Fredrick Gibbons had already had one bad experience with Georgia Regents University police officers when he was stopped on Wrightsboro Road about 3 a.m. March 1, 2012, and saw GRU Officer Wesley Martin in the patrol car behind him, Gibbons testified Wednesday.
Gibbons rolled his car window up so that there would just be room to pass through his license and any other documents the officer wanted and he called the Richmond County sheriff’s dispatcher in hopes of having a witness to any
exchange with Martin, Gibbons said.
Martin, Gibbons told the jury, ran up to his car yelling “open the door” and immediately stuck his hand through the window and began shocking him with a Taser. The first jolt threw him back onto the car seat and he dropped his phone.
It happened so fast that Gibbons wasn’t even able to give the dispatcher his name and location, he testified. By the time he regained control of his limbs, other GRU officers had arrived at the scene and were beating on the car window, Gibbons testified. Between the screaming and the pounding, he didn’t know if they heard him say he was opening the door. As soon as he did, Gibbons testified he was thrown to the ground and handcuffed.
Gibbons was indicted on a felony charge of obstruction of an officer for allegedly causing Martin harm. Martin testified Gibbons rolled the window up, trapping his hand and that caused him to shock himself with the Taser.
A Richmond County Superior Court jury will deliberate the case Thursday.
Gibbons filed complaints against GRU officers after an October 2010 traffic stop and the March 1, 2012, stop. Each time, Martin had stopped Gibbons for driving with a car dealer’s paper tag. However, driving on a dealer’s paper tag is legal.
GRU Officer Kim Turner testified Wednesday that she investigated both internal affairs complaints involving Martin. She testified she found no reason for any disciplinary action against Martin for either incident.
But Turner agreed with the defense attorney that Martin violated the department policy to warn a person that the officer would resort to using the Taser before using it.