Seat Belt Violation Greeted With Spike Strip, Smashed Window And Tasering

from the click-it-or-ticket-program-seems-unusually-aggressive dept

We don’t have a full recording (i.e., from the beginning of this stop) but it apparently began with a seat-belt violation. By the time the recording begins, the passenger has already been asked to show some ID. He doesn’t have any on him, much to the officers’ apparent unease. At one point, his hand goes towards the center console, prompting one officer to pull his gun.

The driver (Lisa Mahone) is on the phone with a 911 dispatcher, trying to get some help because she has two cops going after her passenger, one of whom has already pulled a gun. The operator tells her to calm down (and why wouldn’t she suggest that — after all, the driver is “safely” in the hands of law enforcement) but Mahone points out something that should be equally obvious, especially post-Ferguson.

“I am scared. And the man–pulled a gun out. A gun! Why do my kids have to see that,” Mahone told the 9-1-1 operator.

Jamal Jones, the passenger at whom the gun is being pointed makes the same point.

Mr. Jones expressed reluctance to get out of the vehicle due to the officers’ aggressiveness and mentioned that “People are getting shot by the police.”

Also true. Case in point: seatbelt violation greeted with a handful of bullets rather than a citation. But these police officers have apparently gone too far by the point the recording starts. They can’t de-escalate, not after a weapon has been unholstered. So, they take it further.

“You’re going to come out of the car one way or another,” the officer menaced. “You want your kids to see you come out through the window?”

Apparently afraid Jones has a gun (because why else would another gun be out), the officer approaches the vehicle with an ax and smashes the window, sending glass flying into the back seat where Mahone’s two children are sitting. Almost immediately, Jamal Jones is tasered and dragged from the vehicle.

The seven-year-old begins crying. The fourteen-year-old continues to record with his cellphone.

Now, it’s a lawsuit.

Jamal Jones was officially charged with resisting law enforcement and “refusal to aid an officer.” The last charge makes no sense. Here’s the law itself:

A person who, when ordered by a law enforcement officer to assist the officer in the execution of the officer’s duties, knowingly or intentionally, and without a reasonable cause, refuses to assist commits refusal to aid an officer, a Class B misdemeanor.

This is officers piling on charges because they were inconvenienced. Refusing to exit a vehicle may be “resisting law enforcement” but this law isn’t supposed to be read as another means of forcing citizens into complete compliance. It’s meant to direct citizens to assist law enforcement officers when their help is requested. Being ordered out of a car under threats of violence isn’t the same thing as being asked to give an eyewitness statement or use a cell phone to call dispatch/911 for backup. (That this law is on the books is itself questionable, considering it effectively directs citizens to protect and serve police officers who are under no legal obligation to return the favor. It also would seem to put citizens directly in the path of civil lawsuits, should they injure someone or assist officers in violating their rights.)

As the story notes, Mahone told police dispatch that she had been “pulled over like a bank robber.” Once again, we have to wonder what was actually on the officers’ minds when they deployed a spike strip in front of the vehicle they had allegedly pulled over because of seatbelt violations.

The official statement attempts to explain this.

The police release said that another officer car with video equipment was called for and “considerable time” had passed. It added that Mahone at one point put the vehicle into drive, which is when they were told about the spike strips.

So, the spike strips preceded the supposed attempt to escape.

Here’s what the PD has to say in defense of its officers’ actions.

The officers… called for backup and at some point saw Jones’ hands drop to the center console. That’s when police ordered Jones to show his hands and exit the vehicle because of fear for officer safety, according to the release.

Jones also feared for his safety, but had no laws backing up his refusal to exit the vehicle. For two officers “fearing for their safety,” they sure move with a lot of confidence.

At what point does the mental math add up to “he might have a gun so I’d better move towards the window armed only with an ax?” Or, for that matter, when Jones asks for a “white shirt” (supervisor), why does the fearful officer (remember a gun has already been pulled at this point) say, “Look at my shoulder, dumbass. I’ve got bars?” These don’t seem to be the actions of officers fearing for their lives. These seem to the actions of officers who are now looking to prove a point after coming up empty in their demands for ID.

