The South Carolina state trooper who reportedly threatened to use a Taser on Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Sam Montgomery during a traffic stop on June 25, despite his efforts to cooperate, was suspended by the South Carolina Department of Public Safety on Thursday, the Associated Press reports. The conduct by the trooper, whom AP identifies as Lance Cpl. R.S. Salter, during the incident is under investigation by the agency’s Office of Professional Responsibility, according to AP.
Montgomery, 24, a first-year pro from Louisiana State University who signed with the Bengals as a free agent in April, was pulled over early Wednesday while on his way home to his Greenwood, S.C., home for speeding—going 89 mph in a 55-mph zone in Laurens County, S.C.
A video of the Montgomery arrest shows Salter shouting at the 6-foot-3, 262-pound Montgomery to place his hands outside the vehicle. Montgomery obeys.
The situation escalated when the trooper placed Montgomery under arrest for speeding and demanded that he get out of his vehicle. He calmly complied with Salter’s commands.
Salter continued to bark orders at Montgomery even after he attempted to follow the trooper’s instructions to spread his feet and place his hands behind his back, with his palms up.
“Sir, if you cannot follow my commands, the next thing you’re going to get is the Taser,” Salter said, according to the video.
According to AP, Montgomery responded by saying, “Whoa, I’m not trying to cause any problems.”
Salter’s harsh tone softened after a handcuffed Montgomery was put in the back of the state trooper’s car. He helped Montgomery call his mother and advised him to go to traffic court to try to get a reduced penalty and fewer points on his license.
Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Sherri Iacobelli said in a statement released Monday, “Salter’s behavior during the traffic stop of Mr. Montgomery was not representative of professionalism displayed by our troopers and officers every day around the state,” according to AP. However, the agency did determine that Salter, who has been with the South Carolina Highway Patrol since 2000, had just cause for making the arrest because of the alleged speeding, reports AP.
Montgomery owned up to his mistake of driving with excessive speed, according to AP. “Bad deal,” he said. “Trying to get home. I’ll take the lick. I was wrong.”