George Madison Jr., an off-duty firefighter and pastor who also happens to be black, was riding his bike when he saw a police car approaching the same intersection.
Believing he recognized one of the officers from his work with the local fire department, Madison waved at the vehicle. But what happened next wasn’t as friendly. According to the Daily Mail:
Through his work on the local fire department, he is familiar with a number of the police officers in Evansville and he thought he recognized one of the men in the car so he waved.
That is not how the police interpreted it, however, as they claim that they thought he was flicking them off.
The officers stopped Madison, and, according to Madison, they were getting confrontational.
He then took out his phone and went to call the police chief, Billy Bolin, who he is friends with. The officers told him to hang up the phone and get on the ground.
Madison, knowing that he did nothing wrong, hesitated to listen to the order. That’s when one of the officers took out his taser.
“It was literally maybe inches from my face. I immediately threw my hands in the air. What he asked me to do I was more than willing to do,” Madison said.
“I said ‘Please don’t hurt me.’ The next thing I know I’m laying down the ground and they cuffed me….Once they found out I was a fireman their attitude changed,” he said.
An internal investigation is underway within the police department, but the officers aren’t quick to believe Madison’s story.
“I know (Madison), I like him. I know the officers involved, I like the officers involved. So, my job is to try to figure out the truth no matter who you like,’ Madison’s friend and officer Chief Bolin said. “Just because somebody says something, we can’t automatically assume it’s the truth. I’m not saying I’m doubting anything that George has said. We have to hear both sides and get to the bottom of it.”