The police report also says that 13 minutes had elapsed between the beginning of the stop and the shattering of the window/tasering of Jamal Jones. What were they looking for? They had two people effectively detained for a minor traffic violation and yet deployed a spike strip in front of the vehicle and finally forced their way inside. They then had one person in custody and another cited. With all of this information and time, they still couldn’t come up with heftier charges than those thrown at people when cops can’t find anything more damning: variations on resisting arrest.

So, you can cut the cops some slack (but not much considering both accused officers have been named in excessive force lawsuits in the past) since they were dealing with an unknown person and the perception of danger. But then what? Here’s more of the police statement:

“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,” the release says. “When the passenger displayed movements inside of the stopped vehicle that included placing his hand in places where the officer could not see, officers’ concerns for their safety were heightened.”

The statement claims officers were concerned about multiple movements inside the vehicle and yet they never made an attempt to search it for weapons, drugs or anything else that might “heighten safety concerns.” They deploy a spike strip in front a stopped vehicle but don’t bother trying to justify this tactic until after the fact.

What it looks like — and yes, appearances can be deceiving, especially if several minutes elapsed between the beginning of the stop and the violent conclusion — is another case of officers not knowing how, or just being unwilling to de-escalate a situation when immediate compliance isn’t forthcoming. It’s at minimum a training issue. But it’s also an attitude issue. You want to use a seatbelt violation as an excuse to run names for warrants? Fine. But where do you go when someone has no ID, or refuses to produce it? This is one answer. And it’s the wrong one.

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Comments on “Seat Belt Violation Greeted With Spike Strip, Smashed Window And Tasering”

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That One Guy (profile) says:

"Because we can."

I’m betting a whole lot of ‘incidents’ like this occur simply because the thugs know that they can get away with it. Feel like terrorizing some random person off the street? Terrorize away, and if they try and defend themselves, hit them with the always popular ‘Resisting arrest’.

If cops were ever consistently held accountable for their actions, abuses of authority would drop overnight I’m sure. Until that happens though, expect insane incidents like this to continue and get worse.

At what point does the mental math add up to “he might have a gun so I’d better move towards the window armed only with an ax?”

That would be ‘never’, no rational ‘mental math’ would ever add up to ‘go towards the potentially armed man with an axe‘, because assuming they were right, and he did have a gun, and he was willing to use it, well, having someone coming towards him with a gorram axe seems like a pretty good way to get him to use it.

As such the action would seem to be either, A) Suicidal, B) Intended to provoke him to draw so they could justify shooting him(and given bullets have a nasty habit of going through things, potentially hitting the kids in the back-seat), or C) They knew he wasn’t armed and felt like dragging him out for having the gall to refuse to comply with their demands.

but not much considering both accused officers have been named in excessive force lawsuits in the past

And yet, they’re still on the force, still cracking skulls apparently. A perfect example of why you simply cannot trust the police to handle their own, because they won’t.

because why else would another gun be out

1. Because they’re cowards terrified of any possible ‘danger’ to themselves.


2. Because they didn’t see anything wrong with pointing a gun at someone over a traffic violation, and at that point, why not point a gun at him?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 "Because we can."

Let me help you then.

Racism does exist… and right now it is dominant from the black folk, not the white folk.

What are the chances of a white person being assaulted in a black neighborhood vs a black person being assaulted in a white neighborhood.

The statistics accurately bear out why this disparity exists.

In simple terms, it is expected and acceptable for a black person to be racist and cause a problem than it is for a white person.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 "Because we can."

“What are the chances of a white person being assaulted in a black neighborhood vs a black person being assaulted in a white neighborhood.”

It depends, whether you mean assaulted by residents or assaulted by cops. It’s generally unwise for a white person to be walking around a black neighborhood late at night. Likewise for a black person to be walking around a white neighborhood late at night. Even if he lives there.

John85851 (profile) says:

Re: "Because we can."

