A police officer in Indiana was filmed smashing through a car window, tasering and yanking out a passenger after he refused to show ID during a routine traffic stop.
According to a Fox 32 report, Hammond police claim that they were left with no choice when Jamal Jones said he did not have ID with him and refused to leave the vehicle.
Jones, his girlfriend Lisa Mahone, and their children, aged 14 and 7, were rushing to a hospital to visit Mahone’s mother, who was literally on her deathbed. The cops say they pulled the family over because Mahone was not wearing a seatbelt.
“I said ‘oh my God, he’s pulling me over like I robbed a bank,'” Mahone told reporters while describing the incident, adding “The whole situation was just crazy.”
“I gave him my license and insurance. I also let him know at the beginning to please hurry up because my mom is about to die,” Mahone is heard saying in the video to a 9/11 operator she had called.
When the cops demanded ID from Jones, he initially refused, but following more insistence from the cops, reached for a bag in an attempt to find ID and a ticket that he had recently been issued by police. This action promoted the police to draw weapons on the family.
“I don’t know you and I don’t know what you’re going to do,” an officer said to Jones. He responded, “That’s why I have my windows up. I’m not no harm to you right now. I got my kids in the car and you’re drawing your weapon.”
“I am scared. And the man–pulled a gun out. A gun! Why do my kids have to see that,” Mahone told 911.
“So once the kids were scared, I wasn’t gonna get out of the car and leave my kids in the car. He was being so aggressive.” Jones explained.
The police refused to take the ticket that Jones offered to them, so he demanded that a supervisor be called to the scene. This prompted one of the officers to respond “Look at my shoulder dumb***. I got bars.”
“You’re going to come out of the car one way or another. You want your kids to see you come out through the window?” the officer then said to Jones, before smashing through the window, spraying glass all over the couple’s young daughter in the backseat, causing her to cry.
The officer then tasered Jones, extracted him from the vehicle and arrested him. He was charged with resisting law enforcement and refusal to aid an officer.
The couple have filed a federal lawsuit against Hammond police. Their attorney Dana Kurtz said that the video, shot by the couple’s son from the back seat of the car, clearly shows that the officers overstepped their authority.
“They had no probable cause, one, to even ask Jamal to get out of the car, or two, to engage in excessive force in tasering and arresting him,” Kurtz said.
“There was absolutely no search, no nothing to suggest there was criminal activity going on. And certainly not anything that would authorize to taser someone and pull them out of the car and shatter glass into the back seat with children present.” the attorney added.
Hammond police issued a statement defending the officers’ actions. It reads “The Hammond police officers were at all times acting in the interest of officer safety and in accordance with Indiana law… In general, police officers who make legal traffic stops are allowed to ask passengers inside of a stopped vehicle for identification and to request that they exit a stopped vehicle for the officer’s safety without a requirement of reasonable suspicion.”
It has emerged that one of the officers on the latest video has twice previously been sued for use of excessive force, with the City of Hammond paying to settle both cases.
Hammond police prompted further headlines recently in unrelated cases. One federal lawsuit alleges that an officer barged into a family gathering and shot a pet in the face while it was secured inside its own yard, while another alleges that an officer was filmed whipping a police K-9 and lifting the dog off the ground it by its leash. In both cases, officers were supported by the department, and were not penalized in any way.
Steve Watson is a London based writer and editor for Alex Jones’ Infowars.com, and Prisonplanet.com. He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham, and a Bachelor Of Arts Degree in Literature and Creative Writing from Nottingham Trent University.