George Madison Jr. (left) said he waved at police officers he thought he recognized, but it turns out the cops thought he was flipping them off, and forced him to the ground after handcuffing him.
Ny Daily/ 14news

George Madison Jr. (left) said he  waved at police officers he thought he recognized, but it turns out the cops  thought he was flipping them off, and forced him to the ground after handcuffing  him.

A pastor making a friendly gesture at police in Indiana wound up being  forced to the ground and threatened with a Taser — because they thought he was  flipping them off.

African-American firefighter George Madison Jr. was riding his bike on South  Weinbach Ave. in Evansville at about 3:30p.m on Tuesday when he saw a police car  approaching the same intersection.

Being familiar with a number of officers through his work with the local  fire department, he waved to one of the men in the car believing he recognized  them.

But police interpreted it differently, claiming they thought he was flipping  them off and stopped him.

Madison went to call the police chief Billy Bolin, who he is friendly with,  when he claims the officers got confrontational, but they told him to hang up  his phone and get on the ground.

The  Courier Press reported that when Madison hesitated the officer took out his  Taser.

George Madison Jr., an Indiana firefighter and pastor, filed a formal complaint after the incident where he says police threatened him with a Taser.

(Pictured) George Madison Jr., an Indiana  firefighter and pastor, filed a formal complaint after the incident where he  says police threatened him with a Taser.

“It was literally maybe inches from my face,” Madison said. “I immediately  threw my hands in the air. What he asked me to do I was more than willing to do.  I said ‘Please don’t hurt me.’

“The next thing I know I’m, laying down the ground and they cuffed me.”

Only once they learned that Madison was a firefighter and pastor did the  officers start to back off.

An internal investigation is now underway within the police department after  Madison filed a complaint.

Chief Bolin said to local 14 News that he knew both Madison and the officers  involved and that it was his job to “figure out the truth no matter who you  like”.

The incident was captured on a cellphone camera by a passer-by who then  shared it on Madison’s Facebook page and has gained national  attention.

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