Make that personally held accountable. The main problem is that police officers are backed by the department and unions. This means they’re covered if something bad happens: the department or union will settle the case and the officer may be suspended or put on probation, and the issue goes away.

If we want things to change, the police office should have to pay the fines if the person wins the lawsuit. I think their behavior will change real quick if they know their own money is on the line.

And I don’t think this should hamper police activity since they should be doing their job within the law anyway.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

I’m sorry to have to be the one to tell you this, but that is something that most people do not think when they read techdirt. Tech is obvious, dirt in this case is news or even rumor that deal with tech. In this case the cell phone allowed the victims to record an abuse of power from those given a trust and authority.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

What do you suggest the blog be named. I’m not saying I fully agree with the OP here (on the one hand I do think the cops arguably overreacted with the taser, on the other hand the law was allegedly violated and the passenger was asked to get out. What is the cop supposed to do? Was it the passenger not wearing the seatbelt? I can also see where reaching for something could reasonably cause a cop to draw a gun though this business where cops allegedly ask you for identification and shoot you when you reach for it sounds sketchy). But if you have nothing useful to contribute and your strongest criticism is that not everything discussed here involves the title of the blog then you have way too much free time on your hands. Makes me wonder if you are a paid shill trying to look busy posting something regardless of its usefulness.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Many click it or ticket laws started out with the promise they would only be enforced when noted during a traffic stop for other violations and not solely because of the non seat belt usage.

This, obviously, has morphed into the present day situation.

And they wonder why many folks do not believe a word they say.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

That’s debatable. All of this does seem excessive for a simple seat belt violation and we have arguably devolved into a police state.

and the arbitrary increase in car seat age may have been driven by the car seat industry wanting more money and everyone knows how much politicians love to please industry interests with no regard for the public interest in ways that end up serving their own personal interests.

OTOH I can see how someone in the back seat of a car not wearing a seat belt could hit the front passenger’s seat and harm the front seat passenger so, to some extent, I don’t mind the laws being more strictly enforced when one person could affect another.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

Not wearing a seatbelt is stupid, not using a child seat is reprehensible. However – public safety and common sense wrt seatbelt usage is a completely different topic than that of politicians lying to the public about a particular bill they support.

And now, this law that was misrepresented is being used as an excuse to harass and maim.

Cell phone use while driving falls into this same category of ridiculous over legislation which will be abused by those who are enabled by it. You could be pulled over on the suspicion of having used your cell phone. Whether you were using it or simply adjusting your sun glasses will not matter.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

It probably goes against all their training, but if cops were just more willing to use some diplomacy and patience, most of these violent takedown arrests could be avoided entirely.

Considering that these people were traveling to a hospital to visit a dying mother, it’s a fair bet that once it starts to sink in that they can’t leave until they comply with police orders, they’re going to voluntarily do so just so they can be on their way.

But many cops demand instant obedience, and anyone who is slow to follow orders will be violently assaulted, arrested, and charged with some bullshit violation. That’s the way the system works. And the mentally ill get brutalized by design.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

a man was shot in the back several times because he mocked a cop verbally.

Then there was the teenager that assaulted the police with his eyes according to the cop that beat him up statement. The teenager was glaring at him so he feared for his safety and beat the crap out of the boy.

Might want to add get murdered by police for not licking their boots to your list.

AnonyBabs says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

There are more than two hands here.

Correct scenario:
“May I see your ID, sir?”
“I’m afraid I don’t have it on me at the moment.”
“Oh. Then perhaps you might step out of the car?”
“No, I don’t feel comfortable doing that.”
“Ah. Well, here’s your citation, ma’am. Please use your seat belt in the future.”
And no further laws were broken (by either party) that day.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

It’s because of people like Tim Cushing tirelessly documenting these examples of police brutality and abuse that the mainstream media finally started to take notice of this important but long-ignored issue, and as a result, even the US president acknowledged these problems.

