or not he still considered a lawsuit to be an option.
Massey also said he was grateful other agencies will investigate the traffic stop. One of those other agencies, the Utah Attorney General's Office, has already been tasked to conduct an independent probe to determine if there were any criminal violations on Gardner's part. The Department of Public Safety has also ordered a review of its Taser-use policy. And the Utah Peace Officer Standards & Training Council may also get involved.
According to an updated Salt Lake Tribune story, Utah Highway Patrol Superintendent Col. Lance Davenport pointed out that, although Trooper Gardner is off the hook for now, disciplinary action from future probes of this incident cannot be ruled out. Col. Davenport noted that, although Gardner has had a few complaints against him during his 14-year career, most turned out to be groundless. Col. Davenport would not specify what the nature of the complaints was, nor would he discuss which ones weren't groundless and their disposition. Col. Davenport also said Gardner was issued a Taser in September 2005, but never had used it until the incident involving Massey. Gardner remains on leave for the time being, primarily because of threats on his life directed towards him.
Massey is scheduled to stand trial over the speeding ticket on January 14th in Uintah County Justice Court.