American cops made headlines yet again recently when a police officer in Victoria, Tex. pulled over a 76-year-old man for driving with an expired inspection sticker. The routine traffic stop would have been just that—routine—except for the fact that the stop ended with the 23-year-old police officer, Nathaniel Robinson, throwing the 76-year-old driver Pete Vasquez to the ground and then Tasing him—twice. The altercation was caught on the police car’s dashboard cam.
Here’s how the local Victoria Advocate newspaper described the scene:
The incident happened Thursday after Robinson saw an expired inspection sticker on the car Vasquez was driving back to Adam’s Auto Mart, 2801 N. Laurent St., where he helps with mechanical work. Vasquez got out of the car, which is owned by the car lot, attempting to get the manager. He pointed out to the officer the dealer tags on the back of the car, which would make it exempt from having an inspection… When the officer first grabbed Vasquez’s arm, the older man pulled it away. Robinson then pushed Vasquez down on the hood of the police cruiser. The two fell out of the camera’s video frame, but police said the officer used the Taser on Vasquez twice while he was on the ground.
Vasquez was handcuffed, placed in the back of the police cruiser and taken to Citizens Medical Center, where he remained in police custody for two hours… Vasquez was released from the hospital without being cited.
The police officer was placed on administrative leave while an internal investigation and a criminal investigation take place.