And yes, this has everything to do with technology. Some of us are old enough to remember when these high-tech “non-lethal” weapons such as the Taser were presented to the public as a way to reduce police use of deadly force and save lives by giving policemen a less-lethal alternative to a gun. But instead, guns ended up being used more -not less- by police despite Tasers being carried.

Instead of substituting for firearm usage, as originally promised, Tasers all too often ended up being used as obedience-training tools on unarmed, nonviolent people by impatient cops with poor communication skills.

It’s a tragic irony that the technology that was supposed to make police more humane and less lethal has had the exact opposite effect.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

I have news for you white boy, police brutality isn’t new or worse now than it has ever been in the past.
There is nothing more pathetic than watching douchebags like Tim Cushing trying to pimp this issue for their own agenda. Tim Cushing needs to tell everyone of his great oppression. Let’s hear him describe in his own words the experience that led to his hatred of the police. Then we will compare.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Speaking of mental health treatment, when are you going to have your battered spouse syndrome checked out?

‘Oh it’s not the cop’s fault he beat/tazed/shot that person, if the citizen had only put away his phone/gotten out of his vehicle/been appropriately servile, none of that would have happened.’

I mean, there’s got to be some reason you instantly jump to the defense of rotten cops, unless it’s simple self-interest and you are one of the corrupt thugs, objecting to the idea that scum with a badge need to be held accountable for their actions?

Or perhaps you simply believe (wrongly) that cops are above reproach, that no matter what they do it’s not the place of us ‘ordinary citizens’ to criticize them?

Anonymous Coward says:

Over the last few years, this business with police going totally ape with few if any repercussions has been steadily getting worse. There’s more in the news now than ever before.

It doesn’t take a mental wizard to see where this is going. Citizenry are looking around their country and not recognizing what they see anymore. Think Ferguson. All it’s going to take is another situation like that to be the match that puts this country in riots from one sea to the other.

Unless something is done to reign in the total asinine idea that all cops are immune to any and all actions they do, even outside the law in respect to actions with citizens, this is coming. It doesn’t have anything to do with race though I feel that it is likely to be the trigger to set it off. Stats say the minorities get this sort of crap way more than anyone else.

Tobias Harms says:

Re: Re:

My guess is that it will take an incident lite Ferguson but with a white boy. When that happens and the white middle class learns that they aren’t safe all hell will break lose.
I would on the other hand guess that the police wouldn’t react the way they did in Ferguson if it was primarily white people doing the protesting.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: White shot by cops

“Actually, it happened to Dillon Taylor, a young white man in Utah. Nobody paid any attention. The media is more interested in fanning racial animosity than in exposing police brutality.”

It’s rarely mentioned in the press, but Utah has some of the most heavy-handed police of any state in the country. Despite it’s small size, about half the cases of “kicking and screaming”-type forced catheterizations in the US have occurred in Utah.

But Utah has few Negroes, and the Mexicans are generally silent when it comes to police abuse. The non-minority population there, largely lilly-white Mormon, tends to be very law-and-order minded, believing the old Bible adage “you reap what you sow.”

On the flip side, rural Utah is one of the few places left in the country where gas stations expect everyone to pump their gas before they pay.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

I think many of the law enforcer types are on steroids, as this would explain a lot. Strange how everyone else is subjected to drug screening with dire repercussions while law enforcement is not.

There are some police officers out there competently doing their job without the use of drugs, we don’t usually see them on the nightly news.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

“Actually, stats say it happens to everyone about equally.”

Not sure where you got that tidbit, but reviews of data elsewhere are in disagreement.

Anonymous Coward says:

I remember a month ago when someone was blasting me for suggesting something like this would happen if they don’t produce ID. I was told this is America and it’s not a police state. I’m more convinced than ever that this person is wrong.

Smashing windows, tasing passengers, terrorizing young children and throwing broken glass on them. All for a seatbelt infraction? Are you kidding me!

Let’s not sugar coat this. These people were black and that means there had to be drugs in the car. It looks like racial profiling to me.

David says:

Re: Re:

These people were black and that means there had to be drugs in the car. It looks like racial profiling to me.

