PUBLISHED: 20:48 EST, 15 August 2013 | UPDATED: 05:13 EST, 16 August 2013
A photo of police forcing an off-duty firefighter to the ground has gained national attention after it was revealed that the police action was taken after the man waved to the officers.
George Madison Jr., an African American firefighter and youth pastor in Evansville, Indiana was threatened with a taser by police when he committed no crime.
Madison says that he was riding his bike when he saw a police car approaching the same intersection.
Caught on film: A passerby took a picture of a police office telling Madison George Jr to get on the ground after threatening him with a taser
Through his work on the local fire department, he is familiar with a number of the police officers in Evansville and he thought he recognized one of the men in the car so he waved.
That is not how the police interpreted it, however, as they claim that they thought he was flicking them off.
The officers stopped Madison, and, according to Madison, they were getting confrontational.
He then took out his phone and went to call the police chief, Billy Bolin, who he is friends with. The officers told him to hang up the phone and get on the ground.
When he hesitated before listening to their order, The Courier Press reports that the officer took out his taser.
Serving the public: Madison said that the officer's attitude changed once he revealed that he was a firefighter (pictured in his gear) and youth pastor
Investigation: The Evansville Police Department is now under an internal investigation
'It was literally maybe inches from my face. I immediately threw my hands in the air. What he asked me to do I was more than willing to do,' Madison told the paper.
'I said "Please don’t hurt me." The next thing I know I’m laying down the ground and they cuffed me.'
The officers only began to back off after they learned that Madison was a firefighter and youth pastor.
'Once they found out I was a fireman their attitude changed,' he said.
Now there is an internal investigation underway within the police department and Madison's friend Chief Bolin is involved.
'I know (Madison), I like him. I know the officers involved, I like the officers involved. So, my job is to try to figure out the truth no matter who you like,' he told local 14 News.
'Just because somebody says something, we can't automatically assume it's the truth. I'm not saying I'm doubting anything that George has said. We have to hear both sides and get to the bottom of it.'