Orlando police officer Peter Meier was determined to stop a 19-year-old man after spotting him popping a wheelie on his bicycle as he rode through an intersection with two other friends on bikes.
It was for the teen’s safety, after all.
Meier said he first flashed his patrol lights and called the teens over but they rode away instead. He then began pursuing them in his patrol car, attempting to stop them by driving in front of them blocking their path but they kept riding around him. Finally, after a few times of doing this, he called for backup.
Once the second cop arrived, Meier tasered the teen, knocking him off his bike. The other cop then rushed in and planted his knee on the teen’s back.
“Put your hands behind your back or I’m going to fucking tase you,” the second cop says.
“When a cop tells you to stop, you stop,” one of the cops tells the teen, proving once again that it was never about safety but about control.
After all, tasering the teen while riding his bike places him more at risk for injury than popping a wheelie. It is also against departmental policy which is why Meier was investigated and “disciplined” with a “written censure.”
The incident took place in May and Meier was disciplined in October. However, body cam video from both officers of the incident was not released until last week.
According to the Orlando Sentinel:
In a field report, Meier wrote that he tried pulling in front of the rider about three-to-five times to stop him.
“Every time I got out of my patrol vehicle and pulled in front… to stop him, [he] and the two males would ride their bicycle[s] around my patrol vehicle and at times into traffic on West Oak Ridge Road,” Meier wrote.
Meier called for backup, and at one point, as the offending bike rider pedaled toward the entrance of the Club at Millenia Apartments, Meier got out of his vehicle and ran toward him.
Video from another officer’s body camera shows the teen bike around two police vehicles as officers chase him into the apartment complex.
Meier then runs up on him and shocks him, causing him to fall off his bike. The fall caused scrapes to his arms and punctures to his abdomen where the probes struck him. He also complained of pain in his left shoulder, which he said he recently had surgery on.
The teen whose name was not released was initially charged with resisting arrest and a judge later withheld a conviction for a less traffic infraction of failing to obey a lawful order.
Another Orlando cop, Ahmad AbuSoud, tasered the teen’s friend who was also on a bicycle but he was not investigated, the Sentinel reports.
The department’s use of force policy forbids cops from tasering people on bicycle “except in cases of aggressive resistance.” However, Sergeant Luis Suero initially approved the use of force incident, according to the Sentinel. It was only after the body cam footage was reviewed by Lieutenant Andre Tankovich that an internal investigation was launched.
The teen said he did not stop because Meier had threatened to taser him. Meier said he tasered him because he feared the teen “was about to get off his bike and flee further into the apartment complex on foot.”
“Flight on foot was imminent to escape or fight,” he explained in his report.
Watch both videos below. There is no audio for the first 30 seconds from each body cam.