You are overthinking this. These people were black and that means they had to jump when the police said “jump”. It’s not “racial profiling” but straightforward racism. It is clear from the officers’ behavior that they never considered the passengers an actual danger but rather fair game.

“Racial profiling” would be jumping to conclusions other than “nobody is going to punish us for giving them hell” based on the skin color of the victims.

The reports here do not indicate that the skin color of the victims was contributing to the situation here, but it is obvious that the statistics on escalating incidents like this happen to favor colored victims by a wide margin.

beech says:

Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Oct 10th, 2014 @ 9:15pm

Hold your horses there buddy, thus was about more than a seatbelt infraction. It was about a seatbelt infraction AND putting a body part somewhere it couldn’t be easily shriveled. If he had nothing to fear, why didn’t he present himself for immediate inspection to the authorities? Most likely he was a terrorist.

David says:

Re: Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Oct 10th, 2014 @ 9:15pm

Most likely he was a terrorist.

With kids in the car?

That makes the “terrorist” bit sound like a fabrication. Police should consider all circumstances before jumping to foregone conclusions. So most likely he was a child molester. I mean, what kind of animal lets himself get tasered while children are looking?

murgatroyd (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Oct 10th, 2014 @ 9:15pm

With kids in the car?

Of course. What better cover for a couple of terrorists than to look like an ordinary family? Clearly, anyone with kids in the car must be a terrorist!

Because of this, terrorists will go to great lengths to not have children in the car. This means that anyone who doesn’t have children in the car must also be a terrorist.

It’s a win-win situation for the police!

G Thompson (profile) says:

Re: Re: As a general rule

I had a nice conversation with an LEO here in Australia about this and they stupidly hypothesised that if there is no video then no evidence.

I then stated that someone like myself would be highly willing for no cost even to prove that the video was deleted and if possible recover that video (or segments of such) and then have the LEO charged with tampering/destruction of evidence and any other charges that would stick and I would make sure that not only the public knew of it that they would be stripped of their qualified immunity.

They weren’t happy with my comments 😉

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Here's the problem:

Not only Courts, also the public officials responsible for keeping the police in line like the Mayor and City council.

If you want to reform the cops you start with the mayor and city council or you can “Try” to fall back on the Sheriff if those fail. Tell them they are about to lose their jobs (Sheriff included) if they don’t get their thugs with badges yanked into control.

Anonymous Coward says:

Cops are cowards

“feared for my safety” is the refrain of bullies, wimps, and weaklings.

News flash, you worthless pigs: we PAY you to take bullets. If 50 of you have to be shot in order to protect one citizen, then that’s perfectly acceptable. You’re expendable. You’re replaceable. You’re servants, and your duty is to obediently get wounded and killed so that citizens — your masters — don’t.

That’s what you signed up for. That’s what you swore to do. If you’re not up to the job, then stand aside in shame and beg the community to forgive your cowardice. Then get the hell out: you’re not needed, you’re not wanted, and we’re sick of your lies.

trollificus (profile) says:

Re: First Step in Censorship

Yeah…but no. That’s more than a little bit of a stretch, except for the blind “adherence to narrative” exhibited by liberals.

It would be more accurate to say that this kind of police misconduct derives from UNION EMPOWERMENT AND SOLIDARITY.

It’s reaching far, far afield to say that anyone who criticizes black leadership should be suppressed because that might lead an irrational, racist, union-empowered thug-with-a-gun to misbehave.

In terms of thoughtless lockstep attitude, I see more here from YOU than from the police. Which of course absolves the cops of NOTHING here.

scotts13 (profile) says:

Prejudices have a way of coming true

Certain groups in the middle east believe the west is out to get them; so they lash out, and sure enough, eventually is is. Countries like the US have, in my opinion, been remarkably tolerant so far.

Certain police offices believe (or claim to believe) they’re in unusual danger from the public; so they lash out at any opportunity. Eventually, the police WILL be in the danger they fear, simply by reaction.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Prejudices have a way of coming true

Self fulfilling prophecy is a human favorite.

