Michigan State Police Trooper Timothy Wagner is on paid administrative leave right now after video footage surfaced showing him pulling a handgun on a woman during a traffic stop. Officer Wagner had his gun drawn from the moment he got out of his car and approached the woman’s vehicle. He later asked her if she “enjoyed having a gun pointed at her.”
St. Joseph County, Michigan prosecutor John McDonough said that although he doesn’t believe Wagner’s actions merit criminal charges, he does think he should be fired.
"I was appalled and disgusted by Trooper (Timothy) Wagner's behavior," McDonough said. "I cannot believe that someone with his experience and training acted in such a reckless and unprofessional way. Thankfully, nobody was hurt and I hope the young girl is not traumatized because of his actions."
Here’s the footage from the stop:
Wagner said in a statement that he was thinking of a recently shot fellow Michigan State Trooper when he exited his car with his gun drawn.
"With the recent incident involving the murder of Tpr. Paul Butterfield while approaching a vehicle at the forefront of my mind I elected to 'clear' the vehicle for my safety as I feel the vehicle could have suddenly pulled to the side in an effort to lure me into a vulnerable position where I could easily be shot," his statement said.
Wagner has been informed by Michigan State Police that he is currently under investigation for allegations of excessive force. Prosecutor McDonough has been asked by the department to lead the investigation. He said in a statement that he hopes “the administrative process by (state police) is handled quickly with the outcome being Trooper Wagner's permanent removal from duty."
"The comments he made were false and when he asked if she enjoyed having a gun pointed at her I became sick to my stomach," McDonough continued. "I hope my daughter is never put in such a frightening situation. This was a simple traffic stop turned into a horrifying experience for the driver and her family.
"... I do not want Trooper Wagner to have the opportunity to do anything like this again and certainly not in St. Joseph County.”