A video showing an altercation between Indiana law enforcement and a family has gone viral after depicting police breaking through a car window and Tasering a man for failing to wear his seatbelt.
Jamal Jones and girlfriend Lisa Mahone. Screenshot from Fox32 News.
Lisa Mahone and her boyfriend Jamal Jones, with Mahone’s two children in the backseat, were pulled over by Hammond, Ind. police on Sept. 24 due to the Mahone and Jones not wearing their seatbelts at the time.
According to NBC News, the video, which was captured by Mahone’s 14-year-old son, documents the majority of the traffic stop and shows police demanding Jones’ ID. When he fails to produce his driver’s license, officers draw their guns and order him from the car. As Mahone calls 911, an officer shatters the passenger window and uses a stun gun on Jones.
In a lawsuit filed by Mahone and Jones against the police and city of Hammond, the pair claim that they were on their way to visit Mahone’s dying mother and that Jones had turned over his license for an unrelated citation, CNN reported.
Screenshot from YouTube video showing police officer breaking the car window.
However, a Hammond police spokesman said the officers were suspicious after Jones rolled his window down only a few inches and feared that he had a weapon. Mahone was eventually cited for failing to wear a seatbelt, while Jones was arrested for failure to aid an officer and resisting arrest.
“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,” Hammond police spokesman Lt. Richard Hoyda said, according to CNN.
The lawsuit accuses the officers of use of excessive force, false arrest and imprisonment, assault and battery, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
“That incident further magnifies what took place in Ferguson, the use of excess force that seems to be happening across the breath and width of this nation,” NAACP Board Member John Gaskin told CNN. “As a man of color, if I’m pulled over, I will be leery of the officer and obey whatever commands they are giving me because at this point you are fearful of your life.”