Just as you say, the police have an unreasonable fear of the public so they treat them bad which in turns elicits anger and contempt from the very public they fear and abuse… eventually leading to a real reason to fear the public when the public decides to turn against them in force!

The integrity of law enforcement is so terrible that NO ONE other than fools expect to get a fair shake when dealing with them.

Which is why you should never talk to them period!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

A true revolution will throw all of the beaurocrats, police and politicians out on their asses and make them accountable to the american people, that is what a revolution will help with, then you need to make a true democracy not what you have where a few hundred contol the millions.

Sure they had a true revolution, they left their militaries intact, you need a true revolution where everyone in power is kicked out, this includes all police, politicians, military and beaurocrats.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

It may have worked out well for you and your predecessors, however it has not been peaches and cream for many others, and it is getting worse for them … and now you.

This is a good example for why the teaching of history should include everything, not just the good stuff while hiding all the bad things that have occurred.

Rob Lewis (profile) says:

"Seatbelt violations" just an excuse to harrass people

It seems like a lot of these incidents start with seatbelt violations. Granted, not wearing your seatbelt is dumb and puts you at somewhat greater risk, but it doesn’t affect the safety of other motorists and isn’t exactly a major offense.

I think here in WA, cops will only cite you for a seatbelt violation if they’ve already stopped you for something more substantive. That seems like a sensible policy.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: "Seatbelt violations" just an excuse to harrass people

Seatbelt violations should only be a crime when dealing with children, along the lines of ‘child endangerment’, where it’s the responsibility of the adults to keep them safe.

When dealing with the adults themselves, there’s really no need to add on charges for those that refuse to wear a seatbelt, as that’s an idiocy that will lead to it’s own punishment.

Anonymous Coward says:


This video is living proof of that old saying, “SEAT BELTS SAVE LIVES.”

Though quite oddly, there are no national statistics of the number of people who died due to not wearing a seat belt … after being pulled over for that high crime.

And that poor bloke was lucky he didn’t became another (non)statistic.

JS says:

Indiana Law

According to Wikipedia:

IC 9-19-10-3.1[7] Stopping, inspecting, or detaining vehicle; checkpoints Sec. 3.1. (a) Except as provided in subsection (b), a vehicle may be stopped to determine compliance with this chapter. However, a vehicle, the contents of a vehicle, the driver of a vehicle, or a passenger in a vehicle may not be inspected, searched, or detained solely because of a violation of this chapter. (b) A law enforcement agency may not use a safety belt checkpoint to detect and issue a citation for a person’s failure to comply with this chapter. As added by P.L.214-2007, SEC.8.

Anonymous Coward says:

It appears that the government and its agencies should be petitioned to immediately cease using the term “the people of the united states” or any phrase or statement that is in reference to the “people of the united states”.

It is evident that the government does not trust or represent “the people of the united states”.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: No ID

Police tend to think that anyone who fails to show a state-issued ID is probably a felony fugitive. I didn’t know that someone reporting a break-in is required to show a drivers license. So I showed several picture IDs I had, including a passport. That apparently wasn’t good enough, and I spent the next 5 minutes answering rapidfire questions about my life history (which was written down) but not a single question about the crime I had just reported to police. I never imagined that by reporting a crime, I would be treated like some kind of criminal suspect because I couldn’t find my driver’s license.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: No ID

there was a case where the police demanded the id of a teenager while he was on his family’s front lawn. He refused and went to get his parents, the police decided that naturally they would not stand for that disrespect and broke down the family’s front door and dragged the boy out while charging him with resisting arrest.

because naturally refusing to show the police your id on your own property is a crime punishable by assault and beatings.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: No ID

I never imagined that by reporting a crime, I would be treated like some kind of criminal suspect because I couldn’t find my driver’s license.

That was your first mistake, getting involved with the police. If at all possible, don’t.

My guess, actually doing something about a break-in requires work, so the cop wasn’t too interested in that. You however, if he could get you to say something ‘suspicious’, like accidentally contradicting one of your previous statements(‘Remember kids, the police can lie to you, but you cannot lie to the police.’)then he could arrest you and add another tally to his record, and all without much effort.

