Ex-Rapid City mayor says officer overreactedRAPID CITY (AP) — A former Rapid City mayor who was arrested after police said he was uncooperative during a traffic stop says the officer who pulled him over had no reason to draw his gun.
RAPID CITY (AP) — A former Rapid City mayor who was arrested after police said he was uncooperative during a traffic stop says the officer who pulled him over had no reason to draw his gun.
Police said Jim Shaw, 65, refused to pull over right away for a speeding violation Tuesday afternoon and that when he did stop, he jumped from his vehicle and ignored Rapid City officer Justin Gizzi's instructions. Gizzi then drew his gun.
"It seems to me this is an overreaction times 10," Shaw told the media. "All I did was apparently go too fast on the road — clear day, no rain, no traffic. I certainly wasn't driving unsafely."
Police Chief Steve Allender said Gizzi was justified in drawing his weapon because of Shaw's "odd" behavior, which Allender described as being similar to that of someone who had been drinking or trying to hide contraband or weapons and planning to elude police.
Shaw described himself as "a little antagonized" because he'd never had a gun pulled on him before.
"I wasn't angry at (Gizzi). I was scared," Shaw said.
Allender said Gizzi had no way of knowing at the time why Shaw acted the way he did.
"I cannot ask the officers to wait until it is too late to formulate a plan to safeguard themselves while performing what is known to be a fairly dangerous task," the police chief said.
Shaw was mayor of Rapid City for a total of eight years between 1997 and 2007. He is accused of speeding, failing to yield the right of way to an emergency vehicle and obstructing police, all misdemeanors. He has posted $300 bond and been released from jail.