VIDEO: Cops Smash Window, Taser Passenger Over Seat Belt Traffic Stop
An Indiana family is suing the Hammond Police Department after cops drew their weapons, broke a car window, and Tasered a passenger – all over a seat belt traffic stop.
Lisa Mahone says she was pulled over on September 25 for a seat belt violation while she drove with her boyfriend and two children to a hospital where her mother was near death.
Mahone says she gave the police her license and insurance but her boyfriend, Jamal Jones, told police he did not have identification because he had recently gotten a ticket.
When Jones reached into his back pack to retrieve the ticket, police drew their guns.
Mahone got out her phone to call the police to explain that officers were pointing their guns at her and the children for no reason and she feared for her life.
“I said, ‘Oh my god, he’s pulling me over like I robbed a bank,” Mahone told WFLD.
Police told Jones their weapons were drawn because they didn’t know what he was going to do.
“That’s why I have my windows up,” Jones replied. “I’m not no harm to you right now. I got my kids in the car and you’re drawing your weapon.”
Mahone continued speaking on the phone to the 911 dispatcher when all of a sudden one of the officers smashed the passenger-side window with a baton, sending shattered glass into the car.
He then reached into the car and Tasered Jones for at least three seconds.
Officers pulled Jones out of the car, handcuffed him, and arrested him for resisting law enforcement.
On Monday, the couple filed a federal lawsuit alleging that 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,” their attorney, Dana Kurtz, told WFLD.
Police say, “In general, police officers who make legal traffic stops are allowed to ask passengers inside 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.”
Kurtz says there was no evidence of any danger, Jones was wearing his sea tbelt, and one of the officers has already been named in two other excessive force lawsuits that forced the city of Hammond to pay out settlements.