Chris says:

This guy had it coming

This guy was asked to provide identification(in Indiana its required if a police officer asks for ID you give it to them) Instead of complying, he reached in an area the police officers could not see. The police have split seconds to decide if hes reaching for a phone to try and record them or if hes reaching for a gun to shoot them. He was already belligerent and was refusing to identify himself for absolutely no reason. The officer had every reason to shoot him but instead chose to tase him due to the innocents in the vehicle with them.

The equation is very simple. The police ask you to do something, do it. If you don’t, they will react, probably not to your benefit. If you do and they are in the right, they will do what they need to do and send you on your way. If you comply and they are in the wrong, sue them and laugh to the bank.

If you purposefully stand up to the police. You are wrong. Whether they are wrong or not. You go with it and then punish them for it afterwards. When you become beligerant, you justify their actions after the fact. Usually it’s not the cop who ends up on the worst end of that.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: This guy had it coming

You’re ignoring the accountability part of the equation.

It’s not hard to ignore something that doesn’t exist.

If the cop is wrong, he gets sued and fired.

What rock have you been living under the past couple of decades, a huge part of what’s wrong with the police is that this doesn’t happen.

Perhaps you missed this part of the article:

(but not much considering both accused officers have been named in excessive force lawsuits in the past)

Both of those involved here have been accused of excessive force in the past, and yet they are still employed as cops. The idea of ‘If a cop is wrong, he gets sued and fired’ is a lie, a joke without a punchline, because if it did happen there wouldn’t be nearly as many corrupt cops still employed.

When you read stories about cops/thugs with extensive records of excessive force, and abuse of authority, and multiple claims made against them still employed, it rather puts to rest the idea that screwing up as a cop gets you fired.

Now, do every so often police get sued? Absolutely. But if the non-cop wins, which is an uphill battle as cops pretty much always get the benefit of the doubt in court(even to the point where what a cop claims happened has been ruled as more accurate than contradictory video evidence), is the individual officer punished? Are they fired? Have their wages garnished, or their pension docked in order to pay off the fine amount? Somehow I doubt it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: This guy had it coming

You’re ignoring the accountability part of the equation. If the cop is wrong, he gets sued and fired.
Several things tend to limit the number of times that happens.

1) The cops rarely investigate and bring charges against another cop.
2) Private actions in the courts cost money.
3) People often wish to avoid giving the cops a reason to pay the extra attention.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: This guy had it coming

“The equation is very simple. The police ask you to do something, do it. If you don’t, they will react, probably not to your benefit.”

Correction: “absolutely not to your benefit.”

And being deaf is no excuse for not following police orders.

And being in diabetic shock is no excuse for not following police orders.

And being mentally ill is no excuse for not following police orders.

Although they are rarely credited for it, police actually perform an important “Darwinism” function for society, ensuring that these physical and mental defects are eradicated from the gene pool.

Gwiz (profile) says:

Re: This guy had it coming

This guy was asked to provide identification(in Indiana its required if a police officer asks for ID you give it to them)….

Not quite. This is what Indiana law requires:

Indiana requires either name, address, and date of birth, or driver’s license, if on the person’s possession, and only applies if the person was stopped for an infraction or ordinance violation. Source

This guy didn’t have his driver license on him so was only required to give name, address and date of birth.

Also, this is required ONLY if the person was stopped for an infraction or ordinance violation. Since he wasn’t the one driving the car, he wasn’t stopped for either of those things.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: This guy had it coming

“in Indiana its required if a police officer asks for ID you give it to them”

However, in no state are you required to carry ID in the first place.

“The officer had every reason to shoot him”

Under what rationale? The one you gave is woefully insufficient. It looks to me like not only didn’t the cop have a reason to shoot him, the cop also didn’t have a reason to tase him.

“The police ask you to do something, do it.”

This is the correct advice if your goal is to remain as safe as possible. This is the incorrect advice if your goal is to live as a free, law-abiding human being.

