Outrage after a Fort Myers police officer tased a teenager (includes video story)

The Florida Highway Patrol is investigating a Fort Myers trooper for tasing a 16-year-old twice.

Jack Rodeman was walking to his girlfriend’s house in the Timberlake community when trooper George Smyrnios stopped him. Rodeman, who is “biracial,” according to the Root, darted in the bushes and landed in his girlfriend’s backyard.

Security footage shows the moment when the trooper tased the teen. Rodeman hit a fire pit when he fell. Smyrnios got closer and deployed his taser a second time.

Smyrnios explained in two arrest reports that Rodeman was acting in a “suspicious” manner.

Kristina Rodeman is Jack’s mother. She told a local TV station that she feels devastated every time she watches the footage.

“The video clearly shows that he was just texting his girlfriend when the trooper tased him before detaining him,” she said.

Dr. David Thomas is a professor of Justice Studies at Florida Gulf Coast University. He said tasing was uncalled for.

“You could detain him, but if you detain him that means you go and put handcuffs on. That’s what you do. You don’t tase somebody,” he said. 

Liban is a journalism student at FIU. He is currently enrolled in a dual program majoring in Broadcast Media and taking graduate Spanish journalism classes. He is hoping to finish his masters in Spanish journalism in the summer of 2022.