“If you purposefully stand up to the police. You are wrong.”

This couldn’t be more incorrect. The police are not our masters.

“When you become beligerant, you justify their actions after the fact.”

I know the police view it that way — that’s one of the reasons that the police are so dangerous to be around. But they’re wrong.

NoahVail (profile) says:

Abusive cops have long been a part of life.

A generation ago, young men knew cops were more likely to be thugs than allies.

During a traffic stop, I’d put my keys on the dashboard, to preemptively calm a cop who might wound up over things that happened earlier in his day.

When more than 2 cruisers pulled me over (say 10 or 25), I’d try to place the car where pulling away would be impossible and then put my keys on the roof.
That didn’t stop cops from threatening to beat me but they never followed through with it (at least not with me).

My county had maybe the largest LEA budget in the nation, without enough crime to spend it on. Cops sometimes got bored and with a large enough show of force, they might be able so jar a long-haired 19yo kid into volunteering all sorts of information.

That’s just how life was.
There were some cops that were consistently ethical and compassionate but most were likely to do whatever they wanted.

It’s not like there was anything that could stop them.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Something I’ve never understood is why it is that cops can be charged and face trial in criminal court for excessive force (and even go to jail) but are essentially immune from civil lawsuits.

I would propose the opposite: immunity from criminal penalty (which is extremely rare) but personally liable for civil judgment (which is extremely common). And make it just like child-support, so there’s no way to avoid paying.

trollificus (profile) says:

"Well...let's just ignore that, okay?"

Lotta comments, and good ones. I doubt this is a sudden epidemic of LEO abuse of citizens, rather an artifact of near-universal reporting.

One thing I notice not one single person has said anything about is how police operate in full knowledge that their union (like, sadly, other unions) will back them up 100%, to the point of fighting for their continued employment no matter the facts of a case.

And don’t EVEN go the “That’s what unions are supposed to do!” route. Really? Support cops who murder citizens, who throw flash-bang grenades in a baby’s crib, who terrify and abuse people who are not charged with any crime?? REALLY?

Fuck that. I know that’s what police unions do, and it’s a huge factor in the us-vs-them mentality of LEOs and their expectation that they can get away with anything. And, of course, since nobody even dares to bring it up, who’s to say they’re wrong?

The “Grand Narrative” to which all right-thinking people are expected to adhere says “Unions=good”, but come the fuck on…with regard to cops, the union /= good.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: "Well...let's just ignore that, okay?"

Virtually the only powerful (non-lapdog) labor unions left these days are those of government workers — such as police.

But at least the era of police unions organizing strikes for higher pay is long since over. And today there’s not even any need for that, as most cities are eagerly willing to pay cops a wage far above the amount their skill level would draw in the private sector, in order to attract dedicated professionals rather than the kind of low-life street thugs who find violence and power intoxicating.

In most private companies, unions serve to protect the “dead wood” workers — the lazy, unprofessional, and accident-prone employees that bosses would love to get rid of if they only could. Police unions are not much different. Except perhaps that “dead wood workers” in a police force might be those that create “dead wood” from the barrel of a gun.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: "Well...let's just ignore that, okay?"

Wow – you are severely misinformed.

fyi, in order to join the police club you must have an IQ below a certain number.

Unions are not without problems, but in their absence the corporation(s) treat workers like a commodity. Many receive a government subsidy for each and every person they take advantage of. For example – they pay below a living wage and the taxpayer makes up the difference via food stamps and welfare. Perhaps you might twist your panties because of this rather than stupid political talking points.

Donglebert The Needlessly Unready says:

"Resisting Law Enforcement"??? Really??

I can’t get over this “Resisting Law Enforcement” charge. Isn’t that just a catch all “Do what I say” law? That’s appalling.

“Resisting Arrest” makes sense. But it doesn’t seem like he was under arrest or being arrested.

And why would he need ID, or need to present that ID, to give his name and address? If he refused to give his details, or gave the wrong details, then they can just give the seat belt violation to the driver or owner of the car.

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